WASHINGTON - A DEAD man in a coffin, a crying baby, a bald cancer patient and a close-up of a mouth with dirty teeth and a malignant lip lesion are among new graphic warnings the United States is proposing for cigarette packs.

The changes revealed on Wednesday are part of a 2009 law that requires new and larger labels on cigarettes to depict the negative health consequences of smoking.

The warnings will take up about half the space on the front of each cigarette pack, located on the upper portion so they are visible in most store displays.
A series of 36 graphics are available on the Food and Drug Administration's website and the government agency will accept comments from the public through Jan 9 before deciding on nine of them, it said.

'Today, FDA takes a crucial step toward reducing the tremendous toll of illness and death caused by tobacco use by proposing to dramatically change how cigarette packages and advertising look in this country,' said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

'When the rule takes effect, the health consequences of smoking will be obvious every time someone picks up a pack of cigarettes.' By October 2012 the new warnings will be mandatory on all cigarette packs distributed in the United States and in all cigarette advertisements.

US proposes graphic warnings on cigs