logo
Plus   Neg
Share
Email
Comment

U.S Court Of Appeals Affirms Need For Graphic Cigarette Warnings

In a morale booster to health campaigners, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Monday affirmed that tobacco companies will have to adhere to stringent graphic health warnings while selling their products.

The judgment was part of a lawsuit in Kentucky filed by a group of tobacco firms who argued that provisions of a certain law known as the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act stifled their freedom of speech.

Plaintiffs in the suit included R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., American Snuff Co., among others. Defendants included the U.S. government, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, among others.

In its ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals mostly upheld an earlier decision by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.

The Court affirmed the requirement of tobacco makers to provide ample space on tobacco packages for textual health warnings. It also upheld the restrictions on the marketing of modified-risk tobacco products, bans on event sponsorship, branding non-tobacco merchandise, and free sampling.

The Court also maintained the Act's restriction of tobacco advertising to black and white text, and the constitutionality of the color graphic and non-graphic warning label requirement.

The appeal court reversed the District Court's determination that the restriction on statements regarding the relative safety of tobacco products based on FDA regulation is unconstitutional. It also struck down the determination that the Act's ban on tobacco continuity programs is permissible under the First Amendment.

The lawsuit comes as health authorities strive to combat the problem of tobacco use, and to wean away young people who might fall a prey to the predatory marketing tactics of tobacco companies.

The U.S. Congress began regulating tobacco products in 1965 and has since passed major legislation regarding tobacco industry practices on at least six occasions.

In 1996, the FDA attempted to assert its jurisdiction to further regulate the tobacco industry. At that time, the Agency made major findings regarding tobacco use among juveniles, a stand confirmed by a more recent finding by the President's Cancer Panel.

In June 2009, the President signed into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act to provide authority to the FDA to regulate tobacco products. The Act aims to address issues of particular concern to public health officials, including the use of tobacco by young people and dependance on tobacco.

Apart from promoting cessation of tobacco use, the Act regulates the sale of tobacco products, and the advertising and marketing of those products.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, struck down the new cigarette pack warnings. That ruling is on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

Business News

Editors Pick
Dish Network Corp. on Wednesday reported a surge in profit for the fourth quarter from last year, reflecting an income tax benefit that helped offset the impact of lower revenues. The latest quarter's results were positively impacted by an income tax benefit of about $1.2 billion due to an adjustment to deferred tax assets and liabilities related to tax reform legislation. Shares of Glencore plc were gaining around 4 percent in the morning trading in London after the producer and marketer of commodities reported Wednesday a significant growth in fiscal 2017 profit on strong higher commodity prices. Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg said, "Our performance in 2017 was our strongest on record, driven by our leading Marketing and Industrial asset businesses." Shares of Orange SA were gaining around 2 percent in the early morning trading in Paris after the French telecom major reported Wednesday a significant growth in fiscal 2017 profit from continuing operations with revenue growth in most regions, mainly France and Spain. In France, revenue grew for the first time since 2009. Attributable net income, meanwhile, declined on the absence of prior
comments powered by Disqus
Follow RTT