Feds Tell Big Tobacco to Run Ad Campaigns Saying They Lied
March 18, 2011
The U.S. Justice Department wants big cigarette manufacturers to admit they lied about the dangers of smoking. This would force the industry to set up and pay for an advertising campaign apologizing for their past behavior, or face charges for contempt of court.
The move comes as part of a 12-year-old lawsuit against the tobacco industry. The government released 14 "corrective statements."
Examples of the government's proposed statements include:
"A federal court is requiring tobacco companies to tell the truth about cigarette smoking. Here's the truth: Smoking kills 1,200 Americans. Every day."
"We falsely marketed low tar and light cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes to keep people smoking and sustain our profits. Here's the truth: We control nicotine delivery to create and sustain smokers' addiction, because that's how we keep customers coming back."
In a statement, Philip Morris responded by saying, "Such a proposal is unprecedented in our legal system and would violate basic constitutional and statutory standards."