Big Tobacco Suing Government Over New FDA Warnings

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Afraid yet? Photo: FDA.gov

A group of powerful tobacco companies are suing the federal government because of the mandatory disgusting images that will be required starting in September 2012 on the top half, front and back, of their packs. Four of the five largest cigarette sellers, including R.J. Reynolds and Lorillard, say the warnings inhibit free speech and are expensive on top of it. (Philip Morris, the largest U.S. cigarette maker, is staying out of it.) "Never before in the United States have producers of a lawful product been required to use their own packaging and advertising to convey an emotionally-charged government message urging adult consumers to shun their products," says the lawsuit, which contends that the labels are overly manipulative. That dead guy in the warning photo? He's an actor with fake scar, anyway.

Tobacco firms sue FDA over new graphic warnings [AP]