A federal court on Tuesday ordered the US Food and Drug Administration to issue a final rule mandating graphic health warnings on cigarette packs and advertising, according to a statement issued by a number of health and anti-tobacco organizations and posted on the website of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
The order by Judge Indira Talwani of the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts was said to have been made in response to a lawsuit filed in October 2016 by eight public health and medical groups and several individual pediatricians.
‘In a September 2018 ruling, Judge Talwani agreed with the health groups that the FDA has both “unlawfully withheld” and “unreasonably delayed” agency action to require the graphic warnings,’ the statement said.
‘In response to Judge Talwani’s ruling, the FDA proposed issuing the final graphic warnings rule by May 2021. ‘Instead, Judge Talwani ordered the FDA to issue a proposed rule by August 15, 2019, and a final rule by March 15, 2020.
The current cigarette warnings, which are printed on the side of packs, date back to 1984.
The March 6 statement was issued on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Truth Initiative.