Tobacco companies to advertise hazards of smoking

24 Nov 2017


Big tobacco will be telling US citizens about the hazards of smoking, a development that health advocates see as a call to action for lawmakers.

After nearly 20 years of litigation, US tobacco companies are now being forced to run ads highlighting information they long fought to keep from the public about the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke (See:US Tobacco companies forced to carry anti-tobacco ads after two-decade legal battle).

Tobacco companies will start publishing and broadcasting the first of a series of court-ordered newspaper ads and television commercials from Sunday, 26 November, that detail the dangers of using tobacco.

''They are finally being forced to broadcast the harms of their products, so this is definitely a victory for public health,'' said Julie Hart, government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

''It confirms the truth that we've known for a long time: that tobacco products are addictive and they do kill,'' Hart said.

The ads stem from a lawsuit brought by the justice department in 1999 charging Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds Tobacco, and several other companies with deceiving the public about the effects of smoking. The court upheld the government's stand in 2006.

''In short, defendants have marketed and sold their lethal product with zeal, with deception, with a single-minded focus on their financial success, and without regard for the human tragedy or social costs that success exacted," US district judge Gladys Kessler wrote in a 1,683-page decision.

The companies fought legal battles with the government for years, but finally agreed to run a series of advertisements with ''corrective statements'' about tobacco use. The first of the newspaper ads to run Sunday in over 50 newspapers across the country will focus on the ''adverse effects of smoking.''

Meanwhile, six public health organisations, including the American Cancer Society and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said in a statement this week, ''Make no mistake: The tobacco companies are not running these ads voluntarily or because of a legal settlement.''

''They were ordered to do so by a federal court that found they engaged in massive wrongdoing that has resulted in 'a staggering number of deaths per year, an immeasurable amount of human suffering and economic loss, and a profound burden on our national health care system,' as US District Judge Gladys Kessler wrote in her 2006 final opinion,'' said the statement.

Business History Videos

History of hovercraft Part 3...

Today I shall talk a bit more about the military plans for ...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of hovercraft Part 2...

In this episode of our history of hovercraft, we shall exam...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of Hovercraft Part 1...

If you’ve been a James Bond movie fan, you may recall seein...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of Trams in India | ...

The video I am presenting to you is based on a script writt...

By Aniket Gupta | Presenter: Sheetal Gaikwad

view more