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November 27th, 2012:

U.S. historian: tobacco industry relied on incomplete reports in lawsuit

The Canadian Press  Published Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 3:38PM EST  MONTREAL
— Academics hired by the tobacco industry to paint a historical portrait
of how much the public knew about the harmful effects of tobacco use left
out an important element, according to a witness at a class-action trial:
internal documents from the companies themselves.
Robert Proctor is testifying for the plaintiffs before the Quebec
Superior Court at a landmark $27 billion lawsuit that pits an estimated
1.8 million Quebecers against the country’s three major tobacco
manufacturers — Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd.; Rothmans, Benson & Hedges;
and JTI-Macdonald.
Proctor, a historian from California’s Stanford University, is a
self-described cigarette historian and public-health advocate. He has
published extensively on the history of smoking, tobacco and health.

He says that historians hired by Canada’s big three tobacco companies to
file reports for the class-action suit produced documents laden with
flaws and omissions that Proctor says are significant.
Proctor says that by ignoring the industry data, they paint a false
picture that people were aware 50 years ago of the effects of smoking
when, in fact, the internal documents say the opposite.
He says that led to incomplete conclusions.
“All three (historians) fail to consult the tobacco industry’s internal
documents, which reveal a decades-long conspiracy to downplay the hazards
of smoking,” Proctor wrote.
“All three ignore the tobacco industry’s denialist campaign, which in the
global aggregate must figure as one of the deadliest conspiracies in the
history of human civilization.”
Proctor’s official testimony began Tuesday with frequent objections from
lawyers representing the tobacco industry.
On Monday, they’d fought against Proctor receiving expert status,
labelling him as biased and unqualified to discuss the tobacco industry
in Canada and Quebec.
Proctor’s base of knowledge is largely U.S.-based, but he says the trends
in both countries are similar. Justice Brian Riordan agreed late Monday
to allow Proctor to testify.
The U.S. historian’s testimony is expected to continue at least until the
end of this week.
Another star witness, Jeffrey Wigand, a former tobacco
executive-turned-whistleblower and was portrayed in “The Insider,” a
major motion picture in 1999, by actor Russell Crowe.
Wigand is scheduled to appear in December.
Numerous witnesses have already appeared before the Quebec Superior Court
since the trial began last March, including former and current tobacco
industry executives. The case has heard more than 80 days of testimony
with thousands of pages of documents filed into evidence.
It has taken 13 years to reach the trial phase. It stems from two cases
that were filed in 1998, certified and consolidated in 2005 by Quebec
Superior Court, and there were motions, delays and appeals before it got
underway in 2012.
The trial is expected to last about two years

Read more:

WHO Technical Manual on Tobacco Tax Administration

Download PDF : 9789241563994_eng

2012_11_27_Opinion.pdf against US tobacco companies to publish corrective statements

Download PDF : 2012_11_27_Opinion



U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler’s Final Opinion: Summary of Findings Against the Tobacco Industry

Download PDF : FinalOpinionSummary

Tobacco Companies Must Admit They Lied on Products, Ads

By Tom Schoenberg – Nov 27, 2012

U.S. tobacco companies including Altria Group Inc. (MO)’s Philip Morris USA must publish warnings with their products, in advertisements and on their websites saying they lied to the public about the health hazards of smoking, a federal judge held.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler in Washington today ruled on the text of so-called corrective statements proposed by the Justice Department. According to the ruling, one states:“ Tobacco companies intentionally designed cigarettes to make them more addictive.” Another says: “All cigarettes cause cancer, lung disease, heart attacks, and premature death.”

The statements stem from the government’s 1999 case against the tobacco industry. In 2006, Kessler found the defendants, also including Reynolds American Inc. (RAI)’s R.J. Reynolds Tobacco and Lorillard Inc. (LO)’s Lorillard Tobacco, violated anti-racketeering law by conspiring to hide cigarettes’ risks.

Kessler previously ordered the companies to stop marketing cigarettes as “light” and “low-tar” and to make statements about the health effects of smoking in newspapers and magazines and on materials attached to cigarette packages.

Court’s Mandate

“This court has heeded its mandate to fashion corrective statements that are purely factual and uncontroversial and are directed at preventing and restraining the defendants from deceiving the American public in the future,” Kessler said in today’s 55-page ruling.

Each of the five categories of statements begins with a similar introduction stating that “a federal court has ruled that the defendant tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public” then says “here is the truth” before going into specifics on the dangers of smoking, health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke, the addictiveness of nicotine and the manipulation of cigarette design and composition.

One statement among those on adverse health effects reads:“ More people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol, combined.”

Today’s ruling didn’t set a deadline for publication. The types of media the companies use to convey commercial messages changed dramatically in the six years since her initial ruling, the judge said. She told the parties to report to her by March 1 on efforts to devise a plan to disseminate the statements.

Company Spokesmen

Brian May, a spokesman for Richmond, Virginia-based Altria, said the company is studying the judge’s decision. He declined to comment further. Bryan Hatchell, a spokesman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, said the company was reviewing the decision and considering its next steps.

