WASHINGTON — The Justice Department wants the largest cigarette manufacturers to admit that they lied to the public about the dangers of smoking, forcing the industry to set up and pay for an advertising campaign of self-criticism for past behavior.
The government on Wednesday released 14 “corrective statements” that it says the companies should be required to make. Among them are:
One, “A federal court is requiring tobacco companies to tell the truth about cigarette smoking. Here’s the truth: … Smoking kills 1,200 Americans. Every day.”
Two, “We falsely marketed low tar and light cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes to keep people smoking and sustain our profits.”
Three, “For decades, we denied that we controlled the level of nicotine delivered in cigarettes,” a third statement says. “Here’s the truth. … We control nicotine delivery to create and sustain smokers’ addiction, because that’s how we keep customers coming back.”