LIGGETT EXPECTED TO ADMIT CIGARETTE DANGERS IN SETTLEMENT.
The Liggett Group Inc. will publicly acknowledge that cigarettes are addictive and cause cancer under a settlement with all 22 states suing tobacco companies, broadcast reports said Wednesday.
Liggett also is expected to cooperate fully with the states in efforts against other tobacco companies, ABC and NBC News reported.
Liggett, the smallest of the major U.S. tobacco companies, will turn over ``a treasure-trove'' of incriminating new documents under the settlement, which could be announced as early as today, NBC reported.
Liggett broke with the industry in March 1996 when it settled with five states seeking to recover the public health-care costs of treating sick smokers. Liggett also settled a federal class-action lawsuit filed by smokers.
Liggett, the Durham, N.C.-based maker of Chesterfield, Lark and L&M cigarettes, has agreed to pay $25 million upfront, plus 25 percent of its pretax profits over the next 25 years, NBC said.
ABC's ``World News Tonight'' and The Wall Street Journal reported in January that the documents to be turned over include Liggett's lawyers' notes from about 30 years of meetings with attorneys from other tobacco companies.
Liggett will add a prominent warning to each cigarette pack stating that smoking is addictive and will acknowledge that smoking causes health problems, including lung cancer. It also will agree to government advertising, marketing and sales restrictions, the networks reported.
Tobacco companies have repeatedly denied that smoking is dangerous.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. spokeswoman Peggy Carter said Wednesday night from Winston-Salem, N.C., that the company was not in a position to comment.