In January 1999, the Attorney General of Massachusetts promulgated comprehensive regulations governing the advertising and sale of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and cigars. 940 Code of Mass. Regs. §§ 21.01-21.07, 22.01-22.09 (2000). Petitioners, a group of cigarette, smokeless tobacco, and cigar manufacturers and retailers, filed suit in Federal District Court claiming that the regulations violate federal law and the United States Constitution. In large measure, the District Court determined that the regulations are valid and enforceable. The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part, concluding that the regulations are not pre-empted by federal law and do not violate the First Amendment. The first question presented for our review is whether certain cigarette advertising regulations are pre-empted by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (FCLAA), 79 Stat. 282, as amended, 15 U. S. C. § 1331 et seq. The second question presented is whether certain regulations governing the advertising and sale of tobacco products violate the First Amendment.
In November 1998, Massachusetts, along with over 40 other States, reached a landmark agreement with major manufacturers in the cigarette industry. The signatory States settled their claims against these companies in exchange for monetary payments and permanent injunctive relief. See App. 253-258 (Outline of Terms for Massachusetts in National Tobacco Settlement); Master Settlement Agreement (Nov. 23, 1998), http://www.naag.org. At the press conference covering Massachusetts' decision to sign the agreement, then-Attorney General Scott Harshbarger announced that as one of his last acts in office, he would create consumer protection regulations to restrict advertising and sales practices for tobacco products. He explained that the regulations were necessary in order to "close holes" in the settlement agreement and "to stop Big Tobacco from recruiting new customers among the children of Massachusetts." App. 251.
In January 1999, pursuant to his authority to prevent unfair or deceptive practices in trade, Mass. Gen. Laws, ch. 93A, § 2 (1997), the Massachusetts Attorney General (Attorney General) promulgated regulations governing the sale and advertisement of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and cigars. The purpose of the cigarette and smokeless tobacco regulations is "to eliminate deception and unfairness in the way cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products are marketed, sold and distributed in Massachusetts in order to address the incidence of cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco use by children under legal age . . . [and] in order to prevent access to such products by underage consumers." 940 Code of Mass. Regs. § 21.01 (2000). The similar purpose of the cigar regulations is "to eliminate deception and unfairness in the way cigars and little cigars are packaged, marketed, sold and distributed in Massachusetts [so that] . . . consumers may be adequately informed about the health
The cigarette and smokeless tobacco regulations being challenged before this Court provide:
. . . . .
The cigar regulations that are still at issue provide:
. . . . .
"(c) Using self-service displays of cigars or little cigars;
The term "advertisement" is defined as:
Before the effective date of the regulations, February 1, 2000, members of the tobacco industry sued the Attorney General in the United States District Court for the District
In its first ruling, the District Court considered the Supremacy Clause claim that the FCLAA, 15 U. S. C. § 1331 et seq., pre-empts the cigarette advertising regulations. 76 F. Supp. 2d, at 128-134. The FCLAA prescribes the health warnings that must appear on packaging and in advertisements for cigarettes. The FCLAA contains a pre-emption provision that prohibits a State from imposing any "requirement or prohibition based on smoking and health . . . with respect to the advertising or promotion of . . . cigarettes." § 1334(b). The FCLAA's pre-emption provision does not cover smokeless tobacco or cigars.
The District Court explained that the central question for purposes of pre-emption is whether the regulations create a predicate legal duty based on smoking and health. The court reasoned that to read the pre-emption provision to proscribe any state advertising regulation enacted due to health concerns about smoking would expand Congress' purpose beyond a reasonable scope and leave States powerless to regulate in the area. The court concluded that restrictions on the location of advertising are not based on smoking and health and thus are not pre-empted by the FCLAA. The District Court also concluded that a provision that permitted retailers to display a black and white "tombstone" sign reading "Tobacco Products Sold Here," 940 Code of Mass. Regs. § 21.04(6) (2000), was pre-empted by the FCLAA.
The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued a stay pending appeal, App. 8-9, and affirmed in part and reversed in part the District Court's judgment, Consolidated Cigar Corp. v. Reilly, 218 F.3d 30 (2000). With respect to the Supremacy Clause, the Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's ruling that the Attorney General's cigarette advertising regulations are not preempted by the FCLAA. The First Circuit was persuaded by the reasoning of the Second and Seventh Circuits, which had concluded that the FCLAA's pre-emption provision is ambiguous, and held that the provision pre-empts regulations
With respect to the First Amendment, the Court of Appeals applied the Central Hudson test. 447 U.S. 557 (1980). The court held that the outdoor advertising regulations do not violate the First Amendment. The court concluded that the restriction on outdoor advertising within 1,000 feet of a school or playground directly advances the State's substantial interest in preventing tobacco use by minors. The court also found that the outdoor advertising regulations restrict no more speech than necessary, reasoning that the distance chosen by the Attorney General is the sort of determination better suited for legislative and executive decisionmakers than courts. The Court of Appeals reversed the District Court's invalidation of the point-of-sale advertising regulations, again concluding that the Attorney General is better suited to determine what restrictions are necessary. The Court of Appeals also held that the sales practices regulations are valid under the First Amendment. The court found that the regulations directly advance the State's interest in preventing minors' access to tobacco products and that the regulations are narrowly tailored because retailers have a variety of other means to present the packaging of their products and to allow customers to examine the products.
As for the argument that smokeless tobacco and cigars are different from cigarettes, the court expressed some misgivings about equating all tobacco products, but ultimately decided that the Attorney General had presented sufficient evidence with respect to all three products to regulate them similarly. The Court of Appeals' decision with respect to the cigar warning requirements and the Commerce Clause is not before this Court.
Before reaching the First Amendment issues, we must decide to what extent federal law pre-empts the Attorney General's regulations. The cigarette petitioners contend that the FCLAA, 15 U. S. C. § 1331 et seq., pre-empts the Attorney General's cigarette advertising regulations.
Article VI, cl. 2, of the United States Constitution commands that the laws of the United States "shall be the supreme Law of the Land; . . . any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding." See also McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 427 (1819) ("It is of the very essence of supremacy, to remove all obstacles to its action within its own sphere, and so to modify every power vested in subordinate governments"). This relatively clear and simple mandate has generated considerable discussion in cases where we have had to discern whether Congress has pre-empted state action in a particular
In the FCLAA, Congress has crafted a comprehensive federal scheme governing the advertising and promotion of cigarettes. The FCLAA's pre-emption provision provides:
"(a) Additional statements "No statement relating to smoking and health, other than the statement required by section 1333 of this title, shall be required on any cigarette package.
"(b) State regulations
The FCLAA's pre-emption provision does not cover smokeless tobacco or cigars.
In these cases, our task is to identify the domain expressly pre-empted, see Cipollone, supra, at 517, because "an express definition of the pre-emptive reach of a statute . . . supports a reasonable inference . . . that Congress did not intend to pre-empt other matters," Freightliner Corp. v. Myrick, 514 U.S. 280, 288 (1995). Congressional purpose is the "ultimate touchstone" of our inquiry. Cipollone, supra, at 516 (internal quotation marks omitted). Because "federal law is said to bar state action in [a] fiel[d] of traditional state regulation," namely, advertising, see Packer Corp. v. Utah, 285 U.S. 105, 108 (1932), we "wor[k] on the assumption that
Our analysis begins with the language of the statute. Hughes Aircraft Co. v. Jacobson, 525 U.S. 432, 438 (1999). In the pre-emption provision, Congress unequivocally precludes the requirement of any additional statements on cigarette packages beyond those provided in § 1333. 15 U. S. C. § 1334(a). Congress further precludes States or localities from imposing any requirement or prohibition based on smoking and health with respect to the advertising and promotion of cigarettes. § 1334(b). Without question, the second clause is more expansive than the first; it employs far more sweeping language to describe the state action that is pre-empted. We must give meaning to each element of the pre-emption provision. We are aided in our interpretation by considering the predecessor pre-emption provision and the circumstances in which the current language was adopted. See Medtronic, supra, at 486; McCarthy v. Bronson, 500 U.S. 136, 139 (1991); K mart Corp. v. Cartier, Inc., 486 U.S. 281, 291 (1988).
In 1964, the groundbreaking Report of the Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health concluded that "[c]igarette smoking is a health hazard of sufficient importance in the United States to warrant appropriate remedial action." Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, U. S. Surgeon General's Advisory Committee, Smoking and Health 33. In 1965, Congress enacted the FCLAA as a proactive measure in the face of impending regulation by federal agencies and the States. Pub. L. 89-92, 79 Stat. 282. See also Cipollone, supra, at 513-515. The purpose of the FCLAA was twofold: to inform the public adequately about the hazards of cigarette smoking, and to protect the national
Section 5 of the FCLAA included a pre-emption provision in which "Congress spoke precisely and narrowly." Cipollone, supra, at 518. Subsection (a) prohibited any requirement of additional statements on cigarette packaging. Subsection (b) provided that "[n]o statement relating to smoking and health shall be required in the advertising of any cigarettes the packages of which are labeled in conformity with the provisions of this Act." Section 10 of the FCLAA set a termination date of July 1, 1969, for these provisions. As we have previously explained, "on their face, [the preemption] provisions merely prohibited state and federal rulemaking bodies from mandating particular cautionary statements on cigarette labels [subsection (a)] or in cigarette advertisements [subsection (b)]." Cipollone, supra, at 518.
