Our View: Making amends for tobacco’s wrongs

DKS Editors

In a belated punishment for decades of false advertising by the tobacco industry, a judge ruled Tuesday that those companies must spend their own money on an advertising campaign about the real effects of cigarettes.

It means tobacco advertisements have come a long way since the days of remarkable campaigns like “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.” Instead, you might soon see a Camel ad that actually says, “Smoking kills, on average, 1,200 Americans. Every day.”

How much of a difference will these ads make on the prevalence of tobacco consumption? It’s hard to tell. Hopefully everyone knows by now that smoking is a deadly habit. It’s very likely that most smokers are fully aware of the risks and simply continue to smoke anyway.

That doesn’t mean the tobacco industry should keep ignoring the health effects of their products. Smokers have a right to smoke, but everyone should keep in mind that they’re also unfairly harming the people around them who unwillingly inhale secondhand smoke.

It’s important for the tobacco companies to pay for their lies. Many of us have relatives who might still be alive today if the truth about smoking had never been swept under the rug.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.