Commonwealth Brands Delighted With Ruling on FDA Challenge

Jan 05, 2010, 17:32 ET from Commonwealth Brands, Inc.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Commonwealth Brands, Inc., the fourth largest tobacco manufacturer in the U.S. released a statement today in response to the Federal Court's decision to throw out a recent ban that was placed on the tobacco industry's advertising rights. Rob Wilkey, Senior Legal Counsel for Commonwealth Brands stated:

"We are delighted with today's ruling. We have always strongly believed that the advertising ban violated our First Amendment rights and are very pleased that the Court agreed. It is a fundamental right that we be able to communicate with our adult consumers and today's ruling will ensure this."

Commonwealth Brands, Inc. filed the First Amendment legal challenge in the United States Federal District Court in Bowling Green, KY, and was joined by RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, Lorillard, Inc., Conwood Tobacco, and other companies.

The recent advertising restrictions were a result of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, signed on June 22, 2009. In addition to the Act giving the Food and Drug Administration regulatory authority over the tobacco industry, it imposed sweeping restrictions on the industry's advertising practices, which was believed to be in violation of the companies' First Amendment right of free speech.

The case is Commonwealth Brands vs. The United States, U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky, No 09-117.

Commonwealth Brands, Inc. is the fourth largest tobacco manufacturer in the United States. Its cigarettes include Davidoff, Sonoma, Montclair and USA Gold, one of the nation's best selling brands*. Its portfolio of fine tobaccos consists of the Premier, McClintock, Rave and Bali Shag brands. The Company also manufactures a range of tobacco related products, which include Premier, Rizla, and El Rey cigarette tubes and E-Z Wider and Joker cigarette papers. Commonwealth Brands, Inc. is based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and employs over 900 people across 50 States. The Company is committed to its employees, its brands and its consumers.

*Source: Management Science Associates, Inc.

SOURCE Commonwealth Brands, Inc.