Feds seek full court review of cigarette warnings

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Cigarette warning label

Cigarette warning label (AP image)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The U.S. government is asking a federal appeals court to rehear a challenge to a requirement that tobacco companies to put large graphic health warnings on cigarette packages.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington in August affirmed a lower court ruling blocking the Food and Drug Administration requirement.

The Justice Department filed a petition Tuesday asking for the full court to rehear the case. The court rarely grants such appeals.

Some of the nation’s largest tobacco companies sued to block the mandate to include warnings to show the dangers of smoking and encourage smokers to quit lighting up.

They argued that the proposed warnings went beyond factual information into anti-smoking advocacy. The government argued the photos of dead and diseased smokers are factual.

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