• R.J. Reynolds ordered to pay Vt. $8.3 million
     | June 10,2013

    MONTPELIER — A Vermont judge has ruled that tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds must pay Vermont $8.3 million in penalties for advertising one of its cigarettes as a less risky option than others, the Vermont attorney general’s office said.

    The attorney general’s office has sued the company for advertising its Eclipse cigarettes as a “risk reduction” product. Judge Dennis Pearson ruled in March 2010 that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. had violated consumer protection law and another order by not having adequate scientific studies to back up its advertising claims that Eclipse might reduce smokers’ risks of getting cancer.

    Pearson ruled last week that Reynolds should pay civil penalties for the violations. The judge also banned Reynolds from making such a claim without backing it up with sufficient scientific studies.

    “This decision is a multimillion-dollar wake-up call for Reynolds and other tobacco companies,” Attorney General William Sorrell said. “If you make unsubstantiated health claims about your deadly products, you will pay dearly. Any attempts to advertise alternative tobacco products with deceptive health-benefit claims will not be tolerated.”

    Bryan Hatchell, a spokesman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., said the company might appeal the ruling.

    “We are disappointed with the judge’s ruling and are considering our options in this case including our right to appeal,” he said.

    MORE IN World/National Business
    WASHINGTON — The nation’s largest accreditor of for-profit colleges faces a vote Thursday that... Full Story
    For-profit college watchdog fighting to stay alive
    LONDON — As if the stakes were not high enough in Britain’s nail-biting vote this week, people... Full Story
    Betting on Britain’s high-stakes EU vote breaks record
    DETROIT — Hailing a ride with a smartphone app in many U.S. Full Story
    Uber, Lyft battle governments over driver fingerprint checks
    More Articles
    • VIDEOS
    • PHOTOS