An appeals court in the US has upheld a lower court ruling that cigarette companies, by using terms such ''low tar'' and ''light'' have conspired to lie about the dangers of smoking, thereby violating racketeering laws.
A three-judge panel of the appeals court, in its 92-page ruling, upheld most of single judge decision from US District Judge Gladys Kessler in August 2006.
"We affirm the district court's judgment of liability in its entirety except as to CTR and TI, with regard to which we vacate the judgment and remand with directions to dismiss them from the suit," the judges panel ruled.
The tobacco companies had gone on appeal against an August 2006 ruling by district judge Gladys Kessler against the use of terms such as "low tar" or ''light" for cigarette marketing.
Altria Group Inc and its Philip Morris USA unit, RJ Reynolds Tobacco unit of Reynolds American Inc, Lorillard Inc, Vector Group Ltd's Liggett Group, British American Tobacco Plc and its Brown & Williamson unit and the Council for Tobacco Research and the Tobacco Institute were among the companies and trade groups who were party to the appeal.