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Tobacco Companies, Justice Dept. Reach Deal on Corrective Statements

RICHMOND, Va. -- Tobacco companies will take to the written word to tell consumers they lied about the dangers of smoking.

According to a report by The Associated Press, the nation's tobacco companies and the Justice Department reached an agreement on publishing corrective statements that say the companies lied about the dangers of smoking and requires them to disclose smoking's health effects.

On Nov. 27, 2012, U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler ordered the tobacco companies to feature the overarching statement: "A federal court has ruled that the defendant tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of smoking, and has ordered those companies to make this statement," as CSNews Online previously reported.

The order included "truth" statements for five categories:

  • Adverse health effects of smoking;
  • Addictiveness of smoking and nicotine;
  • Lack of significant health benefits provided by smoking low tar, light, ultra light, mild and natural cigarettes;
  • Manipulation of cigarette design and composition to ensure optimum nicotine delivery; and
  • Adverse health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Two months later, in late January 2013, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Altria Group Inc. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. filed a joint appeal to the ruling.

Under today's agreement, each of the companies must publish full-page ads in the Sunday editions of 35 newspapers and air prime-time TV commercials on CBS, ABC or NBC five times per week for a year. The companies also must publish the statements on their websites and affix them to cigarette packs, the AP reported.

The agreement also details what statements will be published on tobacco company websites and affixed to cigarette packs.

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