Since late November, the tobacco industry has run a series of ads about the hazards of tobacco smoking, not because they developed a sudden compassion for humanity that exceeded their quest for profits, but because giants of the cigarette manufacturing industry were ordered to do so by a U.S. District Court late last year.
The order was part of a permanent injunction issued in 2006, designed to “prevent and restrain further deception of the American people regarding tobacco use” by publicly acknowledging the dangers associated with smoking low tar and light cigarettes.
To this end, the court ordered Altria, Lorillard, Philip Morris USA, and R. J. Reynolds to release the following statement: “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.”