Big Tobacco fesses up with landmark adverts

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By SHAWNE Okay. WICKHAM
New Hampshire Sunday News


November 18. 2017 11:29PM

Help to quit smoking

Quitline presents free badist to quit smoking, together with teaching and nicotine substitute remedy, 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., seven days per week. Visit quitnownh.org or name 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

The adverts put it bluntly: Smoking kills, on common, 1,200 Americans a day – greater than homicide, AIDS, suicide, medication, automotive crashes and alcohol mixed. And “low tar” and “light” cigarettes are simply as dangerous, they state: “There is no safe cigarette.”

These warnings, which start showing in newspapers and on TV subsequent Sunday, will not be coming from anti-smoking teams.

They’re from the tobacco corporations.

These “corrective statements” are the results of a protracted court docket battle that adopted a 2006 court docket order in a lawsuit the U.S. Department of Justice introduced towards the key tobacco corporations.

In a 1,653-page order, the choose within the case, Gladys Kessler, wrote that the tobacco trade “survives, and profits, from selling a highly addictive product which causes diseases that lead to 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.”

Michael Rollo is director of presidency relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACSCAN). He mentioned the upcoming adverts signify “a huge win” for individuals who have been preventing the tobacco corporations for years.

“It’s been a long time coming, and it’s reinforcing what we’ve known for decades, which is that these products are harmful and that this industry has used deceitful tactics to keep people using their product, which they know is causing harm,” he mentioned.

The statements embrace admissions by the tobacco corporations in 5 areas:

. Adverse well being results of smoking;

. Addictiveness of smoking and nicotine;

. Lack of well being advantages from smoking “low tar,” “light,” “mild,” and “natural” cigarettes;

. Design of cigarettes to reinforce the supply of nicotine and make them extra addictive;

. Adverse well being results of publicity to secondhand smoke.

Patricia Tilley is deputy director of the state Division of Public Health Services. She identified one flaw within the new marketing campaign. Since it got here out of a 2006 order, there isn’t any requirement that the adverts seem on new media platforms that would attain a broader – and youthful – viewers.

Still, she mentioned, “We are always appreciative of any messaging about the adverse health effects of smoking and the addictiveness of smoking and nicotine.”

And Tilley mentioned she’s happy that the statements make clear that there are not any well being advantages to picking “low-tar” cigarettes.

Between 1,700 and 1,900 New Hampshire residents die every year from tobacco-related circumstances, Tilley mentioned. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that smoking-related sicknesses price the state $729 million a yr.

The Altria Group, whose subsidiaries embrace Philip Morris USA Inc. and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company LLC, lately issued an announcement in regards to the court-ordered adverts, noting that the trade has “changed dramatically” over the previous 20 years.

In 2009, Congress gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory authority over tobacco product manufacturing and advertising and marketing, Altria’s govt vp and common counsel, Murray Garnick, mentioned. “We’re focused on the future and, with FDA in place, working to develop less risky tobacco products,” he mentioned.

“We remain committed to aligning our business practices with society’s expectations of a responsible company,” Garnick mentioned. “This includes communicating openly about the health effects of our products, continuing to support cessation efforts, helping reduce underage tobacco use and developing potentially reduced-risk products.”

Erika Sward, badistant vp for nationwide advocacy for the American Lung Association, labored on the federal tobacco case for many years. She referred to as the court-ordered statements, which will even seem on cigarette packs and tobacco firm web sites, “unprecedented.”

Sward mentioned 16 million folks within the United States reside with tobacco-related illnesses, and roughly 480,000 die every year. “And we have a new generation of kids who did not live through the historic fights in Congress when tobacco was on the front page of every newspaper in the country for all those years.”

That’s why, Sward mentioned, it is vital “to educate a new generation of Americans about the years of deception, fraud and lies from the tobacco industry that continue to this day.”

Meanwhile, states proceed to depend on cash from tobacco corporations to steadiness their budgets.

In the fiscal yr that ended June 30, New Hampshire acquired $218.2 million in tobacco tax cash, and $42.6 million in tobacco settlement funds.

The settlement funds are the results of a lawsuit filed by 46 states towards the 4 largest tobacco producers that resulted within the largest civil litigation settlement in U.S. historical past. Under a 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), the collaborating tobacco corporations agreed to pay the states a share of their earnings every year in perpetuity.

Richard Head was director of the patron safety bureau within the Attorney General’s Office when he represented the state in court docket battles that arose after the MSA tobacco settlement. He’s now counsel for each Rath, Young and Pignatelli in Concord and the SL Environmental Law Group in San Francisco.

The level of the annual funds, Head defined, “was in part to recover money that the state was spending for health care badociated with tobacco use.” The MSA additionally had provisions barring promoting that targets kids, he famous.

The CDC sends New Hampshire about $866,000 a yr for smoking prevention applications; that cash funds the state’s “Quitline” (1-800-QUIT-NOW), three full-time workers and media campaigns, Tilley mentioned.

This yr, the Legislature gave the general public well being division $145,000 for smoking cessation and prevention applications. That principally pays at no cost nicotine substitute patches, gum and lozenges for individuals who name the Quitline, with a small quantity going to advert campaigns, Tilley mentioned.

Tilley was diplomatic when requested in regards to the disparity between the tens of millions of the state will get from tobacco income and the quantity it spends on prevention. “We’re thankful for those dollars,” she mentioned, noting this system did not get any funding in previous years.

Even as they have fun a victory with the brand new “corrective statements” popping out, advocates see one other battle on the horizon: the rising reputation of e-cigarettes, particularly amongst youth. Tilley mentioned one latest examine confirmed that one-third of highschool senior boys right here use e-cigarettes.

Tobacco corporations promote such merchandise as safer that common cigarettes.

But for individuals who have fought for transparency for many years, the panorama feels all-too-familiar.

Earlier this month, the federal authorities pushed again the deadline for compliance with FDA rules to 2021 for pipe tobacco and cigars – and to 2022 for “noncombustible” tobacco merchandise reminiscent of e-cigarettes.

Without FDA regulation, Tilley mentioned, “we really don’t know whether they’re safe or not.” It’s not simply nicotine in e-cigarettes that considerations her; it is the chemical substances within the flavorings they use.

“They are approved by FDA as flavorings you would add into your food, but they have not been fully studied yet as you inhale them,” she mentioned, citing a situation referred to as “popcorn lung” that was found amongst staff in a microwave popcorn manufacturing unit.

The American Lung Association has “been sounding the warning bell” about e-cigarettes for years, Sward mentioned. “We are deeply troubled by the FDA announcement that they will delay basic oversight,” she mentioned.

ACSCAN’s Rollo worries that e-cigarettes are “renormalizing smoking.” He says regulation is required “because it’s the wild west right now.”

The new “corrective statements” coming from the tobacco corporations are an “acknowledgement that what we’ve known all along is true,” Rollo mentioned.

And, he predicts, “In another 20 or 30 years, we’ll be doing the same thing with these products.”?

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