Still Time to Light up 'Lights'

By Published on .

Some time ago, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled that cigarette manufacturers had violated RICO statutes and ordered them to stop marketing "light" and "low-tar" cigarettes, which had me scratching my head. Where'd she get that sort of authority? What do light cigarettes have to do with RICO? Was she one of those meddling activist judges the Republicans are always going on about? Could we be seeing a product called Diet Marlboros?

At any rate, media coverage at the time seemed to imply that the ruling was written in stone and, indeed, cigarette companies seemed to move in the direction of complying (perhaps because the judge didn't make them shell out the $14 billion).

Turns out the cigarette marketers aren't letting go of their lights that easily. According to Bloomberg, "Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA and other U.S. cigarette makers won a delay of a court-imposed ban on the marketing of 'light' cigarettes the industry claimed would cost it hundreds of millions of dollars. "
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