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U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to New Cigarette Labeling
Date:4/22/2013

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a tobacco industry challenge to a controversial 2009 federal law that mandates graphic warning labels on cigarettes. The high court refused to hear the case, essentially upholding a lower court ruling in favor of the government's labeling changes.

However, the decision probably does not mean that smokers will soon be confronted by cigarette pack images of people dying from the ravages of smoking. That's because a second appeals court decision that blocked the label changes still stands.

Monday's decision by the Supreme Court focused on a case brought before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati by the tobacco industry. The plaintiffs questioned the constitutionality of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sweeping oversight over tobacco products.

"There were several different provisions of the law the tobacco companies requested the Supreme Court to consider, one of those was related to graphic labels," U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Jennifer Haliski explained.

On Monday, the high court said it was refusing to hear the Cincinnati case, meaning the appeals court's decision upholding the constitutionality of the 2009 law stands.

Among the provisions of the law the court let stand is the FDA's authority to mandate warning labels on tobacco products.

However, even though the agency now has the authority to mandate new cigarette labels, the nature of those revisions remains tied up in another case.

The FDA had hoped to add graphic warning labels on cigarette packs depicting the harmful effects of smoking, and put them in place by last September. But that effort was stalled by a federal appeals court in Washington D.C. In that case, tobacco indust
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