Big Tobacco Sues Over 'Disgusting' Anti-Smoking Posters

Firms seek to quash graphic NYC ads
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2010 3:58 AM CDT
Updated Jun 4, 2010 6:02 AM CDT
One of New York City's new anti-smoking posters.   (NYC Health)

(Newser) – Images of cancerous lungs, rotting teeth, and brain damage caused by smoking are "unappetizing," complain lawyers for tobacco companies suing New York City. RJ Reynolds, Philip Morris, and Lorillard are taking the city to court over anti-smoking ads that stores selling cigarettes are now legally required to post near the cash register, the New York Daily News reports.

The grisly signs violate store owners' First Amendment rights by taking up space that could be used for other messages, the tobacco lawyers say, complaining that the ads "do not describe the risks of smoking in purely factual terms." Officials of New York City's legal department say they have already examined the legal issues associated with the campaign, and they're confident the law will withstand the court challenge.

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