R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. U.S. Food & Drug Administration

Five tobacco companies challenged regulations issued by the Food and Drug Administration that would have required graphic health warnings on cigarette packages and other advertisements.  The tobacco companies claimed that the health warnings violated their right to freedom of expression, because the warnings amounted to compelled speech.  The Appellate Court found the graphic warnings violated freedom of expression and rejected the regulations.  

The Justice Department subsequently decided against appeal to the Supreme Court.  The Food and Drug Administration will redesign the warnings to more closely align with the ruling of the Court of Appeals.


  • United States
  • Aug 24, 2012
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit




Legislation Cited

Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, Public Law 111-31, June 22, 2009

Tobacco Products Regulations, 21 CFR §§ 1107.1 - 1150.17 (as amended)

Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements, 75 Fed. Reg. 69,524, 69,534 (Nov. 12, 2010)

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Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

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Type of Tobacco Product