Dahl v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Plaintiffs claimed that the defendant, a tobacco company, had violated multiple anti-fraud and consumer protection state laws by labelling its product as "light" and "low tar/nicotine" and thus deceiving the plaintiff.  The defendant argued that the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (FCLAA) and the regulatory measures of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) preempted the plaintiff's arguments.  The trial court found for the defendant.  On appeal, the Court reversed the trial court's decision and remanded, finding that the plaintiffs' (now appellants') claims were not preempted by FCLAA because the claims were not based on a duty “based on smoking and health,” but rather on "a broader, more general duty not to fraudulently misrepresent or deceive."  With respect to plaintiffs' claims relating to the FTC, the Court similarly found that the claims were not preempted because the FTC had not issued specific rules defining the type of advertising that violated the Act or established a clear federal policy on low tar claims.   


Dahl v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 742 N.W.2d 186, Minnesota Court of Appeals (2007).

  • United States
  • Dec 4, 2007
  • Minnesota Court of Appeals


Plaintiff Michael S. Dahl

Defendant R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Legislation Cited

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Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product