Charles Miller, a Justice Department spokesman, said in an e-mail message that the department is pleased with the ruling.

The case is U.S. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., 99-cv-02496, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington federal court at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at


Judge Orders Tobacco Firms to Admit Deception

Wall Street Journal

ByBrent Kendall

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered tobacco companies to say in product warnings that the industry deceived the public about the dangers of smoking and manipulated tobacco products to increase addiction.

The ruling, by U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler in Washington, came in the final phases of a long-running government racketeering case against leading cigarette makers.

In 2006, Judge Kessler ruled that tobacco companies violated federal racketeering laws by engaging in a decades-long scheme to deceive the public about the dangers of smoking.

She required cigarette makers to issue statements about the dangers of their products that would appear on television, in newspapers and on product packaging and retail displays. But the case has been tied up in court for several years. Among recent disputes, the Justice Department and the tobacco companies have been at odds over what the statements should say.

On Tuesday Judge Kessler ordered the defendant tobacco companies to make corrective statements on five different topics, including the adverse health effects and addictiveness of smoking.

“Cigarette companies intentionally designed cigarettes with enough nicotine to create and sustain addiction,” says the text of one statement ordered by Judge Kessler. Another says: “When you smoke, the nicotine actually changes the brain – that’s why quitting is so hard.”

Each statement ordered by the judge contains a “preamble” that explains the court ruling against the tobacco companies.

Defendants in the case include Altria Group Inc.’s Philip Morris subsidiary, Reynolds American Inc.’s R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; and Lorillard Tobacco Co., a unit of Lorillard Inc.

The companies couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

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Judge orders tobacco firms to say they lied about smoking dangers

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Judge orders tobacco firms to say they lied about smoking dangers

By Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press

November 27, 2012, 4:43 pm

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Tuesday ordered tobacco companies to publish corrective statements that say they lied about the dangers of smoking and that disclose smoking’s health effects, including the death on average of 1,200 people a day.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler previously had said she wanted the industry to pay for corrective statements in various types of advertisements. But Tuesday’s ruling is the first time she’s laid out what the statements will say.

Each corrective ad is to be prefaced by a statement that a federal court has concluded that the defendant tobacco companies “deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of smoking.”

Among the required statements are that smoking kills more people than murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes and alcohol combined, and that “secondhand smoke kills over 3,000 Americans a year.”

The corrective statements are part of a case the government brought in 1999 under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations. Kessler ruled in that case in 2006 that the nation’s largest cigarette makers concealed the dangers of smoking for decades, and said she wanted the industry to pay for “corrective statements” in various types of ads, both broadcast and print. The Justice Department proposed corrective statements, which Kessler used as the basis for some of the ones she ordered Tuesday.

Tobacco companies had urged Kessler to reject the government’s proposed industry-financed corrective statements; the companies called them “forced public confessions.” They also said the statements were designed to “shame and humiliate” them. They had argued for statements that include the health effects and addictive qualities of smoking.

Kessler wrote that all of the corrective statements are based on specific findings of fact made by the court.

“This court made a number of explicit findings that the tobacco companies perpetuated fraud and deceived the public regarding the addictiveness of cigarettes and nicotine,” she said.

A spokesman for Altria Group Inc., owner of the nation’s biggest tobacco company, Philip Morris USA, said the company was studying the court’s decision and did not provide any further comment. A spokesman for Reynolds American Inc., parent company of No. 2 cigarette maker, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., said the company was reviewing the ruling and considering its next steps.

The statements Kessler chose included five categories: adverse health effects of smoking; addictiveness of smoking and nicotine; lack of significant health benefit from smoking cigarettes marked as “low tar,” “light,” etc.; manipulation of cigarette design and composition to ensure optimum nicotine delivery; and adverse health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Among the statements within those categories:

  • · “Smoking kills, on average, 1,200 Americans. Every day.”
  • · “Defendant tobacco companies intentionally designed cigarettes to make them more addictive.”
  • · “When you smoke, the nicotine actually changes the brain — that’s why quitting is so hard.”
  • · “All cigarettes cause cancer, lung disease, heart attacks and premature death — lights, low tar, ultra lights and naturals. There is no safe cigarette.”
  • · “Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer and coronary heart disease in adults who do not smoke.” “Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems, severe asthma and reduced lung function.”
  • · “There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.”

Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller said the department was pleased with the order.

Matt Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, called it an important ruling.

“The most critical part of the ruling is that it requires the tobacco companies to state clearly that the court found that they deceived the American public and that they are telling the truth now only because the court is ordering them to do so,” Myers said in an interview. “This isn’t the last word, but this is a vitally important step because this should resolve exactly what the tobacco companies are required to say.”

In July, a federal appeals court rejected efforts by the tobacco companies to overrule Kessler’s ruling requiring corrective statements. The companies had argued that a 2009 law that gave the Food and Drug Administration authority over the industry eliminated “any reasonable likelihood” that they would commit future RICO violations.

