AMA Response To DOJ Tobacco Lawsuit Remedies

Armen Hareyan's picture
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"The American Medical Association continues its call for severe penalties in the government's lawsuit against the tobacco industry. Each year tobacco kills more than 400,000 Americans and more than five million people worldwide, from diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema and stroke.

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"The Department of Justice's proposed remedies order includes many proposals that will help in the fight against smoking, but the AMA is extremely disappointed with the level of funding that the DOJ is seeking for cessation programs. The $10 billion in damages requested by the DOJ to cover five years for tobacco cessation support and treatment is simply not enough funding to help addicted patients quit smoking.

"The AMA is pleased that the DOJ is recommending other remedies to restrain the tobacco industry's deceptive marketing activities. The remedies include stronger marketing restrictions and corrective communications measures, such as cigarette package 'onserts,' direct-mail brochures, retail displays, newspaper advertisements and new language on tobacco company websites to educate the public on the dangers of smoking. The DOJ is also recommending financial penalties if smoking among youth ages12 to 20 does not decrease by certain amounts from 2003 baseline levels.

"The tobacco industry's fraudulent activities have caused addiction, disease and death among our citizens for decades. We urge the DOJ to appeal the federal appeals court decision that limited the RICO remedies in this case to the U.S. Supreme Court so that more appropriate funding can be awarded to help smokers quit."

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