Constitutional Law

Teen Smoking Suit Extinguished

  • Print

Joe Camel has made it through the eye of a needle.

The California Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit against four tobacco companies targeting ads that appeal to youths, the Recorder reports. The suit claimed the companies encouraged youths to start smoking through ads that featured icons such as Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man.

The court ruled (PDF) yesterday that the suit is pre-empted by federal law. The court said an earlier California Supreme Court ruling to the contrary had in effect been overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court. The 2001 high court decision had held a ban on cigarette billboards was pre-empted by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act.

The state supreme court also said the First Amendment bars a claim that the tobacco ads should be treated as aiding and abetting a criminal offense.

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