The legality of placing graphic warnings on cigarette packages appears to have been settled when the U.S. Supreme Court declined today to hear an appeal on the labels from a group of tobacco manufacturers, according to a story in the Winston-Salem Journal.
However, it remains unclear what the warning labels will look like or when they will debut.
A federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled in March 2012 to uphold parts of the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which restricts how tobacco products may be marketed. The FDA’s labels would cover the top half of cigarette packs.
The manufacturers, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Lorillard Inc., petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court in October to review that case. Reynolds did not have immediate comment today on the decision.
The nine labels – which include images of dead bodies, diseased lungs and gums, and cigarette smoke drifting around an infant — were chosen by the FDA in June 2011. The labels had been slated to debut last September.