A US federal appeals court on Friday gave a ruling saying that tobacco companies cannot be forced to make public announcements that they intentionally mislead the public over health risk of cigarettes.
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled against the manufacturers on several other issues as it considered a long-running case brought by the US government against various companies including Altria Group Inc, Lorillard Inc and Reynolds American Inc.
The companies had lost the original lawsuit. An appeal and a district court judge in Washington later ordered them to place advertisements known legally as corrective statements.
These advertisements would explain in details the history of deception, said appeal and district court judge.
The defendants again appealed to the court saying that they should not be forced to make such public disclosures.
In Friday’s ruling the appeals court largely upheld the lower court judge but gave ruling for the tobacco companies on one issue.
Judge David Tatel on behalf of the court wrote that the companies had no grounds to object to disclose that they intentionally designed cigarettes for its addiction.
The court held that the federal racketeering law does not allow courts to require the companies to announce that they willingly mislead the public towards cigarette addiction.
The court rejected the companies’ claim that they should not be forced to publish the statements on company websites and cigarette packages as well as in newspaper and television ads.
Later the appeals court sent the case back to lower court for further proceedings.