US judge orders tobacco companies to admit deception publicly
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Major tobacco companies must take out advertisements saying they deliberately deceived the United States (US) public about the danger and addictiveness of cigarettes, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.
The ruling in the US District Court for the District of Columbia aims to finalise the wording of the advertisements that the judge first ordered in 2006 after finding the companies violated federal racketeering law.
Tobacco companies fought a public admission of deception, calling it a violation of their free speech rights.
US District Judge Gladys Kessler rejected the companies'position, finding that the final wording - which the companies and the US Justice Department have fought over for years - is factual and not controversial.