Stat of the day: 213,000

The estimated drop in the number of US smokers, after cigarette packets are forced to display graphic images.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

For the first time in 25 years, the US authorities are changing the warning labels on cigarette packets to feature graphic images.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released nine new images to be printed on the packets, in the hope of encouraging 213,000 of the nation’s smokers to quit by 2013. The images include dead bodies, diseased lungs and one of a man blowing smoke out of a hole in his neck.

Tobacco companies are likely to be highly concerned by this new regulation. Although it’s too early to tell the effect it’ll have on their business, they take health warning rules and advertising restrictions seriously as it limits business. Philip Morris International’s shares (the company which makes Malboro lights) were down 1.5% in New York. On the other hand, the move is expected to provide a boost to the US economy – saving $200 billion a year in medical costs and lost productivity.

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