The federal government wants tobacco companies to admit they lied about the addictiveness of nicotine and the benefits of light cigarettes—in print, and pretty explicitly. On Wednesday, a federal judge unsealed a government proposal that would have tobacco companies cop to the lies in national ads and on cigarette packaging. The tobacco companies, which had been ordered to make the so-called "corrective statements" as part of a 2006 civil racketeering judgment, had requested the proposal be kept under wraps until they formally responded.
"We falsely marketed low tar and light cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes to keep people smoking and sustain our profits. We knew that many smokers switch to low tar and light cigarettes rather than quitting because they believe low tar and lights are less harmful. They are NOT," reads one proposed statement from the government. The tobacco companies, which argue the proposals "go beyond factual and scientific information," plan to suggest their own versions, reports the New York Times. (Read more cigarettes stories.)