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Cigarette Warnings Blocked by Court on Free-Speech Grounds

A federal judge blocked new U.S. rules from taking effect that would put graphic health warnings on cigarette packaging, saying the required images may violate tobacco companies’ rights to free speech.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington ruled today that ordering tobacco companies, including Lorillard and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., to display images of diseased lungs and a cadaver with chest staples on an autopsy table may “unconstitutionally compel speech.”