Ads that inform the public about the dangers of cigarette smoking will become more widespread, but health advocates aren't the ones behind it.
In fact, tobacco companies are orchestrating them, but they're not doing it willingly. A federal court has ordered them to tell the public the truth and nothing but the truth.
Big Tobacco Has To Confess
Altria, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard, and Philip Morris USA are the companies hit by the order. As a result, they all have to run "corrective statements" in the form of ads on TV and newspapers throughout four months.
According to a court document, examples of this include that smoking kills 1,200 Americans every day on average; causes heart disease, emphysema, acute myeloid leukemia, and cancer; and causes more deaths than murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol combined.
The same goes for secondhand smoke, wherein they are required to make the dangers related to it clear, such as how it kills more than 30,000 Americans per year, causes lung cancer and coronary heart disease in non-smoking adults, and increases the risk of children incurring sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS and severe asthma, to name a few.
More than that, they are also tasked with warning the public of how addictive cigarette smoking is, with statements such as "Cigarette companies intentionally designed cigarettes with enough nicotine to create and sustain addiction" and "When you smoke, the nicotine actually changes the brain — that's why quitting is so hard."
The Lies Stop Now
Tobacco companies have been determined to have "lied, misrepresented and deceived the American public, including young people, about the devastating health effects of smoking" for more than 50 years (via NPR) by Judge Gladys Kessler, the district judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
They also abused the legal system to keep the facts hidden away, destroying important documents and the like. At that, they misled the public about light and "low tar" cigarettes, making them appear less dangerous, and kept the harmful effects of secondhand smoke at bay.
Alternatives To Tobacco
In 2015, 49 million Americans or one in five adults used tobacco, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, which illustrates the severity of cigarette smoking in the country.
On a related note, a study published in August said there's a 20 percent chance of users quitting smoking by increasing the price of cigarettes by $1.
Another recommendation is to turn to e-cigarettes, which health experts are encouraging smokers to do to help them kick the habit for good.