Court weighs graphic health warnings on cigarettes

April 10, 2012 By FREDERIC J. FROMMER , Associated Press

(AP) -- A federal appeals court is considering the constitutionality of requiring large graphic photos on cigarette packs to show that smoking can harm or kill smokers.

The three-judge panel Tuesday questioned whether the government's proposed warnings cross from factual information into anti-smoking advocacy. Tobacco companies suing to block the mandate argue it does. In February, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon agreed. He blocked the requirement, saying it ran afoul of the First Amendment's free speech protections.

At Tuesday's hearing, judges questioned how far the government could go, such as putting graphic warnings on cars that "speed kills."

The nine proposed graphic warnings include color images of a man exhaling cigarette smoke through a tracheotomy hole in his throat and a plume of enveloping an infant receiving a mother's kiss.

Explore further: Tobacco firms sue US over graphic cigarette labels


Related Stories

Tobacco firms sue US over graphic cigarette labels

August 17, 2011

Four tobacco companies filed a lawsuit against the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday over what they say are unconstitutional requirements for warning labels on US cigarette packaging.

US judge blocks graphic warnings on cigarettes

November 7, 2011

A US judge on Monday blocked the government's attempt to place graphic warning labels on cigarette packs, saying big tobacco was likely to succeed in arguing it was a violation of free speech.

Judge blocks plan for graphic cigarette warnings

March 1, 2012

(HealthDay) -- A federal judge on Wednesday blocked implementation of an FDA mandate that would have forced tobacco companies to place graphic anti-smoking images on packages of cigarettes.

CDC launching graphic anti-smoking ad campaign

March 15, 2012

(AP) -- Tobacco taxes and smoking bans haven't budged the U.S. smoking rate in years. Now the government is trying to shock smokers into quitting with a graphic nationwide advertising campaign.

Recommended for you


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.