Scary Images of Cigarette Damage Banned in New York

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The images of decaying teeth and diseased lungs hanging wherever cigarettes are sold in New York were banned Wednesday after a federal judge ruled that only the federal government can dictate the warnings accompanying cigarettes. (The images ran in connection with a 2009 New York City Board of Health law requiring the display of smoking warnings wherever tobacco products are sold.) The judge referred to the Labeling Act, a law intended to balance public and commercial interests with a federal program designed to handle cigarette labeling and advertising, created in part to avoid nonuniform and confusing messages about smoking. “Even merchants of morbidity are entitled to the full protection of the law, for our sake as well as theirs,” he said. [AP via CBS New York]