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Obama Administration Appeals Ruling on Graphic Cigarette Warning Labels


The Obama Administration has appealed a ruling by a U.S. judge that tobacco companies do not have to put graphic warning labels on cigarette packages to show the dangers of smoking.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon granted tobacco companies a temporary injunction that blocked the requirement for the new labels.

According to Reuters, the case ultimately could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In early November, 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.

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.

6 Responses to this article

  1. Carol / December 3, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    The anti-smokers commit flagrant scientific fraud by ignoring more than 50 studies which show that human papillomaviruses cause at least 1/4 of non-small cell lung cancers. Smokers and passive smokers are more likely to have been exposed to this virus for socioeconomic reasons. And the anti-smokers’ studies are all based on lifestyle questionnaires, so they’re cynically DESIGNED to blame tobacco for all those extra lung cancers that are really caused by HPV. And they commit the same type of fraud with every disease they blame on tobacco.

    For the government to commit fraud to deprive us of our liberties is automatically a violation of our Constitutional rights to the equal protection of the laws, just as much as if it purposely threw innocent people in prison. And for the government to spread lies about phony smoking dangers is terrorism, no different from calling in phony bomb threats.

  2. Avatar of kathryn
    kathryn / November 30, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    As a lifelong Democrat who has never voted for another party in a Presidential election, you can be certain that I will not vote Democrat in this election. I supported and worked for Obama in the last election. I could never support him again. This is one of the reasons: a candidate who promised democracy which includes free speech regardless of the individual or corporation that holds sacred the policy of free speech in America. Shame on Obama for being held captive by the pharmaceutical industry and anti-smoking organizations supported by it. Sometimes political correctness at any price is just a sham. This is one of those times.

  3. sheila / November 30, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    How stupid. Labelling will not stop smoking! Kids will collect the covers like baseball cards! And, SUPER stupid of Obama to be wasting time on this! His pushing NRT for J&J is going to cost him the election.

  4. Avatar of trueblue38
    trueblue38 / December 1, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    As Smokers, we certainly get our backs up when we perceive our “smoking rights” to be violated or infringed upon-regardless of our political party. This just proves to me how powerful of an addiction nicotine addiction is. I know it took me several times to quit. This is my second (and hopefully last) attempt; I am coming up on 3 years this time.
    I understand and appreciate both sides of the arguments. Personally, I think the notion that labelling cigarettes violates “free speech” is completely absurd!
    And to @Kathryn, you claim to have lifelong “democratic party ideals” so much so that you have never voted any other party in a presidential election, and yet, because of some ridiculous labelling on your precious cigarettes now you are going to vote GOP. Really???? Because we all know that a vote for any party other than Democrat means a GOP vote.
    May I remind you that it is the GOP that is in Big Pharma’s pocket and not the Obama administration. And also, labelling does not take away any one’s (that is of legal smoking age) right to purchase or to smoke. What are you really afraid of? That maybe you will have to be reminded that everytime you light up you risk your health? Well, as smokers we already know that, don’t we? I include myself because when I was actively smoking, I knew the risks and continued to smoke.
    I am somewhat who is grateful for product labelling and the FDA and Clean Water, etc. Because of these governemnt regulations we know what we are putting in our bodies (for better or worse) and I will never support a canidate that wants to take away my health safety to benefit big business, such as Big Tobacco comapanies. Also another HUGE supporter of GOP canidates; why do you think that is? (such as most of the GOP canidates. ) Oh, and also the GOP is not as a rule real big supporters of “free speech” except when it is convienant for them. MMMM, sounds familiar.


  1. New Labels To Warn Smokers! | Internet-Scam-Busters.Com - December 29, 2011

    [...] Warning! Smoking Cigarettes Is Hazardous To Your Health! Shocking News… Wow! Find a smoker who isn…g" alt="" width="144" height="270" /> Shocking News… Wow! Find a smoker who isn't aware of the health risks! Most smokers realize 400,000 people die per year due to smoking. Don't Worry, FDA Has Your Back… Has the FDA lost their mind? Keep in mind these are the same people responsible for 106,000 deaths every year from their FDA approved and correctly prescribed medicines! Where is the outrage? Where is the warning label for the FDA? Ask Your Doctor… Maybe not! There are over 200,000 deaths per year caused by medical malpractice. I have seen numbers for years which ran 700,000 to 1,200,000. Now all the numbers you see out there seem to mysteriously omit a zero! Go figure! Where is the warning label on their office door? You Demon Smokers… Is this just another ploy to demonize smokers and blame them for the world's problems? Keep in mind, cigarettes are the most heavily taxed product in the country. Federal and State Government has profited enormously by demonizing smokers and manufactures using misleading, bogus information. Labels For Everybody… Do we really need these labels? Should we also create warning labels for alcohol, junk food, food additives? How about nice graphic warning labels for all the pharmaceutical drugs and their life threatening side effects? I'm sure the lobbyists will prevent this! Discrimination… It is our opinion this is over-reaching and discriminating against a group of people who pay more taxes on a consumable product than anyone else! Give smokers a break! If you are going to create warning labels for smokers, graphic warning labels should be created for all products which pose health risks! You just can't pick and chose to be politically correct and chose the flavor of the month and demonize a group. If you are going to demonize, demonize all of them! The Seekers Of Truth [...]

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