Judge blocks graphic images on cigarette packages

WASHINGTON (AP) - A judge is blocking a federal requirement that
would have begun forcing tobacco companies next year to put graphic
images on their cigarette packages to show the dangers of smoking.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled Monday that it's likely
the cigarette makers will succeed in a lawsuit claiming the images
violate the free speech amendment to the Constitution. He is
stopping the requirement until the lawsuit is resolved, which could
take years.
The Food and Drug Administration planned to require the images
including a cloud of cigarette smoke within inches of a baby's
face; a pair of healthy lungs next to the diseased lungs of a
smoker; a smoker's stained teeth and a lip; and a dead smoker on an
autopsy table with surgical stitches in his chest.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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