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U.S. Judge Orders Tobacco Companies To Publicly Admit They Lied About The Dangers Of Smoking
November 28, 2012
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A big ruling in the United States against American tobacco companies.

A U.S. federal court judge has ordered the companies to pay for ads acknowledging they lied about the health dangers of smoking.

The ruling was part of a government racketeering case against leading cigarette companies originally brought in September 1999.

In 2006, the judge ruled that the companies violated racketeering laws by deceiving the public for decades, and were ordered to publish "corrective statements" on five topics including...

The health risks of smoking, the addictiveness of smoking, and the fact there was no health benefit in smoking 'light' cigarettes.

The judge said each statement has to begin with wording that the tobacco companies "deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of smoking."

And they have to make it clear that a court has ordered them to make this statement and include the sentence "Here is the truth."

Here are some of the statements that will be part of the campaign:

"Smoking kills, on average, 1,200 Americans. Every day."

"Defendant tobacco companies intentionally designed cigarettes to make them more addictive."

"More people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol, combined."

"Cigarette companies intentionally designed cigarettes with enough nicotine to create and sustain addiction."

"When you smoke, the nicotine actually changes the brain - that's why quitting is so hard."

The exact wording had been held up, as tobacco companies fought to have the word "deceived" taken out, and argued that the statements amount to "forced public confessions".

The U.S. justice department plans to meet with the companies next month to talk about how to run the statements on cigarette packs, websites, on TV or in newspapers.

It's not clear yet which media will carry the statements and how much they will cost.

Some of the companies involved in the case include Philip Morris US, a subsidiary of the Altria Group; RJ Reynolds Tobacco and Lorillard Tobacco Company.

The companies can appeal. Several of them say they're studying the ruling.

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