Personal Liberty Digest™ will be upgraded this weekend to reflect a dynamic new look and mobile-friendly viewing to enhance your experience! Plus, we'll be providing even more of the compelling content you've come to expect, delivered in a whole new way!

  Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty
 

Tobacco Companies Sue FDA, Claim Warning Labels Violate 1st Amendment

August 18, 2011 by  

Tobacco Companies Sue FDA, Claim Warning Labels Violate 1st Amendment

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released new mandates for cigarette packaging and advertisements, requiring larger, more prominent warnings about the health effects of cigarette smoking to be displayed starting in September 2012. On Tuesday, five tobacco companies filed suit against the FDA, alleging that the warnings violate the companies’ 1st Amendment 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,” Floyd Abrams, a prominent First Amendment case expert who’s representing the plaintiffs, told CNN.

“The government has [a] lot of power to require warnings, but it doesn’t require half of a cigarette pack to scream out, ‘Don’t buy this product!’” Abrams said. “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.”

According to the article, the FDA has refused to comment on pending litigation, but the original FDA press release for the nine new images that are supposed to be used on the packaging suggests the agency believes it acted within the scope of its authority: “The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act requires nine new larger and more noticeable textual warning statements to appear on cigarette packages and in cigarette advertisements. It also directs FDA to issue regulations requiring that color graphic images depicting the negative health consequences of smoking accompany the nine new textual warning statements.”

Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to yousoundoff@personalliberty.com by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Tobacco Companies Sue FDA, Claim Warning Labels Violate 1st Amendment”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at newstips@personalliberty.com

Bottom
close[X]

Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to PersonalLiberty.com,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.