Big Tobacco fights NYC over anti-smoking posters

NEW YORK (AP) - The tobacco industry wants to snuff out a New York City regulation requiring cigarette retailers to post blunt warnings about the dangers of smoking.

Lorillard, Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds filed a federal lawsuit this week challenging a city health department rule that forced about 11,500 tobacco sellers to hang anti-smoking posters near their cash registers.

One version of the poster contains a picture of a rotting tooth over the slogan "Smoking causes tooth decay. Quit smoking today."

The suit says the rule violates the First Amendment, and only the federal government may put warning labels on cigarettes. New York City's health department says the tobacco industry is just trying to keep people in the dark about the dangers of smoking.

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