RICHMOND, Va. — This week a U.S. court judge rejected a New York City rule requiring the display of graphic anti-smoking ads at stores that sell cigarettes.
The signs were to warn about the dangers of smoking by displaying images like that of a diseased lung and a decaying tooth. They reportedly were to be enforced by Jan. 1.
"We are pleased that the Court recognized that only the federal government has the power to control the content of cigarette warnings," said Murray Garnick, senior vice president and associate general counsel, for Altria’s client services. Garnick spoke on behalf of Philip Morris USA, one of three cigarette makers who filed suit in June against the mandate.
"This lawsuit is not about communicating the health effects of cigarettes, which Philip Morris USA does in a number of ways, including on its website www.philipmorrisusa.com," Garnick said in a statement. "Rather we brought this litigation because the City's resolution violates Congress' mandate giving the power to regulate content of cigarette advertising and promotion to the federal government, subject to constitutional limitations."