Tobacco firm R.J. Reynolds violated Vermont’s consumer-protection laws by claiming that its so-called ’reduced risk’ Eclipse cigarettes “could present less risk of cancer” than other cigarettes, a state judge has ruled.
The Wall Street Journal reported March 11 that Vermont Superior Court Judge Dennis Pearson ruled that Reynolds violated the terms of the 1998 Nationwide Tobacco Settlement in ads published between 2000 and 2007.
Such advertising is now subject to regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Pearson said that Reynolds did not have adequate information to back up its health claims, but also determined that the company did not willfully misrepresent Eclipse’s health benefits. Penalties in the case have not yet been determined.