Obama admin appeals ruling on tobacco health label

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 05, 2012 4:34 PM
Obama admin appeals ruling on tobacco health label

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Monday appealed a decision that a U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation requiring tobacco companies put large, graphic health warnings on cigarette packages and advertising was unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon last week ruled that requiring tobacco companies to include the graphic labels, which included images of rotting teeth and diseased lungs, was a violation of their free-speech rights under the Constitution.

Leon ruled that the warning labels were too big and that the government has numerous other tools at its disposal to deter smoking such as raising cigarette taxes or including simple factual information on the labels rather than gruesome images.

(Reporting By Jeremy Pelofsky; editing by Carol Bishopric)