Advertisers, Tobacco Industry and Convenience Stores Charge New Cigarette Warning Labels Infringe on Free Speech

In response to the new warning labels on cigarette packs proposed last week by the US Food and Drug Administration, Dan Jaffe, the Association of National Advertisers’ exec VP for government relations, told Ad Age that the ANA thinks the proposal is unconstitutional because “the government on its own … can’t put words in the mouths of advertisers.” The second, third and fourth largest tobacco companies in the United States, Reynolds American Inc, Lorillard Inc. and Commonwealth Brands are part of a federal lawsuit that challenges the legality of the new labels. Also joining the opposition is the National Association of Convenience Stores, a group representing an industry that interacts with 160 million Americans a day. “You’re going to run into people that will not necessarily like this,” said Jeff Lenard, an NACS spokesman. “When somebody’s hungry, they get something to eat. When somebody’s thirsty, they get something to drink, and we just want to make sure that when they go in, they still want to get that.”