Several key tobacco companies have filed a lawsuit concerning the unConstitutionality of being forced to place graphic warnings on their packs of cigarettes, The Washington Times reported.
Representation for five tobacco companies told a Federal judge that this type of radical “rebranding” would not only cause irreparable injury to their business, but it would be unConstitutional for the government to interfere, according to the newspaper.
“Never before has the government required the maker of a lawful product to tell consumers not to buy it,” Noel Francisco, a lawyer arguing on behalf of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co, told Reuters.
A preliminary injunction was filed by the lawyers to block the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) attempts to control the packaging of the product. The attorneys noted that the pictures that were chosen by the government were selected for shock value and not because they would reduce the rate of smoking, reported the news outlet.
Tobacco companies are required to use the new packaging from the FDA by September 2012, as the organization put forth nine images and warnings for implementation, the Times reported.