Reynolds Tobacco Pleased With Dismissal of California Prop. 65 Suit
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company today said it was very pleased that a San Diego judge has dismissed claims that the tobacco industry was required, and failed, to warn nonsmokers about the state of California's con
Suits filed by the cities of Los Angeles and San Jose on behalf of the people of California claimed that tobacco manufacturers had violated the state's Proposition 65, which requires the display of hazardous-warning information for certain products.
In his ruling, Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Prager noted that Proposition 65 does not apply to secondhand smoke because cigarette manufacturers have no control over where and when smokers use their products, and because it is not the companies' intention to expose nonsmokers to secondhand smoke.
``It was clear from the start that this case had no legal merit and should never have been brought to court,'' said Thomas F. McKim, assistant general counsel for Reynolds Tobacco. ``We are very pleased that Judge Prager has ruled that cigarette companies have no legal duty to warn nonsmokers about the alleged dangers of secondhand smoke.''
In his ruling, Prager stated: ``As the evidence proffered is undisputed and establishes Defendants' wholesale lack of control over the exposure of 'second hand smoke' to non-consumers, as a matter of law it must be said that Defendants herein owed Plaintiffs no duty to warn non-consumers of second hand smoke that may have been emitted by the ordinary use by consumers of the tobacco products manufactured and distributed by Defendants.''
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings, Inc.. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company is the second-largest tobacco company in the United States, manufacturing about one of every four cigarettes sold in the United States. Reynolds Tobacco's product line includes four of the nation's ten best-selling cigarette brands: Winston, Camel, Salem and Doral.