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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.
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.
Our brief argues that the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, which was amended in 2009 by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, does not preempt, or prohibit, the City from having such a requirement.
Joining the Consortium on this brief were Action on Smoking and Health, the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association in New York, the American Thoracic Society, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, The Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids, the Framework Convention Alliance, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, and the National Association of Local Boards of Health.