High Court Appears Cool to Smokers' Suit

Marlboro ads make people really inhale, lawyers tell high court
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2008 6:15 PM CDT
People stand to protest on the opening session of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, Oct. 6, 2008. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – Supreme Court justices appeared skeptical over a lawsuit against Philip Morris cigarette ads today, McClatchy reports. A group of Maine smokers claim that ads for Marlboro Lights are deceptive, saying the company knew smokers would inhale more deeply on them and draw in more chemicals. At stake is the power of a state law to hobble the company's national ad campaign.

Federal law calls it a no-no for states to restrict ads "based on smoking or health." But the Maine inhalers are suing Altria, Morris' parent company, with a different state law—that prohibits "deceptive acts or practices." John Roberts and David Souter appeared unimpressed by the distinction. The high court also approved Arizona "choose life" license plates today, as anti-abortion protesters rallied outside.