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No SmokingI started smoking experimentally when I was 16, and then more while in college. When I graduated in 1967, a much older, but close family friend, told me he was diagnosed with emphysema. His doctor said if he didn’t stop smoking, he would die. He quit, me too. I began to realize smoking was harmful to me, and also to those around me. According to the Surgeon General, between 1964 and 2014, 2.5 million people died from exposure to secondhand smoke. 

For decades, the tobacco industry fought research conclusions showing smoking caused cancer. A Federal judge ruled ten years ago the industry must advertise the facts of the impact of smoking. Once again, the industry dragged its heels, for more than ten years, but now finally will comply. The ads will confirm more people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol, combined. Further, they must acknowledge in the ads smoking causes heart disease, emphysema, acute myeloid leukemia, and cancers of the mouth, esophagus, larynx, lung, stomach, kidney, bladder, and pancreas. The fessing up advertising begins right after Thanksgiving.

The American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids have charged the tobacco companies continue to mislead the public and spend billions annually marketing deadly products. A joint statement said, “Make no mistake: The tobacco companies are not running these ads voluntarily or because of a legal settlement. They were ordered to do so by a federal court that found they engaged in massive wrongdoing that has resulted in a staggering number of deaths per year, an immeasurable amount of human suffering and economic loss, and a profound burden on our national healthcare system.”