In December 2010, I wrote that the United States and the United Kingdom were taking two separate approaches to curbing youth cigarette smoking. The United States pushed for stronger and more graphic warning labels on the packages while the United Kingdom pushed to eliminate the power of the brand, making the packaging generic.
On Friday, a Federal court ruled that forcing tobacco marketers to include stronger warning labels, which would take up over half the area of a package of cigarettes, was in violation of the first amendment.
Friday's ruling directly conflicts with another Federal U.S. court's ruling, setting up for a major Supreme Court case that will rule whether the tobacco law passed in 2009 is violates the U.S. Constitution.
Interestingly, this case reopens the discussion of whether marketing messages fall under freedom of speech.