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Court upholds graphic cigarette labels

Anti-smoking groups say tobacco kills 6,000 Oklahomans annually.

True Wallace from the Oklahoma County Tobacco Prevention said it’s hard to put into¬†perspective.

“That’s like the town of Purcell or Paul’s Valley being completely wiped off the face of the earth every single year,” Wallace said.

But the fight against smoking is making progress.

Big tobacco had fought to keep those graphic warning labels of cigarette packs.

Under a 2009 law, the FDA was given power to mandate those labels.

Tobacco industry lawyers appealed the law saying the labels violated their First Amendment rights.

Last Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit denied the appeal.

Wallace said this is a big step in the right direction.

“It is a very positive thing especially when we look at all the deceptive practices that the tobacco uses to get young children and adults hooked on tobacco,” Wallace said.

There is still a case in court regarding exactly how those ads need to be carried out.

The FDA will have to wait until that is resolved to put the warnings back on tobacco products.