Photo courtesy: FDA

For smokers it may be some time before pictures of diseased lungs or a dead smoker on an autopsy table appear on their cigarette packages.

Tom Graham with FOX News Radio affiliate WRDU in Raleigh, North Carolina explains why:

Photo courtesy: FDA

A Judge today (Monday) is blocking a Federal requirement that would have begun forcing tobacco companies to put graphic images on their cigarette packs.  The Judge in Washington ruled that it's likely the cigarette makers will succeed in a lawsuit claiming the images violate their free speech.  Tobacco companies are being mostly tight-lipped about their reaction.

"We're pleased with the Judge's ruling, and look forward to the court's final resolution in this case.  This is pending litigation; it would not be appropriate for us to comment any further."

That's Brian Hatchell of RJ Reynolds, the second largest cigarette producer in the country.  The litigation could take years until it's resolved.

In Raleigh, Tom Graham, FOX News Radio.