On Nov. 27 she ordered all the big tobacco companies to begin publishing "corrective statements" in newspapers, on TV, on the Internet, in magazines and on their cigarette packs to correct the lies they have been telling cigarette consumers for decades and decades.
The statements will say not just that cigarettes kill more than 400,000 American smokers and ex-smokers every year, not just that secondhand smoke kills 3,000 Americans a year, not just that there is no such thing as a safe cigarette ...
|Judge Gladys Kessler|
Judge Kessler has approved the exact wording of the statements and the tobacco companies cannot change the wording, no matter how embarrassed, chagrined or pissed-off their corporate executive may be.
They lost their last argument in the Nov. 27 ruling, that the statements violated their rights of free speech.
Au Contraire, the judge said. Commercial speech does not enjoy the protections that political speech enjoys.
"There is no reason to believe that issuing these corrective statements would place any burden on defendants' speech other than the desired one, namely preventing defendants from denying the accuracy of them," she said.