El Paso County, CO -- More than 45 years after tobacco advertising left American television, the biggest U.S. tobacco companies are returning with a message they never wanted to share.
Beginning November 2017, the major U.S. tobacco companies are required to run ads in newspapers and on national TV telling the American people the truth about the devastating health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke as well as the companies’ intentional design of cigarettes to make them more addictive.
A federal court in 2006 ordered the companies to make these “corrective statements” after finding them guilty of breaking civil racketeering laws and lying to the public about the dangers of smoking and how they marketed to children.
Public health advocates in El Paso County welcome the anti-tobacco ads because they highlight the devastating toll of tobacco use and the need for continued action and attention to protect our community.
“Despite progress in reducing smoking, tobacco use is still the leading preventable cause of death in the United States,” said Dacia Hudson, Program Manager of the El Paso County Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership. “4,400 Colorado kids under 18 become new tobacco users every year putting their health and future at risk.”
The Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership is working in El Paso County to encourage tobacco prevention and cessation among adults and youth by implementing tobacco-free policies.
The federal judge who issued the verdict against the major cigarette manufacturers stated that 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.”
The corrective statement ads are running in print and online in about 50 U.S. newspapers, which were specified by the court. Ads are also running during prime time on the major television networks for one year.