U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court to Hear Light Cigarette Ad Dispute

  • Print

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether smokers can sue tobacco companies for allegedly deceptive ad claims for light cigarettes.

Philip Morris contends a class-action suit involving Marlboro Lights should be dismissed because it is pre-empted by the Federal Trade Commission’s regulation of cigarette advertising, Dow Jones reports.

The company’s cert petition (PDF posted by SCOTUSblog) says the FTC has authorized tobacco companies to use descriptions such as “light” or “low tar” to describe the amount of tar and nicotine in cigarettes.

The plaintiffs contend the cigarette company advertised its light cigarettes as low in tar and nicotine even though it knew smokers took deeper puffs to increase the nicotine they received, the Associated Press reports.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in Boston had allowed the lawsuit in a decision that conflicted with a ruling by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The case is Philip Morris USA v. Good.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.