Thursday, July 25, 2013

Be Sure to Read the Small Print

Illustration by Gordon Studer
Yesterday an FDA report was released saying, "there is adequate data to suggest that menthol use is likely associated with increased smoking initiation by younger people and that menthol smokers have a harder time quitting," so I suppose I could be sort of proud for giving them up seven years ago after smoking only menthol cigarettes since age17.

Now, staring me in the face is a full-page ad on the back of a magazine for Newport cigarettes. The big, bold orange headline says, "Newport pleasure!" above a photo of four attractive young people cavorting in the ocean with a beach ball. The two young women in bikinis and two young men in trunks all have beautiful bodies. Underneath are pictures of the four kinds of Newports that are available, all of which are deemed to be "Rich & Refreshing. The Perfect Menthol!" A line of almost invisible, teeny, tiny print at the bottom of the ad reads: "These cigarettes do not present a reduced risk of harm compared to other cigarettes."

Now that's what I call stretching the truth in advertising.

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