R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. v. U.S. Food & Drug Administration
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company et al. v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration et al., No. 6:2020cv00176 - Document 106 (E.D. Tex. 2022).
- United States
- Dec 7, 2022
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
- R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
- ITG Brands LLC
- Liggett Group LLC
- Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Inc.
- Necom, Inc.
- Rangila Enterprises Inc.
- Rangila LLC
- Sahil Ismail, Inc.
- Is Like You Inc.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Robert Califf
- Xavier Becerra
Type of Litigation
Challenge to Government Policies Relating to Tobacco Control/Public Health
Tobacco companies or front groups may challenge any legislative or regulatory measure that affects their business interests. Unlike public interest litigation, these cases seek to weaken health measures. These cases frequently involve the industry proceeding against the government. For example, a group of restaurant owners challenging a smoke free law as unconstitutional.
Tobacco Control Topics
Packaging and Labeling Measures
Measures to regulate the marketing on tobacco packages. This includes both bans on false, misleading, deceptive packaging, as well as required health warnings on packaging. (See FCTC Art. 11)
Right to Freedom of Expression
A violation of the right to expression, free speech or similar right to express oneself without limitation or censorship. The industry may claim that a regulation infringes on their right to communicate with customers and the public. Similarly, they may claim that mandated warnings infringe on their freedom to communicate as they desire.
Type of Tobacco Product
Several tobacco manufacturers, distributors, and retailers challenged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) March 2020 graphic health warning rule on First Amendment grounds. Under the challenged rule, cigarette packaging and advertisements would be required to display graphic health warnings covering 50% and 20%, respectively. While this challenge was pending, the effective date of the rule was postponed several times.
In this ruling, the judge granted partial summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, holding that the rule is invalid under the First Amendment.