A 2-decade lawsuit will be put to rest when some of the nation’s largest tobacco companies will be forced to admit they mislead the public about their products on national TV. For years the tobacco industry has lied to the public about the dangers and addictiveness of their products. They would tell the public that nicotine was not addictive, their products didn’t cause cancer, secondhand smoke wasn’t dangerous, and countless other lies.
For 52 weeks starting in November, these companies will run 30-45 second PSAs on mostly ABC, CBS, NBC, and some newspapers that disclose that the industry has intentionally formulated cigarettes to be more addictive, that smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the US, and that low tar, light, mild, or natural cigarettes are not significantly healthier than any other tobacco product .
While this punishment may sound like it’s giving Big Tobacco its just deserts, the PSAs may not effectively target younger populations. There will be no PSAs on social media sites young people usually visit like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. However, the PSAs may still be effective for adult populations. The spots must be available in Spanish and must follow strict formatting, size, wording, and run time guidelines- they wont be able to weasel out of much. It will be exciting to see the effects this mandate will have on smoking rates in the United States.