Thursday, March 1, 2012

Regulation imposing new cigarette warnings declared unconstitutional - UPDATED

Back in June of last year, I reported that the FDA enacted a regulation to mandate new labels for cigarette packs with various graphic images and messages such as “Smoking can kill you.” (See here) Some time later, after five of the nation's largest cigarette manufacturers filed suit against the FDA, the federal judge presiding over the case granted a preliminary injunction that prevented the FDA from enforcing the new rule. See here and hereGo here and scroll down for all the posts on this issue.

Today, it is being reported that U.S. District Judge Richard Leon has declared the regulations unconstitutional.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the judge said the Obama administration failed “to convey any factual information supported by evidence about the actual health consequences of smoking through its use of these graphic images.” The rule, he said, violates companies’ First Amendment protections against government-compelled speech.  Go here for the story in the Wall Street Journal law blog and here for the story in the Blog of the Legal Times.

The court's decision is available here.

UPDATE 3-1-12: The First Amendment Center has a comment here.

UPDATE 3-2-12:  The FDA law blog has a comment here.

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