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Tobacco industry apology may be posted in stores

A recent ruling ordering a multimedia blitz stating that the nation's largest tobacco companies lied about the dangers of smoking left open the possibility that retailers could be required to post large displays with the mea culpas.
By MICHAEL FELBERBAUM, AP Tobacco Writer Modified: December 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm •  Published: December 27, 2012

Retail trade groups argue the move would infringe on their First Amendment and property rights. But public health organizations say the tobacco companies have long used retail displays for deceptive marketing and that retailers are an important place to make the public confession.

“It's just a vital location for these corrective statements so that youth and others who are going to buy cigarettes see (them),” said Howard Crystal, an attorney who represented several public health groups, including the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Retailers who refuse to put up the signs could also lose millions under agreements that give stores rebates to help lower cigarette prices and payments for prominently displaying products.

Associated Press