Starting Sunday November 26, 2017, the major U.S Tobacco Companies will run federal court mandated TV and print ads highlighting the negative health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke, as well as how the tobacco industry designed cigarettes to be more addictive. The Tobacco companies involved include Altria, its Philip Morris USA subsidiary and R.J. Reynolds.
These ads are a result of a 2006 Federal court ruling which ordered the tobacco companies to issue “corrective statements” after finding that they had violated civil racketeering laws (RICO) and deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of smoking and industry plans to market tobacco to kids! This case and the corrective statements are a timely reminder both that tobacco use remains an enormous public health problem in the United States-it is the No. 1 cause of preventable disease and death-and that tobacco’s horrific toll stems from the harmful practices of the tobacco industry.
Make no mistake: The tobacco companies are not running these ads voluntarily or because of a legal settlement. These ads are being run under Federal court order that is forcing tobacco companies to run the ads, after 11 years of using appeals to delay and weaken the ruling. The tobacco industry’s unwillingness to do the ads is obvious in how they display the ads, they are not like the usual cigarette ads that feature bright colors, attractive models, and the promise of fun. These court mandated ads almost seem designed to be ignored-simply featuring plain text over a white background.
There will be five corrective statements issued by the tobacco companies about how they deliberately deceived the public about:
- The adverse health effects of smoking
- The addictiveness of smoking and nicotine
- The lack of significant health benefit from smoking “low tar,” “light,” “ultra light,” “mild” and “natural” cigarettes (products that have been deceptively marketed as less harmful than regular cigarettes)
- The manipulation of cigarette design and composition to ensure optimum nicotine delivery
- The adverse health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke
The TV ads will run 5 times a week for one year Monday through Thursday between 7p.m. and 10 p.m. on one of 3 major networks (CBS, ABC, or NBC). In addition; the tobacco companies must place full page print ads in the Sunday editions of more than 50 newspapers across the nation as specified by the court. Five ads-one on each of the corrective statements-will be published over a four-month period starting on November 26, 2017. The ads must also appear on the newspapers websites. Of the 50 newspapers displaying the ads, those available to our local community members include: Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Milwaukee Courier.
Electronic cigarettes. Little cigars. Sweet candy flavors. The next generation of addictive tobacco products is here, and most of them don’t look anything like a pack of cigarettes. Tobacco has evolved so fast, it’s tough for parents to recognize tobacco when they see it—and even tougher to talk to your kids about the terrible damage tobacco products can do. But that can change right here.
Get to know the new face of tobacco. It’s the first step to helping your kids stay healthy and tobacco-free.
We are encouraging the public to get involved by visiting the website for the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids at https://www.tobaccofreekids.org. Tobacco users can get free help by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
For more information visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/tobaccoischanging/index.htm
If you have any questions please feel free to contact the Forest County Public Health Department at 715-478-3371 or visit our Facebook page for more information.