LANGUAGE

Mangini v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al.

Plaintiff sued a number of tobacco companies, alleging that their use of a cartoon character on advertisements for Camel brand cigarettes had caused the sale of Camel cigarettes to surge among minors.  Plaintiff asserted, among other things, that the defendant violated the Federal Cigarette Labeling Advertising Act (Act) by not including warnings about the health risks of tobacco use.  Following the United States Supreme Court's revised interpretation of the Act, the cigarette companies claimed that the Act preempted the plaintiff's action.  A trial court agreed and dismissed the case.  However, the Court of Appeal reversed, allowing the plaintiff to amend her complaint to allege that the advertising campaign constituted an unfair business practice insofar as it had targeted minors for the purpose of inducing them to illegally purchase Camel cigarettes. The defendants appealed the preemption issue to the Supreme Court of California, which affirmed the Court of Appeal decision, ruling that Congress did not intend for the Act to preempt states from protecting minors from advertisements that encouraged them to illegally buy cigarettes.