Tobacco Companies Guilty Of Fraud And Lying

In National News on May 27, 2009 at 10:06 am

On May 22, the U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the 2006 ruling that tobacco companies are guilty of fraud and lying about the dangers and addictiveness of their products, marketing tactics, and the dangers of secondhand smoke. The suit was originally filed in 1999 under the Clinton administration. Several news outlets have reported on this decision, including Yahoo, New York Times, and USA Today.

Not only have the courts agreed that tobacco companies have deceived people for decades, they have also found that the companies manipulated ingredients and marketing strategies to more deeply addict smokers and draw in new young users to replace those that die from the use of their products. Interestingly, the suit was filed under a statute usually used to prosecute organized crime. Should we be calling Big Tobacco the “Tobacco Mafia”?

In any case, Big Tobacco can no longer label cigarettes as light, mild, or low tar because these products do just as much harm as “regular” products. They must also publish corrective statements on the health effects and addictiveness of tobacco products.

Whether this will prevent future deception remains to be seen. In fact, we may already be seeing it again with the new dissolvable tobacco products/tobacco candy. (See yesterday’s post.)


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