The FCLAA was enacted with the expectation that Congress would reexamine it in 1969 in light of the developing information about cigarette smoking and health. H. R. Rep. No. 586, 89th Cong., 1st Sess., 6 (1965); 111 Cong. Rec. 16541 (1965). In the intervening years, Congress received reports and recommendations from the HEW Secretary and the FTC. S. Rep. No. 91-566, pp. 2-6 (1969). The HEW Secretary recommended that Congress strengthen the warning, require the warning on all packages and in advertisements, and publish tar and nicotine levels on packages and in advertisements. Id., at 4. The FTC made similar and additional
In 1969, House and Senate committees held hearings about the health effects of cigarette smoking and advertising by the cigarette industry. The bill that emerged from the House of Representatives strengthened the warning and maintained the pre-emption provision. The Senate amended that bill, adding the ban on radio and television advertising, and changing the pre-emption language to its present form. H. R. Conf. Rep. No. 91-897, pp. 4-5 (1970).
The final result was the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969, in which Congress, following the Senate's amendments, made three significant changes to the FCLAA. Pub. L. 91-222, § 2, 84 Stat. 87. First, Congress drafted a new label that read: "Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined That Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous to Your Health." FCLAA, § 4. Second, Congress declared it unlawful to advertise cigarettes on any medium of electronic communication subject to the jurisdiction of the FCC. § 6. Finally, Congress enacted the current pre-emption provision, which proscribes any "requirement or prohibition based on smoking and health . . . imposed under State law with respect to the advertising or promotion" of cigarettes. § 5(b). The new subsection (b) did not pre-empt regulation by federal agencies, freeing the FTC to impose warning requirements in cigarette advertising. See Cipollone, 505 U. S., at 515. The new pre-emption provision, like its predecessor, only applied to cigarettes, and not other tobacco products.
The FTC has continued to report on trade practices in the cigarette industry. In 1999, the first year since the master settlement agreement, the FTC reported that the cigarette industry expended $8.24 billion on advertising and promotions, the largest expenditure ever. FTC, Cigarette Report for 1999, p. 1 (2000). Substantial increases were found in point-of-sale promotions, payments made to retailers to facilitate sales, and retail offers such as buy one, get one free, or product giveaways. Id., at 4-5. Substantial decreases, however, were reported for outdoor advertising and transit advertising. Id., at 2. Congress and federal agencies continue to monitor advertising and promotion practices in the cigarette industry.
The scope and meaning of the current pre-emption provision become clearer once we consider the original preemption language and the amendments to the FCLAA. Without question, "the plain language of the pre-emption provision in the 1969 Act is much broader." Cipollone, 505 U. S., at 520. Rather than preventing only "statements," the amended provision reaches all "requirement[s] or prohibition[s] . . . imposed under State law." And, although the former statute reached only statements "in the advertising," the current provision governs "with respect to the advertising or promotion" of cigarettes. See ibid. Congress expanded the pre-emption provision with respect to the
The Court of Appeals acknowledged that the FCLAA pre-empts any "requirement or prohibition based on smoking and health . . . with respect to the advertising or promotion of . . . cigarettes," 15 U. S. C. § 1334(b), but concluded that the FCLAA does not nullify Massachusetts' cigarette advertising regulations. The court concentrated its analysis on whether the regulations are "with respect to" advertising and promotion, relying on two of its sister Circuits to conclude that the FCLAA only pre-empts regulations of the content of cigarette advertising. The Court of Appeals also reasoned that the Attorney General's regulations are a form of zoning, a traditional area of state power; therefore the presumption against pre-emption applied.
The cigarette petitioners maintain that the Court of Appeals' "with respect to" analysis is inconsistent with the FCLAA's statutory text and legislative history, and gives the States license to prohibit almost all cigarette advertising. Petitioners also maintain that there is no basis for construing the pre-emption provision to prohibit only content-based advertising regulations.
Although they support the Court of Appeals' result, the Attorney General and United States as amicus curiae do not fully endorse that court's textual analysis of the pre-emption provision. Instead, they assert that the cigarette advertising regulations are not pre-empted because they are not "based on smoking and health." The Attorney General and
Turning first to the language in the pre-emption provision relied upon by the Court of Appeals, we reject the notion that the Attorney General's cigarette advertising regulations are not "with respect to" advertising and promotion. We disagree with the Court of Appeals' analogy to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). In some cases concerning ERISA's pre-emption of state law, the Court has had to decide whether a particular state law "relates to" an employee benefit plan covered by ERISA even though the state law makes no express reference to such a plan. See, e. g., California Div. of Labor Standards Enforcement v. Dillingham Constr., N. A., Inc., 519 U. S., at 324-325. Here, however, there is no question about an indirect relationship between the regulations and cigarette advertising because the regulations expressly target cigarette advertising. 940 Code of Mass. Regs. § 21.04(5) (2000).
Before this Court, the Attorney General focuses on a different phrase in the pre-emption provision: "based on smoking and health." The Attorney General argues that the cigarette advertising regulations are not "based on smoking and health," because they do not involve health-related content in cigarette advertising but instead target youth exposure to cigarette advertising. To be sure, Members of this Court have debated the precise meaning of "based on smoking and health," see Cipollone, supra, at 529, n. 7 (plurality opinion), but we cannot agree with the Attorney General's narrow construction of the phrase.
As Congress enacted the current pre-emption provision, Congress did not concern itself solely with health warnings for cigarettes. In the 1969 amendments, Congress not only
The context in which Congress crafted the current preemption provision leads us to conclude that Congress prohibited state cigarette advertising regulations motivated by concerns about smoking and health. Massachusetts has attempted to address the incidence of underage cigarette smoking by regulating advertising, see 940 Code of Mass. Regs. § 21.01 (2000), much like Congress' ban on cigarette advertising in electronic media. At bottom, the concern about youth exposure to cigarette advertising is intertwined with the concern about cigarette smoking and health. Thus the Attorney General's attempt to distinguish one concern from the other must be rejected.
The Attorney General next claims that the State's outdoor and point-of-sale advertising regulations for cigarettes are not pre-empted because they govern the location, and not the content, of advertising. This is also Justice Stevens' main point with respect to pre-emption. Post, at 595 (opinion concurring in part, concurring in judgment in part, and dissenting in part).
The content versus location distinction has some surface appeal. The pre-emption provision immediately follows the section of the FCLAA that prescribes warnings. See 15 U. S. C. §§ 1333, 1334. The pre-emption provision itself refers to cigarettes "labeled in conformity with" the statute. § 1334(b). But the content/location distinction cannot be squared with the language of the pre-emption provision, which reaches all "requirements" and "prohibitions" "imposed under State law." A distinction between the content
Moreover, any distinction between the content and location of cigarette advertising collapses once the implications of that approach are fully considered. At oral argument, the Attorney General was pressed to explain what types of state regulations of cigarette advertising, in his view, are preempted by the FCLAA. The Attorney General maintained that a state law that required cigarette retailers to remove the word "tobacco" from advertisements, or required cigarette billboards to be blank, would be pre-empted if it were a regulation of "health-related content." Tr. of Oral Arg. 41, 42. The Attorney General also maintained, however, that a complete ban on all cigarette advertising would not be preempted because Congress did not intend to invade local control over zoning. Id., at 42-44. The latter position clearly follows from the factual distinction between content and location, but it finds no support in the text of the FCLAA's pre-emption provision. We believe that Congress wished to ensure that "a State could not do through negative mandate (e. g., banning all cigarette advertising) that which it already was forbidden to do through positive mandate (e. g., mandating particular cautionary statements)." Cipollone, 505 U. S., at 539 (Blackmun, J., joined by Kennedy and Souter, JJ., concurring in part and dissenting in part). See also Vango Media, Inc. v. New York, 34 F.3d 68 (CA2 1994) (holding pre-empted a regulation that required one public health message for every four cigarette advertisements).
Justice Stevens, post, at 595-598, maintains that Congress did not intend to displace state regulation of the location of cigarette advertising. There is a critical distinction,
Justice Stevens finds it ironic that we conclude that "federal law precludes States and localities from protecting children from dangerous products within 1,000 feet of a school," in light of our prior conclusion that the "Federal Government lacks the constitutional authority to impose a similarly motivated ban" in United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995). Post, at 598-599, n. 8. Our holding is not as broad as Justice Stevens states; we hold only that the FCLAA pre-empts state regulations targeting cigarette advertising. States remain free to enact generally applicable zoning regulations, and to regulate conduct with respect to cigarette use and sales. Infra, at 552. The reference to Lopez is also inapposite. In Lopez, we held that Congress exceeded the limits of its Commerce Clause power in the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, which made it a federal crime to possess a firearm in a school zone. 514 U. S., at 553-568. These cases, by contrast, concern the Supremacy Clause and the doctrine of pre-emption as applied in a case where Congress expressly precluded certain state regulations of cigarette advertising. Massachusetts did not raise a constitutional challenge to the FCLAA, and we are not confronted with whether Congress exceeded its constitutionally delegated authority in enacting the FCLAA.
In sum, we fail to see how the FCLAA and its pre-emption provision permit a distinction between the specific concern about minors and cigarette advertising and the more general concern about smoking and health in cigarette advertising, especially in light of the fact that Congress crafted a legislative
Although the FCLAA prevents States and localities from imposing special requirements or prohibitions "based on smoking and health" "with respect to the advertising or promotion" of cigarettes, that language still leaves significant power in the hands of States to impose generally applicable zoning regulations and to regulate conduct. As we noted in Cipollone, "each phrase within [the provision] limits the universe of [state action] pre-empted by the statute." 505 U. S., at 524 (plurality opinion).
For instance, the FCLAA does not restrict a State or locality's ability to enact generally applicable zoning restrictions. We have recognized that state interests in traffic safety and esthetics may justify zoning regulations for advertising. See Metromedia, Inc. v. San Diego, 453 U.S. 490, 507-508 (1981). See also St. Louis Poster Advertising Co. v. St. Louis, 249 U.S. 269, 274 (1919); Thomas Cusack Co. v. Chicago, 242 U.S. 526, 529-531 (1917). Although Congress has taken into account the unique concerns about cigarette smoking and health in advertising, there is no indication that Congress intended to displace local community interests in general regulations of the location of billboards or large marquee advertising, or that Congress intended cigarette advertisers to be afforded special treatment in that regard. Restrictions
The FCLAA also does not foreclose all state regulation of conduct as it relates to the sale or use of cigarettes. The FCLAA's pre-emption provision explicitly governs state regulations of "advertising or promotion."
