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Federal Judge Blocks Anti-Smoking Images

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By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A federal mandate requiring tobacco companies to place graphic images and words on their products warning of the dangers of smoking was tossed out Wednesday by a federal judge, as a violation of free speech.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, passed in 2009, would hav required nine written warnings such as “Cigarettes are addictive” and “Tobacco smoke causes harm to children.” Also included required would be images of a corpse and smoke-infected lungs.

“Unfortunately, because Congress did not consider the First Amendment implications of this legislation, it did not concern itself with how the regulations could be narrowly tailored” to avoid restricting free speech, federal Judge Richard Leon in Washington said in his 19-page ruling.