Judge’s kibosh on cig ad nausea

A judge has snuffed out the city regulation requiring that retailers post disgusting anti-smoking ads near their tobacco products or cash registers.

Manhattan federal Judge Jed Rakoff said yesterday that mandating display of the “graphic, even gruesome images” is “forbidden” by the federal law that regulates labeling and advertising of cigarettes.

“Even merchants of morbidity are entitled to the full protection of the law, for our sake as well as theirs,” Rakoff wrote.

The city Health Department adopted the law in 2009 and designed three posters urging people to “Quit Smoking Today.”

The city agreed to stay enforcement of the law after Big Tobacco filed suit in June, but word apparently never filtered down to the stores and bodegas that continued to display the ads.

“Tobacco companies that are trying to prevent these messages from being seen should be ashamed of themselves,” the Health Department said in a statement, adding the city will appeal.