In Massachusetts, it is illegal to sell or distribute tobacco products to persons under the age of 18. Mass. Gen. Laws, ch. 270, § 6 (2000). Having prohibited the sale and distribution of tobacco products to minors, the State may prohibit common inchoate offenses that attach to criminal conduct, such as solicitation, conspiracy, and attempt. Cf. Central Hudson Gas & Elec. Corp. v. Public Serv. Comm'n of New York, 447 U. S., at 563-564; Carey v. Population Servs. Int'l, 431 U.S. 678, 701 (1977); Virginia Bd. of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, Inc., 425 U.S. 748, 772 (1976); 60 Fed. Reg. 41330-41332 (1995) (citing evidence that industry may be attempting to induce individuals under 18 to smoke cigarettes). States and localities also have at their disposal other means of regulating conduct to ensure that minors do not obtain cigarettes. See Part III-D, infra.
The smokeless tobacco petitioners argue that if the State's outdoor and point-of-sale advertising regulations for cigarettes are pre-empted, then the same advertising regulations with respect to smokeless tobacco must be invalidated because they cannot be severed from the cigarette provisions. Brief for Petitioner U. S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. in Nos. 00-596 and 00-597, p. 4, n. 5. The District Court did not reach the severability issue with respect to the advertising provisions that are before this Court. 76 F. Supp. 2d, at 134, n. 11. The Court of Appeals also did not reach severability because that court likewise concluded that the cigarette advertising regulations were not pre-empted. 218 F. 3d, at 37, n. 3. We decline to reach an issue that was not decided below. National Collegiate Athletic Assn. v. Smith, 525 U.S. 459, 470 (1999).
By its terms, the FCLAA's pre-emption provision only applies to cigarettes. Accordingly, we must evaluate the smokeless tobacco and cigar petitioners' First Amendment challenges to the State's outdoor and point-of-sale advertising regulations. The cigarette petitioners did not raise a pre-emption challenge to the sales practices regulations. Thus, we must analyze the cigarette as well as the smokeless tobacco and cigar petitioners' claim that certain sales practices regulations for tobacco products violate the First Amendment.
For over 25 years, the Court has recognized that commercial speech does not fall outside the purview of the First Amendment. See, e. g., Virginia Bd. of Pharmacy, supra, at 762. Instead, the Court has afforded commercial speech a measure of First Amendment protection "`commensurate' " with its position in relation to other constitutionally guaranteed expression. See, e. g., Florida Bar v. Went For It, Inc.,
Petitioners urge us to reject the Central Hudson analysis and apply strict scrutiny. They are not the first litigants to do so. See, e. g., Greater New Orleans Broadcasting Assn., Inc. v. United States, 527 U.S. 173, 184 (1999). Admittedly, several Members of the Court have expressed doubts about the Central Hudson analysis and whether it should apply in particular cases. See, e. g., Greater New Orleans, supra, at 197 (Thomas, J., concurring in judgment); 44 Liquormart, Inc. v. Rhode Island, 517 U.S. 484, 501, 510-514 (1996) (joint opinion of Stevens, Kennedy, and Ginsburg, JJ.); id., at 517 (Scalia, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment); id., at 518 (Thomas, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment). But here, as in Greater New Orleans, we see "no need to break new ground. Central Hudson, as
Only the last two steps of Central Hudson `s four-part analysis are at issue here. The Attorney General has assumed for purposes of summary judgment that petitioners' speech is entitled to First Amendment protection. 218 F. 3d, at 43; 84 F. Supp. 2d, at 185-186. With respect to the second step, none of the petitioners contests the importance of the State's interest in preventing the use of tobacco products by minors. Brief for Petitioners Lorillard Tobacco Co. et al. in No. 00-596, p. 41; Brief for Petitioner U. S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. in Nos. 00-596 and 00-597, at 16; Brief for Petitioners Altadis U. S. A. Inc. et al. in No. 00-597, p. 8.
The third step of Central Hudson concerns the relationship between the harm that underlies the State's interest and the means identified by the State to advance that interest. It requires that
We do not, however, require that "empirical data come . . . accompanied by a surfeit of background information. . . . [W]e have permitted litigants to justify speech restrictions by reference to studies and anecdotes pertaining to different locales altogether, or even, in a case applying strict scrutiny, to justify restrictions based solely on history, consensus, and `simple common sense.' " Florida Bar v. Went For It, Inc., supra, at 628 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).
The outdoor advertising regulations prohibit smokeless tobacco or cigar advertising within a 1,000-foot radius of a school or playground. 940 Code of Mass. Regs. §§ 21.04(5)(a), 22.06(5)(a) (2000). The District Court and Court of Appeals concluded that the Attorney General had identified a real problem with underage use of tobacco products, that limiting youth exposure to advertising would combat that problem, and that the regulations burdened no more speech than necessary to accomplish the State's goal. 218 F. 3d, at 44-53; 84 F. Supp. 2d, at 186-193. The smokeless tobacco and cigar petitioners take issue with all of these conclusions.
The smokeless tobacco and cigar petitioners contend that the Attorney General's regulations do not satisfy Central Hudson `s third step. They maintain that although the Attorney General may have identified a problem with underage cigarette smoking, he has not identified an equally severe problem with respect to underage use of smokeless tobacco
In previous cases, we have acknowledged the theory that product advertising stimulates demand for products, while suppressed advertising may have the opposite effect. See Rubin, 514 U. S., at 487; United States v. Edge Broadcasting Co., 509 U.S. 418, 434 (1993); Central Hudson, 447 U. S., at 568-569. The Attorney General cites numerous studies to support this theory in the case of tobacco products.
The Attorney General relies in part on evidence gathered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in its attempt to regulate the advertising of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. See Regulations Restricting the Sale and Distribution of Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco Products to Protect Children and Adolescents, FDA Proposed Rule, 60 Fed. Reg. 41314 (1995); Regulations Restricting the Sale and Distribution of Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco to Protect Children and Adolescents, FDA Final Rule, 61 Fed. Reg. 44396 (1996). The FDA promulgated the advertising regulations after finding that the period prior to adulthood is when an overwhelming majority of Americans first decide to use tobacco products, and that advertising plays a crucial
In its rulemaking proceeding, the FDA considered several studies of tobacco advertising and trends in the use of various tobacco products. The Surgeon General's report and the Institute of Medicine's report found that "there is sufficient evidence to conclude that advertising and labeling play a significant and important contributory role in a young person's decision to use cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products." 60 Fed. Reg. 41332. See also Pierce et al., Tobacco Industry Promotion of Cigarettes and Adolescent Smoking, 279 JAMA 511, 514 (1998).
For instance, children smoke fewer brands of cigarettes than adults, and those choices directly track the most heavily advertised brands, unlike adult choices, which are more dispersed and related to pricing. FDA Proposed Rule, 60 Fed. Reg. 41332. Another study revealed that 72% of 6 year olds and 52% of children ages 3 to 6 recognized "Joe Camel," the cartoon anthropomorphic symbol of R. J. Reynolds' Camel brand cigarettes. Id., at 41333. After the introduction of Joe Camel, Camel cigarettes' share of the youth market rose from 4% to 13%. Id., at 41330. The FDA also identified
The FDA also made specific findings with respect to smokeless tobacco. The FDA concluded that "[t]he recent and very large increase in the use of smokeless tobacco products by young people and the addictive nature of these products has persuaded the agency that these products must be included in any regulatory approach that is designed to help prevent future generations of young people from becoming addicted to nicotine-containing tobacco products." Id., at 41318. Studies have analyzed smokeless tobacco use by young people, discussing trends based on gender, school grade, and locale. See, e. g., Boyd et al., Use of Smokeless Tobacco among Children and Adolescents in the United States, 16 Preventative Medicine 402-418 (1987), Record, Doc. No. 38, Exh. 63.
Researchers tracked a dramatic shift in patterns of smokeless tobacco use from older to younger users over the past 30 years. See, e. g., FDA Proposed Rule, 60 Fed. Reg. 41317; Tomar, Giovano, & Erickson, Smokeless tobacco brand preference and brand switching among US adolescents and young adults, 4 Tobacco Control 67 (1995), Record, Doc. No. 38, Exh. 62; Department of Health and Human Services, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People: A Report of the Surgeon General 163 (1994), Record, Doc. No. 36, Exh. 1. In particular, the smokeless tobacco industry boosted sales tenfold in the 1970's and 1980's by targeting young males. FDA Proposed Rule, 60 Fed. Reg. 41331. See also National Cancer Institute, Cigars: Health Effects and Trends, Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph No. 9, p. 16 (1998), Record, Doc. No. 39, Exh. 67. Another study documented the targeting of youth through smokeless tobacco sales and advertising techniques. Ernster, Advertising and Promotion of Smokeless Tobacco Products, National Cancer Institute
The Attorney General presents different evidence with respect to cigars. There was no data on underage cigar use prior to 1996 because the behavior was considered "uncommon enough not to be worthy of examination." Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph No. 9, at 13; FTC Report to Congress: Cigar Sales and Advertising and Promotional Expenses for Calendar Years 1996 and 1997, p. 9 (1999), Record, Doc. No. 39, Exh. 71. In 1995, the FDA decided not to include cigars in its attempted regulation of tobacco product advertising, explaining that "the agency does not currently have sufficient evidence that these products are drug delivery devices . . . . FDA has focused its investigation of its authority over tobacco products on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, and not on pipe tobacco or cigars, because young people predominantly use cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products." 60 Fed. Reg. 41322.
