PNS Daily Newscast - June 5, 2020 

It will likely take donations to help the Twin Cities recover from damage by looters; and state and local governments look for relief in next stimulus bill.

2020Talks - June 5, 2020 

Democrats and Republicans have had drastically different responses to President Trump's militarized response to protests in the nation's capital. And, new electoral maps will be drawn next year, some by legislatures and others by outside entities.

Ohio Health Groups Celebrate Big Tobacco Coming Clean

The tobacco industry spends about $460 million a year marketing its products in Ohio. (Klimkin/Pixabay)
The tobacco industry spends about $460 million a year marketing its products in Ohio. (Klimkin/Pixabay)
November 27, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Big tobacco is coming clean about the dangers of smoking, and health advocates in Ohio are celebrating.

The tobacco industry began running corrective advertisements on Sunday as a result of a 2006 judgment for lying about the negative effects of smoking, and for marketing its products to children.

Jeff Stephens, director of government relations with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in Ohio, says ads will run in newspapers for five months and on primetime television, outlining what the science has shown for years.

"Basically about the adverse health effects of smoking, the addictiveness of smoking – that there's no health benefit from all these low-tar, light cigarettes, that they've manipulated the cigarette design and that there's no safe second-hand smoke," he states.

The lawsuit actually began in 1999 and Stephens says it's taken years of stalling and appeals since the 2006 ruling for the tobacco industry to finally correct the public record.

Some anti-tobacco groups are concerned that, because the ads are only in newspapers and on television, young people, who typically consume media online and whom Big Tobacco is said to target as replacement smokers, won't hear the message.

Ohio's smoking rate of 21 percent is higher than the national average of 15 percent, and the tobacco industry spends about $460 million a year marketing its products in Ohio.

Stephens says even though science supports the dangers of smoking, efforts to reduce tobacco use are always thwarted by big tobacco.

"This year of all these public statements are going to really help remind not only the public but also lawmakers that big tobacco has a history of deceit, a history of wanting to further its own marketing of its deadly product," he states.

According to federal data, tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death and disease, claiming the lives of more than 480,000 Americans each year.

The American Cancer Society was among the public health groups that reached the settlement last month with the tobacco companies and the U.S. Department of Justice.

This collaboration is produced in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded by the George Gund Foundation.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH