Free speech: Tobacco products embroiled in dispute over disclosure signs in retail stores

Retailers are concerned about the recent federal court ruling that tobacco companies must pay for prominent store displays disclosing the dangers of cigarette smoking. Store owners are worried about sales losses and the injustice of taking a fall for the tobacco companies. If forced to put up signs, they claim their First Amendment rights would be violated.

The Food and Drug Administration is currently appealing a case in the U.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington after the court ruled 2-1 that requiring tobacco companies to put such graphic images as diseased lungs on cigarette packs would violate the companies’ free speech rights. (Bloomberg News)

The case could ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court since another appeals court made a contradictory ruling in a similar case this year. (Reuters)

From The Associated Press,  December 26, 2012, by Michael Felberbaum.

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