Philip Morris, Inc. v. Reilly c/w United States Tobacco Co. v. Reilly

Tobacco manufacturers challenged the constitutionality of a state law requiring tobacco companies to provide the state with ingredient lists, organized by relative amounts, for all cigarettes, snuffs, and chewing tobaccos sold within the state, which would then be subject to public disclosure if the disclosure could potentially reduce risks to public health. The Court held that the law constituted an unconstitutional taking of property, finding that public disclosure of ingredients lists of the kind contemplated would expose the tobacco companies' trade secrets, compromising the reasonable investment-backed expectations of tobacco manufacturers in a manner likely to have severe economic consequences for the companies. The Court noted that, though the state's stated purpose of protecting public health may have been compelling, the law was not sufficiently tailored to promote this goal and any speculative gains were outweighed by the enormous costs that accompany loss of trade secrets. Additionally, the Court held that, because Massachusetts offered no substantial benefit to tobacco companies in exchange for voluntary disclosure of the lists, the state could not require an unconstitutional disclosure of trade secrets as a precondition to selling a legal product within the state.


Philip Morris, Inc., et al. v. Reilly, et al. c/w United States Tobacco Co., et al. v. Reilly, et al., 312 F.3d 24, United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (2002).

  • United States
  • Dec 2, 2002
  • United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit



  • Others
  • Philip Morris, Incorporated
  • United States Tobacco Company


  • Others
  • Thomas F. Reilly, Attorney General of Massachusetts

Legislation Cited

Comprehensive Smokeless Tobacco Health Education Act, 15 USC §§ 4401 - 4408

Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (as amended), 15 USC §§ 1331 - 1341

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94, Section 307B

Massachusetts Regulations Code Title 105, Section 660.200

Minnesota Statute, Section 461.17

Texas Health & Safety Code Annotated, Sections 161.351-55

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