Gallery: A Lawsuit Disputes New Cigarette Packaging Laws

A collection of advertisements and warning on new cigarette packaging: the good, the bad, and the gruesome.

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Cigarette packs could get a lot uglier in America very soon, depending on the results of a lawsuit filed against the FDA. A group of five companies have teamed up to try and delay the implementation of a plan to slap warnings on cigarette packages advising consumers of some of the major health risks associated with smoking, BBC News reports. The 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act requires that warnings take up a full 50 percent of the face of the package. The parent companies for brands like Camel, Winston, Newport, and True are all part of the lawsuit, which alleges the warnings will leave customers feeling "depressed, discouraged and afraid" of buying packs of cigarettes.

Floyd Abrams, a lawyer for the cigarette companies, sent out a statement on the case, saying, "The government can require warnings which are straightforward and essentially uncontroversial, but they can't require a cigarette pack to serve as a mini-billboard for the government's anti-smoking campaign." He also implied the labels would violate the companies' first amendment rights.

The Canadian government already has a similar law in place. Passed in 2000, the law makes advertisements gracing the cover of cigarette packages mandatory, with warnings against the cancerous effects cigarettes can have, or other negative side effects of smoking. Here's what you can expect to appear on your pack of smokes in September 2012, when the U.S. law is currently scheduled to take effect:

All images courtesy of Health Canada. The most gruesome ads aren't available for reproduction. You can see them if you'd like. They can be viewed here, here, here, here, and here (Some of the pictures really are nasty. Do not click if you have an easily upset stomach.) Further details on the U.S. law can be found here, as well as previews of the adds to appear on American packaging.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.