Navigation Links
Judge Blocks FDA Plan for Graphic Cigarette Warnings
Date:11/8/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's plans to require graphic warning labels on cigarette packs was derailed temporarily Monday when a federal judge blocked the effort, suggesting it was a violation of the tobacco industry's First Amendment free-speech rights.

Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia said it was likely that the tobacco industry would succeed in a lawsuit to overturn the requirement, so he blocked the FDA initiative until the court case is resolved, which could take years, the Associated Press reported.

Leon said the nine graphic images, which were approved by the FDA and due to start appearing in September 2012, did more than simply convey facts about the health risks of smoking -- they took an advocacy stance, a key distinction in a free-speech case, the news service said.

"It is abundantly clear from viewing these images that the emotional response they were crafted to induce is calculated to provoke the viewer to quit, or never to start smoking -- an objective wholly apart from disseminating purely factual and uncontroversial information," Leon wrote in his 29-page opinion.

The nine proposed images, which are designed to fill the top half of all cigarette packs, have stirred controversy since the concept first emerged in 2009.

One image shows a man's face and a lighted cigarette in his hand, with smoke escaping from a hole in his neck -- the result of a tracheotomy. The caption reads "Cigarettes are addictive." Another image shows a mother holding a baby as smoke swirls about them, with the warning: "Tobacco smoke can harm your children."

A third image depicts a distraught woman with the caption: "Warning: Smoking causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers."

A fourth picture shows a mouth with smoked-stained teeth and an open sore on the lower lip. "Cigarettes cause cancer," the caption reads.

The labels are a part of the requirements of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, signed into law in 2009 by President Barack Obama. For the first time, the law gave the FDA significant control over tobacco products.

The FDA has said it hopes these new warnings would have a "significant public health impact by decreasing the number of smokers, resulting in lives saved, increased life expectancy, and improved health status."

"President Obama is committed to protecting our nation's children and the American people from the dangers of tobacco use. These labels are frank, honest and powerful depictions of the health risks of smoking and they will help," U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a news release issued in June. "These labels will encourage smokers to quit, and prevent children from smoking. President Obama wants to make tobacco-related death and disease part of the nation's past, and not our future."

Responding to Monday's legal decision, Legacy, the nation's largest nonprofit group devoted to tobacco use prevention and cessation, issued a news release that said:

"In his ruling, Judge Leon maintained that some of the images were 'unquestionably designed to evoke emotion,' and the images were crafted to 'provoke the viewer to quit, or never to start smoking.'

"We believe that, too, is precisely the point of these images: dying from a tobacco-related disease is never pretty, or pleasant or comfortable. The images chosen by the FDA are realistic, accurate depictions of the terrible toll tobacco use takes on the body."

"Evidence shows that more extensive, visual graphic warning labels such as those required by FDA can play an important role in educating consumers about the dangers of smoking. Research conducted in countries that have implemented graphic warnings, such as Canada and Australia, has found that many smokers credit the warnings with motivating them to quit and/or helping them to stay smoke-free."

Smoking is the leading cause of early and preventable death in the United States, resulting in some 443,000 fatalities each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and costs almost $200 billion every year in medical costs and lost productivity.

Over the last decade, countries as varied as Canada, Australia, Chile, Brazil, Iran and Singapore, among others, have adopted graphic warnings on tobacco products. Some are downright disturbing: in Brazil, cigarette packages come with pictures of dead babies and a gangrened foot with blackened toes.

More information

For more on the warning labels and to see the images, visit this FDA website.

SOURCES: Nov. 7, 2011, news release, Legacy, Washington, D.C.; Associated Press


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Judges Select Winner of the Ban Asbestos Now Video Search
2. Kids Cant Accurately Judge Speed of Approaching Cars: Study
3. Federal Judge Strikes Down Health Reform Law
4. Fla. Federal Judge: Health Reform Law Is Unconstitutional
5. Heroes Judged Harshly for Bad Behavior, Study Finds
6. Overweight Women Believe Loved Ones Judge Them More Harshly Than They Do
7. Paxil Blocks Tamoxifen, Lowers Survival Odds Against Breast Cancer
8. Researchers create first molecule-blocks key component of cancer genes on-off switch
9. Researchers create first molecule blocks key component of cancer genes on-off switch
10. Discovery blocks cancer drugs toxic side effect
11. Compound that blocks sugar pathway slows cancer cell growth
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Judge Blocks FDA Plan for Graphic Cigarette Warnings
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking ... American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical ... effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily customize ... Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures into ... Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned ... the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at ... fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland ... iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness ... & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... plastic surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to ... known procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Bay Area ... Network,s Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness ... and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, ... today announced the five finalists of Lyme ... disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: DHRM ) ... medical devices and wearable sleep respiratory products in ... with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred ... to develop Dehaier,s new Internet medical technology business. ... Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform to reach Dehaier,s dealers ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... LEXINGTON, Mass. , June 24, 2016   ... specialty pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today ... when Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set ... 2016. "This is an important milestone for ... "It will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: