May. 1 2002
Washington, DC — We applaud today's decision by a Delaware judge to deny Lorillard Tobacco Company's attempt to dismiss a lawsuit against it by the American Legacy Foundation. As a result, a Delaware court will rule on Legacy's request for a declaratory judgment that Lorillard has no authority to sue Legacy for violations of the 1998 state tobacco settlement (Master Settlement Agreement). The proper outcome should be an end to Lorillard's bogus claim that Legacy's highly effective "truth" anti-tobacco advertising campaign somehow "vilified" the tobacco industry, thereby violating the settlement.
Lorillard is engaged in a transparent attempt to dismantle Legacy's dynamic tobacco prevention counter-marketing campaign, which is informing kids about how the tobacco industry has targeted and deceived them about the harm caused by tobacco products. The "truth" campaign stands in marked contrast to ineffective "youth anti-smoking" ads being run by Lorillard and other tobacco companies, which offer no reason not to smoke and portray smoking as an acceptable adult habit. Lorillard's "Tobacco is whacko if you're a teen" campaign is the best example there is of an ineffective way to teach kids that smoking is lethal.
It is critical that the American Legacy Foundation prevail in the Delaware case so that it can maintain its independence and continue to run hard-hitting advertising proven effective at preventing kids from smoking. The fact that Lorillard is seeking to stop Legacy's successful efforts to reduce youth smoking is further proof that although Lorillard says it does not want kids to smoke, what the company really wants is to destroy an effective ad campaign that is helping to reduce tobacco use by kids.