Category Archives: Justice Department

Look for full-page anti-tobacco ads on Nov. 26th, 18 years in the making

This is a legal case going back to the previous century.

Waaaay back in 2006, a federal judge ordered Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds  to take out full-page newspaper ads admitting they lied for decades about the dangers of its products, and that ruling came as a result of a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department in 1999.

Because of various appeals, etc., Big Tobacco has managed to avoid taking out these ads for years and years. This is actually something Big Tobacco excels at — keeping shit tied up in court for decades. But, now all their appeals have been exhausted and the reckoning day is here.

So, these ads, which will appear in major newspapers across the U.S. in Sunday papers on Nov. 26 will have been in the works for 18 years. You may also see some ads on TV because of the same court ruling.

R.J. Reynolds, father of Joe Camel, estimates the ads will cost them $20 million. A pretty small drop in the bucket for the billions in profits RJR and Philip Morris have made in the past 18 years.

(I will have to pick up a Seattle Times on Nov. 26 to see if one of these ads appears there)

The full-page ads will address these four topics:

  • The adverse health effects of smoking.
  • Addictiveness of smoking and nicotine.
  • Lack of significant health benefit from smoking “low tar,” “light,” “ultra light,” “mild” and “natural’ cigarettes.
  • Manipulation of cigarette design and composition to ensure optimum nicotine delivery.
  • Adverse health effect of exposure to secondhand smoke

The secondhand smoke one suprised me a bit, since this became an issue way after 1999 (and 2006 for that matter). I can’t wait to see the ad.

 

 

Tobacco companies must place full-page ads admitting they lied

Guilty-Dogs-Of-2013-Hilarious-Dog-Video-Compilation

Interesting and to me surprising story.

This week, several tobacco companies — RJ Reynolds, Altria (Philip Morris) — agreed with the Justice Department to print “corrective statements” in major newspapers around the U.S. admitting that they lied for many years about the health effects of smoking.

These full-page ads will appear in the Sunday editions of 35 newspapers. In addition, the tobacco companies have to post articles on the newspapers’ websites and on their own websites admitting their lies. On top of that, there will be television commercials as well.

A long way from the early 1990s, when tobacco executives testifying before Congress continued to claim that nicotine wasn’t addictive and that there was no proof smoking caused lung cancer (Yup, they kept claiming this right into the ’90s.)

This agreement is part of a 15-year-long racketeering case being pursued by the Justice Department against the tobacco industry.

The five lies the industry will be forced to publicly admit:

The five corrective statements will address the companies’ deceptions regarding 1) the health effects of smoking; 2) the addictiveness of smoking and nicotine; 3) the false advertising of low-tar and light cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes; 4) the designing of cigarettes to enhance the delivery of nicotine; and 5) the health effects of secondhand smoke.

Oh, No. 5 is a hoot. Reminds me all the old arguments I’ve had with smokers’ right’s nuts that secondhand smoke is completely harmless. Dave Hitt, FORCES, the Heartland Institute will not be happy with these full-page ads.

I mean does this make any difference? It won’t undo the damage done and bring people back to life. But, I think it’s important that these lies are exposed once and for all (and I’m serious, there are still people to this day arguing that secondhand smoke is harmless). It’s all about maintaining the legacy of the “cigarette century,” a century in which untold millions died from their tobacco addiction, and the industry’s cover-up of that holocaust. Ultimately, that’s how we will win.