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In Victory for Public Health, Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to Tobacco Regulation Law

Statement from Chris Hansen, President of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)

April 22, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 22, 2013 – “In a significant victory for public health, the U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear a tobacco industry challenge to a crucial lower-court decision upholding provisions of the law that gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate tobacco products.

“The Court’s announcement marks a major setback to the tobacco industry’s efforts to weaken lifesaving provisions of the historic Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The industry has tried repeatedly to undercut the authority Congress gave the FDA to require large, graphic warning labels that cover 50 percent of cigarette packs and to ban several forms of tobacco marketing that appeal to children, including brand name sponsorships, tobacco-branded merchandise such as caps and t-shirts and free samples of tobacco products.

“We were pleased that the Supreme Court will not entertain the tobacco industry’s desire to continue its deadly tactics. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals clearly agreed that Congress acted appropriately to prevent children from smoking, encourage adults to quit and save lives.

“Now that the FDA’s ability to require large, graphic warnings on cigarette packs is validated law, we urge the agency to expeditiously develop new graphic warnings. The current warning labels have not been changed in 25 years and are widely considered to be ineffective at communicating the dangers of these addictive and deadly products. Every day that the current warnings remain in place is another day in which the tobacco industry has kept effective health warnings about the deadly hazards of smoking from consumers and potential consumers.”

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit

Lauren Walens or Steven Weiss
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Phone: (202) 661-5763 or (202) 661-5711
Email: or

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