Update on Ruling Against New Cigarette Warnings
Monday, November 7, 2011
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Unfortunately, there is bad news today related to the
tobacco industry’s lawsuit against FDA’s new graphic health warnings. District
Judge Leon has blocked the FDA’s requirement to have the new graphic health
warnings appear on cigarette packages by next September; according to the Judge,
the warnings should not appear unless the tobacco industry loses its lawsuit.
The lawsuit, which raises questions about the Constitutionality of the warning
labels, is likely to take at least a few years to wind its way through the
courts towards resolution.
Although we had hoped for a more positive
ruling from Judge Leon on this issue, it can be appealed by the government. NAQC
will join with other tobacco control organizations to encourage the Obama
Administration to appeal today’s ruling. In the meantime, please remember that
science and the experience of nearly 20 countries that already have graphic
health warnings are on our side. We will update you as more information becomes
Please see the article below.
Judge blocks graphic images on cigarette packages
Jump to full article: Associated Press (AP),
Author: NEDRA PICKLER; Associated
Intro: A judge on Monday blocked a federal
requirement that would have begun forcing tobacco companies next year to put
graphic images on their cigarette packages to show the dangers of
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled that it's likely the
cigarette makers will succeed in a lawsuit claiming the images violate the free
speech amendment to the Constitution. He stopped the requirement until the
lawsuit is resolved, which could take years.
Leon held a hearing on the case
in September and questioned the Justice Department about whether the nine
graphic images approved by the Food and Drug Administration in June convey just
the facts about the health risks of smoking or go beyond that into advocacy - a
critical distinction in a case over free speech.
The images include a cloud
of cigarette smoke within inches of a baby's face
A. Bailey, JD, MHS
President and CEO