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Cigarette pre-emption claims up in smoke

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

The Supreme Court rules 5-4 that smokers can sue tobacco companies alleging advertising for "light" cigarettes was deceptive, rejecting Philip Morris' argument that state law claims are pre-empted by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act. The court says there is no conflict between state law and federal law, which neither expressly nor implicitly pre-empts fraud claims. The decision does not reveal how the court will rule in Wyeth v. Levine, concerning the drug industry's defense that FDA labeling regulations pre-empt state tort claims (1"The Tan Sheet" Nov. 10, 2008, p. 20). In a sign the cases are different, the U.S. Solicitor General submitted a brief opposing Philip Morris' claim, but argues for pre-emption in Wyeth v. Levine
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