UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE D.C. CIRCUIT REJECTS R.J. REYNOLDS ARGUMENT THAT IT SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO RUN EXTRA SETS OF CORRECTIVE TV ADS AFTER MERGER WITH BROWN & WILLIAMSON

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has struck yet another blow to the tobacco industry’s efforts to avoid informing consumers about the horrific health effects of cigarettes – a product that kills more than 480,000 people each year in this countryas a remedy for defrauding the public for decades about the health effects and addictiveness of cigarettes.  In a unanimous ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected R.J. Reynolds’ argument that it should be relieved of the responsibility to air two sets of Television Corrective Statements concerning the adverse health effects of cigarettes – an argument that RJR made after it merged with Brown & Williamson, another company that was also subject to the District Court’s 2006 Order requiring the companies to cease their fraudulent and deceptive practices and to issue corrective statements in newspapers, on TV, the companies’ websites, and on package inserts.  RJR had argued that because of the merger it should only be required to air one set of TV ads.  The Court of Appeals disagreed and accepted the arguments we advanced on behalf of our public health clients that are participating as intervenors in the Justice Department’s RICO case against the tobacco industry  – the Tobacco Free Kids Action Fund, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, American for Nonsmokers’ Rights, and the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network -- that RJR had waived its opportunity to make such arguments and that it is required to air two sets of TV corrective statements.  The TV statements must be run on one of three major networks at least once a week for a year.  A copy of the D. C. Circuit’s decision can be found here