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'Big Tobacco' Ad Campaign Against Smoking Starts

Image: 'Big Tobacco' Ad Campaign Against Smoking Starts

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By    |   Monday, 27 November 2017 12:20 PM

"Big Tobacco" represented by four of the largest companies will be running an anti-smoking ad campaign after more than a decade of wrangling in federal court, the Washington Times reported.

The 52-week ad campaign paid for by R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris USA, Altria, and Lorillard reportedly started Sunday and was the product of a federal court consent order and 11 years of appeals from the tobacco industry, the Times said.

The television spots are required to run in prime time five times per week on ABC, CBS or NBC, featuring black lettering on a white background with a female narrator who says the ads were ordered by a federal court, per the Times.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled in 2006 in a racketeering case first brought in 1999 that the tobacco companies have to pay for and place the ads to make up for decades of advertising deception, NBC News reported.

The tobacco companies managed to delay the order for years in appeals, NBC noted.

"Employing the highest paid lawyers in America, the tobacco companies used every tool at their disposal to delay and complicate this litigation to avoid their day of reckoning," Cliff Douglas, of American Cancer Society, told NBC News.

In a joint statement, 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 Fund, said that the ads are long overdue.

"Despite their claims to the contrary, the tobacco companies have not changed," the statement said. "Their continuing aversion to the truth is clear from how hard they fought the corrective statements, going so far as to seek removal of the phrase 'here is the truth.'"

Some free speech advocates questioned why tobacco companies were being singled out and not the fast-food industry and candy companies, the Times said.

"This shouldn't be upsetting just to people who smoke," Jon Caldara, president of the Independence Institute in Denver, told the Times. "This should be upsetting to any civil libertarian who doesn't believe that government should coerce speech."

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"Big Tobacco" represented by four of the largest companies will be running an anti-smoking ad campaign after more than a decade of wrangling in federal court.
big tobacco, smoking, ad campaign, starts
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2017-20-27
Monday, 27 November 2017 12:20 PM
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