Judge Orders Tobacco Firms to Admit They Lied

Companies will have to pay for ads to that effect

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Nov 27, 2012 4:55 PM CST

(Newser) – A federal judge today ordered tobacco companies to publish corrective statements that say they lied about the dangers of smoking. US District Judge Gladys Kessler previously had said she wanted the industry to pay for the statements in various types of advertisements, the result of a case brought in 1999. But today's ruling is the first time she's laid out what they will say. Each is to be prefaced by a statement that a federal court has concluded that tobacco companies "deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of smoking." Among the required statements are that smoking kills more people than murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol combined, and that "secondhand smoke kills over 3,000 Americans a year." Examples:

  • "Smoking kills, on average, 1,200 Americans. Every day."
  • "Defendant tobacco companies intentionally designed cigarettes to make them more addictive."
  • "When you smoke, the nicotine actually changes the brain—that's why quitting is so hard."
  • "All cigarettes cause cancer, lung disease, heart attacks and premature death—lights, low tar, ultra lights and naturals. There is no safe cigarette."

A smoker puffs away in this file photo.
A smoker puffs away in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)
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