Judge Rejects Big Tobacco's Request To Keep Selling 'Lights'

Washington (AP) -- A federal judge is telling tobacco companies to keep their "light" and "low tar" cigarettes off the market for now.

Judge Gladys Kessler ruled in August that cigarette-makers misled the public about how smoking "lights" could still be hazardous to health. And she concluded they broke racketeering laws with their marketing tactics.

The companies asked Kessler to hold off on enforcing an order for them to stop selling "light" cigarettes until an appeal is complete, something that could take years.

The companies say they'll lose business, but Kessler says the "appropriate remedy" for past lawbreaking "may well be the price defendants have to pay." Still, they can ask an appeals court to put the ruling on hold.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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