Tobacco giants resist harsh public admissions about smoking

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — America's biggest tobacco companies are heading to federal court Monday trying to stave off the humiliation of underwriting an ad campaign that would have them brand themselves as liars.

A judge ordered them in 2006 to publicly admit they had lied for decades about smoking's dangers.

The ruling came after testimony from 162 witnesses, a nine-month bench trial and thousands of findings by the judge that the companies engaged in what public health organizations have called a massive campaign of fraud.

The ads would appear in newspapers, on TV, websites and cigarette pack inserts.

The companies want an appeals court to set aside the corrective statements and craft new ones.

They say the ads are designed to ensure the public "does not believe anything the companies say on any topic."