What We Talk about When We Talk about Corrective Statements

February 22, 2015 6:15 pm by Gene Borio

These are the statements at issue in the proceeding Monday morning—primarily the phrase,”deliberately deceived the American public” in the preamble to each statement.

EXCERPT FROM:

BRIEF FOR THE UNITED STATES

Dec 1, 2014

B. PROCEEDINGS ON REMAND

1. On remand, the district court determined the text of the five corrective statements:

A. Adverse Health Effects of Smoking

A Federal Court has ruled that the Defendant tobacco companies4 deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of smoking, and has ordered those companies to make this statement. Here is the truth:

• Smoking kills, on average, 1200 Americans. Every day.

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

• Smoking causes heart disease, emphysema, acute myeloid leukemia, and cancer of the mouth, esophagus, larynx, lung, stomach, kidney, bladder, and pancreas.

• Smoking also causes reduced fertility, low birth weight in newborns, and cancer of the cervix.

B. Addictiveness of Smoking and Nicotine

A Federal Court has ruled that the Defendant tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public about the addictiveness of smoking and nicotine, and has ordered those companies to make this statement. Here is the truth:

• Smoking is highly addictive. Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco.

• Cigarette companies intentionally designed cigarettes with enough nicotine to create and sustain addiction.

• It’s not easy to quit.

• When you smoke, the nicotine actually changes the brain—that’s why quitting is so hard.

C. Lack of Significant Health Benefit From Smoking “Low Tar,” “Light,” “Ultra Light,” “Mild,” and “Natural” Cigarettes

A Federal Court has ruled that the Defendant tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public by falsely selling and advertising low tar and light cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes, and has ordered those companies to make this statement. Here is the truth:

• Many smokers switch to low tar and light cigarettes rather than quitting because they think low tar and light cigarettes are less harmful. They are not.

• “Low tar” and filtered cigarette smokers inhale essentially the same amount of tar and nicotine as they would from regular cigarettes.

•All cigarettes cause cancer, lung disease, heart attacks, and premature death—lights, low tar, ultra lights, and naturals. There is no safe cigarette.

D. Manipulation of Cigarette Design and Composition to Ensure Optimum Nicotine Delivery

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:

• Defendant tobacco companies intentionally designed cigarettes to make them more addictive.

• Cigarette companies control the impact and delivery of nicotine in many ways, including designing filters and selecting cigarette paper to maximize the ingestion of nicotine, adding ammonia to make the cigarette taste less harsh, and controlling the physical and chemical make-up of the tobacco blend.

• When you smoke, the nicotine actually changes the brain—that’s why quitting is so hard.

E. Adverse Health Effects of Exposure to Secondhand Smoke

A Federal Court has ruled that the Defendant tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of secondhand smoke, and has ordered those companies to make this statement. Here is the truth:

• Secondhand smoke kills over 38,000 Americans per year.

• 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.

JA 169-72 (November 2012 order setting out text of statements), JA437 (June 2014 order making small modifications to the text at the parties’ request).

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4 The statements disseminated by newspaper and television will specify Defendants—Altria, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard, and Philip Morris USA—in a rotating order. See, e.g., JA438, 440. The statements disseminated as package “onserts” and on company websites will list first the Defendant manufacturer of the relevant brand. See, e.g., JA446, 453.

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