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FDA Announces Graphic New Anti-Smoking Campaign

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — The FDA will be introducing a graphic new anti-smoking campaign in September 2012, with images like a person smoking through a hole in their throat and a close-up shot of a diseased lung.

The new labels — which include customized warnings like "Warning: Tobacco Smoke Can Harm Your Children" — are the first change in cigarette warnings in 25 years, according to the agency.

Mayor Bloomberg lauded the announcement, while also patting himself on the back for paving the way for the rest of the nation with the city's short-lived attempt to place graphic anti-smoking ads in city businesses that sold cigarettes. Some of the ads showed diseased brains, decayed teeth and other images of gruesome smoking side effects.

The Bloomberg administration was forced to halt a citywide anti-smoking campaign last year after a federal judge ruled that states could not prohibit smoking promos or ads.

"It is great news that the Federal Food and Drug Administration is following New York City’s lead and introducing hard-hitting educational campaigns in its effort to help people quit smoking. The pictures of what smoking does to your body are very graphic — and accurate," the mayor said in a statement.

"Our education campaigns in New York City are an important reason why the number of New Yorkers who smoke is at an all-time low, and I want to congratulate FDA administrator and former New York City health commissioner Margaret Hamburg for her bold policy that will save Americans’ lives."