Appeals Court Says No To Scary Smoking Ads

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

An appeals court says New York City cannot scare smokers by requiring grotesque images at stores that sell cigarettes.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected a 2009 Board of Health resolution which required all tobacco retailers to display signs bearing graphic images showing the adverse health effects of smoking.

The city Health Department said the ruling is likely to reduce the number of smokers who quit. "The City's warning signs depicted the grisly toll of smoking and provided helpful information about how to quit at a place where smokers were most likely to see it, the department said in a statement. "Despite huge strides in combating smoking in New York City, tobacco remains the City’s number one killer and we remain committed to providing smokers with life-saving information and resources to overcome their addiction."

The court said the federal government gets to decide how to warn people about the dangers of cigarettes, upholding a ruling bu Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan. The appeals court found the city's resolution is preempted by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, enacted by Congress in 1965. It said letting local authorities require the posting of warnings near cigarette displays that are meant to supplement those already on boxes of cigarettes risks creating diverse, non-uniform and confusing regulations.

Philip Morris USA issued a statement saying it was pleased with the ruling.

"This suit has always been about who has the authority to regulate the content of cigarette warnings," said attorney Murray Garnick, who was quoted in a statement speaking on behalf of Philip Morris USA. "That is a power reserved to the federal government without interference or additional efforts by state and local authorities."

With the Associated Press


More in:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [1]


The City of New York's Health Dept. should appeal this decision because to throw the towel in now will result in more youth starting to smoke and will prevent existing smokers to finally quit.

You have to fight the tobacco industry convicted racketeers with every weapon you can.

Jul. 17 2012 04:21 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by