This image provided by the Food and Drug Administration shows one of nine new warning labels cigarette makers will have to use by the fall of 2012.
Each label includes a national quit smoking hotline number. The labels will take up the top half -- both front and back -- of a pack of cigarettes. Warning labels also must appear in advertisements and constitute 20% of an ad.
Mandates to introduce new graphic warning labels were part of a law passed in 2009 that, for the first time, gave the federal government authority to regulate tobacco, including setting guidelines for marketing and labeling, banning certain products and limiting nicotine.
In recent years, more than 30 countries or jurisdictions have introduced labels similar to those being introduced by the FDA. The U.S. first mandated the use of warning labels stating "cigarettes may be hazardous to your health" in 1965. Current warning labels -- a small box with black and white text -- were put on cigarette packs in the mid-1980s.
The FDA says the new labels will "clearly and effectively convey the health risks of smoking" aimed at encouraging current smokers to quit and discourage non-smokers and youths from starting to use cigarettes.
The new labels come as the share of Americans who smoke has fallen dramatically since 1970, from nearly 40% to about 20%. The rate has stalled since about 2004.
The FDA estimates the new labels will reduce the number of smokers by 213,000 in 2013, with smaller additional reductions through 2031.
The World Health Organization said in a survey done in countries with graphic warning labels that a majority of smokers noticed the warnings and more than 25% said the warnings led them to consider quitting.
Canada introduced similar warning labels in 2000. Since then, its smoking rates have declined from about 26% to about 20%.
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration