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Tobacco Companies Sue FDA Over Ad Restrictions

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A group of tobacco companies has filed a lawsuit claiming that the new federal law giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is unconstitutional, the Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 1.

Firms including Reynolds American and Lorillard claim that the law infringes upon their First Amendment rights by expanding the size of warning labels on cigarette packs and hindering their ability to market products like smokeless tobacco as less risky than smoking.

“The case will be about whether Congress has gone too far about preventing tobacco companies from communicating with adults, and keeping adults from receiving the information that tobacco companies want to send to them,” said Lorillard attorney Floyd Abrams.

Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris, supported the FDA bill and is not a party to the lawsuit. “Our goal is to work constructively with the FDA around some of our concerns,” regarding advertising and marketing restrictions, a company spokesperson said.

The lawsuit could delay implementation of the law.

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