It’s Not New York City’s Job To Scare The Shit Out Of Smokers, Appeals Court Rules


It’s not the job of the City of New York to force tobacco retailers to display disgusting images in their stores depicting some of the more repulsive health consequences of smoking in an attempt to scare the shit out of smokers, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled today.

In 2009, the City’s Board of Health issued a resolution that would
have required tobacco retailers to display disgusting images — like those
posted above — at their stores as part of the city’s crusade to
protect you from yourself.

Unfortunately for the health nuts at the BOH, Congress enacted the
Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act in 1965, which preempts
any resolution the the BOH issues in regard to cigarette advertising.
Thus, the Court ruled that it’s the job of the federal government — not
the City of New York — to determine how to warn people about the
dangers of tobacco use.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the chief of the City’s health police, is yet to
comment on the ruling. However, his office directed us to the BOH, which
says the following about the Court’s decision:

“The City’s warning signs depicted the grisly toll of smoking and
provided helpful information about how to quit at a place where smokers
were most likely to see it. Today’s ruling is likely to reduce the
number of smokers who quit. Despite huge strides in combating smoking
in New York City, tobacco remains the City’s number one killer and we
remain committed to providing smokers with life-saving information and
resources to overcome their addiction. For help quitting smoking, call

There you have it, New York — you’re officially free to slowly kill yourself without the City’s health bullies to remind you that you’re doing it.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 10, 2012

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