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Warnings up in smoke

Rep. Martin Meehan, D-MA, wants to see tougher warning labels on cigarette packages and is developing legislation he hopes to introduce when the new 105th Congress convenes in January.

"The U.S. has probably the weakest warnings of any country with such labeling," said Bill McCann, Meehan's legislative assistant for tobacco issues. "They just aren't that effective." McCann said proposed new warnings will have a more serious tone, particularly in regard to nicotine addiction. Warnings will be in larger type, probably in black and white, and displayed more prominently. Under consideration are warnings indicating the lethalness of smoking (like Australia's "Smoking Kills"), and requiring them to be billingual.

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