Over the next year, major U.S. tobacco companies must run court-ordered newspaper and television advertisements that tell the American public the truth about the deadly consequences of smoking and secondhand smoke, as well as the companies’ intentional design of cigarettes to make them more addictive.
These “corrective statements” are reminders that tobacco use remains the No. 1 cause of preventable disease and death. While they are a step forward in public health improvement, these ads may not be reaching young people, who are most likely to start smoking. Today’s youth spend more time on social media and streaming than with TV and newspapers. These ads would be more effective if they ran online and in popular social media channels.
Anyone who wants to quit smoking can talk to their doctor and/or contact the New York State Smokers’ Quitline for support at nyquits.com or (866) 697-8487.
Stephen Cook
UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital