Commercial Tobacco Control Litigation

Litigation has played an important role throughout the course of the history of commercial tobacco control. Lawsuits against the tobacco industry have allowed smokers to seek compensation for their injuries. Federal and state governments have sued the tobacco industry to recover healthcare expenses and to stop the industry’s deceptive business practices. Litigation is also used by the tobacco industry to attempt to derail tobacco control policy advancements. In addition to our role in helping to defend important tobacco control policies, the Public Health Law Center has many resources to explain the history of various lawsuits and their outcomes, track ongoing litigation, and provide legal analysis for important decisions. 

The United States’ civil racketeering case against the largest cigarette manufacturers is one of the most important tobacco control lawsuits. We have many resources, designed for non-lawyers, that explain United States v. Philip Morris and its importance to tobacco control.

The Master Settlement Agreement is the result of litigation against cigarette manufacturers by the states. The settlement covers 46 states while the remaining four states (Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Texas) have individual settlements with the industry. We also have resources about Minnesota's settlement.


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Scales of justice

Commercial Tobacco Control Litigation - Case Summaries

In response to the Tobacco Control Act and the FDA’s implementation of the Act, tobacco companies have brought multiple lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the Act and of the FDA’s regulations, the composition of the FDA’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, the preemptive scope of the Tobacco Control Act, and the Deeming Rule.


Amicus Briefs Database

Amicus briefs are legal documents filed in appellate court cases by non-litigants with a strong interest in the subject matter. This database of cases in which the Public Health Law Center has participated in amicus briefs is searchable by keyword, public health topic, legal issue, state, and case status. You can also search by broad topics.