Why Warning Labels In The U.S. Aren’t Working

HomeOther ContentWhy Warning Labels In The U.S. Aren’t Working
Why Warning Labels In The U.S. Aren’t Working
Why Warning Labels In The U.S. Aren’t Working
U.S. consumers seem to be inundated with scary warning labels, but the fear may be necessary.

Research shows people don’t pay attention unless these labels elicit strong emotion. Experts say the rise in warning labels over the past several decades may be backfiring due to desensitization of the potential risks products carry.

/”Warning labels really were fairly rare until the 1960s,/” said W. Kip Viscusi, a distinguished professor of law, economics, and management at Vanderbilt University. /”Beginning in the mid-1960’s, cigarettes started to have a warning label. Since that time, other products have followed suit, trying to emulate the cigarette experience./”

There has been pushback against putting warning labels on certain products. In December 2022, a federal judge ruled that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cannot require tobacco companies to put graphic warning labels on cigarettes.

/”In general, warning labels by themselves [are] just not effective,/” said Oriene Shin, policy counsel at Consumer Reports. /”They really need to be coupled with safe design./”

Watch the video above to learn more about the increase in scary warning labels and why experts are concerned it’s not enough.

00:00 — Introduction
01:13 — Do warning labels work?
05:15 — Designing for safety
09:35 — Corporate perspective

Produced and Shot by: Charlotte Morabito
Edited by: Nic Henry
Additional Camera by: Mark Licea, Jack Hillyer
Graphics by: Christina Locopo
Supervising Producer: Lindsey Jacobson

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Why Warning Labels In The U.S. Aren’t Working

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