More recently, however, data on youth cigar use has emerged. The National Cancer Institute concluded in its 1998 Monograph that the rate of cigar use by minors is increasing and that, in some States, the cigar use rates are higher than the smokeless tobacco use rates for minors. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph No. 9, at 19, 42-51. In its 1999 Report to Congress, the FTC concluded that "substantial numbers of adolescents are trying cigars." FTC Report to Congress, at 9. See also Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Youth Use of Cigars: Patterns of Use and Perceptions of Risk (1999), Record, Doc. No. 39, Exh. 78.
Studies have also demonstrated a link between advertising and demand for cigars. After Congress recognized the power of images in advertising and banned cigarette advertising in electronic media, television advertising of small cigars "increased dramatically in 1972 and 1973," "filled the void left by cigarette advertisers," and "sales . . . soared."
Our review of the record reveals that the Attorney General has provided ample documentation of the problem with underage use of smokeless tobacco and cigars. In addition, we disagree with petitioners' claim that there is no evidence that preventing targeted campaigns and limiting youth exposure to advertising will decrease underage use of smokeless tobacco and cigars. On this record and in the posture of summary judgment, we are unable to conclude that the Attorney General's decision to regulate advertising of smokeless tobacco and cigars in an effort to combat the use of tobacco products by minors was based on mere "speculation [and] conjecture." Edenfield v. Fane, 507 U. S., at 770.
Whatever the strength of the Attorney General's evidence to justify the outdoor advertising regulations, however, we conclude that the regulations do not satisfy the fourth step of the Central Hudson analysis. The final step of the Central Hudson analysis, the "critical inquiry in this case," requires a reasonable fit between the means and ends of the regulatory scheme. 447 U. S., at 569. The Attorney General's regulations do not meet this standard. The broad sweep of the regulations indicates that the Attorney General did not "carefully calculat[e] the costs and benefits associated with the burden on speech imposed" by the regulations. Cincinnati v. Discovery Network, Inc., 507 U.S. 410, 417 (1993) (internal quotation marks omitted).
The outdoor advertising regulations prohibit any smokeless tobacco or cigar advertising within 1,000 feet of schools
The substantial geographical reach of the Attorney General's outdoor advertising regulations is compounded by other factors. "Outdoor" advertising includes not only advertising located outside an establishment, but also advertising inside a store if that advertising is visible from outside the store. The regulations restrict advertisements of any size and the term advertisement also includes oral statements. 940 Code of Mass. Regs. §§ 21.03, 22.03 (2000).
In some geographical areas, these regulations would constitute nearly a complete ban on the communication of truthful information about smokeless tobacco and cigars to adult consumers. The breadth and scope of the regulations, and the process by which the Attorney General adopted the regulations, do not demonstrate a careful calculation of the speech interests involved.
First, the Attorney General did not seem to consider the impact of the 1,000-foot restriction on commercial speech in major metropolitan areas. The Attorney General apparently selected the 1,000-foot distance based on the FDA's decision to impose an identical 1,000-foot restriction when it attempted to regulate cigarette and smokeless tobacco advertising. See FDA Final Rule, 61 Fed. Reg. 44399; Brief for Respondents 45, and n. 23. But the FDA's 1,000-foot regulation was not an adequate basis for the Attorney General
In addition, the range of communications restricted seems unduly broad. For instance, it is not clear from the regulatory scheme why a ban on oral communications is necessary to further the State's interest. Apparently that restriction means that a retailer is unable to answer inquiries about its tobacco products if that communication occurs outdoors. Similarly, a ban on all signs of any size seems ill suited to target the problem of highly visible billboards, as opposed to smaller signs. To the extent that studies have identified particular advertising and promotion practices that appeal to youth, tailoring would involve targeting those practices while permitting others. As crafted, the regulations make no distinction among practices on this basis.
The Court of Appeals recognized that the smokeless tobacco and cigar petitioners' concern about the amount of speech restricted was "valid," but reasoned that there was an "obvious connection to the state's interest in protecting minors." 218 F. 3d, at 50. Even on the premise that Massachusetts has demonstrated a connection between the outdoor advertising regulations and its substantial interest in preventing underage tobacco use, the question of tailoring remains.
The State's interest in preventing underage tobacco use is substantial, and even compelling, but it is no less true that the sale and use of tobacco products by adults is a legal activity. We must consider that tobacco retailers and manufacturers have an interest in conveying truthful information about their products to adults, and adults have a corresponding interest in receiving truthful information about tobacco products. In a case involving indecent speech on the Internet we explained that "the governmental interest in protecting children from harmful materials . . . does not justify an unnecessarily broad suppression of speech addressed to adults." Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844, 875 (1997) (citations omitted). See, e. g., Bolger v. Youngs Drug Products Corp., 463 U.S. 60, 74 (1983) ("The level of discourse reaching a mailbox simply cannot be limited to that which would be suitable for a sandbox"); Butler v. Michigan, 352 U.S. 380, 383 (1957) ("The incidence of this enactment is to reduce the adult population . . . to reading only what is fit for children"). As the State protects children from tobacco advertisements, tobacco manufacturers and retailers and their adult consumers still have a protected interest in communication. Cf. American Civil Liberties Union, supra, at 886-889 (O'Connor, J., concurring in judgment in part and dissenting in part) (discussing the creation of "adult zones" on the Internet).
In some instances, Massachusetts' outdoor advertising regulations would impose particularly onerous burdens on speech. For example, we disagree with the Court of Appeals' conclusion that because cigar manufacturers and retailers conduct a limited amount of advertising in comparison to other tobacco products, "the relative lack of cigar advertising also means that the burden imposed on cigar advertisers is correspondingly small." 218 F. 3d, at 49. If some retailers have relatively small advertising budgets, and use
In addition, a retailer in Massachusetts may have no means of communicating to passersby on the street that it sells tobacco products because alternative forms of advertisement, like newspapers, do not allow that retailer to propose an instant transaction in the way that on site advertising does. The ban on any indoor advertising that is visible from the outside also presents problems in establishments like convenience stores, which have unique security concerns that counsel in favor of full visibility of the store from the outside. It is these sorts of considerations that the Attorney General failed to incorporate into the regulatory scheme.
We conclude that the Attorney General has failed to show that the outdoor advertising regulations for smokeless tobacco and cigars are not more extensive than necessary to advance the State's substantial interest in preventing underage tobacco use. Justice Stevens urges that the Court remand the case for further development of the factual record. Post, at 601-603. We believe that a remand is inappropriate in these cases because the State had ample opportunity to develop a record with respect to tailoring (as it had to justify its decision to regulate advertising), and additional evidence would not alter the nature of the scheme before the Court. See Greater New Orleans, 527 U. S., at 189, n. 6.
A careful calculation of the costs of a speech regulation does not mean that a State must demonstrate that there is no incursion on legitimate speech interests, but a speech regulation cannot unduly impinge on the speaker's ability to propose a commercial transaction and the adult listener's opportunity to obtain information about products. After
Massachusetts has also restricted indoor, point-of-sale advertising for smokeless tobacco and cigars. Advertising cannot be "placed lower than five feet from the floor of any retail establishment which is located within a one thousand foot radius of" any school or playground. 940 Code of Mass. Regs. §§ 21.04(5)(b), 22.06(5)(b) (2000). The District Court invalidated these provisions, concluding that the Attorney General had not provided a sufficient basis for regulating indoor advertising. 84 F. Supp. 2d, at 192-193, 195. The Court of Appeals reversed. 218 F. 3d, at 50-51. The court explained: "We do have some misgivings about the effectiveness of a restriction that is based on the assumption that minors under five feet tall will not, or will less frequently, raise their view above eye-level, but we find that such [a] determination falls within that range of reasonableness in which the Attorney General is best suited to pass judgment." Id., at 51.
We conclude that the point-of-sale advertising regulations fail both the third and fourth steps of the Central Hudson analysis. A regulation cannot be sustained if it "`provides only ineffective or remote support for the government's purpose,' " Edenfield, 507 U. S., at 770 (quoting Central Hudson, 447 U. S., at 564), or if there is "little chance" that the restriction will advance the State's goal, Greater New Orleans, supra, at 193 (internal quotation marks omitted). As outlined above, the State's goal is to prevent minors from using tobacco products and to curb demand for that activity by limiting youth exposure to advertising. The 5-foot rule does not seem to advance that goal. Not all children are less than 5 feet tall, and those who are certainly have the ability to look up and take in their surroundings.
Massachusetts may wish to target tobacco advertisements and displays that entice children, much like floor-level candy displays in a convenience store, but the blanket height restriction does not constitute a reasonable fit with that goal. The Court of Appeals recognized that the efficacy of the regulation was questionable, but decided that, "[i]n any event, the burden on speech imposed by the provision is very limited." 218 F. 3d, at 51. There is no de minimis exception for a speech restriction that lacks sufficient tailoring or justification. We conclude that the restriction on the height of indoor advertising is invalid under Central Hudson `s third and fourth prongs.
