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US appeals court backs graphic cigarette labels

Federal appeals court in Ky. case upholds graphic cigarette warnings; 1 of 2 challenges to law By The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) ' A federal appeals court has upheld a law requiring new, bigger graphic warning labels on cigarette packs.

The lawsuit was filed in Kentucky. It's one of two suits by tobacco companies against the federal rules that would make them slap large images on cigarette packs depicting the health ravages of smoking.

The other case has so far resulted in a federal judge in Washington blocking the new requirement, arguing last month it violated free speech. That decision is being appealed by the government.

But on Monday, an appeals court in Ohio ruled 2-1 to uphold parts of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which also restricts how tobacco products may be marketed.

A lawyer for N.C.-based R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company did not immediately return a request for comment.

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