In 2009, Congress gave the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco. The FDA responded with gusto:
The Food and Drug Administration wants large, graphic warning labels to scare smokers, but tobacco companies say that violates their right to free speech.
Diseased lungs, gnarly rotting teeth, even what appears to be the corpse of a smoker are some of the images that accompany the bold new cigarette labels the FDA requires to cover half a pack of cigarettes, front and back. The written warnings include: “Smoking Can Kill You” and “Cigarettes Cause Cancer.”
As you might expect, the cigarette companies fiercely oppose this approach, and the federal courts are grappling with this issue.
In Australia, the High Court just ruled that the cigarette companies must place gruesome labels on their packs of cigarettes.
The High Court rejected a challenge by tobacco companies who argued the value of their trademarks will be destroyed if they are no longer able to display their distinctive colors, brand designs and logos on packs of cigarettes.