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Cigarette companies ordered to display health warning signs at retailers


Altria’s Marlboro cigarettes bought at a retailer.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Photos

Main cigarette firms will quickly be required to put up indicators at retail areas warning of the well being results of smoking, the Justice Division introduced.

The order, set to enter impact on July 1, 2023, is the final in a broader collection of court-ordered measures stemming from a 1999 lawsuit towards cigarette firms, the division stated in a release.

The order requires defendants Altria, Philip Morris USA Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Firm, and 4 cigarette manufacturers owned by ITG Manufacturers to show the indicators for 2 years. Representatives for the businesses didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

“Justice Division attorneys have labored diligently for over 20 years to carry accountable the tobacco firms that defrauded shoppers in regards to the well being dangers of smoking,” stated Affiliate Legal professional Normal Vanita Gupta in a press release.

The retail indicators can be “designed to be eye-catching” and can embody warnings corresponding to “Smoking cigarettes causes quite a few illnesses and on common 1,200 American deaths every single day” and “The nicotine in cigarettes is extremely addictive and that cigarettes have been designed to create and maintain habit.”

The order stems from lawsuit filed in 1999 within the U.S. District Court docket for the District of Columbia by a coalition of anti-tobacco and public-health advocacy teams. It resulted in a ruling that the cigarette firms had been defrauding shoppers in regards to the well being risks related to cigarette smoking. 

As a part of earlier court docket orders, comparable well being warning statements in 2017 started showing in newspaper and TV advertisements, on cigarette packages and on the businesses’ web sites. The retail indicators had been the topic of a number of appeals earlier than an settlement on them was reached this previous Might, the Justice Division stated.

The order will apply to about 200,000 U.S. retail areas which have merchandising agreements with the cigarette firms, based on the division. The businesses should amend their retailer contracts, then manufacture and distribute the required indicators inside six months of the order’s begin date.

The order comes as e-cigarette maker Juul Lab this week settled litigation accusing it of misleading advertising and gross sales practices. The corporate, which is owned partially by Altria, stated it reached settlements overlaying greater than 5,000 circumstances with practically 10,000 plaintiffs.

As part of the resolutions, Juul will compensate these fighting nicotine habit and fund applications aimed toward countering youth nicotine utilization.



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