With the deadline looming to propose new cigarette warning labels, the Food and Drug Administration announced they're putting the fight to curb smoking on the back burner.
The FDA stated they will "undertake research to support a new rulemaking consistent with the Tobacco Control Act."
Two years ago, the government was embarking on the first significant change toward tobacco warning labels in more than 25 years. The colored pictures covered half the size of the pack and featured an image of cancer-infested lungs, a man with a tracheotomy or rotting teeth and lips, among others.
According to the FDA, the changes could have shown a decrease in the number of smokers and increase the life expectancy of a person while saving lives and costs to medical care.
The labels would have also included the quit smoking hotline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
The government was given until April 5 to appeal a court ruling that found the images were violating freedom of speech. The ruling prevented the labels from going on packages so the FDA couldn't meet the deadline to produce new signs.
"Every day that the current warnings remain in place is another day in which the tobacco industry misleads children and adults about the hazards of smoking and the health of the nation is compromised," said Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, in a statement.
Nearly 443,000 people die every year, including complications from secondhand smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Cigarette smoking causes one in everyfive deaths in the United States and it causes more deaths compared to HIV, illicit drug use, alcohol consumption, suicides and murders combined.
Published by Medicaldaily.com