WASHINGTON — A federal judge ordered tobacco companies to publish corrective statements that say they lied about the dangers of smoking and that disclose smoking's health effects, including the death on average of 1,200 people a day.
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler previously had said she wanted the industry to pay for corrective statements in various types of advertisements. But Tuesday's ruling was the first time she had specified what the statements will say.
Each corrective ad is to 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." Among the required statements 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."
The corrective statements are part of a case the government brought in 1999 under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Kessler ruled in that case in 2006 that the nation's largest cigarette makers concealed the dangers of smoking for decades, and said she wanted the industry to pay for "corrective statements" in various types of ads, both broadcast and print. The Justice Department proposed corrective statements, which Kessler used as the basis for some of the ones she ordered Tuesday.