Big Tobacco starts airing court-ordered anti-smoking ads

This week, tobacco companies began running ads admitting that cigarettes are unhealthy. This is the result of lawsuit filed by the Justice Department way back in 1999.

A court ruled back in 2006 that the industry had to admit its wrongdoings, but Altria and RJR and British American Tobacco have been appealing that decision for 11 years. They managed to get the language watered down quite a bit from the original ruling that toned down the language.

From a USA Today article:

“It has been a long fight,” Robin Koval, president of the anti-smoking nonprofit Truth Initiative,¬†told NBC News. She added: “Not as much will be seen by young people, who spend less and less of their time watching prime-time television.”

In the ad, fully paid for by the tobacco industry, the industry admits that cigarettes kill 1,200 people every day in the U.S. and kills more people than illegal drugs, alcohol, AIDS and murder combined.

The ad goes on to say that smoking causes lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, and various other cancers such as leukemia, throat, esophageal, bladder, pancreatic and stomach.” It even mentions cervical cancer and low birth weight for children (I wish it had talked about diabetes, arthritis, and erectile dysfunction, too).

I haven’t seen any of the print ads yet; the industry is supposed to put these ads in major papers over the next several months. I bought a Seattle Times looking for one, but no cigar. They’re apparently being rolled out over several months. But, I’ve seen the ads on YouTube that are airing on TV.

About time. Watered down, but making Big Tobacco pay for an ad telling people that cigarettes kill … priceless enough.

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