Cigarette Makers’ Claims about Antismoking Ads’ Influence Are ‘Paranoid,’ Editorial States
The claim that the Department of Health Services' "long-running" anti-smoking campaign is "so effective it has managed to sway entire jury panels against" tobacco companies is "a bit paranoid," according to a San Jose Mercury News editorial (San Jose Mercury News, 9/15). Tobacco companies R.J. Reynolds and Phillip Morris are blaming the state's aggressive anti-smoking advertising campaign for a string of defeats in lawsuits in California. With three consecutive multi-million dollar losses in California lawsuits in recent years and dozens of other suits being filed, cigarette makers claim the ads "have been timed and placed in close proximity to trial dates and trial venues" (California Healthline, 9/12). The editorial notes that the state has to schedule the ads "up to a year in advance," and they are meant to be shown in "population centers where the TV spots, billboards and so on will get the most exposure -- not specifically at cities which are about to host class action lawsuits." Even so, the editorial concludes that it may be "hard not to be paranoid if you're a tobacco industry lawyer nowadays. In a health-conscious state like California, everybody really is out to get you" (San Jose Mercury News, 9/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.