Putting an End to Unethical Practices by Tobacco Companies

The tobacco industry’s track record is riddled with unethical practices. Tobacco companies have faced several accusations of engaging in civil racketeering and shamelessly targeting vulnerable groups such as minors and minorities with harmful advertisements. They didn’t stop there, though. For years, they have distorted and lied about the health risks tied to tobacco products.

Now, the court-mandated truth is finally emerging from the haze of lies.

The Deadly Truth Revealed

Major U.S. tobacco companies are required by law to tell the truth about the dangers of cigarette smoking. Gas stations and retail stores must prominently display signs showing the deadly consequences and long-term impacts of tobacco use. These signs must be placed near cigarette displays at the point of sale in nearly 200,000 stores across the country and kept up until June 30, 2025.

A Decades-Long Battle

Tobacco companies fiercely resisted these corrective statements, which were initially ordered by the court in 2006. However, strong evidence from decades of U.S. Surgeon General Reports on tobacco informs these statements, and this is the first time that tobacco companies have been forced to tell the truth about smoking. The 17 total corrective statements are grouped into the following categories:
Here are the signs:

  • 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.
  • Smoking is highly addictive. Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco.
  • Cigarette companies intentionally designed cigarettes with enough nicotine to create and sustain addiction.
  • It’s not easy to quit.
  • When you smoke, the nicotine actually changes the brain — that’s why quitting is so hard.
  • Many smokers switch to low tar and light cigarettes rather than quitting because they think low tar and light cigarettes are less harmful. They are not.
  • “Low tar” and “light” cigarette smokers inhale essentially the same amount of tar and nicotine as they would from regular cigarettes.
  • All cigarettes cause cancer, lung disease, heart attacks, and premature death – lights, low tar, ultra lights, and naturals. There is no safe cigarette.
  • Altria, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard, and Philip Morris USA intentionally designed cigarettes to make them more addictive.
  • Cigarette companies control the impact and delivery of nicotine in many ways, including designing filters and selecting cigarette paper to maximize the ingestion of nicotine, adding ammonia to make the cigarette taste less harsh, and controlling the physical and chemical make-up of the tobacco-blend.
  • When you smoke, the nicotine actually changes the brain. That’s why quitting is so hard.
  • Secondhand smoke kills over 38,000 Americans each year.
  • Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer and coronary heart disease in adults who do not smoke.
  • Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems, severe asthma, and reduced lung function.
  • There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Empowering Every Oklahoman

Our collective voice, focused on education and policy change, will resonate throughout the state and impact individuals across generations. Read about the sinister marketing tactics Big Tobacco has thrust upon vulnerable populations. Find excerpts from the ruling and more information, or download and share campaign materials to make a difference in your community. Share materials with community leaders, school officials and civically engaged parents to make a positive change wherever you live.

Published by Tobacco Stops With Me on October 30, 2023