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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Tobacco Products

Light, Low, Mild or Similar Descriptors

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July 22 Milestone: Putting Out the Myth on Light, Low, and Mild Cigarettes


The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act includes restrictions on tobacco products labeled or advertised with the terms “light,” “low,” “mild” or similar descriptors. This is because many smokers mistakenly believe that these products cause fewer health problems than other cigarettes.


As of June 22, 2010, the law prohibited manufacturers from producing any tobacco products labeled or advertised as “light,” “low,” or “mild.” As of July 22, 2010, manufacturers may not distribute for sale any of these products.


Consumers may continue to see these products for sale in stores after July 22, 2010.  Before you buy another “light” cigarette, though, FDA wants to make sure you have all the facts.




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Although many smokers believe that these products are less harmful and may help smokers quit, the National Cancer Institute has found that:

  • Smokers who use light cigarettes do not reduce their risk for developing smoking-related cancers and other diseases.
  • Switching to light cigarettes does not help smokers quit, and may actually decrease the motivation to quit.

No matter what they taste, smell, or look like, all cigarettes are harmful to your health. There’s no such thing as a safe cigarette.

Quit today. For help, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit http://www.SmokeFree.gov.