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Eleven Health & Consumer Groups Urge Federal Court to Reject Tobacco Companies' Lawsuit Against FDA Tobacco Regulation Law
Date:9/30/2009

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, eleven public health and consumer advocacy organizations filed a friend of the court (amicus) brief asking a federal court to reject a lawsuit by R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard and other tobacco companies that seeks to block key provisions of the new federal law regulating tobacco products. The immediate issue before the court is the industry's challenge of a provision that requires FDA approval before tobacco companies can make claims about "modified risk tobacco products."

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The tobacco companies have also challenged other marketing restrictions in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which authorizes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco products.

The friend of the court brief argues that the modified risk provision of the law is narrowly tailored to satisfy First Amendment constitutional requirements and prior court rulings and is designed to end decades of false health claims that have misled millions of smokers. The brief also argues that the new law's requirements are consistent with FDA's long history of pre-approval of drug, food, and device labeling and promotion as a check against unproven and misleading health claims.

The public health groups contend that legal arguments in this case cannot be considered in isolation from the tobacco industry's long history of making deceptive health claims, especially about "light" and "low-tar" cigarettes, and the devastating consequences for public health. As the brief states, "The tobacco industry has long made unsubstantiated claims that certain tobacco products were less harmful than others. Not only were the claims proved false, but the industry long knew they were false. These unsubstantiate
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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