Tobacco giants suing FDA over warning labels mandate

the Streif

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#1
Tobacco giants suing FDA over warning labels mandate

By Mark Morgenstein, CNN
August 17, 2011 10:39 a.m. EDT


In June, the FDA unveiled nine new warning labels, complete with graphic photos.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Five U.S. tobacco companies have filed a lawsuit against the government
  • They say the graphic warning labels they'll be forced to put on cigarette packages next year infringe on their rights
  • Their attorney is Floyd Abrams, a prominent First Amendment expert
  • The Food and Drug Administration has no comment on the lawsuit


(CNN) -- Five tobacco companies, including some of the largest in the United States, filed a lawsuit against the federal government on Tuesday, alleging that government-mandated graphic warning labels on cigarette packages unconstitutionally infringe on the companies' rights.
"The primary complaint is that we think it violates the First Amendment for the government to require people who produce a lawful product to essentially urge prospective purchasers not to buy it," says Floyd Abrams, a prominent First Amendment case expert who's representing the plaintiffs.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, pits R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard, Commonwealth, Liggett, and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco against the Food and Drug Administration, its chief, Margaret Hamburg, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
In June, the FDA unveiled nine new warning labels, complete with graphic photos and the phone number 1-800-QUIT-NOW. FDA regulations say that starting in September, 2012, half of each cigarette package will have to display one of those new labels.
Abrams says the tobacco companies don't have a problem with the written wording required by the latest FDA ruling.
Graphic images to cover cigarette packs
Do graphic cigarette ads work?
"The government has lot of power to require warnings, but it doesn't require half of a cigarette pack to scream out, 'Don't buy this product!," the New York-based attorney says. "What is at issue is putting photographs of diseased people on every cigarette pack, include a phone number, and ask people to stop smoking. It's the direct advocacy to not buy the product, as opposed to a straightforward warning."
Abrams says it's likely his clients will seek some sort of preliminary injunction against the warning labels before the statute goes into effect next year.
"[We're] seeking resolution prior to that, in light of all the funds that would need to be expended changing current warnings to the level of screaming at prospective purchasers not to buy the product," Abrams says.
An FDA spokeswoman said in a statement that the agency "does not comment on proposed, pending or ongoing litigation."
Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the United States, and it claims almost half a million lives each year, according to the FDA website.
The more prominent cigarette health warnings are the first time those warnings have been revised in 25 years and "are a significant advancement in communicating the dangers of smoking... expected to have a significant public health impact by decreasing the number of smokers, resulting in lives saved, increased life expectancy, and lower medical costs," the FDA website says.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/08/17/cigarette.labels.lawsuit/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
 

Hoffman

Guess who's back? Hoffman's back
Sep 28, 2006
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#2
Completely agree with this suit. While I think the FDA mandate to put regular warning labels on products; the labels they have designed for tobacco companies completely cross a line they shouldn't cross.
 

Neon

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"The government has lot of power to require warnings, but it doesn't require half of a cigarette pack to scream out, 'Don't buy this product!," the New York-based attorney says. "What is at issue is putting photographs of diseased people on every cigarette pack, include a phone number, and ask people to stop smoking. It's the direct advocacy to not buy the product, as opposed to a straightforward warning."
THANK YOU! Fucking cunt government.


Completely agree with this suit. While I think the FDA mandate to put regular warning labels on products; the labels they have designed for tobacco companies completely cross a line they shouldn't cross.
I think welfare checks should have big pictures of fat, worthless burdens on them that say: "Cash this at your own risk, you valueless parasite pig."
 

Begbie

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Jul 21, 2003
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#4
Fuck the government and their meddling. Fuckin annoying...ugh, I need a cigarette. :icon_cool
 

Mags

LDAR, bitch.
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#5
I think alcoholic beverages should show pics of broken families, DUI carnage, and pissbums.
 

The Godfather

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May 9, 2007
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#6
If this lawsuit fails, one of those companies needs to include in each pack of cigs (under the celophane) a sticker that the user can place over the graphic warning.

You buy cigs, take the wrapper off and immediatly place the provided vinyl sticker over the warning... problem solved.

You could even make the sticker, a Marlborogh logo.. you could make the sticker look like how the pack face used to look.

Sure it might cost 5 or 10 cents a pack extra.. but think of all the customers will flood into the brand that provides a "Fuck you" to the government's attempts at regulation
 

Creasy Bear

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#7
I think products which contain aspartame should show pictures of the millions of aspartame-blinded victims which exist in Kirk's imagination.
 

Hate & Discontent

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Aug 22, 2005
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#8
If this lawsuit fails, one of those companies needs to include in each pack of cigs (under the celophane) a sticker that the user can place over the graphic warning.

You buy cigs, take the wrapper off and immediatly place the provided vinyl sticker over the warning... problem solved.

You could even make the sticker, a Marlborogh logo.. you could make the sticker look like how the pack face used to look.

Sure it might cost 5 or 10 cents a pack extra.. but think of all the customers will flood into the brand that provides a "Fuck you" to the government's attempts at regulation
Holy shit, Jordan has a brilliant idea for a change.

I think products which contain aspartame should show pictures of the millions of aspartame-blinded victims which exist in Kirk's imagination.
:haha7:

Gotta completely agree with the cigarette companies for a change. This shit has gone WAY over the line.
 
Jan 9, 2006
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#9
A better warning would be forcing them to print the following on the packs:

"1 pack x $9 x 365 days = $3,285/year"