The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is being sued over its delay in issuing a final rule about graphic health warnings on cigarette packs and ads.
The legal action was launched by eight public health and medical groups — including the American Cancer Society — and several individual pediatricians. They filed suit Oct. 4 in federal court in Boston.
Besides the cancer society, the organizations involved in the lawsuit are: the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and Truth Initiative.
Under a 2009 federal law, the FDA was given until June 22, 2011 to issue a final rule on graphic cigarette warnings covering the top half of the front and back of cigarette packs, and 20 percent of cigarette advertising.
The FDA met the deadline but the specific warnings required by the agency were struck down in August 2012 by an appeals court. However, the ruling applied only to certain images proposed by the FDA and did not affect the underlying requirement of the 2009 law.