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The court concluded that such interference with a display by the City was directly preempted by the FCLAA provision prohibiting states from imposing additional requirements with respect to tobacco companies’ promotional messages.
This decision allowed other “light” cigarette fraud cases to be brought without risk of being preempted by federal law. Whether San Francisco's Ordinance requiring a warning label on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) violates the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This is a message from the City and County of San Francisco.” This was the nation’s first ordinance requiring such warnings.
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York Decided: December 29, 2010 Whether New York City’s health regulation, Resolution § 181.19, requiring tobacco retailers to post factual health warnings where tobacco products are sold, is preempted by federal law, violates the free speech provisions of the federal and state constitutions, and exceeds the authority of the Board of Health under New York State Constitution’s separation of powers doctrine.
On September 22, 2009, the New York City Board of Health amended Article 181 of the City’s Health Code to require that “[a]ny person in the business of selling tobacco products face-to-face to consumers in New York City shall prominently display tobacco health warnings and smoking cessation signage produced by the Department [of Health].” The City created signs displaying vivid images of diseased human lungs, brains and teeth, along with smoking cessation information, and required retailers to post these signs by cash registers to discourage consumers from purchasing cigarettes.
They sued under Maine’s Unfair Trade Practices Act, claiming that the tobacco company fraudulently advertised Marlboro Lights as conveying less tar and nicotine than regular cigarettes.
Philip Morris argued that they could not be sued under state law for deceptive advertising since the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act prohibits such lawsuits.
Under the federal law, states cannot impose requirements or prohibitions based on smoking and health on the advertising or promotion of cigarettes. Supreme Court, which held, by split decision, that the state law had not been preempted.
The defendants also argued that plaintiffs’ state law unfair trade practices claims conflicted with the Federal Trade Commission’s regulatory approach as to “light” and “low tar” cigarettes, and thus were impliedly preempted as well. This case is significant because it determined whether consumers can continue to sue the tobacco industry for any form of fraudulent misrepresentation and deceptive marketing, or whether federal law preempts state lawsuits and allows manufacturers to escape legal accountability.
Because this finding resolved the case, the court did not address the First Amendment questions raised by the tobacco companies.
New York City appealed the decision to the Second Circuit.
At issue was whether this federal law shields Philip Morris from liability for representing that Marlboro Lights are lower in tar and nicotine than standard cigarettes and for using the “Lights” descriptor in its advertising. On June 18, 2008, the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium filed an there was no merit to Altria’s radical claim that the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act shields cigarette companies from fraud claims under state law.
The trial court held that the plaintiffs’ claims were preempted, but the U. We pointed out that holding otherwise would “effectively insulate cigarette manufacturers from rules governing fraud, no matter how egregious the manufacturers’ false statements or fraudulent concealment.” Indeed, were Altria’s position correct, the states of the nation would have been unable to bring the largest lawsuits of all time: the states’ tobacco litigation of the 1990s, which lead to the historic tobacco settlements.
We argue that the City’s health resolution is tailored to advance the City’s compelling interest in alerting consumers to the serious health dangers of tobacco use, and point out that the use of a graphic on anti-smoking signs significantly increases their effectiveness, the size of the signs is needed to achieve their purpose, the placement of the signs at the point of sale maximizes their effectiveness, the cessation information on the signs directly advances the resolution’s goals, and the plaintiffs’ proposed alternatives would not achieve the same level of success as the resolution’s anti-smoking signs.