Effective June 22, 2010, the most popular selling cigarettes – light cigarettes – will be phased out as part of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which was signed into law on June 22, 2009. This historic day provides an opportunity for the 70 percent of smokers who want to quit to finally end their addiction to these deadly products.
At long last, the terms "light," "low-tar" and "mild" cigarettes – introduced by the tobacco companies as a way to mislead customers into believing the products are less harmful than regular cigarettes – will be prohibited. Although many people believe "light" and "low-tar" cigarettes to be less deadly than regular cigarettes, research has shown this is not the case.
"Helping Americans quit smoking is a top public health priority for the American Lung Association, and we are commemorating this historic day by encouraging smokers to quit," said Charles D. Connor, President and CEO of the American Lung Association. "The Lung Association is committed to helping you and your loved ones quit with our proven smoking cessation programs and resources."
Along with the prohibition of "light," "low," and "mild" on all brands of cigarettes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will enforce other new restrictions and requirements on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products that take effect as part of the Youth Access and Advertising regulation, including eliminating free samples of cigarettes and federal enforcement of state laws that prohibit tobacco sales to minors. Also taking effect on June 22 is a provision that requires larger, stronger warning labels on all smokeless tobacco packages and in all smokeless tobacco product advertisements.
Tobacco costs our country more than $193 billion each year in health care costs and lost productivity and kills more than 443,000 people annually. The American Lung Association has several programs that help tens of thousands of smokers take the big step of quitting each year. Freedom From Smoking® provides a personalized step-by-step quit plan and is offered online (www.ffsonline.org) or as a group clinic to help smokers work through the problems and process of quitting. The Lung HelpLine, 1-800-LUNG-USA, provides smoking cessation counseling and one-on-one support from registered nurses and respiratory therapists.
The American Lung Association issued the following statement on the provisions of the Tobacco Control Act that take effect June 22, 2010.
About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.LungUSA.org.