28 Nov 2012

Tobacco companies ordered to run ads admitting deceit

9:23 pm on 28 November 2012

A US judge has ordered major American tobacco companies to pay for ads stating that they intentionally deceived the public for decades about the dangers and addictiveness of smoking.

The ruling sets out the wording of the five different adverts, which are to be published in various media for up to two years.

Details of which media will carry the statements and how much they will cost are yet to be determined, and the tobacco companies can appeal against the decision, the BBC reports.

District Judge Gladys Kessler used proposals from the US Justice Department as the basis for the statements.

Each is to be prefaced by wording that the tobacco firms had "deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of smoking".

One statement reads: "Smoking kills, on average, 1200 Americans. Every day." Another says: "Defendant tobacco companies intentionally designed cigarettes to make them more addictive."

Judge Kessler first ordered the advertising campaign in 2006, saying tobacco firms hid the risks of smoking for decades.

Tobacco companies have fought for the word "deceived" not to be used, and have complained that the statements would represent "forced public confessions".

The Justice Department is due to meet tobacco companies in December to discuss how to run the statements on cigarette packs, websites, on TV or in newspapers.