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Tobacco Companies Sue The Government

Cigarettes
Jeff J Mitchell, Getty Images News

Four tobacco companies have filed suit against the Federal Government, claiming their right to free speech is being violated by new labelling requirements.

 The companies charge the warnings will cost millions to produce and will discourage consumers from using their products. They’re asking a federal judge to rule in their favor. The FDA approved nine new warnings in June, along with a requirement that 20% of tobacco advertising be comprised of health warnings.  The plaintiffs in the suit are  R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard,  Commonwealth Brands Inc., Liggett Group LLC and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Inc. The suit contains this statement, “Never before in the United States have producers of a lawful product been required to use their own packaging and advertising to convey an emotionally-charged government message urging adult consumers to shun their products.”  One warning label is a picture of a corpse with its chest sewed up and the words: “Smoking can kill you.” The companies claim the photo is a fake.  Ten years later, I vividly remember the sight of my father lying in an intensive care ward, bloated, & dark purple, moments before he died of emphysema…. That wasn’t fake.

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