Four tobacco companies sue FDA

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT)-Several of the nation's biggest tobacco companies are fighting back against the federal government and those graphic new warning labels for cigarettes.

They hit the FDA with a lawsuit Wednesday.

Four of the five biggest tobacco companies in the United States say these warning labels violate their free speech rights.

And the companies want these labels to stop being made!

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard Tobacco, Commonwealth Brands Incorporated, Liggett Group and Sante Fe Natural Tobacco Company are all part of the lawsuit against the FDA.

These companies say the new graphic cigarette warning labels force the companies to carry a government sponsored emotionally charged appeal to not use their legal products.

Locally based Altria, the owner of Philip Morris U.S.A., is not part of the lawsuit.

But Wednesday morning in the Times Dispatch, the company too says these warning labels go against First Amendment rights.

The FDA is not saying a word at this point about the lawsuit.

But back in June the agency said the new labels are powerful and frank warnings about the dangers of smoking.

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