Many Smokers Still Surprised by Facts About Tobacco's Dangers

Release Date: May 15, 2014 | By Milly Dawson, HBNS Contributing Writer
Research Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine

KEY POINTS

  • In 2006, the tobacco industry was mandated to provide accurate statements about the dangers of smoking, correcting years of denials.
  • Due to legal appeals, the tobacco industry has been successful at delaying the dissemination of corrective statements about the dangers of smoking.
  • Between half and one-third of smokers presented with corrective statements about the dangers of smoking indicated that some of the information was new to them.
  • Smokers who found corrective information about the dangers of smoking novel were more likely to express motivation to quit.
Follow us on Facebook

A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that many smokers still find accurate and detailed facts about the dangers of tobacco both new and motivating in terms of their desire to quit. This finding proved to be especially marked among members of groups that are most likely to be smokers today.

“The tobacco industry systematically deceived the public for decades, denying that smoking was dangerous or addictive,” explained one of the study’s authors James Thrasher, associate professor at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health.

Meanwhile cigarette makers were actually designing their products to be more addictive to increase sales. Because of their deceitfulness, a landmark court ruling in 2006 stated that the industry had to provide “corrective statements” about their past deceptions on five topics: health effects of smoking for smokers; health effects of secondhand smoke for nonsmokers; cigarette and nicotine addictiveness; industry design of cigarettes to increase addiction; and the lack of relative safety of low-tar and light cigarettes.

For nearly a decade, though, implementation of this ruling has been delayed while the industry has fought back in the courts. During this delay, tobacco marketing continues to make tobacco use seem like a “normal, important part of everyday behavior,” the authors wrote.

“Our study found that many smokers are still unaware of tobacco industry lies,” said Thrasher.  He added that smokers indicate that receiving factual, corrective information about the dangers of smoking motivates them to quit; also that members of groups that are highly targeted by the tobacco industry were especially responsive to the corrective statements. These groups include women, African Americans, Latinos and lower-income people. “This study suggests that the longer we wait to give smokers this information about the tobacco industry’s lies, the more smokers will continue to consume tobacco” noted Thrasher.

1,404 smokers ranging in age from18 to 64 years old and of diverse ethnic, gender and income groups were presented with the corrective statements. Between one half and one third of the study participants stated that some information in the corrective statements was novel to them. Those who experienced novelty were likelier to express anger at the industry, to find the message(s) relevant and to feel motivated to quit by the message(s). Novelty ratings ran consistently higher among African Americans and Latinos than among non-Hispanic whites.

Should corrective statements one day be “widely disseminated and highly visible, they will serve a key public education function,” says Andrea Villanti, Ph.D., MPH, associate director for regulatory science and policy at the American Legacy Foundation. By correcting previous lies, she says, they “may have a role in preventing youth from initiating smoking and increasing cessation among adults.”

TERMS OF USE: This story is protected by copyright. When reproducing any material, including interview excerpts, attribution to the Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health, is required. While the information provided in this news story is from the latest peer-reviewed research, it is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment recommendations. For medical questions or concerns, please consult a health care provider.

For More Information:

Reach the Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health, at (202) 387-2829 or hbns-editor@cfah.org

American Journal of Preventive Medicine: Contact the editorial office at (858) 457-7292 or eAJPM@ucsd.edu.

Tags for this article:
Smoking   Seek Knowledge about your Health   Women's Health   Minority Health and Health Disparities   Lifestyle and Prevention  



Comments on this article
Please note: CFAH reserves the right to moderate all comments posted to the Health Behavior News Service. Any inappropriate postings will be removed.

Misty Airhead says
May 15, 2014 at 4:53 PM

It seems a little hard to believe that so many smokers don't understand the health risk from smoking. Big Tobacco has been lying for so long I don't expect them to just start telling the truth. Check out this new app that helps you Quit Smoking: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.abma.quitsmoking

harleyrider1978 says
May 16, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Judge doesnt accept statistical studies as proof of LC causation!

It was McTear V Imperial Tobacco. Here is the URL for both my summary and the Judge’s ‘opinion’ (aka ‘decision’):

http://boltonsmokersclub.wordpress.com/the-mctear-case-the-analysis/




(2.14) Prof Sir Richard Doll, Mr Gareth Davies (CEO of ITL). Prof James Friend and
Prof Gerad Hastings gave oral evidence at a meeting of the Health Committee in
2000. This event was brought up during the present action as putative evidence that
ITL had admitted that smoking caused various diseases. Although this section is quite
long and detailed, I think that we can miss it out. Essentially, for various reasons, Doll
said that ITL admitted it, but Davies said that ITL had only agreed that smoking might
cause diseases, but ITL did not know. ITL did not contest the public health messages.
(2.62) ITL then had the chance to tell the Judge about what it did when the suspicion
arose of a connection between lung cancer and smoking. Researchers had attempted
to cause lung cancer in animals from tobacco smoke, without success. It was right,
therefore, for ITL to ‘withhold judgement’ as to whether or not tobacco smoke caused
lung cancer.



[9.10] In any event, the pursuer has failed to prove individual causation.
Epidemiology cannot be used to establish causation in any individual case, and the
use of statistics applicable to the general population to determine the likelihood of
causation in an individual is fallacious. Given that there are possible causes of lung
cancer other than cigarette smoking, and given that lung cancer can occur in a nonsmoker,
it is not possible to determine in any individual case whether but for an
individual’s cigarette smoking he probably would not have contracted lung cancer
(paras.[6.172] to [6.185]).
[9.11] In any event there was no lack of reasonable care on the part of ITL at any
point at which Mr McTear consumed their products, and the pursuer’s negligence
case fails. There is no breach of a duty of care on the part of a manufacturer, if a
consumer of the manufacturer’s product is harmed by the product, but the consumer
knew of the product’s potential for causing harm prior to consumption of it. The
individual is well enough served if he is given such information as a normally
intelligent person would include in his assessment of how he wishes to conduct his
life, thus putting him in the position of making an informed choice (paras.[7.167] to
[7.181]).

harleyrider1978 says
May 16, 2014 at 3:07 PM

This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds?lite

Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

“I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study...........................

Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

harleyrider1978 says
May 16, 2014 at 4:10 PM

NIH report on carcinogens

If you want to learn about which chemicals cause cancer, or just want to feel more paranoid about getting cancer, check out the 2012 NIH report on carcinogens.

One of the more exciting findings is that human beings themselves are possible carcinogens, by virtue of their natural emissions of isoprene:

Isoprene is formed endogenously in humans at a rate of 0.15 ?mol/kg
of body weight per hour, equivalent to approximately 2 to 4 mg/kg per
day (Taalman 1996), and is the major hydrocarbon in human breath
(accounting for up to 70% of exhaled hydrocarbons)

Don’t breathe on me!

harleyrider1978 says
May 16, 2014 at 5:29 PM

This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds?lite

Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

“I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study...........................

Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!



Add Your Comment
Your name
Your Comment
Characters left:
Check the box to verify you are a human commenter.