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Tobacco display ban in large shops comes into force

BBC NewsA ban on the display of cigarettes and other tobacco products in large shops in Scotland has come into force.

Plain packaging lobbyists under fire over links to tobacco company

The Guardian27 Apr 2013

A tobacco giant is under fire for financing a campaign group run by two former senior police officers who lobbied parliament against plain

US Senators Introduce Bill to Stop Tobacco Smuggling, Increase

NACS Online

The Tobacco Tax and Enforcement Reform Act seeks to reduce illegal tobacco trafficking, eliminate tax differences between tobacco products

April 28, 2013

Wins and Losses in the Fight Against Tobacco


Cigarette packages are unlikely to carry graphic warning labels anytime soon as a result of separate actions by the Supreme Court and the Food and Drug Administration. That is a setback, though perhaps temporary, for the federal government’s campaign to reduce the health damage caused by this highly lethal product. The silver lining is that the Supreme Court left intact most of the F.D.A.’s powers to regulate this industry.

A 2009 federal law required large graphic and text warnings on the top half of the front and back of cigarette packs. That was based on a well-founded belief that text warnings about the health damage caused by smoking tend to be ignored while gruesome images depicting, say, horribly damaged teeth or lungs grab one’s attention.

The stalemate arises from two conflicting decisions from appeals courts. A federal appeals court in Cincinnati last year upheld the requirement for large graphic warnings but did not have any specific images in front of it for review. A federal appeals court in the District of Columbia ruled last year that the specific graphic images chosen by the F.D.A. — such as a man smoking through a tracheotomy hole in his throat — were unconstitutional infringements on corporate speech because the agency had not shown that the graphic images would accomplish the goal of reducing smoking.

Last Monday the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by tobacco companies against the Cincinnati court’s ruling, leaving intact a host of provisions in the law that should help deter smoking. The agency still has the power to develop graphic warnings and to impose bans on several forms of marketing that appeal to children, for example. However, last month the Obama administration announced that it would not appeal the D.C. court’s ruling. The administration said it would conduct research aimed at complying with both the law and the court’s concerns.

The F.D.A. should move quickly to find court-acceptable graphic images and should develop stronger evidence that graphic images will reduce the number of new or current smokers. Otherwise, tobacco will continue to addict and kill millions of Americans.

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