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NYC can’t force displays of graphic anti-smoking ads

Appeals court says only federal government may impose such requirements

The 2nd Circuit ruled yesterday that New York City can’t force tobacco retailers to display graphic anti-smoking signs, which depict decaying teeth, diseased lungs and a damaged brain.

Several tobacco companies, including Philip Morris USA, Lorillard Tobacco Co. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., along with two retail trade groups and two convenience stores, sued the city in 2010 after Mayor Michael Bloomberg required tobacco retailers to hang the signs as part of his citywide anti-smoking campaign. The plaintiffs argued the signs violated their rights, and in the city agreed to temporarily halt the enforcement of the signs as the lawsuit proceeded.


Cathleen Flahardy

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