Tobacco companies sue over FDA cigarette warning labels

Photographs of sewn-up corpses and diseased lungs is bad for business, which is why four of the five largest U.S. tobacco firms have sued the federal government over new cigarette warnings, arguing the graphic labels contain manipulated images and will cost them millions. There seems to be no argument from them, however, that smoking indeed kills people.


R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Lorillard Tobacco Co., Commonwealth Brands Inc., Liggett Group LLC and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Inc. all filed suit Tuesday against the Food and Drug Aministration. Altria Group Inc., the parent company of Philip Morris USA, has not — probably because it's tired of being in court all the time.

"Never before in the United States have producers of a lawful product been required to use their own packaging and advertising to convey an emotionally-charged government message urging adult consumers to shun their products," reads the lawsuit, according to WUSA.

The companies say the images are manipulated — that the corpse is actually an actor with a fake scar, and that the healthy lung juxtaposed with a diseased lung was Photoshopped. I don't see why they're complaining, though. The images could be a whole lot worse.