US court orders tobacco firms to admit to lying about smoking risks
A US federal judge has ordered tobacco companies to admit having deliberately deceived people about the danger and addictiveness of cigarettes in self-paid advertisements.
According to the ruling, the companies must admit having lied about the dangers of smoking, disclose the harmful health effects and admit that their products were responsible for the death of 1,200 people a day.
After finding the companies having violated federal racketeering law, the decision aimed to finalize the advertisements' wording first ordered by the U.S. District Court judge in 2006, the Daily Mail reports.
Tobacco companies fought a public admission of deception, calling it a violation of their free speech rights.
District Judge Gladys Kessler rejected the companies' position, finding that the final wording, which the companies and the U.S. Justice Department have fought over for years, is factual and not controversial, the report said.
According to the report, the advertisements will be placed in media that are still to be determined, and they will be different from the warning labels that already are on tobacco products.
"The government regularly requires wrongdoers to make similar disclosures in a number of different contexts," Kessler wrote, calling the language 'basic, uncomplicated', it added.