In a 2-to-1 decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia turned down a law requiring tobacco companies to place graphic health warnings on cigarette packaging. This law was passed back in 2009 allowing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulating power on the tobacco industry.
However, the United States Court of Appeals said the law violated free speech rights. Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the District of Columbia Circuit said the FDA did not provide sufficient evidence that the graphic labels would reduce smoking.
In support of the graphic labels, Judge Judith W. Rogers said, “The government has an interest of paramount importance in effectively conveying information about the health risks of smoking to adolescent would-be smokers and other consumers.”
Studies were conducted in Europe and Canada that showed graphic warning labels on tobacco products to have an effect on smokers compared to similar warnings found in traditional mediums.
Label supporters are urging the government to appeal.
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