Brief Filed to Force Big Tobacco to Finally Tell the Truth about Cigarettes

As part of the United States’ long-running consumer fraud suit against Big Tobacco, the district court ruled that the companies must run television and newspaper advertisements stating that they "deliberately deceived the American public," and then stating the truth regarding the toxicity and addictiveness of cigarettes, as well as their manipulation of cigarette nicotine levels. The statements must also appear on cigarette pack onserts and the companies’ websites. 

The companies appealed to the D.C. Circuit, arguing that such "corrective statements" violate their First Amendment rights. We have just filed a brief defending the district court’s ruling, on behalf of six public health groups, including the American Cancer Society and Tobacco-Free Kids. Our brief explains that the statements are amply supported by the court’s massive factual findings, which show that for decades the companies emphatically denied that smoking is harmful or addictive, while they not only knew these statements were false, but also manipulated cigarettes to ensure they would be addictive – and marketed "light" and "low tar" cigarettes to satisfy demand for a healthier alternative while they knew that these cigarettes are just as addictive and deadly. Oral argument is scheduled for February, 2015. Our brief is here.