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"Big Tobacco" Sues NYC Over Anti-Cigarette Posters

First Posted: 06/03/10 08:11 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 05:40 PM ET

Cigarettes

A new resolution by the New York City Board of Health -- requiring cigarette merchants to publicize the health risks of smoking -- has the nation's three largest tobacco companies in a tizzy.

Phillip Morris USA, Lorillard, and Reynolds are claiming that the new "graphic campaign", which boasts images of cigarette-afflicted lungs, violate the First Amendment.

As a result, the companies behind Marlboro, Camel, and Newport are suing the city.

But the cigarette companies are not alone.

Cigarette vendors and sellers feel the initiative may "deprive retailers of the limited space available for communicating with their customers and thereby restrict their speech," and that "the signs...do not describe the risks of smoking in purely factual terms."

For now store owners might do better just complying; not following the new regulation will result in fines of up to two thousand dollars.

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Filed by Emily Tess Katz  |