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FDA Hopes to Clear Smoke Cloud of Doubt Surrounding Labels

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FDA Hopes to Clear Smoke Cloud of Doubt Surrounding Labels

To prove the effectiveness of its new labels, U.S. health regulators will study the behavior of American smokers, Fox News reports.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration came under fire for its proposed warning labels, which will cover close to half of cigarette boxes with graphic stickers stressing the dangers of smoking. Tobacco companies asserted the labels wouldn't have an impact on smoking habits and also claimed the organization was violating their freedom of speech.

In response, the FDA has teamed up with the National Institutes of Health to launch a new study that will further examine the effects the new labels have on American consumers.

"The results will strengthen FDA's ability to fulfill our mission to make tobacco-related death and disease part of America's past," FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg explained.

Nine cigarette labels were chosen by the FDA as a part of the initiative. They display images such as the charred lungs of a frequent smoker, as well as facts about the dangers of habitual smoking. The warnings must be featured on all cigarette packages by September 2012 at the latest.