GUESS WHO IS FINALLY COUGHING UP (NO PUN INTENDED) THE TRUTH ABOUT TOBACCO.
Eleven years ago, the Department of Justice sued the Big Tobacco companies for all of the healthcare money the US spent on smoke-related illnesses. Eleven years later, big tobacco companies like Philip Morris USA, Lorillard, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, and Altria have been court ordered to create and pay for ads depicting THE TRUTH about cigarettes. Here are two of the ads:
Wait, so, tobacco companies are creating and paying for ads AGAINST their product?!
That's right! Here's finally why...
Have you noticed that there have been very little to no ads for cigarettes in newspapers, magazines or on TV? Or do you remember a time when there was? I certainly do! I grew up looking at colorful Newport ads all over The Bronx and Washington Heights with very happy and healthy-looking folks or cool cartoons on them:
In 1999, under President Clinton, the Department of Justice sued the Big Tobacco companies like (Philip Morris USA, Lorillard, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, and Altria) for lying about the benefits of smoking and ultimately wanted back some of the money the US had spent on healthcare due to smoking-related illnesses. In 2006, federal judge Gladys Kessler ruled that tobacco companies "lied, misrepresented, and deceived the American public, including smokers and the young people they avidly sought as 'replacement smokers,' about the devastating health effects of smoking." She ordered the companies to make "corrective statements". For example, Tobacco company ads were lying about physicians' endorsements and preferences:
The tobacco companies appealed the decision and instead decided to lower, delay, and weaken their ads. The settlement money went to help fund The Truth Initiative.
This is one of the few cigarette campaigns that will air Monday - Thursday between 7pm-10pm on CBS, ABC, and NBC:
This is be bland, invisible and unwatchable, essentially EVERYTHING the book says an ad campaign should NOT be but it is also eerie, haunting and straight to the point. Some of the people doing the good work around anti-tobacco are folks at the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights, National African American Tobacco Prevention Network and the Tobacco-Free Kids Action FundTalk and they are NOT feeling this TV commercial. But of course they are not, it can't possibly be easy to pay for the failure of your own company or to take responsibilities for billions of deaths due to lies and false advertisements.
Yes, we are adults and can make our own decisions. But this long and hard battle has focused on two things: the lies they told and the people they killed due to not admitting the addiciton in cigarettes, for centuries, AND also addiction and disease in children.
Not that I or any of you needed them to tell us how dangerous and unnecessary smoking is, we already knew, BUT, this is pretty huge if you ask me.
I KNEW THERE WOULD COME A DAY WHEN THE MAN WOULD HAVE TO TELL THE PEOPLE THE MOTHERFUCKIN’ TRUTH.
We are nowhere near that day but this is evidence that it is coming! The truth is only meant to heal. And in this case, now tobacco companies can keep selling their products but also allow people to make educated choices with the full truth in hand. Or whatever.