Judge says Worcester can’t ban tobacco ads
City loses on free speech grounds
In a victory for three of the nation’s biggest tobacco companies, a federal court judge has ruled that a Worcester ordinance dramatically limiting advertising for tobacco products is unconstitutional. Under the regulation would have been prohibited from advertising specific cigarette brands, such as Marlboro or Camel, on signs visible from the street. Signs could only note that the stores sold cigarettes. Worcester officials said the cigarette promotions were contributing to a high incidence of tobacco use.