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Graham Decision is an Important Win Against Preemption and Big Tobacco

On May 18, Theresa Graham v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, one of the thousands of decades-long legal battles of a former smoker’s estate against Big Tobacco, finally came to an end. The victory by the plaintiffs is notable because they were able to overcome a difficult hurdle erected by the tobacco industry: preemption.

Preemption has been a powerful legal instrument the tobacco industry has used for decades to prevent state and local actions that benefit public health, and to escape liability for its deceptive business practices. The 11th Circuit’s decision in Graham, finding no federal preemption of a state-wide ban on the sale of cigarettes, is just one step towards a tobacco-free future. Learn more in our blog.