In her ruling Tuesday, Kessler ordered the tobacco companies and Justice Department to meet beginning next month to address how to implement the corrective statements, including whether they will be put in inserts with cigarette packs and on websites, TV and newspaper ads. Those discussions are to conclude by March.

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Tobacco companies ordered to publicly admit deception on smoking dangers –

(CNN) — Tobacco companies have been ordered by a federal judge to publicly admit, through advertisements and package warnings, that they deceived American consumers for decades about the dangers of smoking.

Federal Judge Gladys Kessler issued her ruling Tuesday in one of the last legal steps settling liability in the long-running government prosecution of cigarette makers.

“By ensuring that consumers know that [tobacco companies] have misled the public in the past on the issue of secondhand smoke in addition to putting forth the fact that a scientific consensus on this subject exists,” said Kessler, “defendants will be less likely to attempt to argue in the future that such a consensus does not exist.”

Read more: Clouds on horizon for tobacco farmers

Several other lawsuits over cigarette labeling are pending in federal court, part of a two-decade federal and state effort to force tobacco companies to limit their advertising, and settle billions of dollars in state and private class-action claims over the health dangers of smoking.

The judge, six years ago, concluded that tobacco companies were guilty of racketeering, and had ordered them to put tougher warning labels and other language in their marketing.

The litigation had been tied up for years over the wording of such labels, but Kessler said Tuesday the language pushed by the Justice Department was factual.

“Corrective statements” were ordered to be placed on five different areas, including: “Smoking is highly addictive. Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco” and “When you smoke, the nicotine actually changes the brain — that’s why quitting is so hard.”

Another mandated message says: “A Federal Court has ruled that the Defendant tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public about designing cigarettes to enhance the delivery of nicotine, and has ordered those companies to make this statement. Here is the truth: Smoking kills, on average, 1200 Americans. Everyday.”

Other areas deal with second-hand smoke dangers, and the false benefits of so-called “low tar” and “mild” cigarettes marketed by companies that included Philip Morris (a subsidiary of Altria Group, Inc.) and R.J.. Reynolds Tobacco Co., and Lorillard Tobacco Co.

A federal appeals court in August rejected the government’s mandate tobacco companies separately place graphic images on their products warning of the dangers of smoking, with the majority saying the requirements were a violation of free speech. Such images would have included a corpse and smoke-infected lungs.

It was not clear if the tobacco companies would appeal this latest legal defeat to a U.S. appeals court. There was no immediate reaction from the Justice Department.

The case is U.S. v. Philip Morris (99-cv-2496).

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Tobacco companies ordered to advertise smoking risk

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — A federal judge ordered the nation’s major tobacco companies on Tuesday to take out advertisements acknowledging the health risks of smoking.

The decision stems from a lawsuit federal prosecutors filed back in 1999 alleging that the companies violated racketeering statutes, deceiving the public about the consequences of smoking. The judge ruled against the defendants in a 2006 decision that set out the advertising requirements finalized Tuesday.

The case followed the tobacco industry’s landmark $206 billion settlement in 1998.

Related: Asia lights up tobacco giant’s sales

The defendants included Philip Morris and its parent, Altria Group (MO, Fortune 500).; R.J. Reynolds Tobacco; Lorillard Tobacco (LO); and British American Tobacco (BTI). The firms were ordered to publish statements on their websites, as well as in ads in newspapers and on television and as inserts in cigarette packaging, acknowledging smoking’s consequences. Among other things, the companies must say:

– “Smoking kills, on average, 1,200 Americans. Every day.”

– “More people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol, combined.”

– “Secondhand smoke kills over 3,000 Americans each year.”

Altria spokesman Brian May said the company was “studying the court’s decision.” Bryan Hatchell, a spokesman for R.J. Reynolds, said his firm, too, was “reviewing the judge’s ruling and considering next steps.”

The other defendants did not immediately respond to requests for comment or could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.

The companies had argued that some elements of the forced statements violated their First Amendment rights, a claim the judge rejected. The firms were ordered to begin discussions on how to implement the ruling next month, though that timeline could be extended with additional appeals.


More cheery news for cigarette smokers. While it has been well known that smoking destroys your lungs and can often lead to cancer, a new study published in the scientific journal Age and Ageing reports that “repeated exposure to tobacco smoke significantly declined the cognitive performance of older people that had elevated cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure”. The study conducted by researchers at King’s College London on 8,800 people found that high blood pressure and being overweight appeared to affect the brain at an old age, but to a lesser extent than smoking. Heart attacks and strokes are associated with cognitive decline. “Those at the highest risk of a heart attack and stroke showed the greatest decline of cognitive ability,” the study said. “Smoking habitually was strongly associated with lower scores on the tests. With these findings, the researchers inferred that smoking cigarettes actually rots the brain.” In another study that linked cigarette smoking to mental decline, research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2010 found that smokers were more than 150 per cent more likely to experience symptoms of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.

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