Portland Class-Action Suit Targets 'Light' Cigarettes
Plaintiff Seeks RefundsNov 20, 2002 | AP
A class-action lawsuit was filed Wednesday against Philip Morris.
Marilyn Pearson contends that claims of "light" and "low-tar" made for Marlboro Light cigarettes violate the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act.
It is one of about a dozen lawsuits filed recently across the country claiming violation of consumer protection laws.
The class in the Portland lawsuit consists of anybody who ever bought the cigarettes in Oregon. Pearson estimates that there are more than 100,000 members of the class.
The lawsuit contends that Philip Morris knew that Marlboro Lights delivered about the same amount of tar and nicotine to smokers as regular cigarettes.
Pearson seeks refund of the purchase price of all Marlboro Light cigarettes sold in Oregon.
Lower-tar and specially filtered cigarettes were developed in the 1960s. However, according to the National Cancer Institute, lung cancer rates continued to rise between then and the early 1990s.
An overall decline in lung cancer rates since the 1990s can be attributed to a decrease in smoking not to changes in cigarette design.