U.S. cigarette makers ordered to post warnings on packs, websites next month

U.S. cigarette makers ordered to post warnings on packs, websites next month

May 2 (UPI) — U.S. cigarette manufacturers must begin posting warnings next month about the dangers of smoking on websites and product packaging, a federal court said.

The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., ruled Tuesday cigarette makers must place “corrective statements” on their sites beginning June 18 — and on cigarette packs for two weeks at a time, for a total of twelve weeks over the next two years.

The labels address the dangers of smoking — and include a statement that cigarettes are deliberately designed to create and sustain addiction.

As a result of a previous court order, the statements are also running on television five days a week on prime-time network television.

The black-and-white commercials say smoking causes as many as 1,200 deaths in the United States every day. They also say nicotine is designed to be highly addictive and light or low-tar smokes are just as harmful as the regular versions.

The corrective statements are part of a 2006 injunction in which a federal judge ordered the major U.S. cigarette makers — Altria, its Philip Morris USA subsidiary and R.J. Reynolds — to publish the labels after an eight-month civil trial.

Six public health organizations — the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, National African American Tobacco Prevention Network and Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund — joined the Justice Department case in 2005.

Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission issued warning letters to 13 companies for marketing liquids for e-cigarettes in a manner that makes them appear child-friendly.