“The primary complaint is that we think it violates the First Amendment for the government to require people who produce a lawful product to essentially urge prospective purchasers not to buy it,” says Floyd Abrams, a prominent First Amendment case expert who’s representing the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs include R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard, Commonwealth, Liggett, and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco.
Yeah! Why should the tobacco industry be regulated or held to any standards?! Why should their product be called out for killing people if other products aren’t called out for the ways in which they harm people? It’s not like junk foods items have nutrition information listed on their packaging or cleaning products come with poison warnings or anything. Ahem.
Tobacco companies don’t want graphic images on the sides of cigarette packaging, but according to the FDA, “Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the United States.” When my father died of lung cancer at the beginning of 2008, my mother made everyone in my family who still smoked promise that they’d quit. She’d constantly say, “Don’t give those [redacted] who killed your father another penny!”
Cigarette makers might not like it, but their product kills. What I don’t understand is, if everyone agrees that tobacco use is a public health problem, why not just make additives in cigarettes illegal? At least all-natural tobacco is less addictive, though not technically safer. Then the tobacco makers would really have something to complain about.