On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled that it was unconstitutional to impose laws in which tobacco companies have to put graphic warning labels about the consequences of smoking, on cigarette packaging. While this ruling did not come as a surprise, it is still a disappointment. The hope was that these labels- featuring pictures of oral cancer, diseased lungs, and a tracheotomy, among others- would have an impact on the 4,000 youth who try smoking for the first time each day.
Despite this small setback, the FDA is appealing the decision, and tobacco-control efforts will continue- stronger than ever. This hopefully will serve as a reminder of not only the odds that we are up against in the tobacco industry, but also the importance and impact of targeted anti-smoking campaigns.