The Attorney General also promulgated a number of regulations that restrict sales practices by cigarette, smokeless tobacco, and cigar manufacturers and retailers. Among other restrictions, the regulations bar the use of self-service displays and require that tobacco products be placed out of the reach of all consumers in a location accessible only to salespersons. 940 Code of Mass. Regs. §§ 21.04(2)(c)-(d), 22.06(2)(c)-(d) (2000). The cigarette petitioners do not challenge the sales practices regulations on pre-emption grounds. Brief for Petitioners Lorillard Tobacco Co. et al. in No. 00-596, at 5, n. 2. Two of the cigarette petitioners (Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation and Lorillard Tobacco Company), petitioner U. S. Smokeless Tobacco Company,
The District Court concluded that these restrictions implicate no cognizable speech interest, 84 F. Supp. 2d, at 195-196, but the Court of Appeals did not fully adopt that reasoning. The Court of Appeals recognized that self-service displays "often do have some communicative commercial function," but noted that the restriction in the regulations "is not on speech, but rather on the physical location of actual tobacco products." 218 F. 3d, at 53. The court reasoned that nothing in the regulations would prevent the display of empty tobacco product containers, so long as no actual tobacco product was displayed, much like movie jackets at a video store. Ibid. With respect to cigar products, the court observed that retailers traditionally allow access to those products, so that the consumer may make a selection on the basis of a number of objective and subjective factors including the aroma and feel of the cigars. Ibid. Even assuming a speech interest, however, the court concluded that the regulations were narrowly tailored to serve the State's substantial interest in preventing access to tobacco products by minors. Id., at 54. The court also noted that the restrictions do not apply to adult-only establishments. Ibid.
Petitioners devoted little of their briefing to the sales practices regulations, and our understanding of the regulations is accordingly limited by the parties' submissions. As we read the regulations, they basically require tobacco retailers to place tobacco products behind counters and require customers to have contact with a salesperson before they are able to handle a tobacco product.
The cigarette and smokeless tobacco petitioners contend that "the same First Amendment principles that require invalidation of the outdoor and indoor advertising restrictions
We reject these contentions. Assuming that petitioners have a cognizable speech interest in a particular means of displaying their products, cf. Cincinnati v. Discovery Network, Inc., 507 U.S. 410 (1993) (distribution of a magazine through newsracks), these regulations withstand First Amendment scrutiny.
Massachusetts' sales practices provisions regulate conduct that may have a communicative component, but Massachusetts seeks to regulate the placement of tobacco products for reasons unrelated to the communication of ideas. See O'Brien, supra, at 382. See also Pap's A. M., 529 U. S., at 289 (plurality opinion); id., at 310 (Souter, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part); Johnson, supra, at 403. We conclude that the State has demonstrated a substantial interest in preventing access to tobacco products by minors and has adopted an appropriately narrow means of advancing that interest. See O'Brien, supra, at 382.
Unattended displays of tobacco products present an opportunity for access without the proper age verification required by law. Thus, the State prohibits self-service and other displays that would allow an individual to obtain tobacco products without direct contact with a salesperson. It is clear that the regulations leave open ample channels of communication. The regulations do not significantly impede adult access to tobacco products. Moreover, retailers have other
The cigar petitioners also list Massachusetts' prohibition on sampling and free giveaways among the regulations they challenge on First Amendment grounds. See 940 Code of Mass. Regs. § 22.06(1)(a) (2000); Brief for Petitioners Altadis U. S. A. Inc. et al. in No. 00-597, at 2. At no point in their briefs or at oral argument, however, did the cigar petitioners argue the merits of their First Amendment claim with respect to the sampling and giveaway regulation. We decline to address an issue that was not sufficiently briefed and argued before this Court. See Northwest Airlines, Inc. v. County of Kent, 510 U.S. 355, 366, n. 10 (1994); Williams v. United States, 503 U.S. 193, 206 (1992); Granfinanciera, S. A. v. Nordberg, 492 U.S. 33, 38-40 (1989).
We conclude that the sales practices regulations withstand First Amendment scrutiny. The means chosen by the State are narrowly tailored to prevent access to tobacco products by minors, are unrelated to expression, and leave open alternative avenues for vendors to convey information about products and for would-be customers to inspect products before purchase.
We have observed that "tobacco use, particularly among children and adolescents, poses perhaps the single most significant threat to public health in the United States." FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 529 U. S., at 161. From a policy perspective, it is understandable for the States to attempt to prevent minors from using tobacco products before they reach an age where they are capable of weighing
In these cases, Congress enacted a comprehensive scheme to address cigarette smoking and health in advertising and pre-empted state regulation of cigarette advertising that attempts to address that same concern, even with respect to youth. The First Amendment also constrains state efforts to limit advertising of tobacco products, because so long as the sale and use of tobacco is lawful for adults, the tobacco industry has a protected interest in communicating information about its products and adult customers have an interest in receiving that information.
To the extent that federal law and the First Amendment do not prohibit state action, States and localities remain free to combat the problem of underage tobacco use by appropriate means. The judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit is therefore affirmed in part and reversed in part, and the cases are remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
It is so ordered.
Justice Kennedy, with whom Justice Scalia joins, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.
The obvious overbreadth of the outdoor advertising restrictions suffices to invalidate them under the fourth part of the test in Central Hudson Gas & Elec. Corp. v. Public Serv. Comm'n of N. Y., 447 U.S. 557 (1980). As a result, in my view, there is no need to consider whether the restrictions satisfy the third part of the test, a proposition about which there is considerable doubt. Cf. post, at 583-584 (Thomas, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment). Neither are we required to consider whether Central Hudson should be retained in the face of the substantial objections that can be made to it. See post, at 574-582 (opinion of Thomas, J.). My continuing concerns that the test gives
Justice Thomas, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.
I join the opinion of the Court (with the exception of Part III-B-1) because I agree that the Massachusetts cigarette advertising regulations are pre-empted by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, 15 U. S. C. § 1331 et seq. I also agree with the Court's disposition of the First Amendment challenges to the other regulations at issue here, and I share the Court's view that the regulations fail even the intermediate scrutiny of Central Hudson Gas & Elec. Corp. v. Public Serv. Comm'n of N. Y., 447 U.S. 557 (1980). At the same time, I continue to believe that when the government seeks to restrict truthful speech in order to suppress the ideas it conveys, strict scrutiny is appropriate, whether or not the speech in question may be characterized as "commercial." See 44 Liquormart, Inc. v. Rhode Island, 517 U.S. 484, 518 (1996) (Thomas, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment). I would subject all of the advertising restrictions to strict scrutiny and would hold that they violate the First Amendment.
At the heart of this litigation is a Massachusetts regulation that imposes a sweeping ban on speech about tobacco products. 940 Code of Mass. Regs. § 21.04(5) (2000), which governs cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, and § 22.06(5), which governs cigars, prohibit all outdoor advertising, all indoor advertising that can be seen from outdoors, and all point-ofsale advertising (even if not visible from outdoors) that is
Respondents suggest in passing that the regulations are "zoning-type restrictions" that should receive "the intermediate level of scrutiny traditionally associated with various forms of `time, place, and manner' regulations." Brief for Respondents 31. We have indeed upheld time, place, and manner regulations that prohibited certain kinds of outdoor signs, see, e. g., Members of City Council of Los Angeles v. Taxpayers for Vincent, 466 U.S. 789 (1984), and we have similarly upheld zoning laws that had the effect of restricting certain kinds of sexually explicit expression, see, e. g., Renton v. Playtime Theatres, Inc., 475 U.S. 41 (1986). But the abiding characteristic of valid time, place, and manner regulations is their content neutrality. See Ward v. Rock Against Racism, 491 U.S. 781, 791-796 (1989). In Vincent the city prohibited all signs on public property, not to suppress
The regulations here are very different. Massachusetts is not concerned with any "secondary effects" of tobacco advertising—it is concerned with the advertising's primary effect, which is to induce those who view the advertisements to purchase and use tobacco products. Cf. Boos v. Barry, 485 U.S. 312, 321 (1988) ("Listeners' reactions to speech are not the type of `secondary effects' we referred to in Renton "). In other words, it seeks to suppress speech about tobacco because it objects to the content of that speech. We have consistently applied strict scrutiny to such contentbased regulations of speech. See, e. g., Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. FCC, 512 U.S. 622, 641-643 (1994).
There was once a time when this Court declined to give any First Amendment protection to commercial speech. In Valentine v. Chrestensen, 316 U.S. 52 (1942), the Court went so far as to say that "the Constitution imposes [no] restraint on government as respects purely commercial advertising." Id., at 54. That position was repudiated in Virginia Bd. of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, Inc., 425 U.S. 748 (1976), which explained that even speech "which does `no more than propose a commercial transaction' " is protected by the First Amendment. Id., at 762 (quoting Pittsburgh Press Co. v. Pittsburgh Comm'n on Human Relations, 413 U.S. 376, 385 (1973)). Since then, the Court has followed an uncertain course—much of the uncertainty being generated by the malleability of the four-part balancing test of Central Hudson. See 44 Liquormart, 517 U. S., at 520-522 (Thomas, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment).
It should be clear that if these regulations targeted anything other than advertising for commercial products—if, for example, they were directed at billboards promoting political candidates—all would agree that the restrictions should be subjected to strict scrutiny. In my view, an asserted government interest in keeping people ignorant by suppressing expression "is per se illegitimate and can no more justify regulation of `commercial' speech than it can justify regulation of `noncommercial' speech." 517 U. S., at 518 (Thomas, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment). That is essentially the interest asserted here, and, adhering to the views I expressed in 44 Liquormart, I would subject the Massachusetts regulations to strict scrutiny.
Even if one accepts the premise that commercial speech generally is entitled to a lower level of constitutional protection than are other forms of speech, it does not follow that the regulations here deserve anything less than strict scrutiny. Although we have recognized several categories of
In explaining the distinction between commercial speech and other forms of speech, we have emphasized that commercial speech is both "more easily verifiable by its disseminator" and less likely to be "chilled by proper regulation." Virginia Bd., 425 U. S., at 772, n. 24. These characteristics led us to conclude that, in the context of commercial speech, it is "less necessary to tolerate inaccurate statements for fear of silencing the speaker," and also that it is more "appropriate to require that a commercial message appear in such a form, or include such additional information, warnings, and disclaimers, as are necessary to prevent its being deceptive." Ibid. Whatever the validity of this reasoning, it is limited to the peculiarly commercial harms that commercial speech can threaten—i. e., the risk of deceptive or misleading advertising. As we observed in R. A. V.:
In 44 Liquormart, several Members of the Court said much the same thing:
Whatever power the State may have to regulate commercial speech, it may not use that power to limit the content of commercial speech, as it has done here, "for reasons unrelated to the preservation of a fair bargaining process." Such content-discriminatory regulation—like all other contentbased regulation of speech—must be subjected to strict scrutiny.
