A US judge has ordered tobacco firms to pay for a public campaign laying out “past deception” over smoking risks.
The ruling sets out the wording of a series of “corrective statements” that the companies are being told to make over a period of up to two years.
Details of which media will carry the statements and how much they will cost are yet to be determined.
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The US government cannot force tobacco firms to put large graphic health warnings on cigarette packages, an appeals court in Washington has ruled.
It said the government’s plan undermined free speech in America.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had wanted to put nine pictures of dead and diseased smokers to convey the dangers of cigarettes.
But tobacco firms had argued that the images went beyond factual information and into anti-smoking advocacy.
Phi Beta Iota: Absent a public uprising and a change in the electoral integrity of the US Government, it will take another 20 years for the truth to be pushed back into big pharma, big sugar, and big oil. The truth, however, is making a comeback as a public good. “The truth at any cost lowers all other costs.” Once a government gets back into the business of serving the public interest instead of special interests, transparency, truth, and trust will again become the signal attributes of a democracy.
Documentary: The Tobacco Conspiracy: Backrooms Deals of a Deadly Industry (free, loaded with quality content)
Video (26min) of tobacco leaf child labor in Malawi – towards the end is mention of fair trade farms working to replace the tobacco crop with tea leaves.