Some good news: the remedies in the federal racketeering case against U.S. tobacco companies may soon be finalized.
The bad news: this is a whopping 16 years after Judge Kessler’s judgment finding that the tobacco companies had violated federal racketeering laws and ordered tobacco companies to publish corrective statements. The tobacco industry’s years of litigation and foot dragging to comply with the court’s orders reinforce what we know: that tobacco companies haven’t changed. They are STILL corporate pariahs responsible for the deaths of millions of smokers and nonsmokers.
For decades, tobacco companies have worked to undermine smokefree protections; they continue to do so to this day. They manufactured doubt on the legitimate science on secondhand smoke while using legions of lobbyists, lawyers, PR firms, and front groups to oppose smokefree policies.
Despite all that, ANR and secondhand smoke protections have continued to move forward.
Here are some of Judge Kessler’s findings.
- “Defendants have publicly denied what they internally acknowledged: that ETS [secondhand smoke] is hazardous to nonsmokers.”
- “Internally, Defendants recognized that ETS [secondhand smoke] is hazardous to nonsmokers.”
- “Internally, Defendants expressed concern that the mounting evidence on ETS [secondhand smoke] posed a grave threat to their industry.”
- “Defendants undertook joint efforts to undermine and discredit the scientific consensus that ETS [secondhand smoke] causes disease.”
- “Defendants made false and misleading public statements denying that ETS [secondhand smoke] is hazardous to nonsmokers.”
- “Defendants continue to obscure the fact that ETS [secondhand smoke] is hazardous to nonsmokers.”
For more information on US vs Philip Morris USA et al, visit nonsmokersrights.org
Learn more about the federal government’s racketeering lawsuit and Judge Kessler’s 2006 judgment.