Big Tobacco's Request Denied

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Big Tobacco's Request Denied

WASHINGTON -- U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler denied a request by tobacco companies to continue the marketing of "light" and "low-tar" cigarettes until an appeal has settled in the case, The Associated Press reported.

The original ruling in August stated that cigarette manufacturers violated racketeering laws and misled the public on the health risks of smoking cigarettes. Kessler forced the companies to stop the marketing of light and low tar cigarettes, citing that the public has been deceived into the belief that light cigarettes are healthier than regular cigarettes.

Immediately after the first ruling, the tobacco companies involved -- among them, R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris -- asked the judge to delay the enforcement of the ruling until an appeal was complete, a process that could take years, the AP reported. The tobacco companies stated they would lose business to companies not affected by the ruling.

Kessler rejected the request last week, stating that the public would be harmed with a delay. "Loss of market share, if it results from imposing an appropriate remedy to prevent and restrain past violations of the law, may well be the price defendants have to pay," she wrote in her statement.

The tobacco companies have appealed this judgment as well, and can ask an appeals court to put a hold on the ruling.