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U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Allowing Light Cigarette Lawsuits Is Victory for Consumers and Health
Date:12/15/2008

he lack of regulation has allowed the tobacco industry to get away with the deceptive marketing of "light" and "low-tar" cigarettes, which continues today, and leaves the industry free to find new ways to deceive consumers in the future. The legislation before Congress would finally ban deceptive terms such as "light" and "low-tar." It would grant the FDA authority to strictly regulate any health claims about tobacco products to ensure they are scientifically proven and are not marketed in ways that encourage new smokers to start or discourage current smokers from quitting. The FDA would also have authority to require new testing methods, as sought by the FTC action, to more accurately measure levels of tar, nicotine and other constituents in tobacco products, to use this information to require changes in tobacco products and to decide whether to publicly release this information.

The U.S. House of Representatives on July 30 voted 326 to 102 to approve this legislation, and it has 60 sponsors in the Senate, including President-elect Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. This legislation presents the incoming Administration and Congress with the opportunity for an early, bipartisan victory that would significantly improve the nation's health. We urge the new Congress to move quickly to enact this legislation when it convenes in January.

Numerous public health authorities, including the National Cancer Institute in a landmark 2001 report, have found that cigarette manufacturers for decades have deceptively marketed "light" and "low-tar" cigarettes as reducing smokers' health risks despite knowing from their own research that this was not the case. The scientific evidence is clear that machine-based measures of tar and nicotine do not provide meaningful information about the amounts of tar and nicotine that smokers actually receive or about the relative health risks of different cigarettes. That is because
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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