American Lung Association Urges Immediate Appeal of Ruling to Block Implementation of Cigarette Graphic Warning Labels

Statement of Charles D. Connor, President and CEO of the American Lung Association

Washington, D.C. (February 29, 2012)

The American Lung Association strongly disagrees with today’s decision by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon that blocks the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) implementation of graphic warning labels on all cigarette packages and advertisements. The American Lung Association calls on the Justice Department to immediately appeal this decision and to protect public health by preserving the FDA’s authority to regulate tobacco products, as required in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

This ruling presents a direct and immediate threat to public health. We strongly disagree with Judge Leon’s conclusion that the new graphic warnings are “neither factual nor accurate.” The facts are clear and indisputable that cigarette smoking is addictive, harms children, causes fatal lung disease, cancer, strokes and heart disease, and can kill you.

The American Lung Association and its public health partners filed this amicus brief in September 2011.

The American Lung Association has been successfully helping smokers quit for more than 30 years with its Freedom From Smoking® program, which provides a personalized step-by-step quit plan and is available as a face-to-face program or online (www.ffsonline.org). For assistance with quitting smoking or for additional questions about lung health, please call the American Lung Association’s Lung HelpLine at 1-800-_548-8252.

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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, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org.