Tag Archives: tobacco laws

Big 5 Tobacco File Lawsuit to Fight New Warning Labels

On September 22, 2012, all cigarette packaging and advertising must display one of the FDAs 9 pre-approved graphic and text health warnings.

These labels are designed to discourage youths from smoking and to provide greater appeal for quitting to current smokers.

However, on September 21, 2011 a hearing was held in U.S. Federal District Court regarding the constitutionality of these warnings.

Big Tobacco Files Lawsuit

Five major tobacco manufacturers filed a lawsuit against the FDA on August 16, 2011 in hopes of achieving an injunction against the mandatory implementation of graphic and text warnings on cigarette packages and advertisements.

The tobacco manufacturing companies involved with this lawsuit are:

  • R.J. Reynolds
  • Lorillard Tobacco Co.
  • Commonwealth Brands Inc.
  • Ligget Group LLC
  • Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. Inc.

New Cigarette Package Warning LabelsThe tobacco companies’ lawsuit against the FDA was filed on the grounds that the mandatory text and graphic warnings infringed on the constitutional free speech of the tobacco manufacturers. They have asked that the FDAs mandatory implementation be dismissed, and that a new set of warnings that do not threaten their constitutional right be developed. Following this, a new fifteen month waiting period will be set before the new warnings become effective.

The FDA Taken to Court . . . Again

In August 2009, a similar lawsuit was filed on behalf of Discount Tobacco City & Lottery Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Conwood Co. LLC, Commonwealth Brands Inc., Lorillard Tobacco Co., and National Tobacco Co. The purpose was to have it declared the FDAs proposed graphic and text warnings were unconstitutional.

The judge dismissed the suit, and an appeal was filed. A decision is still pending from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on this case.

Tobacco Manufacturers Argue Warnings Are Unconstitutional

What’s at issue with the tobacco manufacturers is whether or not the FDAs nine warnings portray actual health risks as a result from smoking, or whether or not they stem more from an advocacy perspective.

Tobacco use accounts for more than one in five deaths. Smoking remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in America.

Judge Richard Leon’s decision on the injunction is expected by the end of October.

Reference: http://www.csdecisions.com/2011/09/22/tobacco-companies-fight-warning-labels/

Family Friendly Sporting Events – No More Cigarette Ads

The New Tobacco Laws Are Now Rolling Out

Last year’s Tobacco Control Act was crafted with prevention in mind targeting youth smokers.

But, the new tobacco regulations that became effective in June 2010 may also encourage adults to stop smoking.

I agree with Jeanne Sager of, “The Stir.” She posted on her blog on June 25th that the effects of last week’s legislation of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act “will have some major adult effects too.”

Having a law that helps to prevent smoking for all members of a family does not come any time too soon.

Effects of the New Tobacco Law on Adults

Small Packs of CigarettesSager pointed out, “the small packs of ‘twenty’ or less cigarettes” will not be allowed to be sold. This change will hit the pocket book of some smokers who can’t afford to cut into their budget for the larger packs.

No longer can a smoker purchase a few cigarettes when cash is low or if they are young smokers who can only afford to buy a few at a time.

Another change, is the use of the words, ultra light, mild, and low-tar are now banned to clearly dispel any illusions that some tobacco products carry less dangers than others.

Tobacco companies use to offer gifts with purchases to entice young and adult smokers to buy more tobacco products. This incentive will stop with the new tobacco tax codes.

Imagine Sporting Events without Cigarette Ads

One of most far reaching regulations and perhaps one of the most significant will be the absence of all the tobacco ads that are repeated over and over at sporting events.

Like a hypnotic suggestion, the repetitive tobacco ads clearly prompted a smoker to reach for a cigarette just when the game began to get exciting.

Like Sager says, “the temptation is gone.” Now the playing field is more family friendly at sporting events than they have been in years.

Fewer cigarette ads mean less lure for kids to accept that smoking is a part of the typical sporting event experience.

Reference: The Tobacco Act: 4 Reasons it will Make You Quit