Cigarette companies in U.S. ordered to post court-ordered statementsStaff Writer | May 2, 2018
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia entered a consent order requiring the country’s major cigarette companies to begin posting “corrective statements” on their websites starting on Monday, June 18.
Tobacco Corrective statements
The statements address the effects of cigarette smoking and the fact that cigarettes are deliberately designed to create and sustain addiction.
As a result of a previous court order, the statements are currently running on television five times per week, and previously ran as full-page ads in about fifty newspapers across the country.
The statements specifically state, among other things:
- That smoking cigarettes causes numerous diseases and on average 1,200 American deaths every day;
- That the nicotine in cigarettes is highly addictive and that cigarettes have been designed to create and sustain addiction;
- That so-called light, low-tar, and natural cigarettes are just as harmful as regular cigarettes; and
- That secondhand smoke causes disease and death in people who do not smoke.
The corrective statements were ordered as part of a 2006 permanent injunction against cigarette companies, including Altria, its Philip Morris USA subsidiary, and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, to “prevent and restrain” further deception of the American people regarding tobacco use.
The order also applies to ITG Brands, which purchased Winston, Kool, and other c
garettes brands from companies in the case. Numerous Justice Department attorneys have played a role in this case over the years.
In the most recent phase of the litigation, the United States was represented by Trial Attorneys Daniel K. Crane-Hirsch and John (Josh) Burke of the Justice Department’s Consumer Protection Branch, and Linda McMahon of the Commercial Litigation Branch.
Six public health organizations – the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, National African American Tobacco Prevention Network and the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund – joined the Department of Justice case as intervenors in 2005. ■