Three tobacco companies have sued New York City, alleging the city’s mandated anti-smoking ads violate their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech.
Corporate giants Reynolds, Philip Morris & Lorillard claim that the graphic smoking posters that must be posted by merchants selling cigarettes are unconstitutional. The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan Thursday.
The signs show cancerous lungs, a decayed tooth and a brain damaged by stroke and bear the message “Quit Smoking Today."
The tobacco companies were joined by several retail chains in the suit, which was filed in Manhattan Thursday.
New York City's Health Department is renowned for its hard-hitting anti-smoking campaign. One television ad featured a woman who had lost fingers from smoking.