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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

For Industry

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Who must comply with these changes?

The final rule applies to anyone who manufactures, packages, distributes, imports, sells, or offers to sell cigarette products within the United States. 

The Tobacco Control Act requires that the graphic health warnings set forth in the final rule appear on cigarette packages and in advertisements 15 months after the final rule issues (i.e., September 22, 2012).  After that date, no person may manufacture for sale or distribution within the United States any cigarette package that does not comply with the rule.  Additionally, no manufacturer, importer, distributor, or retailer may advertise cigarettes within the United States if the advertisement does not comply with the rule.

For cigarette packages manufactured prior to September 22, 2012, manufacturers may continue to distribute the packages for an additional 30 days after the rule goes into effect. Beginning 30 days after the effective date (October 22, 2012), manufacturers will no longer be allowed to introduce into the domestic commerce of the United States any cigarette packages that do not display the new graphic health warnings.

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