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Big Tobacco Says Scary New Cigarette Labels Will Kill Off Their Customer Base, Files Suit Against Uncle Sam

ciglabel-lawsuit.jpg
One of the nine new labels (FDA)
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The graphic new images poised to adorn American cigarette packs next year are meant to warn smokers and would-be smokers of the health dangers associated with the habit. However a few large U.S. tobacco companies say the new labels will just plain scare their customers away from cigarettes, and they've filed a suit against the federal government.

R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard, Commonwealth, Liggett, and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco, are suing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), claiming that the nine new warning labels violate their First Amendment rights, because it's forcing companies who make a legal product to tell their customers not to buy the product, explains Health News.

The companies think the FDA has "overstepped their bounds from warning territory to an advocacy position to kill tobacco use," which jeopardizes the livelihood of tobacco farmers and cigarette makers.

The labels include images on the more macabre side, like a stitched up corpse, rotting teeth, and smoke-damaged lungs. There's the distressed baby, the guy with the hole in the throat, and a woman emotionally overwrought because we're meant to think she either has lung cancer as a result of inhaling second hand smoke or knows someone who that happened to.

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"The lawsuit said the images were manipulated to be especially emotional," notes ABC7.

The FDA has not commented on the suit.