It’s one thing to just tell people that smoking can and often times will kill them. But to show them? Well that’s just going too far. A new FDA regulation would require what they call “frank and honest warnings” depicting among other things, a blackened smoker’s lung and a post-autopsy corpse on the front and back top halfs of cigarette packaging. R.J. Reynolds and friends are naturally not too happy about this. So they sued.
Reyonlds and three other large tobacco companies are suing the federal government asking for a judge to put a stop to the labels. They claim that the new anti-smoking advocacy will take up more room on their packaging than their actual brand names. No longer simply conveying facts via the almost inconspicuous white Surgeon’s General warning box, Big Tobacco says these new images are crossing the line into almost proselytizing their consumer base from the shelf.
Furthermore, they take umbrage with the fact that “corpse photo is actually an actor with a fake scar, while the healthy lungs were sanitized to make the diseased organ look worse” calling the ads manipulative.
“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,” they say in their lawsuit.
The FDA approved nine new gruesome images for rotation among cigarette packs. They are to be printed front and back on the packs. The new warnings also must constitute 20 percent of any cigarette advertising. They also all include a number for stop-smoking hotline.
The corporate giants claim that the ads limit their own free speech rights and would cost millions to produce. Won’t somebody please think of the giant multinational cigarette companies? Those poor souls.
(Source: Yahoo! News)