This past Tuesday, a federal judge decided that the time had come for the world's major tobacco manufacturers and marketers to come clean about the threats smoking poses to public health.
More precisely, Phillip Morris, Reynolds and Lorillard are legally left with no choice but to print and distribute ads stating that they knowingly and deliberately misinformed the general public with respect to the dangers of smoking.
As well as this, they will have to confess to their toying with the products they manufacture and sell in ways that upped addiction levels, USA Today says.
To cut a long story short, said tobacco companies must admit to the fact that smoking kills roughly 1,200 people on a daily basis, and that roughly 3,000 Americans die each year as a result of their spending significant amounts of time in the proximity of smokers.
According to the same source, the five major smoking-related issues these companies lied about in the past and must now make as transparent as possible are those listed below.
How smoking impacts on one's health, how addictive nicotine and smoking really are, how so-called light, ultralight, mild, natural and low tar cigarettes truly impact on one's wellbeing, how the composition of each cigarette is manipulated to make nicotine delivery more efficient, and how secondhand smoke is not as harmless as they would have people believe.
The pattern for each of these statements tobacco companies are forced to make is fairly simple.
Thus, all they have to do is list each of said five things they lied about, state that a Federal Court now wants them to come clean about each of these issues, and then present the facts as they really are.
As Ellen Vargyas, a general counsel for the American Legacy Foundation states, “These statements do exactly what they should do. They're clear, to the point, easy to understand, no legalese, no scientific jargon, just the facts.”
For the time being, it remains unclear whether or not the tobacco companies in question will try to make an appeal and overrule this decision.
“Requiring the tobacco companies to finally tell the truth is a small price to pay for the devastating consequences of their wrongdoing,” argued Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.