Does Limited Cigarette Marketing Restrict Free Speech?

By Matt Van Hoven 

The imbroglio between proponents of the recently passed law allowing the FDA to regulate &#151 everything &#151 related to the tobacco industry (most notably for you, the advertising of tobacco products) could come to a head if the law is found to inhibit free speech.

Though it covers many aspects of the tobacco industry, like what can be added to it, the most relevant to you is a ban on advertising within 1,000 feet of schools, modifications to point-of-sale displays and sponsorships.


AP: “Any remaining tobacco-related sponsorships of sports and entertainment events will be banned, as will giveaways of non-tobacco items with the purchase of a tobacco product. A federal ban will be imposed on all outdoor tobacco advertising within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds.

“Point-of-sale advertising will be limited to adults-only facilities, and remaining vending machines will disappear except in places restricted to adults. Retailers who sell to minors will be subject to federal enforcement and penalties.”

The Association of National Advertisers is one of the most outspoken groups in the fight against the advertising language of this law, which was signed by President Obama.

In a NY Times piece, ANA EVP Daniel Jaffe said, “Anybody looking at this in a fair way would say the effort here is not just to protect kids, which is a substantial interest of the country, but to make it virtually impossible to communicate with anybody. We think this creates very serious problems for the First Amendment.”

Drafters of the law say they focused a great deal of time on the language so that it complies with the First Amendment.

We think this is an interesting subject because the FDA’s goal aims to eradicate (over a long period of time) the use of tobacco all together.

Does Restricted ad placement limit free speech?(surveys)

Note to Cig Manufacturers: Stop Advertising