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Judge Rules Tobacco Companies Don’t Have to Put Graphic Labels on Cigarette Packages


A judge has ruled that tobacco companies do not have to put graphic warning labels on cigarette packages to show the dangers of smoking, the Associated Press reports.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said it is likely the companies will win a lawsuit that claims the labels violate First Amendment protections for commercial speech. He said the labels do not have to be put on cigarette packages until the lawsuit is resolved, which could take years, according to the AP.

In September, tobacco manufacturers asked Judge Leon to impose a temporary injunction to block the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) requirement that cigarette packs carry graphic images of the consequences of smoking, including diseased lungs and rotting teeth. The FDA wants the disturbing pictures to cover at least half of the front and back of a cigarette package by October 2012. The FDA also said the images must take up to at least 20 percent of each cigarette ad.

The new cigarette labels are a result of the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gave the FDA authority to regulate the content, marketing and sale of tobacco products.

2 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of soe
    soe / December 1, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Why people don’t want to expose that cigarettes are dangerous? May be afraid of affect on their business profits!

    Even mentioned in those graphics people still ignore the risks.Actually, they are wasting papers, polluting environment, annoying & risking non smokers around them including kids and new born.

    They just only address their profits at all!

    I think this is the another challenge calling for environmentalists and medical professionals and people who wants the earth clean and healthy.

    So, what shall we start to response on this issue?

    Let’s do something different!

  2. maxwood / November 9, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Would it be time, now, to float again the idea of two simple constructive non-derogatory requirements that could substitute for this rather negative “gruesome picture” idea?
    1. On the (paper) side of any cigarette that has a brand name on it, the company must also print a Net Weight figure (usually 700 mg) in numerals as large as the letters in the adjoining brand name. 2. On the Pack, maybe half the space on one side is devoted to a diagram showing the inner construction of a screened “one-hitter”, listing the 25-mg serving size prominently and including a reference to a website with more information about “vaporizing” (vs “smoking”) utensils.

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