What Do You Think? Legality of Government-mandated Advertisements

I’m thinking of making a new series. A lot of times I find articles that I’m just not quite sure where I stand, and I’d rather like to know your thoughts.

First one up? The legality of government-mandated advertisements. The particular question has to do with the full-color, graphic images the government is mandating tobacco companies include on every package of cigarettes. My first thought was YES, include them! But an article I read this morning pointed out that this could be seen as a First Amendment issue.

I will be the first to say that the First Amendment is often used as a legal and social broadsword with base misunderstandings of what it actually means. But in this case, the claim certainly appears valid.

So two arguments:

  1. The right of the government to force a private company to display advertising that attacks itself.
  2. The question of the slippery slope, the fine line between what a government can do and what a government should do and where that line is crossed.

I have my thoughts, but I’m really interested in yours.

What do you think?

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3 Responses to What Do You Think? Legality of Government-mandated Advertisements

  1. Sarah L. says:

    I don’t think those labels even work. Everyone knows smoking is bad for you. If the government expects them to go to those lengths, we might as well make tobacco products illegal. Perhaps Hostess should be forced to put pictures of fat people on their boxes. ;P

  2. daveloveless says:

    The article I read (I wish I had linked it….) noted that if tobacco products were a new invention, there’s no way they would have made it through the FDA approval process. It was an interesting point I hadn’t thought about, especially when considering, as the article stated, that pretty much the only reason they are legal is because we’ve used them for so long.

    I like the fat people on the boxes for Hostess. 🙂 Hopefully they’re smiling as they stuff, double-fisted of course, Hostess products down their gullets.

  3. Sarah L. says:

    I want to be the fat lady eating the Twinkies on the box. Mmmmmm ……..

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