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U.S district judge rules graphic tobacco warning labels violate 1st Amendment

U.S district judge rules graphic tobacco warning labels violate 1st Amendment

We’re having a hard time with this ruling. On the one hand, as a communications firm, we strongly support the First Amendment and will go to battle any day to support it. On the other hand, tobacco companies have been peddling death and disease for decades now and need to be stopped. The current warning labels aren’t enough. These new, graphic labels would have gotten the point across that tobacco kills. It’s a shame that they won’t be used on cigarette packaging.

However, the images from these warning labels aren’t going to waste. Our good friends at the American Lung Association have included a couple of the images on their redesigned youth anti-tobacco website, Ysmoke.org. Look for them on the Facts pages.

What do you think? Too gruesome? Is it a violation of the tobacco companies’ right to free speech? Or are these images the kind that are needed to wake people up to the dangers of smoking?

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Comments

  • Sheri Towner Gabrelcik March 1, 2012 - Reply

    Let’s face it, a pictures worth a thousand words! Cigarettes can not be sold in Canada unless the packaging contains a graphic picture, so why can’t we get it right in America?

  • Kelsey Magill March 1, 2012 - Reply

    Tobacco-Free Kids President Matthew Myers hit the nail on the head when he said “Today’s ruling is again wrong on the science and the law.” I’m an avid supporter of first amendment rights, but also firmly believe that these only be granted so long as you don’t infringe on someone else’s. This includes someone’s right to live and right to breathe! It’s time for tobacco companies to be held accountable for the deadly products they produce!

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