Tobacco companies to run anti-smoking ads on TV starting Sunday

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Fox 32 News) - Starting on Sunday, tobacco companies will be running ads on TV for the first time in more than 45 years. But these ads will not be trying to get people to start smoking; they will be warning people not to start.

The ads are the result of a long legal battle that started in 1999, when the US Department of Justice sued the major cigarette companies under the RICO act. A judge ruled against those companies in 2006, and the judgment was upheld in 2009. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

AdAge reports that the TV ads will run five times per week for a year mostly during prime time on CBS, NBC and ABC. Full-page newspaper ads run in 50 major newspapers including newspapers that target Hispanicand African American communities.

This is what one of the ads will say:

  • A Federal Court has ordered Altria, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard, and Philip Morris USA to make this statement about the health effects of smoking.
  • Smoking kills, on average, 1,200 Americans. Every day.
  • More people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol, combined.
  • Smoking causes heart disease, emphysema, acute myeloid leukemia, and cancer of the mouth, esophagus, larynx, lung, stomach, kidney, bladder, and pancreas.
  • Smoking also causes reduced fertility, low birth weight in newborns, and cancer of the cervix.

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