In an effort to avoid the implications of these basic principles of First Amendment law, respondents make two principal claims. First, they argue that the regulations target deceptive and misleading speech. See Brief for Respondents 33 ("Petitioners' advertising clearly engenders `the potential for deception or confusion' that allows for regulation of commercial speech based on its content" (quoting Bolger v. Youngs Drug Products Corp., 463 U.S. 60, 65 (1983))). Second, they argue that the regulations restrict speech that promotes an illegal transaction—i. e., the sale of tobacco to minors. See Brief for Respondents 15 ("The regulations . . . exhibit a close connection to a commercial transaction the State has prohibited").
Neither theory is properly before the Court. For purposes of summary judgment, respondents were willing to assume
Respondents suggest that tobacco advertising is misleading because "its youthful imagery and . . . sheer ubiquity" leads children to believe "that tobacco use is desirable and pervasive." Brief for Respondents 33; see also Brief for United States as Amicus Curiae 7 ("[S]o many children lack the maturity in judgment to resist the tobacco industry's appeals to excitement, glamour, and independence"). This justification is belied, however, by the sweeping over inclusivity of the regulations. Massachusetts has done nothing to target its prohibition to advertisements appealing to "excitement, glamour, and independence"; the ban applies with equal force to appeals to torpor, homeliness, and servility. It has not focused on "youthful imagery"; smokers depicted on the sides of buildings may no more play shuffleboard than they may ride skateboards.
The regulations even prohibit a store from accurately stating the prices at which cigarettes are sold. Such a display could not possibly be misleading, unless one accepts the State's apparent view that the simple existence of tobacco advertisements misleads people into believing that tobacco use is more pervasive than it actually is. The State misunderstands the purpose of advertising. Promoting a product that is not yet pervasively used (or a cause that is not yet
The State also contends that tobacco advertisements may be restricted because they propose an illegal sale of tobacco to minors. A direct solicitation of unlawful activity may of course be proscribed, whether or not it is commercial in nature. See Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969) (per curiam). The State's power to punish speech that solicits or incites crime has nothing to do with the commercial character of the speech. After all, it is often the case that solicitation to commit a crime is entirely noncommercial. The harm that the State seeks to prevent is the harm caused by the unlawful activity that is solicited; it is unrelated to the commercial transaction itself. Thus there is no reason to apply anything other than our usual rule for evaluating solicitation and incitement simply because the speech in question happens to be commercial. See Carey v. Population Services Int'l, 431 U.S. 678, 701-702 (1977).
Viewed as an effort to proscribe solicitation to unlawful conduct, these regulations clearly fail the Brandenburg test. A State may not "forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action." Brandenburg, supra, at 447. Even if Massachusetts could prohibit advertisements reading, "Hey kids, buy cigarettes here," these regulations sweep much more broadly than that. They cover "any . . . statement or representation . . . the purpose or effect of which is to promote the use or sale" of tobacco products, whether or not the statement is directly or indirectly
It is difficult to see any stopping point to a rule that would allow a State to prohibit all speech in favor of an activity in which it is illegal for minors to engage. Presumably, the State could ban car advertisements in an effort to enforce its restrictions on underage driving. It could regulate advertisements urging people to vote, because children are not permitted to vote. And, although the Solicitor General resisted this implication of her theory, see Tr. of Oral Arg. 55-56, the State could prohibit advertisements for adult businesses, which children are forbidden to patronize.
At bottom, respondents' theory rests on the premise that an indirect solicitation is enough to empower the State to regulate speech, and that, as petitioners put it, even an advertisement directed at adults "will give any children who may happen to see it the wrong idea and therefore must be suppressed from public view." Brief for Petitioners Lorillard Tobacco Co. et al. in No. 00-596, p. 36. This view is foreign to the First Amendment. "Every idea is an incitement," Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652, 673 (1925) (Holmes, J., dissenting), and if speech may be suppressed whenever it might inspire someone to act unlawfully, then there is no limit to the State's censorial power. Cf. American Booksellers Assn., Inc. v. Hudnut, 771 F.2d 323 (CA7 1985), aff'd, 475 U.S. 1001 (1986).
There is a deeper flaw in the State's argument. Even if Massachusetts has a valid interest in regulating speech directed at children—who, it argues, may be more easily misled, and to whom the sale of tobacco products is unlawful— it may not pursue that interest at the expense of the free speech rights of adults.
The theory that public debate should be limited in order to protect impressionable children has a long historical pedigree:
We have held consistently that speech "cannot be suppressed solely to protect the young from ideas or images that a legislative body thinks unsuitable for them." Erznoznik v. Jacksonville, 422 U.S. 205, 213-214 (1975); accord, Bolger, 463 U. S., at 74 ("The level of discourse reaching a mailbox simply cannot be limited to that which would be suitable for a sandbox"). To be sure, in FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978), we upheld the Federal Communications Commission's power to regulate indecent but nonobscene radio broadcasts. But Pacifica relied heavily on what it considered to be the "special justifications for regulation of the broadcast media that are not applicable to other speakers." Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844, 868 (1997). It emphasized that radio is "uniquely pervasive" and "uniquely accessible to children, even those too young to read." Pacifica, supra, at 748-749 (emphasis added).
Outside of the broadcasting context, we have adhered to the view that "the governmental interest in protecting children from harmful materials" does not "justify an unnecessarily broad suppression of speech addressed to adults." Reno, supra, at 875; see also Playboy Entertainment, 529 U. S., at 814 ("[T]he objective of shielding children does not
Under strict scrutiny, the advertising ban may be saved only if it is narrowly tailored to promote a compelling government interest. See, e. g., id., at 813. If that interest could be served by an alternative that is less restrictive of speech, then the State must use that alternative instead. See ibid.; Reno, supra, at 874. Applying this standard, the regulations here must fail.
Massachusetts asserts a compelling interest in reducing tobacco use among minors. Applied to adults, an interest in manipulating market choices by keeping people ignorant would not be legitimate, let alone compelling. See supra, at 575. But assuming that there is a compelling interest in reducing underage smoking, and that the ban on outdoor advertising promotes this interest, I doubt that the same is true of the ban on point-of-sale advertising below five feet. See 940 Code of Mass. Regs. §§ 21.04(5)(b), 22.06(5)(b) (2000). The Court of Appeals admitted to having "some misgivings about the effectiveness of a restriction that is based on the assumption that minors under five feet tall will not, or will less frequently, raise their view above eye-level," 218 F. 3d, at 51, as well it might have, since respondents have produced no evidence to support this counterintuitive assumption. Obviously even short children can see objects that are taller than they are. Anyway, by the time they are 12
There is also considerable reason to doubt that the restrictions on cigar and smokeless tobacco outdoor advertising promote any state interest. Outdoor advertising for cigars, after all, is virtually nonexistent. Cigar makers use no billboards in Massachusetts, and in fact their nationwide outdoor advertising budget is only about $50,000 per year. See 218 F. 3d, at 49. To the extent outdoor advertising exists, there is no evidence that it is targeted at youth or has a significant effect on youth. The Court of Appeals focused on the State's evidence of a relationship between "tobacco advertising and tobacco use," id., at 48, thus eliding the dearth of evidence showing any relationship between cigar advertising and cigar use by minors. Respondents principally rely on a National Cancer Institute report on cigar smoking, see Brief for Respondents 39, n. 19. But that report contains only the conclusory assertion that cigars are being "heavily promoted in ways likely to influence adolescent use," and it does not even discuss outdoor advertising, instead focusing on "[e]ndorsements by celebrities," "the resurgence
Much the same is true of smokeless tobacco. Here respondents place primary reliance on evidence that, in the late 1960's, the U. S. Smokeless Tobacco Company increased its sales through advertising targeted at young males. See Brief for Respondents 39, n. 19. But this does nothing to show that advertising affecting minors is a problem today. The Court invokes the Food and Drug Administration's findings, see ante, at 559-560, but the report it cites based its conclusions on the observed "very large increase in the use of smokeless tobacco products by young people." 60 Fed. Reg. 41318 (1995). This premise is contradicted by one of respondents' own studies, which reports a large, steady decrease in smokeless tobacco use among Massachusetts high school students during the 1990's. See App. 292. This finding casts some doubt on whether the State's interest in additional regulation is truly compelling. More importantly, because cigarette smoking among high school students has not exhibited such a trend, see ibid., it indicates that respondents' effort to aggregate cigarettes and smokeless tobacco is misguided.
In any case, even assuming that the regulations advance a compelling state interest, they must be struck down because they are not narrowly tailored. The Court is correct, see ante, at 561-563, that the arbitrary 1,000-foot radius demonstrates
The loose tailoring of the advertising ban is displayed not only in its geographic scope but also in the nature of the advertisements it affects. The regulations define "advertisement" very broadly; the term includes any "written . . . statement or representation, made by" a person who sells tobacco products, "the purpose or effect of which is to promote the use or sale of the product." 940 Code of Mass. Regs. § 21.03 (2000). Almost everything a business does has the purpose of promoting the sale of its products, so this definition would cover anything a tobacco retailer might say. Some of the prohibited speech would not even be commercial. If a store displayed a sign promoting a candidate for Attorney General who had promised to repeal the tobacco regulations if elected, it probably would be doing so with the longterm purpose of promoting sales, and the display of such a sign would be illegal.
