WASHINGTON (AP) — Tobacco companies are urging a federal judge to reject the government's proposed industry-financed corrective statements, calling them "forced public confessions."
The Justice Department countered that the statements need to be strong enough to protect people from future false statements made by cigarette makers. The statements include admissions that the companies lied about the dangers of smoking.
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler, who is hearing the case, has already said she wants the industry to pay for corrective statements in various types of ads. But she has not made a decision on what the statements will say.
In 2006, Kessler ruled that America's largest cigarette makers concealed the dangers of smoking for decades. The government brought the civil case under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, law.