Graphic Warning Labels Ruled a Violation of Free Speech
In Washington D.C. today, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled that the proposed FDA rule requiring graphic images on cigarette packs is a violation of free speech.
Warning Labels Fail to Convey Factual Information
In his ruling Judge Leon wrote that the government failed “to convey any factual information supported by evidence about the actual health consequences of smoking through its use of these graphic images.” He also went on to write “while the line between the constitutionally permissible dissemination of factual information and the impermissible expropriation of a company’s advertising space for government advocacy can be frustratingly blurry, here the line seems quite clear.”
FDA Will Not Enforce Informative Statement Labels
A statement from the HHS Department issued in conjunction with Judge Leon’s ruling noted that due to ongoing litigation the FDA will not enforce informative cigarette statements on labels regarding cigarette tobacco content, tobacco origin locations and other manufacturer disclosures – another win for the tobacco industry.
Precedent Set for Future Big 3 / Government Lawsuits
Judge Leon’s ruling today is a clear example of checks and balances in our government system that plays to the Big 3’s advantage. Future cases regarding the government and tobacco industry will be forced to consider the industry’s rights despite their selling of an arguably harmful product.
The above communication was received via a internet news letter received today from Nik Modi. Appreciate the timely news!
Not surprised as I believed this was how Judge Leon was going to rule! What are your thoughts? Did you expect this ruling? Or were you surprised?