Federal Judge Not Letting Tobacco Industry Off That Easy

NOTE: This article has been updated with the court ruling.

The big tobacco companies are in trouble for not properly stating that cigarettes they produce that are labeled as “low tar,” “mild,” or “ultra light” aren’t actually healthier or less addictive than other cigarettes.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler is considering making these companies, the nation’s largest manufacturers of cigarettes, pay for a campaign designed to correct these statements; a campaign that will properly inform the public about the misleading labels that have been placed on cigarettes for decades.

The tobacco industry has recently argued that Judge Kessler doesn’t have jurisdiction based on a law from 2009 that gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation over the industry, but a federal judge has rejected the argument.

Update

A year later since this post was originally published, Judge Kessler made her final ruling and has ordered that tobacco companies publicly admit through advertisements that their companies have deceived consumers by making false claims regarding the dangers of cigarettes.

Several corrective statements have been ordered to be placed on cigarette labels, including:

  • “Smoking is highly addictive”
  • “Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco”
  • “When you smoke, the nicotine actually changes the brain – that’s why quitting is so hard.”

* image courtesy of Lara604

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