The Tobacco Advertising Limitation

Published on January 11th, 2010 11:50
Marlboro cigarettes ads

If tobacco advertising and promotion increase cigarette consumption, they are issues for public health policy. That’s why officials from Kentucky gave the U.S Food and Drug Administration authority to control tobacco products, including a ban on color graphics and imagery in almost all tobacco advertising.

However, the officials defended most of the trade restrictions in the law, involving a need that health warning labels cover half the packaging on smoking products.

The decision was an incomplete victory for some tobacco companies that registered a lawsuit claiming their profitable free-speech rights are disregarded by some of the marketing limitations.

Congress passed legislation last year that for the first time gave the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products. U.S. District Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr. ruled that the ban on color graphics and descriptions in tobacco advertising was too wide.

The black-and-white advertising restriction was limited to text in announcement or locations such as retail stores where children can see them. McKinley also putted out a provision preventing companies from requiring that a tobacco product is safer because of FDA regulation. However, McKinley ruled that the government was justified in ordering other restrictions such as larger health warnings on cigarette packs and bans on brand-name sponsorships and free samples of tobacco products.

Two smaller tobacco companies and a tobacco retailer in Kentucky joined the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green, Ky. David Howard, a spokesman for Reynolds said: “We’re of course satisfied with the judge’s decision in finding that certain provisions of the law are not permitted. Including what we believe was one of the biggest issues in the case, the use of color and imagery in our advertising.” Howard said also that the company is considering appealing to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The primary conclusion of this research is that a comprehensive set of tobacco advertising bans can reduce tobacco consumption and that a limited set of advertising bans will have little or no effect.

By Kevin Lawson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2010 TobaccoPub. All rights reserved.

Related tags: tobacco advertising | tobacco product | Tobacco Company | tobacco consumption | tobacco use | tobacco ads

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