[credit provider=”Business Insider” url=”http://www.businessinsider.com.au/new-fda-cigarette-warning-labels-2011-6#”]
U.S. tobacco companies are suing the federal government over new graphic warning labels intended to discourage smokers from lighting up.According to the Associated Press, four of the five largest U.S. tobacco companies are suing on grounds the warnings violate free speech and will cost millions of dollars to produce.
Following the announcement of the labels introduction Phillip Morris was off 1.43% and Lorillard was down 0.44%. Altria was up a little, as was Reynolds America, though both were lagging the major indices.
“Never before in the United States have producers of a lawful product been required to use their own packaging and advertising to convey an emotionally-charged government message urging adult consumers to shun their products,” the companies wrote in the lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington.
The companies, led by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Lorillard Tobacco Co., said the warnings no longer simply convey facts to allow people to make a decision on whether to smoke. They instead force them to put government anti-smoking advocacy more prominently on their packs than their own brands, the companies say. They want a judge to stop the labels.