The FDA's push to put graphic images on cigarette packages is headed to the a US court of appeals in Washington, D.C. this week. The government agency wants to put the shocking images on the packages to scare smokers about possible health risks, but according to a public radio report, the big tobacco companies feels it violated their free speech.
The proposed images include diseased lungs, rotting teeth, and even a corpse, but one free speech expert says the government may be overstepping their First Amendment bounds.
"It's going beyond I think what is necessary," says David Hudson, a scholar at the First Amendment Center in Nashville tells public radio sources. "It's just so in your face, so graphic, these images — it's just simply too much."
Anti-tobacco advocates argue, however, that it's time the cigarette companies show the true effect of their products.
"We are dealing with an industry with a decades-long history of deceiving the public about the health risks of smoking, and the enhanced warning labels are a direct response to the deception of the industry," Liss says.
by RTT Staff Writer
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