COLUMBIA, South Carolina – Giants in the Tobacco industry want a federal judge to put a stop to new graphic cigarette labels that are soon to go into effect on products of the companies.
Pictures (left) include a sewn-up corpse of a smoker, diseased lungs and other graphic images which those companies say is unfairly urging adults to shun their legal products and will cost millions of dollars to produce.
Four of the five of the largest U.S. tobacco companies came together to sue the federal government Tuesday, arguing the warnings violate their free speech rights.
“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,” claimed the companies in the federal lawsuit.
The FDA approved the nine new warnings to rotate on cigarette packs. They will be printed on the entire top half, front and back, of the packaging. They also refused to comment, saying the agency does not discuss pending litigation.
The new proposal comes just two years after the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act took hold. Several of the same companies filed suit against the act, which cleared the way for more graphic warning labels, but also allowed the FDA to limit nicotine.
The judge upheld many parts of the law, but the companies are continuing to appeal.