High Court Strikes Down Most Tobacco Ad Limits
The high court overturned most of a U.S. appeals court ruling that upheld the regulations in Massachusetts that sharply limit public display of tobacco products.
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said for the court majority that federal law on cigarette ads preempted regulations on outdoor and point-of-sale advertising, which had been adopted in an effort to reduce smoking by minors.
She said the outdoor and point-of-sale advertising regulations relating to smokeless tobacco and cigars violate free speech rights, but sales practices regulations for all tobacco products were constitutional.
Most of the ruling was a victory for Philip Morris Cos. Inc.; R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., a unit of British American Tobacco Plc; Loews Corp.'s Lorillard Tobacco Co. Inc.; and UST Inc.'s United States Tobacco Co.