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Judge Rejects City Law on Antismoking Posters

A federal judge on Wednesday struck down a New York City law that would have forced all bodegas and convenience stores to post gruesome images of diseased lungs, brains and teeth in the shops to discourage people from buying cigarettes.

In a 13-page ruling, Judge Jed S. Rakoff of United States District Court in Manhattan wrote that while the law was well intentioned, it violated federal law since only the federal government had the authority to regulate cigarette warnings and advertisements.

"Even merchants of morbidity are entitled to the full protection of the law," Judge Rakoff wrote, "for our sake as well as theirs."

The decision puts an end -- at least for now-- to the city's plan to have the placards displayed beside cash registers in more than 11,000 establishments across the city. While awaiting Judge Rakoff's ruling, the city had agreed that it would postpone enforcement of its rule until this weekend.

Lawyers with the city's Law Department said they planned to appeal the decision.

Read the complete New York Times story, "Judge Rejects City Law on Antismoking Posters."

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