Philip Morris to Appeal Court Ruling

WASHINGTON (AP) - Philip Morris USA and its parent company,
Altria Group Inc., say they will appeal to the Supreme Court a
ruling by a federal appeals court that upheld major elements of a
2006 landmark ruling against the nation's top tobacco companies. It
found them guilty of racketeering and fraud for deceiving the
public about the dangers of smoking.

The latest ruling upholds requirements that manufacturers change
the way they market cigarettes. The requirements would ban labels
such as "low tar," "light," "ultra light" or "mild," since
such cigarettes have been found no safer than others.

Altria's lawyer says "The court's conclusions are not supported
by the law or the evidence presented at trial, and we believe the
exceptional importance of these issues justifies further review."

R.J. Reynolds says it is also considering appeal.

Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids,
says the appeals decision "represents a dramatic victory for
public health and an emphatic condemnation of the tobacco industry
and its behavior."

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