Packs of Marlboro cigarettes, a pack of Camel cigarettes, and a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes
Packs of Marlboro cigarettes, a pack of Camel cigarettes, and a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes Reuters

Have you watched the movie "The Insider", where Russell Crowe played the character of Jeffrey Wigand, who exposed Brown & Williamson and their lies about cigarettes, the capacity to addict and kill us on the CBS news program 60 Minutes? If yes, then you should know that American cigarette manufacturers have announced that they will publish anti-smoking ads in 50 different newspapers, as they want to correct their own statements about the effects of smoking which misled the population over the years.

The American Department of Justice announced on 22 November, Wednesday that the anti-smoking ads will be circulated by the US media such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Washington Post from November 30. The department also mentioned in a statement that the advertisements should cover the entire page of a newspaper and should have some clear vision on the effects of smoking. However, TV channels across the country will also broadcast those ads for a year.

According to reports the ads will have some tag-lines to grab the attention of the public such as, "smoking kills, on average, 1,200 Americans every day", "smoking is highly addictive, nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco" and "cigarette companies intentionally designed cigarettes with enough nicotine to create and sustain addiction".

In 1999, during President Bill Clinton's administration, the government had accused several tobacco companies on the basis of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act (RICO), for their misleading contents with cartoons to attract teenagers.

As part of that process, in 2006, the District of Columbia Court ordered the companies Altria, its affiliate Philip Morris USA and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco to place advertisements in the US media to "correct" the misperception the public had for years about tobacco.

It won't be justified if we blame only those tobacco companies for misleading people, because there are famous personalities, especially from sports who have promoted such habits. The famous British Formula One driver James Hunt had a habit of smoking. Even inside the racing arena, audience have seen him several times smoking cigarettes.

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There are big names from the soccer world, who fascinated fans through their smoking habits, including former Brazil national team captain Sócrates and the Italian former footballer Carlo Ancelotti.

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The list also includes American basketball player Michael Jordan, English footballer Wayne Rooney, Italian ace Mario Balotelli, American football player Randy Moss, Nicaraguan professional boxer Ricardo Mayorga, Canadian professional ice hockey ace Dion Phaneuf and legendary Australian cricketer Shane Warne, to name a few.