Tobacco: Graphic Federal Warnings Aren't Fair

Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2011 --- 8:50 a.m.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Tobacco companies want a judge to put a stop to new graphic cigarette labels that include the sewn-up corpse of a smoker and pictures of diseased lungs, saying they unfairly urge adults to shun their legal products and will cost millions to produce.

Four of the five largest U.S. tobacco companies sued the federal government Tuesday, saying the warnings violate their free speech rights.

The companies, led by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Lorillard Tobacco Co., say the warnings no longer simply convey facts to allow people to make a decision on whether to smoke. The companies say the warnings, instead, force them to put government anti-smoking advocacy more prominently on their packs than their own brands. They want a judge to stop the labels.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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