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USA: Judge rules in favour of tobacco companies in lawsuit over new regulations requiring graphic labels on cigarette packages

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1 March 2012

Judge Grants Summary Judgment to Tobacco Companies in Graphic Labels Case [USA]

Author: Zoe Tillman, BLT: The Blog of Legal Times [USA]

A federal judge...granted summary judgment…to five tobacco companies suing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over new regulations requiring graphic labels on cigarette packages. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon wrote that the "mandatory graphic images violate the First Amendment by unconstitutionally compelling speech."…Leon wrote...that the labels in question “are neither factual nor accurate.”…Leon added that it was unfortunate that the federal government hadn’t considered other alternatives to the labels requirement “that are easily less restrictive and burdensome for plaintiffs, yet would still allow the Government to educate the public on the health risks of smoking...[refers to R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard, Commonwealth Brands, Liggett Group, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company]

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29 February 2012

[PDF] Reynolds Tobacco Company et al v. United States Food and Drug Administration

Author: United States District Court for the District of Columbia

...United States Food and Drug Administration...published a Final Rule requiring...the display of nine new textual warnings-along with certain graphic images such as diseased lungs...[T]he Court concludes that these mandatory graphic images violate First Amendment by unconstitutionally compelling speech.

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