Bloomberg News

Lorillard Sues FDA in Bid to Stop New Cigarette Warning Labels

August 17, 2011

Aug. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Lorillard Inc., the maker of Newport cigarettes, said it joined with three other tobacco companies in a legal bid to stop the agency from putting new warnings on cigarette packs.

Lorillard, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Commonwealth Brands Inc. and Liggett Group LLC filed a lawsuit yesterday in U.S. District Court in Washington, Greensboro, North Carolina-based Lorillard said in a statement. The filing couldn’t be immediately confirmed with the court.

Lorillard seeks a preliminary injunction to halt the effective date of the FDA regulation, which requires cigarette packs, cartons and advertising to display new graphic warning labels by Sept. 22, 2012, the company said. The warnings will be accompanied by pictures of rotting teeth or damaged lungs to deter smokers.

“The regulations violate the First Amendment,” Floyd Abrams, a lawyer representing Lorillard, said in the statement. “The notion that the government can require those who manufacture a lawful product to emblazon half of its package with pictures and words admittedly drafted to persuade the public not to purchase that product cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny.”

A phone message left yesterday with the FDA’s office of public affairs seeking comment on the lawsuit wasn’t immediately returned.

--Editors: Glenn Holdcraft, Andrew Dunn

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in New York at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Dunn at adunn8@bloomberg.net


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