Big Tobacco forced to tell the truth with TV and print ads
The tobacco industry is finally being forced to tell the truth about the deadly and harmful effects of cigarettes.
Eleven years after a federal judge found that the tobacco industry violated civil racketeering laws — meaning they systematically defrauded the American people — tobacco companies are being forced to run court-ordered TV and newspaper ads about how they manipulated cigarettes and lied. Four tobacco companies—Altria, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard and Philip Morris USA—are running the ads starting Nov. 26.
The tobacco companies “have marketed and sold their lethal products 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,” wrote U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler in her 1,683-page opinion for the 2006 court decision.
Big Tobacco has spent the past 11 years fighting to weaken the language of the ads. During this delay, more than 5 million people have died from tobacco, still the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States.