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States Lend Support to FDA Cigarette Labeling Initiative

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States Lend Support to FDA Cigarette Labeling Initiative

A coalition of 22 states have lent their support to the Food & Drug Administration's graphic cigarette labeling policy, which was delayed in November.

Federal courts delayed the implementation of the proposed regulation, which would have forced cigarette makers to display gruesome graphics on cartons that detailed the negative health effects of smoking. Now, 22 states have filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the regulation, the Winston-Salem Journal reports.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco and Lorillard were two tobacco manufacturers that filed suit against the FDA in August, arguing the labels infringed on their right to free speech. While the proposed regulation wasn't shut down, a federal judge suggested the policy not go into play until 15 months after the litigation is settled.

"The FDA has said the public interest in conveying the dangers of smoking outweighs the companies' free-speech rights," the news source notes.

If the labels are passed, they will occupy up to 50 percent of cigarette cartons — a significant amount of space.