Published: Nov 29, 2011 10:30 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is appealing a judge's order blocking a requirement that tobacco companies put graphic images warning about the dangers of smoking on cigarette packs.
    
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled earlier this month that the cigarette makers are likely to succeed in a lawsuit to stop a Food and Drug Administration requirement that they put images across the top half of all their packs. The images included photos of dead and diseased smokers, which Leon said went beyond conveying the facts about health risks into stop-smoking advocacy.
    
The requirement was supposed to go into effect next year. But Leon blocked it until after the lawsuit is resolved, which could take years.
    
The administration filed a notice of appeal Tuesday to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington.

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