In a court decision many saw coming, a U.S. judge sided with tobacco companies in ruling that mandated warning labels were unconstitutional.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration went through with a labeling law last year that would have required cigarette manufacturers to place gruesome stickers on cartons that depicted the effects of smoking, such as lung disease or gum cancer. The mandate, however, was placed on hold by a federal judge as the courts decided whether the move was legal.
On Wednesday, U.S. judge Richard Leon finally issued his verdict, proclaiming the label law was an unconstitutional violation of free speech.
"The government has failed to carry both its burden of demonstrating a compelling interest and its burden of demonstrating that the rule is narrowly tailored to achieve a constitutionally permissible form of compelled commercial speech," U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said in the ruling.
However, the Obama administration plans to appeal the decision and has already taken the injunction to the U.S. Court of Appeals.