HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cigarette Warnings and Free Speech

Bloomberg reports, here, that DC Disctrict Court Judge Leon has ruled initially for the tobacco companies in their fight against the new, graphic cigarette warnings and mandatory consumer information, with the judge noting:

While the line between the constitutionally permissible dissemination of factual information and the impermissible expropriation of a company’s advertising space for government advocacy can be frustratingly blurry, here -- where these emotion-provoking images are coupled with text extolling consumers to call the phone number ‘1-800-QUIT’ -- the line seems quite clear.

Recall Kevin Outterson's NEJM warnings regarding the fall-out from Sorrell v. IMS Health, here. Micah Berman, Kathleen Dachille & Julie Ralston Aoki chimed in here. A pre-verdict Adweek interview with tobacco counsel Floyd Abrams is here [NPT]

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