ABC News settled two multimillion-dollar libel suits Monday by apologizing to Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds for reporting the companies manipulated the amount of nicotine in their cigarettes.
ABC’s “Day One” newsmagazine reported in February and March 1994 that tobacco companies including Philip Morris Cos. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. “spiked” cigarettes with extra nicotine to addict smokers.
“ABC News agrees that we should not have reported that Philip Morris and Reynolds add significant amounts of nicotine from outside sources,” Diane Sawyer, one of the anchors of “Day One,” said midway into Monday night’s broadcast of “World News Tonight.”
“That was a mistake that was not deliberate on the part of ABC but for which we accept responsibility and which requires correction,” she said. “We apologize to our audience, Philip Morris and Reynolds.”