As we ring in the new year, ACS CAN would like to take this opportunity to thank our volunteers for their support in making 2019 a successful year. With their continued support and help from all cancer advocates, we are looking forward to making 2020 another great year!
Tobacco Companies One Step Closer to Major Advertising Campaign Touting the Dangers of Smoking Cigarettes
After 15 years of legal wrangling, the tobacco industry is one step closer to finally being required to tell the truth about the deadly impact of its products. Soon, the tobacco industry may well be required to run advertisements in newspapers, on television and online in which manufacturers must come clean that cigarettes are not safe, cause cancer and lead to premature death. The ads would be paid for solely by the tobacco companies. However, despite the fact that the tobacco companies have now agreed to the details of where and when the ads will appear, they still have an opportunity to appeal the content of the ads themselves, which could cause further delays in the launch of the campaign. To date, the companies have filed time-consuming appeals at every stage of the 15-year lawsuit, The new ad campaign is the result of an agreement reached today between tobacco companies, the U.S. Department of Justice and six major health groups, including the American Cancer Society. The agreement stems from the 2006 decision by U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler who ruled that tobacco companies knowingly and intentionally engaged in a scheme to defraud smokers and potential smokers, for purposes of financial gain, by making false and fraudulent statements, representations and promises. In that decision, she also ordered that the industry make corrective statements to help prevent future fraud. After years of appeals and delaying tactics by the tobacco industry, an agreement with the tobacco companies was finally reached. The Advertising Campaign According to the legal settlement, the industry must:
- Purchase full-page newspaper ads in the Sunday editions of the top 35 newspapers in the country, and place online ads on these publicationsÈ websites
- Place prime time TV spots on the three major TV networks (CBS, ABC and NBC) for a year
- Publish the corrective statements on their websites
- Affix to their cigarette packaging, either to the outside of the pack or on the plastic wrapping around each package, an onsert containing one of the corrective statements
See mockups of the newspaper ads, online versions of the newspaper ads, TV spots, cigarette packaging onserts and tobacco industry website text. History of the Lawsuit In 1999, the Department of Justice (DOJ) brought a lawsuit against the major tobacco companies accusing the industry of defrauding the American people about the health effects of smoking and its marketing to children. The American Cancer Society and five other public health groups Americans for NonsmokersÈ Rights, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund and National African American Tobacco Prevention Network became intervenors in the federal case in 2005. Years of legal preparation culminated in a nine-month trial in federal district court where District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled in 2006 that the tobacco companies knowingly and intentionally engaged in a scheme to defraud smokers and potential smokers, for purposes of financial gain, by making false and fraudulent statements, representations and promises. To prevent the industryÈs deception from continuing, Judge Kessler ordered the companies to make corrective statements through television and newspaper advertising, on the companiesÈ web sites and on cigarette packaging. The corrective statements include such phrases as: Here is the truth: Smoking kills, on average, 1200 Americans. Every day. and All cigarettes cause cancer, lung disease, heart attacks, and premature death lights, low tar, ultra lights, and naturals. There is no safe cigarette.