WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has rejected a First Amendment challenge by tobacco companies to a 2009 law that restricts how they can market their products.
The justices on Monday left in place a ruling by the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati that upheld the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The law, for the first time, gave the federal government authority to regulate tobacco.
The challenged rules include a ban on tobacco companies sponsoring athletic, social, and cultural events or offering free samples or branded merchandise.
The industry said the law impermissibly limited its ‘‘truthful, non-misleading’’ marketing of its products to adult consumers.
The Obama administration urged the court to turn away the appeal and said the lower court’s ruling was correct.