published Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Judge issues good ruling against federal dictation on cigarette labels

If the federal government wants to outlaw tobacco, then there is a legislative process by which it can attempt to do so.

But with tobacco being legal, the federal government clearly went beyond its authority by proposing that tobacco companies be required to place graphic, sickening warning labels on cigarette packages. The labels show things such as diseased lungs and the corpse of a smoker.

It is obvious that smoking causes a range of illnesses and in many cases premature death. Tobacco use should be vigorously discouraged among adults and forbidden to children.

But again, tobacco is a legal product. So the government had no business requiring tobacco companies to pay for gruesome warning labels that, in effect, urged smokers not to buy their products.

And while there should be absolutely no suggestion that smoking is a healthful activity, it is appropriate that a federal judge has blocked the cigarette warning label requirement from taking effect.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon wrote that the labels "were neither designed to protect the consumer from confusion or deception, nor to increase consumer awareness of smoking risks; rather, they were crafted to evoke a strong emotional response calculated to provoke the viewer to quit or never start smoking."

Discouraging smoking is a worthy goal, but government dictation of this sort is not the proper means to achieve that goal.

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smokefree said...

Let's get over the "it's still a legal product" rationalization. History has shown us not everything that is legal is right. Slavery, denying women the right to vote, child labor and wife-beating were also legal at one time.

Congress should have made The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 more comprehensive with greater latitude given to the FDA (such as prohibit the sale of tobacco products unless prescribed by a medical professional), however, there are too many members of the House and Senate that are recipients of lucrative contributions from the tobacco industry and its fronts so that will be difficult to eradicate.

In the meantime, the factual (although somewhat in your face) message that smoking will kill you that was ordered on cigarette packs as of September will probably be delayed but will become part of the nation's landscape as soon as the appeal of Judge Leon's is overturned.

March 4, 2012 at 7:33 p.m.
Rtazmann said...

ALL THIS IS UN-NECESSARY,,,YOU DON'T TAKE AWAY 1 GROUP OF PEOPLES RIGHTS AND LET ANOTHER GROUP HAVE THEIR WAY,,IT'S NOT SOMETHING THIS COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON..

March 13, 2012 at 11:41 a.m.
Rtazmann said...

DO YOU EVER WATCH THE TN LEGISLATURE?? THERE IS NEVER ANY DEBATES AND EVERYONE VOTES THE SAME,,NO WONDER THERE IS NO PROGRESS HERE..IT'S LIKE FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS,,,WAKE UP THE WORLD IS GOING BY..

March 13, 2012 at 11:55 a.m.
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