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Health Groups Lend Support to Cigarette Warning Labels

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Health Groups Lend Support to Cigarette Warning Labels

Health groups have rallied against tobacco companies in support of the Food & Drug Administration's cigarette warning labels, The Associated Press reports.

On Wednesday, tobacco companies R.J. Reynolds Tobacco and Lorillard Tobacco went to court to protest the graphic cigarette labels proposed by the FDA, which show disturbing imagery such as sewn-up corpses of smokers or lungs charred by years of smoke.

While the tobacco industry claims the labels violate their right to freedom of speech, health groups recently asserted that the general public's health and safety should come first over their First Amendment rights.

"It is difficult to imagine any product for which the government has a stronger interest in ensuring effective warnings to consumers. ... Tobacco products are unique among consumer goods: They kill up to one-half of the people who use them as they are intended to be used," a spokesperson told the news source.

The FDA approved nine warning labels in June that will need to be placed on all cigarette packages. Long-time smokers, however, doubt the efficiency of the stickers, with many admitting they already know the dangers of the habit.