Court Orders FDA to Move Forward With Graphic Cigarette Warnings

Editor’s Note: See also Forced speech on tobacco firms threatens free speech for all, an excerpt of which is posted immediately below this note.

Giving government the power to compel tobacco firms to advocate a message also gives it the power to compel others to do the same. Maybe that wouldn’t bother you if the next target was Rush Limbaugh. But just suppose — after, say, Rick Santorum’s inauguration — it was Rachel Maddow and MSNBC, now obliged to proclaim the contraceptive merit of an aspirin between the knees.  —Tom Keane (March 10, 2012/Boston Globe)

From: Medpage Today

Agency has 3 weeks to submit final rule for new packaging

by Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer

A federal court has ordered the FDA to move forward by the end of the month to issue a final rule requiring graphic health warnings on cigarette packs and advertising.

On Wednesday, Judge Indira Talwani, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, ruled in favor of a lawsuit filed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Lung Association, and six other public health and medical groups contending that the FDA had “unreasonably delayed” and “unlawfully withheld” the final rule on graphic labels, which were originally mandated close to a decade ago.

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