Tobacco Giants Sue Over Gross Labels
They argue that FDA's warnings violate their first amendment rights
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Aug 17, 2011 11:45 AM CDT
This file image provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on June 21, 2011 shows one of nine new warning labels cigarette makers will have to use by the fall of 2012.   (AP Photo/U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

(Newser) – Five major cigarette makers have filed a lawsuit against the FDA, claiming that its graphic new warning labels violate their First Amendment rights. “The government can require warnings which are straightforward and essentially uncontroversial,” a lawyer for the companies explained in a statement, “but they can't require a cigarette pack to serve as a mini-billboard for the government's anti-smoking campaign.”

The suit, filed on behalf of RJ Reynolds, Lorillard Tobacco, Commonwealth Brands, Liggett Group, and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco, argues that the government can’t force them to make their customers “depressed, discouraged, and afraid” to buy their smokes, the BBC reports. But a similar suit was already shot down by a US district court in Kentucky last year; it's currently before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Notably absent from this suit is Phillip Morris, which has threatened to sue Australia over similar labels.

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Showing 3 of 34 comments
Aug 18, 2011 11:05 AM CDT
If it goes on cigs than it should go on everything, meat, dairy, eggs is obvious, but also cars, planes, bikes..but it's already been said, sorry. But, what about chewing tobacco?
Aug 17, 2011 4:27 PM CDT
I know how to shut them up, just triple the federal tax on tobacco and watch them squeal. Funny how big tobacco, big food and big pharma all have licenses to kill people legally and bitch when they can't do it. And you can call me................Mr Joshua
Aug 17, 2011 4:09 PM CDT
Tobacco companies are protected from listing the carcinogens and poisons in their products. Anyone want to inhale formaldehyde?