In June 2010, the FDA banned the use of "light," "mild" and "low" as descriptions on cigarette packs as this was found to be misleading consumers that 'light' products are safer.
After this ban, the manufacturers of tobacco switched to color descriptions on their packaging to denote their top cigarette styles to consumers.
Now, a recent study by Harvard School of Public Health has found that the purpose of the ban seems to be defeated, as consumers have become highly aware of this color switch. 92% of smokers said that they were easily able to recognize their brand of cigarettes.
Some experts feel that this might prompt the FDA to make the standards so strict that no new products will actually receive approval.
Philip Morris spokesman Bill Phelps said the company "communicates to consumers on our cigarette packs that nothing about our cigarettes, packaging or colors should be interpreted to mean safer. We include similar information on our web site and on many of our cigarette marketing materials. Colors are used to help consumers identify and differentiate brand packs."