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At issue was whether this federal law shields Philip Morris from liability for representing that Marlboro Lights are lower in tar and nicotine than standard cigarettes and for using the “Lights” descriptor in its advertising. On June 18, 2008, the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium filed an there was no merit to Altria’s radical claim that the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act shields cigarette companies from fraud claims under state law.

Function and Role of Amicus Briefs in Public Health Litigation The Public Health Law Center and the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium play a unique role supporting public health policy by preparing amicus curiae, or friend of the court, briefs in legal cases of national importance related to public health. United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Decided: July 12, 2012 Whether Congress’s intent in enacting the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act’s preemption provision was to protect tobacco companies from “diverse, nonuniform, and confusing cigarette labeling and advertising regulations,” rather than to bar public health messaging that does not place any requirements on tobacco companies.

Our brief also debunked the tobacco industry’s theory that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a “policy” authorizing the use of health descriptors like “light” and “low tar,” and that this federal policy preempts state lawsuits.

We argued that this “implied preemption” claim is without basis since no such Federal Trade Commission “policy” exists, and we pointed out that finding FTC preemption in this case would seriously undermine the ability of states to enforce their own consumer protection and anti-fraud statutes. Supreme Court held that state law fraud claims relating to cigarette packaging and marketing are not preempted by federal law. The City and County of San Francisco (2016) Whether San Francisco's ordinance requiring a warning label on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) violates the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Briefs can also focus the court’s attention on the implications of a potential holding on an industry, group, or jurisdiction not represented by the parties.

The court has discretion to grant or deny permission of parties to file briefs as amici curiae. For example, these briefs have supported local authority to enact smoke-free ordinances or to regulate tobacco distribution, and rules requiring restaurants to provide warnings on menus about sodium content.

They sued under Maine’s Unfair Trade Practices Act, claiming that the tobacco company fraudulently advertised Marlboro Lights as conveying less tar and nicotine than regular cigarettes.

Philip Morris argued that they could not be sued under state law for deceptive advertising since the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act prohibits such lawsuits.

Supreme Court of the United States Decided: December 15, 2008 Whether tobacco companies can be sued under state law for deceptive advertising of “light” cigarettes or whether federal law prohibits such lawsuits.

The plaintiffs in this class action smoked “light” cigarettes manufactured by Philip Morris for over 15 years.

On July 12, 2012, the Second Circuit affirmed the lower court’s holding that the City’s resolution requiring tobacco retailers to place graphic warnings at the point of sale was preempted by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (FCLAA).

The court held that a product display is a type of promotion and reasoned that requiring graphic warnings be placed in close proximity to cigarette displays was essentially equivalent to requiring a warning on the display itself.

The court concluded that such interference with a display by the City was directly preempted by the FCLAA provision prohibiting states from imposing additional requirements with respect to tobacco companies’ promotional messages.