Thursday, May 30, 2024

Visual Warning Signs: Revealing the Truth about Tobacco

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According to a joint statement from the Center for Health System Improvement, CAI, and the New York State Department of Health’s Tobacco Control Program, major tobacco companies in the United States are required to display visual signage at approximately 220,000 tobacco retailers nationwide in order to promote smoke-free communities and improvements in the healthcare system. These signs will inform the public about the reality of smoking cigarettes.

According to a federal court order, these billboards, known as corrective statements, will be installed near the cigarette display areas of these stores between July 1 and September 30, 2023, and must be continuously displayed until June 30, 2025.

This action will greatly benefit ethnic minority communities that have been saturated and invaded by tobacco advertisements and various flavored tobacco products that attract and addict new young smokers, making quitting smoking even more challenging.

Amanda Hucksoll, the project manager of “Reality Check,” has highlighted the marketing strategies employed by major tobacco companies, which exploit black culture to promote menthol cigarettes among African Americans in the United States. The mint-flavored tobacco makes smoking more addictive and quitting even more challenging.

In addition, the tobacco retail stores in black and brown communities are ten times more numerous than the total number of tobacco retail stores. This means that consumers in those areas are exposed to more tobacco advertisements and products, which are easily accessible. These tobacco retailers are typically located near schools, community centers, and healthcare facilities.

However, in December of last year, a federal court issued a final injunction ordering tobacco companies, including Altria, PMI USA, Reynolds Tobacco, and Imperial Tobacco, to comply with this order. These billboards will vividly illustrate the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke, as well as the truth about tobacco addiction.

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