Cal. Supremes extinguish tobacco co.’s fed. defense

December 23, 2005 at 7:00 am 2 comments

In a blow to cigarette giant R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co, the California Supreme Court upheld the validity of a state law restricting free distribution of cigarettes on state property. The case involved R.J. Reynolds handing out 100,000 packs of free cigarettes to a total of 14,834 adults during six events. California law prohibits giving away cigarettes on public property unless minors are barred from the grounds. The free cigarettes were given out in tents protected by security guards who admitted only adults who were carrying cigarettes. R.J. Reynolds argued that it did not violate the law because minors were barred from the tents. The court also rejected R.J. Reynolds claim that it was protected by a federal law that bars states from regulating cigarette advertising and promotions. Justice Joyce Kennard, speaking for the court, said that:

We here find no clear and manifest purpose of Congress to bar state regulation of the nonsale distribution of cigarettes to minor or adults.

But R.J. Reynolds can at least breath easier for a while. The court also noted that the $14.8 million fine on the tobacco company might be unconstitutionally excessive and sent the case back to Los Angeles County Superior Court to allow the company a second wind. The case was People ex rel. Lockyer v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and it can be found here as a pdf or here as a Word document.


Entry filed under: All Posts, Childrens Advertising, State Law.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. CJ  |  September 27, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    SACRAMENTO, CA – Assembly Bill 1585, a bill authored by Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Sally Lieber (D-San Jose), which outlaws the use of gift certificates, gift cards, and similar offers that allow cigarette companies to distribute free samples, has been approved by the Legislature and awaits action by the Governor.

    AB 1585 prohibits the use of coupons, gift certificates, gift-cards and similar offers, credits, and proofs-of-purchase in California by including these forms of advertising in the definition of ‘non-sale distribution’ of tobacco products. In addition, the bill clarifies that tobacco companies that engage in non-sale distribution by mail must verify that the recipient of the product is 18 years of age or older.

    The Governor has until October 14th at midnight to sign or veto the bill.

  • 2. bob  |  January 15, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    xp6qxw hi great site thx


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