Even if the definition of "advertisement" were read more narrowly so as to require a specific reference to tobacco products, it still would have Draconian effects. It would, for example, prohibit a tobacconist from displaying a sign reading "Joe's Cigar Shop." The effect of this rule is not to make cigars impossible to find; retailers are after all allowed to display a 576-square-inch black-and-white sign reading "Tobacco Products Sold Here." § 22.06(6). Rather, it is to
The regulations fail the narrow tailoring inquiry for another, more fundamental reason. In addition to examining a narrower advertising ban, the State should have examined ways of advancing its interest that do not require limiting speech at all. Here, respondents had several alternatives. Most obviously, they could have directly regulated the conduct with which they were concerned. See, e. g., Rubin v. Coors Brewing Co., 514 U.S. 476, 490-491 (1995) (invalidating ban on disclosure of alcohol content on beer labels, in part because the Government could have pursued alternatives such as "directly limiting the alcohol content of beers"); see also 44 Liquormart, 517 U. S., at 524 (Thomas, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment) ("[I]t would seem that directly banning a product (or . . . otherwise restricting its sale in specific ways) would virtually always be at least as effective in discouraging consumption as merely restricting advertising"). Massachusetts already prohibits the sale of tobacco to minors, but it could take steps to enforce that prohibition more vigorously. It also could enact laws prohibiting the purchase, possession, or use of tobacco by minors. And, if its concern is that tobacco advertising communicates a message with which it disagrees, it could seek to counteract that message with "more speech, not enforced silence," Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357, 377 (1927) (Brandeis, J., concurring).
Underlying many of the arguments of respondents and their amici is the idea that tobacco is in some sense sui generis —that it is so special, so unlike any other object of regulation, that application of normal First Amendment principles should be suspended. See, e. g., Brief for Respondents 50
Tobacco use is, we are told, "the single leading cause of preventable death in the United States." Brief for United States as Amicus Curiae 19. The second largest contributor to mortality rates in the United States is obesity. Koplan & Dietz, Caloric Imbalance and Public Health Policy, 282 JAMA 1579 (1999). It is associated with increased incidence of diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease, ibid., and it represents a public health problem that is rapidly growing worse. See Mokdad et al., The Spread of the Obesity Epidemic in the United States, 1991-1998, 282 JAMA 1519 (1999). Although the growth of obesity over the last few decades has had many causes, a significant factor has been the increased availability of large quantities of highcalorie, high-fat foods. See Hill, Environmental Contributions to the Obesity Epidemic, 280 Science 1371 (1998). Such foods, of course, have been aggressively marketed and promoted by fast food companies. See Nestle & Jacobson, Halting the Obesity Epidemic, U. S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 115 Public Health Reports 12, 18 (2000).
To take another example, the third largest cause of preventable deaths in the United States is alcohol. McGinnis & Foege, Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 270 JAMA 2207, 2208 (1993). Alcohol use is associated with tens of thousands of deaths each year from cancers and digestive diseases. Id., at 2208-2209. And the victims of alcohol use are not limited to those who drink alcohol. In 1996, over 17,000 people were killed, and over 321,000 people were injured, in alcohol-related car accidents. U. S. Dept. of Justice, Alcohol and Crime 13 (1998). Each year, alcohol is involved in several million violent crimes, including almost 200,000 sexual assaults. Id., at 3-4.
Like underage tobacco use, underage drinking has effects that cannot be undone later in life. Those who begin drinking early are much more likely to become dependent on alcohol. Indeed, the probability of lifetime alcohol dependence decreases approximately 14 percent with each additional year of age at which alcohol is first used. Grant & Dawson, Age at Onset of Alcohol Use and its Association with DSM—IV Alcohol Abuse and Dependence, 9 J. Substance Abuse 103, 108 (1997). And obviously the effects of underage drinking are irreversible for the nearly 1,700 Americans killed each year by teenage drunk drivers. See National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1998 Youth Fatal Crash and Alcohol Facts.
Respondents have identified no principle of law or logic that would preclude the imposition of restrictions on fast food and alcohol advertising similar to those they seek to impose on tobacco advertising. Cf. Tr. of Oral Arg. 56-57. In effect, they seek a "vice" exception to the First Amendment. No such exception exists. See 44 Liquormart, 517 U. S., at 513-514 (opinion of Stevens, J., joined by Kennedy, Thomas, and Ginsburg, JJ.). If it did, it would have almost no limit, for "any product that poses some threat to
No legislature has ever sought to restrict speech about an activity it regarded as harmless and inoffensive. Calls for limits on expression always are made when the specter of some threatened harm is looming. The identity of the harm may vary. People will be inspired by totalitarian dogmas and subvert the Republic. They will be inflamed by racial demagoguery and embrace hatred and bigotry. Or they will be enticed by cigarette advertisements and choose to smoke, risking disease. It is therefore no answer for the State to say that the makers of cigarettes are doing harm: perhaps they are. But in that respect they are no different from the purveyors of other harmful products, or the advocates of harmful ideas. When the State seeks to silence them, they are all entitled to the protection of the First Amendment.
Justice Souter, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
I join Parts I, II-C, II-D, III-A, III-B-1, III-C, and III-D of the Court's opinion. I join Part I of the opinion of Justice Stevens concurring in part, concurring in the judgment in part, and dissenting in part. I respectfully dissent from Part III-B-2 of the opinion of the Court, and like Justice Stevens would remand for trial on the constitutionality of the 1,000-foot limit.
Justice Stevens, with whom Justice Ginsburg and Justice Breyer join, and with whom Justice Souter joins as to Part I, concurring in part, concurring in the judgment in part, and dissenting in part.
This suit presents two separate sets of issues. The first— involving pre-emption—is straightforward. The second—
As the majority acknowledges, ante, at 541-542, under prevailing principles, any examination of the scope of a preemption provision must "`start with the assumption that the historic police powers of the States [are] not to be superseded by . . . Federal Act unless that [is] the clear and manifest purpose of Congress.' " Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc., 505 U.S. 504, 516 (1992) (quoting Rice v. Santa Fe Elevator Corp., 331 U.S. 218, 230 (1947)); see also, e. g., California Div. of Labor Standards Enforcement v. Dillingham Constr., N. A., Inc., 519 U.S. 316, 325 (1997); Medtronic, Inc. v. Lohr, 518 U.S. 470, 475 (1996). As the regulations at issue in this suit implicate two powers that lie at the heart of the States' traditional police power—the power to regulate land usage and the power to protect the health and safety of minors—our precedents require that the Court construe the pre-emption provision "narrow[ly]." Id., at 485;
The text of the pre-emption provision must be viewed in context, with proper attention paid to the history, structure, and purpose of the regulatory scheme in which it appears
This task, properly performed, leads inexorably to the conclusion that Congress did not intend to pre-empt state and local regulations of the location of cigarette advertising when it adopted the provision at issue in this suit. In both 1965 and 1969, Congress made clear the purposes of its regulatory
In order to serve the second purpose it was necessary to pre-empt state regulation of the content of both cigarette labels and cigarette advertising. If one State required the inclusion of a particular warning on the package of cigarettes while another State demanded a different formulation, cigarette manufacturers would have been forced into the difficult and costly practice of producing different packaging for use in different States. To foreclose the waste of resources that would be entailed by such a patchwork regulatory system, Congress expressly precluded other regulators from requiring the placement on cigarette packaging of any "statement relating to smoking and health." § 1334(a). Similar concerns applied to cigarette advertising. If different regulatory bodies required that different warnings or statements be used when cigarette manufacturers advertised their products, the text and layout of a company's ads would have had to differ from locale to locale. The resulting costs would have come with little or no health benefit. Moreover, given the nature of publishing, it might well have been the case that cigarette companies would not have been able to advertise in national publications without violating the laws of some jurisdictions. In response to these concerns, Congress adopted a parallel provision pre-empting state and local regulations requiring inclusion in cigarette advertising of any "statement relating to smoking and health." § 1334(b) (1970 ed.) (amended 1970).
The Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969 (1969 Act), § 2, 84 Stat. 87, made two important changes in the pre-emption provision. First, it limited the applicability of the advertising prong to States and localities, paving the way for further federal regulation of cigarette advertising. FCLAA, § 4. Second, it expanded the scope of the advertising pre-emption provision. Where previously States were prohibited from requiring particular statements in cigarette advertising based on health concerns, they would henceforth be prohibited from imposing any "requirement or prohibition based on smoking and health . . . with respect to the advertising or promotion" of cigarettes. § 5(b), 15 U. S. C. § 1334(b).
All signs point inescapably to the conclusion that Congress only intended to pre-empt content regulations in the 1969 Act. It is of crucial importance that, in making modifications of the pre-emption provision, Congress did not alter the statement laying out the federal policies the provision was intended to serve. See 15 U. S. C. § 1331. To this day, the stated federal policies in this area are (1) to inform the public of the dangers of cigarette smoking and (2) to protect the cigarette companies from the burdens of confusing and contradictory state regulations of their labels and advertisements. See ibid. The retention of this provision unchanged is strong evidence that Congress' only intention in expanding the pre-emption clause was to capture forms of content regulation that had fallen through the cracks of the prior provision—for example, state laws prohibiting cigarette manufacturers from making particular claims in their advertising or requiring them to utilize specified layouts or include particular graphics in their marketing.
In analyzing the scope of the pre-emption provision, the Courts of Appeals have almost uniformly concluded that state and local laws regulating the location of billboards and signs are not pre-empted. See Consolidated Cigar Corp. v. Reilly, 218 F.3d 30, 39-41 (CA1 2000) (case below); Greater New York Metropolitan Food Council, Inc. v. Giuliani, 195 F.3d 100, 104-110 (CA2 1999); Federation of Advertising Industry Representatives, Inc. v. Chicago, 189 F.3d 633,
I am firmly convinced that, when Congress amended the pre-emption provision in 1969, it did not intend to expand the application of the provision beyond content regulations.
