Tobacco companies in the US want a Judge to put a stop to new graphic cigarette labels that include the sewn-corpse of a smoker and pictures of diseased lungs. The companies have said that they unfairly urge adults to shun their lethal products and the warnings will cost them millions to produce.
Four of the five largest US tobacco companies sued the federal Government saying that the warnings violate their free speech rights.
The companies led by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Lorillard Tobacco Company, said the warnings no longer simply convey facts to allow people to make a decision on whether to smoke. They instead force them to put Government anti-smoking advocacy more prominently on their packs than on their own brands. They want a Judge to the labels.
One warning label which is a picture of a corpse with his chest sewed up and the words, “Smoking can kill you”, another label has a picture of a healthy pair of lungs beside a yellow and black pair with a warning that smoking causes fatal lung disease.
The lawsuit said that the images were manipulated to be especially emotional. The tobacco companies said the corpse photos were actually an actor with a fake scar while the healthy lungs were sanitized to make the diseased organ look worse.
Liam Moloney, personal injury Solicitor in Naas, Co. Kildare, said today, “It is important that all cigarette labels contain the most severe warnings as smoking is very dangerous for your health. If you have contracted lung disease as a result of smoking you may be entitled to seek compensation”.