Big tobacco ordered to smoke out false statements

, The National Law Journal

   |5 Comments

A federal judge in Washington has ordered major tobacco companies to broadly publish statements that acknowledge deliberate deception about the adverse health effects of smoking.

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What's being said

  • Jeremiah

    In re: Dissident. Unlike the Salem witch trials, this trial featured defendants who were and are actually guilty of the charged misdeeds. Its apples and oranges. It is not persecution to be held accountable for being a bunch of lying, cheating, callously indifferent greedy bastards.

  • RD Legal Funding

    This is pretty devastating to the tobacco companies although not expected. The companies have been public enemy number one since their being criticized reached critical mass in the early 2000s. This is just another punishment lobbied at the industry for the decades of damage their products caused to people. This I can see like the public area smoking bans are here to stay.

  • A smoker

    Bravo Judge Kessler

  • not available

    Chilling? (see below), You betcha. These companies have lied cheated and used the American people--especially the poor ones. They actually marketed to children in impoverished neighborhoods by giving them free cigarettes out of white trucks that looked like ICE CREAM TRUCKS! They enhanced their product specifically to cause addiction and then lied about it. Why shouldn't these companies be forced to admit what they did? The executives who sanctioned these vile tactics are lucky to be out of jail.

  • Dissident

    I am a non-smoker and no fan of tobacco companies but am I alone in thinking that this smacks of the Salem witch trials where the accused was required to confess practicing witchcraft to avoid death? Or U.S. prisoners of war in Viet Nam making forced confessions of war crimes?

    It is one thing for a court to require dissemination of its own opinion or words but to require a defendant to mouth them and publicly distribute them as if it is doing so voluntarily is chilling. At a minimum, the tobacco companies should be permitted to say they are being compelled to distribute the statements by an order of the court and that they do not necessarily agree with them but are doing so to avoid monetary penalties.

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