Smoking kills 1,200 people a day. The tobacco companies worked to make them as addictive as possible. There is no such thing as a safer cigarette.
Ads with these statements hit the major television networks and newspapers this weekend, but they are not being placed by the American Cancer Society or other health groups. They’re being placed by major tobacco companies, under the orders of the federal courts.
“It’s a pretty significant moment,” the American Cancer Society’s Cliff Douglas said. “This is the first time they have had to ‘fess up and tell the whole truth.”
The Justice Department started its racketeering lawsuit against the tobacco companies in 1999, seeking to force them to make up for decades of deception. Federal district judge Gladys Kessler ruled in 2006 that they’d have to pay for and place the ads, but the companies kept tying things up with appeals.