The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York declared null and void the New York City resolution mandating that retailers who sell cigarettes display signs containing graphic health warnings, according to Philip Morris USA.
The court ruled that such requirements were preempted by federal law.
“We are pleased that the Court recognized that only the federal government has the power to control the content of cigarette warnings,” said Murray Garnick, Altria Client Services senior vice president and associate general counsel, speaking on behalf of PM USA. “This lawsuit is not about communicating the health effects of cigarettes, which Philip Morris USA does in a number of ways, including on its website www.philipmorrisusa.com,” said Garnick. “Rather we brought this litigation because the City’s resolution violates Congress’ mandate giving the power to regulate content of cigarette advertising and promotion to the federal government, subject to constitutional limitations.”
Individual retailers as well as the New York Association of Convenience Stores, New York State Association of Service Stations and Repair Shops and other tobacco manufacturers are party to this suit.