AUSTIN (KXAN) — You may see new signs at cigarette displays inside stores warning about the dangers of smoking and its addictiveness.
It’s part of a court ruling ordering the signs (called “corrective statements”) be posted between July 1 and Sept. 30 inside retail stores that sell tobacco.
The court order applies to tobacco companies Philip Morris USA, R.J. Reynolds and ITG Brands.
“The whole idea here is to counter the industry’s deception by revealing the truth at the very point in these retail establishments where smokers will be making the decision to buy that next pack of cigarettes or that next carton of cigarettes, or kids may be making the decision to begin to smoke. Right at that point of sale, they will be confronted with the truth about these products,” said Dennis Henigan, vice president of legal and regulatory affairs for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
Henigan helped lead the organization in a decades-long federal lawsuit against tobacco companies.
“After all these years, the struggle was well worth it,” said Henigan. “And that will be shown by the importance of these signs that will be appearing in over 200,000 retail sellers of cigarettes all over the country.”
The signs read in part, “All cigarettes cause cancer, lung disease, heart attacks and premature deaths.”
“They’re going to basically feature the full scope of the health hazards of smoking cigarettes, they’re going to talk about the addictiveness of cigarettes, they’re going to talk about the dangers of secondhand smoke, the particular dangers of cigarettes to pregnant women,” said Henigan.
The posted signs must remain in stores for 21 months.
“By Oct. 1, they should be in over 220,000 retail stores across the country, and there are various enforcement mechanisms as part of this court order,” said Henigan.
“We think this is going to happen, and we think it’s going to be a real public health advance.”