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As of Sunday, Nov. 26, the major U.S. tobacco companies are running federal court-mandated TV and print ads highlighting the negative health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke, as well as how the tobacco industry designed cigarettes to be more addictive.

The ads are a result of a 2006 federal court ruling which ordered the tobacco companies to issue “corrective statements” after finding they had deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of smoking and industry plans to market tobacco to kids.

Some of the statements include:

“Smoking kills, on average, 1200 Americans. Every day.”

“More people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol, combined.”

“Smoking also causes reduced fertility, low birth weight in newborns, and cancer of the cervix.”

The tobacco industry used appeals to delay and weaken the rule for over 11 years, and now the federal court order is forcing the tobacco companies to run the ad.

The TV ads will run five times per week for one year on one of the three major networks (CBS, ABC, or NBC). The ads will also run for five weeks in major newspapers including The New York Times, USA Today, and Washington Post.

To get involved in tobacco prevention, contact the South Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition at 608-847-9373. South Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition encourages all individuals who use tobacco to call the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free help with quitting tobacco.

Donna McGinley

South Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition Member