Tobacco Industry Objects to Having to Admit it Lied about Dangers of Smoking
Cigarette makers are fighting the federal government in court over advertisement language that a federal judge has ordered to better inform the public about the dangers of smoking.
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler previously ruled that tobacco companies must issue corrective statements that reveal they lied about the harm posed by their products.
The U.S. Department of Justice has proposed how the statements should read. One example states: “For decades, we denied that we controlled the level of nicotine delivered in cigarettes. Here’s the truth: Cigarettes are a finely-tuned nicotine delivery device designed to addict people.”
Tobacco lawyers claim the statements amount to “forced public confessions” and want to modify the language.
Justice Department lawyer Daniel K. Crane-Hirsch objects to the companies’ preference for generic factual statements because they would exclude the industry’s history of lying.
“These companies don’t want people to know what they have done...They would like to erase history,” Crane-Hirsch told the Associated Press.
The Justice Department also wants statements on labels that counter false claims about the alleged health benefit from “low tar,” “'ultra-light” and “mild” cigarettes, and which call attention to the negative health effects of second-hand smoke.
Kessler is still reviewing the proposed statements from the Justice Department and may make “modifications” of her own to them.
To Learn More:
Big Tobacco Says Corrective Statements Go Too Far (by Frederic Frommer, Associated Press)
Judge Tells Big Tobacco Oversight by Courts and FDA Isn’t Either/Or (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Tobacco Companies Sue over Graphic Warning Labels (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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