Elaine Posted August 14, 2004 Share Posted August 14, 2004 .S. Charges Tobacco Companies Misled Public on Smoking Risk July 6, 2004 The U.S. Justice Department accuses tobacco companies of "using fraudulent means to recruit new smokers, misleading the public on the health dangers of secondhand smoke and violating the industry's landmark legal settlement in 1998." In a 2,500-page giling, DOJ set forth the arguments it will present when its lawsuit against the tobacco companies goes to trial Sept. 13 in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit seeks $289 billion from Brown & Williamson, Philip Morris USA, R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard Tobacco and the Liggett Group. Of the total, $280 billion represents revenue and interest from sales between 1971 and 2000 to smokers younger than age 21, as well as interest. DOJ charges that the tobacco companies manipulated nicotine levels, misled consumers about the health risks of smoking and directed multibillion-dollar promotional campaigns at children. The lawsuit is an outgrowth of an action originally filed by the Clinton administration in 1999. The Clinton suit accuses the tobacco industry of conspiracy to mislead consumers about the dangers of smoking. The government also charges that the companies' marketing of light and ultralight cigarettes provided "a false sense of reassurance to smokers," lessening "their resolve to quit smoking" and drawing "ex-smokers back into the market." In its filing, DOJ said that cigarette companies worked to "financially reward scientists in every world market" with the "overarching goal" of downplaying the dangers of secondhand smoke in an effort to forestall smoking bans. The filing said that the tobacco companies' conduct thus far indicates a "reasonable likelihood" of future violations. The tobacco companies have denied the allegations Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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