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

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The company confession campaign, which ramps up this weekend, will also report that nicotine "changes the brain", which makes it hard to quit smoking, and that with an average toll of 1,200 Americans per day, "more people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, vehicle crashes, and alcohol combined".

"Big Tobacco" represented by four of the largest companies will be running an anti-smoking ad campaign after more than a decade of wrangling in federal court, the Washington Times reported. But they're not being placed by advocacy groups; they are being placed by the tobacco companies. Full-page newspaper ads run in 50 major newspapers including newspapers that target Hispanicand African American communities.

The 52-week ad campaign paid for by R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris USA, Altria, and Lorillard reportedly started Sunday and was the product of a federal court consent order and 11 years of appeals from the tobacco industry, the Times said.

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

In 1999, during President Bill Clinton's administration, the government had accused several tobacco companies on the basis of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act (RICO), for their misleading contents with cartoons to attract teenagers. Ruth Malone, a professor of nursing and public health policy at the University of California, San Francisco, who consulted for the Justice Department in the case, told The New York Times that the order is in the spirit of the original ruling.

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The tobacco companies negotiated to not have to use the phrase "here's the truth" in the advertisements. Specifically, the advertisements are to air between 7 and 10 p.m. on weeknights on CBS, NBC and ABC.

In West Virginia, Compton said smoking rates have declined over the years, but still remain a leading cause of preventable death and illness, especially in young adults.

The commercials are certainly nowhere near as compelling as those produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of its 5-year-old "Tips from Former Smokers" campaign, which feature graphic testimony from people struggling with tracheotomies, disfigurement and amputations.

"We have 18 percent of our high school students that are smoking - whereas nationally it's about 10 percent", she said.

"This shouldn't be upsetting just to people who smoke".

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