Court Strikes Down Gross-Out Cigarette Labels

Court concludes that the government can't prove graphic warnings will work
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2012 2:08 PM CDT

(Newser) – The government can't force cigarette makers to put disgusting imagery warning of the dangers of smoking on their packages, a federal appeals court ruled today. In a 2-1 decision, the justices upheld a lower court ruling that the labels violated free speech protections, the AP reports. They said the case raises "novel questions about the scope of the government's authority" to regulate companies' speech.

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They also added that the FDA "has not provided a shred of evidence" that the warnings would "directly advance" its goal of reducing smoking. Legal experts tell the Wall Street Journal that the case will probably wind up being decided by the Supreme Court. (Read more cigarettes stories.)

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