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Home>Companies Look to the Future as Long-Running Federal Lawsuit Nears End

Companies Look to the Future as Long-Running Federal Lawsuit Nears End

Companies Look to the Future as Long-Running Federal Lawsuit Nears End

10/03/2017

Companies Look to the Future as Long-Running Federal Lawsuit Nears End

Altria Group, Inc. (“Altria”) and Philip Morris USA, Inc. announced today that they and other companies have agreed on the timing of court-ordered communications about cigarettes and smoking on television and in newspapers. The communications, which will begin on November 26, 2017, stem from a 1999 lawsuit the federal government brought against the major domestic cigarette companies that focused on industry conduct dating back to the 1950s.

The court’s order requires the companies to publish five statements related to cigarette smoking across several communication channels, including newspaper and television ads, on the companies’ websites and on cigarette packs for a year or more.

“This industry has changed dramatically over the last twenty years, including becoming regulated by the FDA, which we supported,” said Murray Garnick, Altria’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel. “We’re focused on the future and, with FDA in place, working to develop less risky tobacco products.”

Today, tobacco is one of the most regulated industries in the country. The way in which cigarettes are manufactured, marketed and sold has changed markedly since the lawsuit was filed.

The 1998 tobacco settlement agreements with the state Attorneys General led to significant industry changes. For example, the settlement agreements banned cigarette billboards, stadium advertisements and brand-name merchandise.

Restrictions became more extensive in 2009 when Congress gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration broad regulatory authority over nearly every aspect of tobacco product manufacturing and marketing.

“We remain committed to aligning our business practices with society’s expectations of a responsible company. This includes communicating openly about the health effects of our products, continuing to support cessation efforts, helping reduce underage tobacco use and developing potentially reduced-risk products,” added Garnick.

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