Justices turn down smokers' lawsuit against tobacco companies..

March 18, 2008 - Justices turn down smokers' lawsuit against tobacco companies.. The Supreme Court declined Monday (March 17, 2008) to consider a lawsuit accusing tobacco companies of turning minors into smokers by targeting them with cigarette advertising. The California Supreme Court (The California case is Daniels v. Philip Morris USA Inc., 07-740.) ruled against the smokers last August 2007, saying a federal law on cigarette advertising and the companies' First Amendment rights to commercial speech allow the marketing campaigns. At issue is whether the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act pre-empts California law. The federal law confirms the authority of the Federal Trade Commission to regulate unfair or deceptive practices in cigarette advertising. The smokers sued under California law barring unfair competition. The competition is alleged to be unfair in this case because competing tobacco companies that respect state law operate at a disadvantage. Urging the Supreme Court to turn down the case, the tobacco companies say the federal law pre-empts any state law prohibition on cigarette ads if the prohibition is based on smoking and health. Related news brief: U.S. Supreme Court Declares Maine Online Tobacco Sales Law Null.. Click on image to enlarge..