LOS ANGELES— Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman released the following statement in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruling finding graphic images on cigarette packages unconstitutional:
“Kids are the big losers in this decision. Graphic warning labels are much more effective than written ones in communicating to children. Over 443,000 lives are lost each year to smoking, so the tobacco industry is constantly trying to addict new smokers. We need these new labels to help our children understand the dangers and resist the tobacco industry’s marketing campaigns.
“Congress carefully evaluated the First Amendment issues involved and considered the abundance of studies on this topic when – with broad, bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate – we required FDA to issue new, more effective warning labels. I believe these new labels meet the constitutional test and should be put in place as soon as possible.
“I hope the Department of Justice will challenge this regrettable ruling – especially since the constitutionality of the new graphic warning labels has already been affirmed by another circuit.”