RICHMOND, Va. — The U.S. government is abandoning a legal battle to require that cigarette packs carry a set of large and often macabre warning labels depicting the dangers of smoking and encouraging smokers to quit.
Instead, the Food and Drug Administration will go back to the drawing board and create labels to replace those that included images of diseased lungs and the sewn-up corpse of a smoker, according to a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder obtained by The Associated Press. The government had until Monday to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision upholding a ruling that the requirement violated First Amendment free speech protections.
“In light of these circumstances, the Solicitor General has determined . . . not to seek Supreme Court review of the First Amendment issues at the present time,” Holder wrote in a Friday letter to House Speaker John Boehner notifying him of the decision.