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SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration took the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 one step closer to being considered by the Supreme Court earlier this week. The FDA recently petitioned the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to revisit the court's August decision that ruled in favor of the tobacco industry and precluded the FDA from mandating that graphic images depicting the consequences of smoking be placed on all cigarette packaging.
"The government’s interest in effectively communicating the health risks of smoking cannot be overstated," the agency argued, noting that the magnitude of the public health harm is nicotine addiction and that most smokers become hooked prior to their 18th birthday. "Children and adolescents, unable to assess the addictiveness and consequences of smoking, dominate the ranks of new smokers," the agency stated. "The evidence before Congress and the voluminous literature reviewed in the FDA rulemaking establish that cigarette health warnings with graphics are far more effective in communicating health-risk information than are health warnings with text alone."
Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, which publishes a blog regarding the FDA, posted a complete copy of the FDA's filing here.