You may start to notice some extra signs at the cash register. Tobacco companies were just ordered to start displaying the health risks of cigarette smoking at nearly 200,000 retail outlets across the country in 2023.
It comes from a federal ruling more than 15 years in the making.
“An example of the kind of signs you're going to see is something like this: It'll appear above the cash register, and it'll be approximately 18 by 18 inches, so it'll be very visible and very prominent,” said Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “The one on addiction, we think, will have a particular effect on kids who don't think that there's any risk to smoking but who need to understand how quickly nicotine can cause them to become addicted.
The signs will be up for about two years.
Activists hope over time, they will start to make people think twice about buying a pack of cigarettes.
”We have strong reason to believe that when people who are thinking about buying cigarettes see these signs just as they're making the purchase, that it will impact their thinking and their behavior. And over the long term, we think it will make a real difference in the number of people who use these products. We know that many smokers still buy their cigarettes very spontaneously.
He says he'd like to see retailers keep the signs up longer, but he's not hopeful.
This effort was originally supposed to happen back in 2006.
Tobacco companies have appealed the order several times.