The major American cigarette manufacturers, including Altria and Reynolds American, have lost their appeal of a 2006 Federal court ruling that convicted them of fraud and racketeering. A three-judge panel of the Washington, D.C. U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower court's 2006 decision that the cigarette companies had systematically lied to the public in a 50-year conspiracy to defraud the public about the health hazards of smoking cigarettes. The Court also agreed that tobacco companies must publish "corrective statements" on the adverse health effects and addictiveness of smoking and nicotine, and stop using misleading labels like "low tar," "light," "ultra light" or "mild," since such cigarettes are now known to be no safer than others, because of the way people smoke them. The court said that tobacco companies "knew about the negative health consequences of smoking, the addictiveness and manipulation of nicotine, the harmfulness of secondhand smoke, and the concept of smoker compensation, which makes light cigarettes no less harmful than regular cigarettes and possibly more."
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