This takes an apology tour to a whole new level. Okay, they might not be saying sorry, but tobacco companies will soon be owning up hiding the dangers of smoking from consumers with an advertising campaign of “corrective statements”.
Tobacco companies and the Department of Justice reached an agreement Friday about the advertising campaign, USA Today reports.
In 2006, a judge found tobacco companies guilty of violating civil racketeering laws and lying to the public about the dangers of smoking. The judgement resulted from a 1999 lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice charging tobacco companies under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
Corrective statement will be issued regarding the five key “findings of fact” from the judgement.
The facts detail how tobacco makers defrauded the public by:
- lying about the health damage caused by smoking
- the addictive nature of nicotine
- their marketing and promotion of “low tar” and “light” cigarettes as healthier when there are no clear health benefits
- designing tobacco products to be as addictive as possible
- engaging in a massive effort to hide the dangers of secondhand smoke
The campaign will include online and full-page print ads in the Sunday editions of the top 35 newspapers in the county and prime-time television ads on the three major networks for one year.
Additionally, the statements must be attached to packages of cigarettes.