UPDATE: Advertising Groups Join Graphic Cigarette Label Opposition

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Two advertising industry groups are joining some of the nation's largest tobacco companies in opposing new graphic cigarette warning labels that include the sewn-up corpse of a smoker.

The groups say the labels infringe on commercial speech and could lead to further government intrusion if unchallenged.

The Association of National Advertisers and the American Advertising Federation on Friday filed briefs with the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., in a lawsuit led by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Lorillard Tobacco Co.

The companies last month sued the Food and Drug Administration to block the labels.

A hearing on a preliminary injunction to stop the labels is set for Sept. 21. A decision could come as soon as October.

The labels are set to appear on packs next year.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration says a federal judge shouldn't stop new cigarette warning labels that include the sewn-up corpse of a smoker and a picture of diseased lungs.

The labels are being mandated by the FDA as part of its new authority to regulate tobacco. They are to appear on cigarette packs next year.

The agency was responding Friday to a lawsuit filed by some of the nation's largest tobacco companies. The companies, led by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Lorillard Tobacco Co., claim the labels violate their free speech rights and will cost millions of dollars to print.

But the FDA says the public interest in conveying smoking's dangers outweighs those claims.

The companies have a week to respond. A hearing in the case is set Sept. 21.

The Food and Drug administration is set to release nine new graphic health warning labels for U.S. Cigarette packs Tuesday, representing the most significant change to cigarette packs in more than 25 years.

The new labels will take up half of a pack of cigarettes and also will appear on advertisements. Cigarette makers have until the fall of 2012 to comply. Mandates for new warning labels were part of a 2009 law giving the FDA authority to regulate tobacco.

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  • by me Location: nc on Sep 17, 2011 at 05:20 AM
    I think everyone is missing the point, these ads are not really for the people who already smoke, but the people who do not smoke. I think every smoker up here can agree that they wish they could stop smoking, or that they had never started smoking. I think these ads are trying to keep the young people who think it looks cool to smoke not to start smoking. Most of you up here reget the day that first cigarette ever touched you lips. They should have stronger ads about alcohol also.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Sep 17, 2011 at 04:02 AM
    Frank, I agree and add; if I wanted to set a precidence on new laws on advertising to go after anything I deemed unhealthy, I would pick smokers first, get it legislated and move on to "next". What a great way to control peoples lives in the name of "we care". I said this when they put high taxes on smokes and now fast food and soft drinks are next. In fact, its in the works. NC used to be the largest producer however, I think that is long gone now. In perspective, everything we do in life is dangerous to a degree. It will not matter if this coffin is on a happy meal, a car or the neighborhood watch sign....it pretty much relies on people making their own decisions on what is good and bad. I just don't want to sanction the government to do it for me.
  • by Frank Sinatra Location: Heaven on Sep 16, 2011 at 11:58 PM
    If they want to get serious make cigs illegal. That will not happen because it is too much of a cash cow for the government. They play like they want you to quit but they really dont.
  • by vicky Location: Greenville on Sep 16, 2011 at 06:11 PM
    This is what happens, imo, when fanatics are allowed to prevail. Is Obama's administration so off the track that these ads are actually in the marketplace and are they shakin' down the tobacco industry for more campaign money for his re-election? I am not a smoker and those ads just tick me off to the max on so many levels. I may take up smoking in protest to 'em. Dang government!!
  • by Jesse_EngAmer on Sep 14, 2011 at 12:20 AM
    Nobody believes cigarettes are healthy, or anywhere close to being “ok.” For years, smoking has been accepted as dangerous. While the FDA’s job is to protect us from what we believe to be safe and is actually harmful, smokers are aware of the risk and should have the right to continue as they please. With labels like “may be hazardous to your health” and “may result in death” that have been in effect for years not as small fine print, but large bold proclamations, you can’t get any clearer than that. The FDA needs to stop attacking every vice. Leave us our salty foods, our energy drink, our movie popcorn and everything else like that. Focus on the contaminated food that continuously makes its way into our homes and onto our plates. Focus on the dangerous drugs that are approved anyway.
  • by Jim Location: Raleigh on Sep 10, 2011 at 09:29 PM
    Humans are always suffering and dying even without pictures from some made up twit goverment org. Thats called life. Live it tough Live it rough, Now I gotta have a puff. Just gives them a reason to play dress up in the morning and claim to be employed and take home a gov. sponsered handout paycheck, yes my paycheck and your paycheck. The whole program is a so called public feel good org. These slinkes can,t even identify a bacturim with pictures added and given to them.I,ll bet not one even owns the equilivent of a cheap or used once and toss out radio shack desktop microscope. Yeah 19$ bucks. Look it up! YoYos.
  • by MICHELLE Location: ENC on Sep 10, 2011 at 05:53 PM
    Does it really matter? You're going to die of something and the smokers know this. The pictures are not going to make someone stop smoking if they haven't made up their mind to do so.
    • reply
      by Scott on Sep 13, 2011 at 12:40 PM in reply to MICHELLE
      Yeah everyone is going to die from something, but why increase your chance of dying from a disease that makes you suffer and waste away until you basically drown in your own fluids. If its not going to make them stop smoking then they shouldn't care that it's there right? They are just going to over look it anyway.
      • reply
        by MICHELLE on Sep 17, 2011 at 04:30 AM in reply to Scott
        It's their choice, though.
  • by Smoker Location: Ayden on Sep 10, 2011 at 04:44 PM
    This is a stupid waste of our money! If government wants to really get people to quit, why not spend the money on research that will actually help people quit instead of making ridiculous ads. I have tried so many of the stop smoking devices and none have worked for me. I'd like to see more being done on that end than on some disgusting ad!
  • by OBX on Sep 10, 2011 at 03:41 PM
    Uhm, the list of things that can kill us is endless. Enough government in our lives. I want all food that isn't organic to carry a skull and crossbones on it.
  • by Jim Location: Raleigh on Sep 10, 2011 at 03:23 PM
    Next these yoyos will have us wearing crash helments while over any type of concret or marble hard surface and parachuts on childreds bikes in case the brakes fail. What I want to see is a picture of santa all mangled up because rudolph had a heart attack and we,ll all know not to fly our sleds.
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