Judge: State can sue R.J. Reynolds over claims

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A judge has rejected R.J. Reynolds’ request that he dismiss a state suit challenging the tobacco giant’s claim that its Eclipse cigarette is healthier than the average cigarette.

Chittenden Superior Court Judge Dennis Pearson also rejected eight of nine other pretrial motions Reynolds’ lawyers filed on what evidence and witnesses should be included in the trial.

The Vermont attorney general’s office is suing on behalf of Vermont and 35 other states, challenging the company’s claims in advertisements that Eclipse cigarettes "may produce less risk of cancer."

R.J. Reynolds maintains that the claim is backed up by credible scientific evidence.

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