Apr 11 2012
Lawyers for tobacco companies and the government are going to court Tuesday on a graphic cigarette warning labels intended to deter potential smokers. Cigarette manufacturers say labels violate their rights first amendment.
Now the Obama administration and big tobacco will square off in a high-stakes battle in the Federal Court of Appeals for how the federal government can go to get Americans to quit smoking. Tobacco companies argue that the government can not force them to show the disturbing images that are even more pronounced than their own labels.
Editor’s Note: Some of the images seen in the report, Chip Reid in the video above, it is very clear.
The images are designed to shock: a man exhaling smoke through a hole in the trachea, the couple next to the patient’s lungs healthy couple, cross-linked activity of the body of a man who died of lung cancer. If they are hard to see what it was when the Food and Drug Administration ordered tobacco companies to place these images on cigarette packs as part of its aggressive efforts to persuade Americans, especially children and teenagers not to smoke.
Patrick Reynolds, from TobaccoFree.org, said: “It has been proven in study after study that these images to keep young people from starting to smoke, from buying a pack of cigarettes.”
Dan Jaffe, Association of National Advertisers, told CBS News “, the Supreme Court said that the government can not manage it in such a way as to try to put your thumb on the scales to make people do what they want and not make their own choices the market. ”
ut anti-smoking activists argue that the public interest to convince people not to smoke – even with the powerful images – outweighs the rights to freedom of expression under threat.
Reynolds said: “It’s time to have a counter advertising directly to the side of cigarette packs to give consumers a voice and give some balance to the glamour of tobacco.”
Many other countries, including Brazil, already require warning labels, which are even more evident, showing open wounds, and even dead fetuses and adults.
Graphic pictures: Scary cigarette labels from Brazil
Pictures in the U.S. were to begin appearing on cigarette packs in September, but it is quite possible, this case will go to the Supreme Court, which could take years, the delays that can save companies millions of lost tobacco sales and the cost of repackaging.