The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is launching a [removed]campaign[/removed] to inform smokers that there is no such thing as a safe cigarette. The campaign is aimed at dispelling the myth that tobacco products labeled “light,” “low,” and “mild” are safer than “regular” cigarettes.

Under the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, a tobacco company cannot use the words “light,” “low,” and “mild” on any cigarette products now on the market unless the FDA issued an order allowing it, which the FDA has not done. Manufacturers had until June 22 to stop labeling cigarettes that were then on the market as “light,” “low,” and “mild.” Then, they had another month to distribute already produced cigarettes. Currently, retailers can sell leftover inventory with the restricted words until stocks are depleted.

“These terms imply that the products are safer,” says Corinne Husten, MD, MPH, senior medical advisor on tobacco issues at the FDA. “However, studies clearly show that the consumer can get just as much nicotine and tar from these cigarettes as ‘regular’ cigarettes.”

The FDA’s campaign aims to remind smokers that using light cigarettes does not reduce their risk for developing smoking-related cancers and other diseases, and that switching to light cigarettes does not help them quit, and may actually decrease the motivation to quit.

Source: US Food and Drug Administration