Apr. 22 1998
Washington, DC - After 40 years of lying about its products and manipulative marketing tactics, the tobacco industry is once again trying to deceive the American people -- this time about comprehensive tobacco control egislation. Today, the CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS launched an aggressive advertising campaign to expose the industry’s latest deceit. "The tobacco industry has spent decades lying about both the dangers of tobacco and marketing to kids, so it is little surprise that they would now lie about tobacco control legislation," said CAMPAIGN President Bill Novelli. "The American people, members of Congress, and the public health community will not be fooled. Tobacco control legislation is not the problem, rather the tobacco industry and its deceptions are the problem." The new print advertisement, which begins running today in The Washington Post and The Hill, asks in a bold headline, "Will Big Tobacco Ever Tell the Truth?" Looking out from the ad is the infamous icon -- the Marlboro Man -- only this time, in the tradition of Pinocchio, his nose has grown noticeably from his incessant lying. The ad goes on to cite new polling data that show strong public support for tobacco legislation, and concludes with the words, "It is time for Congress to pass a tough, effective tobacco bill. No weak imitations. Don’t protect big tobacco." The ad schedule also includes placements in The Washington Times, Roll Call, Congressional Quarterly and National Journal. Other publications will be added. Novelli continued, "By opposing reasonable efforts to protect kids, the tobacco industry has crystallized the choice in this debate between protecting kids and protecting the tobacco industry. If Congress passes weak legislation or delays necessary action, it will clearly be viewed as caving in to Big Tobacco." "In the wake of the tobacco industry’s refusal to support meaningful legislation to protect kids, people overwhelmingly want action," Novelli said. "More than eight out of ten Americans say Congress should pass a national tobacco control policy to reduce tobacco use among kids. Meanwhile, nearly 60 percent of Americans say that the tobacco industry’s opposition makes them favor legislation even more."