On the First Amendment issues raised by petitioners, my disagreements with the majority are less significant. I would, however, reach different dispositions as to the 1,000foot rule and the height restrictions for indoor advertising, and my evaluation of the sales practice restrictions differs from the Court's. The 1,000-Foot Rule
I am in complete accord with the Court's analysis of the importance of the interests served by the advertising restrictions. As the Court lucidly explains, few interests are more "compelling," ante, at 564, than ensuring that minors do not become addicted to a dangerous drug before they are able to make a mature and informed decision as to the health risks associated with that substance. Unlike other products sold for human consumption, tobacco products are addictive and ultimately lethal for many long-term users. When that interest is combined with the State's concomitant concern for the effective enforcement of its laws regarding the sale of tobacco to minors, it becomes clear that Massachusetts' regulations serve interests of the highest order and are, therefore, immune from any ends-based challenge, whatever level of scrutiny one chooses to employ.
Nevertheless, noble ends do not save a speech-restricting statute whose means are poorly tailored. Such statutes
To my mind, the 1,000-foot rule does not present a tailoring problem of the first type. For reasons cogently explained in our prior opinions and in the opinion of the Court, we may fairly assume that advertising stimulates consumption and, therefore, that regulations limiting advertising will facilitate efforts to stem consumption.
However, I share the majority's concern as to whether the 1,000-foot rule unduly restricts the ability of cigarette manufacturers to convey lawful information to adult consumers. This, of course, is a question of line-drawing. While a ban on all communications about a given subject would be the most effective way to prevent children from exposure to such material, the State cannot by fiat reduce the level of discourse to that which is "fit for children." Butler v. Michigan, 352 U.S. 380, 383 (1957); cf. Bolger v. Youngs Drug Products Corp., 463 U.S. 60, 74 (1983) ("The level of discourse reaching a mailbox simply cannot be limited to that which would be suitable for a sandbox"). On the other hand, efforts to protect children from exposure to harmful material will undoubtedly have some spillover effect on the free speech rights of adults. See, e. g., FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726, 749-750, and n. 28 (1978).
Finding the appropriate balance is no easy matter. Though many factors plausibly enter the equation when calculating whether a child-directed location restriction goes too far in regulating adult speech, one crucial question is whether the regulatory scheme leaves available sufficient "alternative avenues of communication." Renton v. Playtime Theatres, Inc., 475 U.S. 41, 50 (1986); Members of City Council of Los Angeles v. Taxpayers for Vincent, 466 U.S. 789, 819 (1984) (Brennan, J., dissenting); accord, ante, at 563. Because I do not think the record contains sufficient information to enable us to answer that question, I would vacate the award of summary judgment upholding the 1,000-foot rule and remand for trial on that issue. Therefore, while I agree with the majority that the Court of Appeals did not sufficiently consider the implications of the 1,000-foot rule for the lawful communication of adults, see ante, at 561-566,
There is no doubt that the 1,000-foot rule prohibits cigarette advertising in a substantial portion of Massachusetts' largest cities. Even on that question, however, the parties remain in dispute as to the percentage of these urban areas that is actually off limits to tobacco advertising. See ante, at 562. Moreover, the record is entirely silent on the impact of the regulation in other portions of the Commonwealth. The dearth of reliable statistical information as to the scope of the ban is problematic.
More importantly, the Court lacks sufficient qualitative information as to the areas where cigarette advertising is prohibited and those where it is permitted. The fact that 80% or 90% of an urban area is unavailable to tobacco advertisements may be constitutionally irrelevant if the available areas are so heavily trafficked or so central to the city's cultural life that they provide a sufficient forum for the propagation of a manufacturer's message. One electric sign in Times Square or at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge may be seen by more potential customers than a hundred signs dispersed in residential neighborhoods.
Finally, the Court lacks information as to other avenues of communication available to cigarette manufacturers and retailers. For example, depending on the answers to empirical questions on which we lack data, the ubiquity of print advertisements hawking particular brands of cigarettes might suffice to inform adult consumers of the special advantages of the respective brands. Similarly, print advertisements, circulars mailed to people's homes, word of mouth, and general information may or may not be sufficient to imbue the adult population with the knowledge that particular stores, chains of stores, or types of stores sell tobacco products.
I note, moreover, that the alleged "overinclusivity" of the advertising regulations, ante, at 578 (Thomas, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment), while relevant to whether the regulations are narrowly tailored, does not "beli[e]" the claim that tobacco advertising imagery misleads children into believing that smoking is healthy, glamorous, or sophisticated, ibid. See Brief for American Legacy Foundation as Amicus Curiae 4-5, and nn. 9, 10; Brief for City of Los Angeles et al. as Amici Curiae 4 (documenting charge that advertisements for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco target underage smokers). For purposes of summary judgment, the State conceded that the tobacco companies' advertising concerns lawful activity and is not misleading. Under the Court's disposition of the cases today, the State remains free to proffer evidence that the advertising is in fact misleading. See Virginia Bd. of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, Inc., 425 U.S. 748, 771 (1976) ("[M]uch commercial speech is not provably false, or even wholly false, but only deceptive or misleading. We foresee no obstacle to a State's dealing effectively with this problem"). I would vacate the grant of summary judgment to respondents on this issue and remand for further proceedings.
After addressing petitioners' challenge to the sales practice restrictions imposed by the Massachusetts statute, the Court concluded that these provisions did not violate the First Amendment. I concur in that judgment, but write separately on this issue to make two brief points.
First, I agree with the District Court and the Court of Appeals that the sales practice restrictions are best analyzed as regulating conduct, not speech. See 218 F. 3d, at 53. While the decision how to display one's products no doubt serves a marginal communicative function, the same can be said of virtually any human activity performed with the hope or intention of evoking the interest of others. This Court has long recognized the need to differentiate between legislation that targets expression and legislation that targets conduct for legitimate non-speech-related reasons but imposes an incidental burden on expression. See, e. g., United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968). However difficult that line may be to draw, it seems clear to me that laws requiring that stores maintain items behind counters and prohibiting self-service displays fall squarely on the conduct side of the line. Restrictions as to the accessibility of dangerous or legally restricted products are a common feature of the regulatory regime governing American retail stores. I see nothing the least bit constitutionally problematic in requiring individuals to ask for the assistance of a salesclerk in order to examine or purchase a handgun, a bottle of penicillin, or a package of cigarettes.
Second, though I admit the question is closer, I would, for similar reasons, uphold the regulation limiting tobacco advertising in certain retail establishments to the space five feet or more above the floor.
Because I strongly disagree with the Court's conclusion on the pre-emption issue, I dissent from Parts II-A and II-B of its opinion. Though I agree with much of what the Court has to say about the First Amendment, I ultimately disagree with its disposition or its reasoning on each of the regulations before us.
Briefs of amici curiae urging affirmance were filed for the State of California et al. by Seth E. Mermin and Corinne Lee Murphy, Deputy Attorneys General of California, Bill Lockyer, Attorney General, Richard M. Frank, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Herschel T. Elkins and Dennis Eckhart, Senior Assistant Attorneys General, Ronald A. Reiter, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, and Robert R. Rigsby, Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia, and by the Attorneys General for their respective jurisdictions as follows: Bruce M. Botelho of Alaska, Janet Napolitano of Arizona, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Ken Salazar of Colorado, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Robert A. Butterworth of Florida, Earl I. Anzai of Hawaii, Alan G. Lance of Idaho, Jim Ryan of Illinois, Steve Carter of Indiana, Tom Miller of Iowa, Carla J. Stovall of Kansas, Richard P. Ieyoub of Louisiana, Steve Rowe of Maine, J. Joseph Curran, Jr., of Maryland, Mike Hatch of Minnesota, Mike Moore of Mississippi, Jeremiah W. Nixon of Missouri, Mike McGrath of Montana, Frankie Sue Del Papa of Nevada, Philip T. McLaughlin of New Hampshire, John Farmer of New Jersey, Patricia Madrid of New Mexico, Eliot Spitzer of New York, Wayne Stenehjem of North Dakota, Herbert D. Soll of the Northern Mariana Islands, Betty D. Montgomery of Ohio, W. A. Drew Edmondson of Oklahoma, Hardy Myers of Oregon, Mike Fisher of Pennsylvania, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Mark Barnett of South Dakota, Paul Summers of Tennessee, John Cornyn of Texas, Mark Shurtleff of Utah, William H. Sorrell of Vermont, Christine O. Gregoire of Washington, Darrel V. McGraw, Jr., of West Virginia, and James E. Doyle of Wisconsin; for the Cities of Oakland, California, et al. by Stephen P. Berzon, Michael E. Wall, Lawrence Rosenthal, and Benna Ruth Solomon; for the City of Los Angeles et al. by Mark E. Haddad, James M. Harris, Joseph R. Guerra, and James K. Hahn; for the City of New York et al. by Michael D. Hess, Leonard J. Koerner, Elizabeth Susan Natrella, Richard M. Weinberg, and Sandra R. Gutman; for the American Legacy Foundation by A. Stephen Hut, Jr., John Payton, Patrick J. Carome, and Matthew A. Brill; for the American Medical Association et al. by Donald W. Garner; for the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids et al. by David Vladeck, Allison M. Zieve, Alan B. Morrison, and Matthew L. Myers; for the National Conference of State Legislatures et al. by Richard Ruda, James I. Crowley, and D. Bruce La Pierre; and for the Tobacco Control Resource Center, Inc., by Richard A. Daynard.
Briefs of amici curiae were filed for the State's Attorney of Dupage County, Illinois, et al. by Richard Hodyl, Jr., Joseph E. Birkett, and Nancy J. Wolfe; and for the American Planning Association by Randal R. Morrison.