Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined that Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health One of the big pet peeves of your humble correspondent is when tobacco lawsuit plaintiffs declare that the hazards of smoking cigarettes were kept secret by the tobacco companies and, as a result, they continued smoking thinking that it was safe to do so. Yeah, some "secret" when each and every pack of cigarettes has had the Surgeon General's warning printed on them for over 40 years. My own mother was a regular smoker until that day back in the 60s when the Surgeon General declared smoking to be hazardous to your health. And on that day my mother quit smoking...cold turkey. And yet we continue to have smokers suing the tobacco companies because they claim that they just weren't informed that it could cause cancer and other diseases. Even worse, the newspapers such as the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel report on such lawsuits without ever mentioning that smoking hazard warnings are all over the place including right on each cigarette pack and in anti-smoking PSA commercials such as you can see in this video (warning: very intense viewing). Currently in South Florida we have a big tobacco lawsuit involving a former pitchman for Winston, Alan Landers. I feel bad for this guy who lives not far from your humble correspondent. Nobody deserves to suffer the agonies caused by cancer. However, the claim that the health hazards of smoking were kept secret by some sort of Big Tobacco conspiracy is absurd and the Sun-Sentinel aids and abets such absurdity by declining to point out the ubiquitous nature of such health warnings such as in this latest lawsuit article:
Count Alan Landers among as many as 9,000 people in Florida with legal cases involving tobacco companies. His voice, however, is unique.
In the late '60s and '70s, during the peak of his modeling career, Landers used his picture-perfect looks to make smoking appear stylish and pleasurable. He appeared in Winston ads on billboards and in magazines.
In late December, four months before the former cigarette pitchman was to go to trial against R.J. Reynolds and other tobacco companies, Landers, 68, was diagnosed with yet another cancer: a tumor on his right tonsil, following two bouts of lung cancer and emphysema. "When I got the diagnosis, I thought about killing myself," said Landers, sitting in his Lauderhill apartment. "But that didn't last. The tobacco companies have been waiting for me to die for years and I haven't. I'm not going to give them the satisfaction of beating me."
...Landers has an April court date in Palm Beach County, where his attorney will argue that smoking caused his life-threatening illnesses.
Because they're heading to court, R.J. Reynolds declined to comment on "what we're bringing to the table," said spokesman David Howard. Almost 14 years ago, Landers signed on to a class-action suit alleging that cigarette companies intentionally hooked their customers on nicotine and conspired to hide information about smoking's hazards.
Huh? And what does it say on each and every pack of cigarettes? The Sun-Sentinel writer, Liz Doup, seems to have a mental block about mentioning this "little" fact anywhere in her article. However, she is not unique among reporters. You rarely see any of them mention how the hazards of smoking are not some big secret. You merely have to look at your pack of cigarettes to clearly see the warnings. But even these warnings have no effect if the smoker blatantly ignores them. In high school we saw a shocking film showing a smoker with lung cancer getting his lung cut out in excruciatingly gory detail. One smoker in our class fainted dead away. However, about a week later he was back to chain smoking again. Did he later become part of a lawsuit claiming he was not warned about the dangers of smoking? Meanwhile many newspaper and other reporters act as if such health hazard warnings are non-existent. SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Cigarette Smoke Contains Carbon Monoxide