Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds Settle with Justice Department [US] Over Tobacco-Industry Document Databases – 14 December 2011

Posted on December 16, 2011. Filed under: Public Hlth & Hlth Promotion | Tags: |

Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds Settle with Justice Department [US] Over Tobacco-Industry Document Databases – 14 December 2011

“Agree to Pay $6.25 Million to Support Public Access

WASHINGTON – The country’s two biggest tobacco companies have agreed to improve public access to internal tobacco-industry documents and to pay $6.25 million into a court fund that will go to support the country’s largest online collection of tobacco documents, the Justice Department announced today.   The agreement is part of the United States’ landmark case against the country’s largest cigarette companies, filed in federal court in Washington.   The settlement is with Philip Morris USA and its parent Altria Group, and with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

The agreement resolves a dispute between the tobacco companies and the United States about the online document databases that the court ordered in 2006.   The court ruled then that Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds and other cigarette companies had suppressed internal documents, information and research, as part of a broad campaign to deliberately deceive the American people about smoking’s health effects, nicotine addiction, manipulating cigarette design to increase addiction, light- and low-tar cigarettes and marketing to youth.   As a result, the court ordered the companies to provide public access to all documents they turned over in all smoking-and-health lawsuits in the United States for the next 15 years, through online document websites and through a hard-copy archive known as the Minnesota Depository.

The agreement today resolves a longstanding dispute over certain obligations the tobacco companies have with respect to these online databases.”

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