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Smokers Can Sue Tobacco Companies For "Light" Cigarettes

Smokers Can Sue Tobacco Companies For "Light" Cigarettes

The Supreme Court declined to go light on tobacco industry today, ruling 5-4 that plaintiffs can sue the companies for deceptively advertising "light" cigarettes. While the court did not decide whether tobacco companies did anything wrong, today's decision means that smokers have a chance to prove that by using the terms "light" and "lowered tar" the companies violated a Maine state law against fraudulent advertising.

The tobacco companies unsuccessfully argued that federal cigarette-labeling laws, which bar additional state regulation “based on smoking and health,” preempted the Maine fraud statute.

The National Cancer Institute says that although light cigarettes feel smoother and lighter on the throat and chest, they are not healthier than regular cigarettes. Also, light cigarettes make up about 80 percent of the US cigarette market. Do you think this is a valid lawsuit?


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