Big tobacco companies resist admissions of wrongdoing

October 15, 2012 / Reuters / Washington  – U.S. tobacco companies told a federal judge on Monday they should not be required to tell the public they manipulated nicotine levels to make cigarettes more addictive, or that they repeatedly lied about the health effects of light cigarettes.

The companies – including Altria Group Inc and Reynolds American Inc – have been fighting with the U.S. Justice Department for six years about the wording of what are known as “corrective statements.”

The statements are part of the penalty the companies must pay after U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler, in a historic 2006 decision, found that the tobacco industry engaged in a multi-decade fraud to deceive the public.