Cases & Deals

Tobacco manufacturers and retailers win second postponement of FDA graphic warnings rule

Clients R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

Jones Day is representing R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and other clients in a lawsuit challenging a new Food and Drug Administration rule that would require large graphic warnings with disturbing images to appear on cigarette packages and advertising. As the complaint explains, the graphic warnings rule and the underlying graphic warnings requirement of the Tobacco Control Act violate the First Amendment's prohibition on compelled speech. The complaint also contends that FDA's promulgation of the rule was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA"); that FDA further violated the APA by failing to provide meaningful notice or an opportunity for the public to comment; and that the rule contravenes the Tobacco Control Act.

The district court previously granted a joint motion requesting that the rule's effective date be postponed for 120 days, and the district court recently granted Plaintiffs' motion for an additional 90-day postponement. In total, the district court has now put the rule's effective date on hold, on a nationwide basis, for seven months because Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits and would be irreparably harmed absent a postponement of the rule.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, et al., No. 6-20-cv-176 (E.D. Tex.)