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Cigarrette firms in the US have been found guilty of breaking racketeering laws, but have escaped paying major fines

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Cigarrette firms in the US have been found guilty of breaking racketeering laws, but have escaped paying major fines

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A federal judge found that companies like Philip Morris and British American Tobacco had, in her words, “publicly denied, distorted and minimised the hazards of smoking for decades.” One of the most visible changes for consumers is that firms will no longer be able to use words like “light, “mild” or “natural” to describe their products.

The court said that kind of terminology could falsely imply that certain cigarettes were less dangerous than others. The tobacco giants’ shares were up on the ruling – chiefly because they won’t be obliged to pay for a government campaign to encourage smokers to quit, and won’t face any major financial penalties.