Judge Blocks FDA Rule On New Cigarette Pack Warning Images
Federal Judge Richard Leon says the regulation ordering cigarette makers to put graphic images on the packages may "unconstitutionally compel speech."
The Associated Press: Judge Blocks Graphic Images On Cigarette Packages
A judge on Monday blocked a federal requirement that would have begun forcing tobacco companies next year to put graphic images including dead and diseased smokers on their cigarette packages. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled that it's likely the cigarette makers will succeed in a lawsuit to block the new standard. He stopped the requirement until after the lawsuit is resolved, which could take years (Pickler, 11/7).
Bloomberg: Cigarette Labeling Regulations With New Warnings Blocked by Federal Judge
A federal judge blocked new U.S. rules from taking effect that would put graphic health warnings on cigarette packaging, saying the required images may violate tobacco companies' rights to free speech. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington ruled today that ordering tobacco companies, including Lorillard and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., to display images of diseased lungs and a cadaver with chest staples on an autopsy table may "unconstitutionally compel speech." Leon postponed the Sept. 22, 2012, deadline for the regulations to take effect while he reviews the constitutionality of the Food and Drug Administration rule (Schoenberg, 11/7).
San Francisco Chronicle: Judge Knocks Down Gory Cigarette Warning Labels
U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon today blocked graphic new warning labels on cigarette packs that the Food and Drug Administration was about to impose, ruling in favor of five tobacco companies. The new labels were part of new FDA rule about to take effect and required by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, signed into law by President Obama two years ago, and would have taken up half of the pack. Leon concluded that the tobacco companies would prevail on their argument that the images violate the constitution’s protection of free speech (Lochhead, 11/7).