Judge rules against graphic cigarette pack warnings

March 01, 2012

A judge has blocked efforts by the federal government to have vivid images of the effects of smoking emblazoned on packs of cigarettes. From Phoenix, KJZZ's Terry Ward reports.

TERRY WARD: The Food & Drug Administration wants to put graphic images on cigarette packs including a diseased lung and a corpse. But a U.S. District Judge has ruled that would violate free speech by highjacking a company’s advertising space for government advocacy. Wayne Tormala of the Arizona Department of Health Services calls the ruling a disappointment.

WAYNE TORMALA: I think the greater good would have been done with the graphic images – And that’s been proven in other areas. The fight is at a high level right now, so we just do what we can to support and provide arguments whenever we can.

WARD: Tormala says the number of smokers in Arizona has dropped to 15 percent of the adult population. He attributes that to education on the dangers of smoking and higher taxes on cigarettes.

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