Statement by John L. Kirkwood, President and CEO -

The American Lung Association welcomes the U.S. Department of Justice announcement that it is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court an appeals court ruling barring disgorgement of illegal tobacco industry profits. This action means that the U.S. Government is again seeking $280 billion in past profits in its racketeering case against the tobacco industry.

The Department of Justice has presented a strong case that the tobacco industry has been engaged in a long-running campaign to deceive the American people about the risks of its products. And, as the marketing of candy-flavored cigarettes shows, the deception continues. Today's action should send a message that a weak settlement is not appropriate and all remedies should be vigorously pursued.

The American Lung Association urges the Department of Justice to pursue the strongest possible remedies including full funding of a nationwide cessation program, penalties if tobacco companies continue to addict children and teens, full disclosure of industry documents, restrictions on marketing, strict oversight and monitoring of industry actions and a national campaign to prevent children from becoming addicted to tobacco.

About the American Lung Association:

For 100 years, the American Lung Association has been the lead organization working to prevent lung disease and promote lung health. Lung disease death rates continue to increase while other leading causes of death have declined. The American Lung Association funds vital research on the causes of and treatments for lung disease. With the generous support of the public, the American Lung Association is "Improving life, one breath at a time." For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or log on to lungusa.

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