Lawyers in the United States are seeking up to a billion dollars in a class action law suit on behalf of smokers against tobacco giant Philip Morris. The tobacco company has been accused of claiming light cigarettes were safer than regular cigarettes when they weren’t.
Over 700 million packs of Marlboro Light Cigarettes were sold in the State of Missouri from early 1995 to the end of 2002. The lawsuit which began in 2000 blames Philip Morris for mislabelling their cigarette product. The light cigarette packages promised lower tar and nicotine when they were made with the same tobacco as regular cigarettes and smokers then compensated for the lower nicotine by inhaling more deeply.
The tobacco company’s lawyers have argued that Marlboro Light cigarettes are different than regular Marlboro Reds and include 11% less tobacco, more ventilation and a longer filter. Both type of cigarettes carried the same surgeon general’s warnings.
In 2003, another case involving the marketing of low-tar cigarettes as a safer product led to a $10.1 billion verdict against Philip Morris in a US Court.
Speaking today Liam Moloney Healthcare Solicitor said, “these cigarettes were marketed as being safer than other brands when clearly they weren’t. Consumers were lured into a false sense of security in buying these products”.