RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A judge has blocked a federal requirement that would have begun forcing U.S. tobacco companies to put large graphic images on their cigarette packages later this year to show the dangers of smoking.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington ruled Wednesday that the images violate the free speech amendment to the Constitution. He had temporarily blocked the requirement in November, saying it was likely cigarette makers will succeed in a lawsuit.
The Food and Drug Administration planned to require that images such as a cloud of cigarette smoke within inches of a baby's face and a pair of healthy lungs next to the diseased lungs of a smoker appear on packs of cigarettes.
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