Five cigarette companies filed a lawsuit claiming that the FDA approved new graphic health warnings, infringes on the company’s first amendment rights. Companies filing the lawsuit include R.J. Reynolds, Commonwealth and Liggett filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Food and Drug Administration, its chief, Margaret Hamburg, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

"The primary complaint is that we think it violates the First Amendment for the government to require people who produce a lawful product to essentially urge prospective purchasers not to buy it," says Floyd Abrams, a prominent First Amendment case expert who's representing the plaintiffs.

The companies asserted that the FDA, instead of creating warning labels, advocate people not to buy their products. More so requiring manufacturers to make labels discouraging people to buy the product is not legal.

Last June, the FDA released nine new labels, complete with extreme graphic photos and the phone number 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Beginning September 2012, it will be mandatory on all cigarette packaging and advertisements in the United States.

Currently, 46.6 million adults smoke in the United States. Tobacco use is responsible for about one in five deaths annually (i.e., about 443,000 deaths per year, and an estimated 49,000 of these tobacco-related deaths are the result of secondhand smoke exposure).

According to CDC, smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction).

Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the United States, and it claims almost half a million lives each year, according to FDA