Tobacco companies are urging a federal judge to rule against the federal government's proposed industry-financed corrective statements. The companies contend the messages amount to "forced public confessions."However, the Justice Department argues that the statements need to be strong enough to protect the public from future false statements made by the tobacco industry.
The statements in question include admissions that tobacco companies lied about the dangers of smoking in the past. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler, who is hearing the case, has stated in the past she wants the industry to pay for corrective statements in various types of ads. However, she has not made a decision regarding what the statements will actually say.
In 2006, Kessler ruled that the nation'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.