Lifestyle & Belief

Tobacco companies ordered to say they lied


A Palestinian man smokes a cigarette inside his shop in the old town in the West Bank city of Jenin on Friday.



A federal judge on Tuesday ordered tobacco companies to publish corrective statements saying they lied about the dangers of smoking.

According to the Associated Press, the statements must also disclose the effects smoking has on health, including the death of, on average, 1200 people per day.

US District Judge Gladys Kessler had previously said she wanted the tobacco industry to pay for and release corrective statements in various types of advertisements, but Tuesday's ruling was the first time the details of what the statements would say were laid out, the AP also noted. 

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Each corrective ad will be prefaced by a statement that a federal court has concluded that the defendant tobacco companies "deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of smoking." 

There are five different statements that the tobacco companies will have to make part of their advertisements, reported Reuters. Among them 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."

One of the statements begins: "A federal court has ruled that the defendant tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public by falsely selling and advertising low tar and light cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes."

Kessler had previously ordered the companies to stop marketing "light" and "low-tar" cigarettes and to start making statements about the health effects of smoking, according to Bloomberg. Tuesday's ruling didn't set a deadline for the release of the ads, but the judge told the defendants to report to her by March 1 in order to devise a plan to distribute the statements.