Graphic cigarette warning labels blocked

Federal judge sides with tobacco companies, says FDA’s rule likely violates First Amendment

Score one for Big Tobacco. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon Monday blocked the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) mandate that tobacco companies include graphic images on their cigarette packages persuading customers to quit smoking.

Five tobacco companies sued the FDA in August after it released its new regulation. The companies, Lorillard Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Commonwealth Brands, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco and Liggett Group, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, claiming the agency’s new regulation violates their First Amendment rights. 

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