Why are you going to see ads from tobacco companies admitting that smoking kills


Tobacco companies will now have to admit, on national television, that smoking kills.

After 11 years of appeals and delays, a federal court has finally forced the tobacco companies Altria, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard and Philip Morris USA will carry out a one-year advertising campaign in which they will admit that they tried to make cigarettes more addictive and that smoking kills more people who die from murder, HIV / AIDS, suicide, car accidents, overdose of drugs and alcohol combined among other messages.

Television ads will not be particularly eye-catching, with a video example, with only text and a robotic reading, embedded above. But they will be required to appear on all major networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) in primetime at least five times a week for a year that begins this weekend, NBC News reported.

Text ads will also be published in more than 50 newspapers across the country, from the New York Times to venues such as The Voice of Houston and the Northern Kentucky Herald.

Tobacco companies will pay for the campaign.

In 1999, the Department of Justice of the United States filed an extortion claim against the tobacco companies. In 2006, United States District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled that tobacco companies must pay for advertisements that admit bad actions. But the tobacco companies upheld the ruling through appeals, obtaining important concessions that, for example, allowed them to avoid having to admit that they lied and deliberately manipulated previous marketing campaigns in search of cigarettes.

And, crucially, the tobacco companies managed to delay the advertising campaign long enough to seem like a relic of an earlier era: as more people get their news and entertainment from digital media and broadcast services, the advertising campaign will be broadcast on television and print newspapers.

Given this, even supporters of the campaign say it is not clear what kind of impact it will have. Cliff Douglas, of the American Cancer Society, told NBC News that the ads can at least annoy people about what tobacco companies did, so they "do not want to give Big Tobacco their hard earned money."

At least, the notices will have an effect: after decades of deceptive ads in which they minimized and denied the risks of smoking, tobacco companies will finally have to clarify the deadly dangers of cigarettes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and kills 480,000 people in the United States each year. By comparison, drug overdoses – which public health officials now consider a full-blown epidemic due to the opiate crisis – killed more than 64,000 in 2016.

Public health campaigns in the US UU They have tried for years to stop people from smoking, using, among other tools, warning labels, public smoking bans and higher taxes on cigarettes. These types of efforts are blamed for the mbadive cut in the rate of smoking, for American adults, from 42.4 percent in 1965 to 16.8 percent in 2014.

But as Julia Belluz explained to Vox, there is still much to improve . For example, cigarette packaging in other countries should have more aggressive warning labels that use graphic images and explicit warnings about the deadly risk of smoking. The United States, on the other hand, has not updated health warning labels on packages in decades.

Some states have also raised the legal age to buy cigarettes to 21, which research shows will prevent more people from smoking. But the vast majority of states still do not have a current law.

The publicity campaign forced by the courts represents the last of many ongoing efforts to get people to stop using the most lethal consumer product in human history.

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