The move comes as part of a 12-year-old lawsuit against the tobacco industry. The government released 14 "corrective statements."
Examples of the government's proposed statements include:
"A federal court is requiring tobacco companies to tell the truth about cigarette smoking. Here's the truth: Smoking kills 1,200 Americans. Every day."
"We falsely marketed low tar and light cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes to keep people smoking and sustain our profits. Here's the truth: We control nicotine delivery to create and sustain smokers' addiction, because that's how we keep customers coming back."
In a statement, Philip Morris responded by saying, "Such a proposal is unprecedented in our legal system and would violate basic constitutional and statutory standards."
Can you imagine passing a billboard ad that reads:
"Please buy our cigarettes—you, too, can be one of the 1,200 Americans killed by them every day! Help us meet our profit margin."
Not exactly a grand slam tagline for increased cigarette sales.
Yet this is exactly the sort of ad campaign Big Tobacco will have to run if the Department of Justice gets their way. And honestly, it couldn't happen to a more deserving industry, which has earned every shred of enmity they get from the government and the public.
Only time will tell if Big Tobacco ends up eating crow before the U.S. government—Philip Morris may become better known as Philip Remorseful.
But, there are other industries heading down the same road as the tobacco industry—ones whose products have yet to be exposed in the way tobacco has been exposed.
One prime example is the cell phone.
Cell Phones Are the New Cigarettes of this Generation
You may not appreciate the great similarities between the telecommunications and tobacco industries, with respect to their manipulative tactics to deceive you about the health dangers of their product.
It has taken almost a century for smoking to morph from a popular, seemingly sophisticated and "harmless" practice into what's now regarded as a nasty habit that will lead you to an early grave.
It took decades of cancer deaths for the truth to finally meet the public's eye.
In the same way the dangers of smoking were iminshed for so many years, the adverse effects of cell phone radiation are not acknowledged by the media, and therefore remain unknown to the majority of consumers.
Despite what you may have heard, the link between cell phone use and brain tumors is a well-substantiated fact, and backed by more than 100 scientific studies.
In 2008, Dr. Gautam Khurana, a Mayo Clinic-trained neurosurgeon with an advanced neurosurgery fellowship in cerebral vascular and tumor microsurgery, concluded:
"There is currently enough evidence and technology available to warrant industry and governments alike in taking immediate steps to reduce exposure of consumers to mobile phone-related electromagnetic radiation and to make consumers clearly aware of potential dangers and how to use this technology sensibly and safely."
Besides brain tumors, scientists have shown that radiation from cell phones and other wireless devices can:
Harm your blood cells and cause cellular changes Possibly accelerate and contribute to onset of autism, and trigger Alzheimer's disease Damage your DNA Damage your eyes Cause nerve-cell damage Cause sleep disruptions, fatigue and headaches
Just as it takes people years or even decades to get lung cancer from smoking, there is a delayed effect between cell phone use and brain tumor development. But we are just in the "early history" of the cell phone.
There is often a delay of several years to decades between science and public policy—a time period that is critical in preventing irreversible health damage.
By waiting for government regulations to change, it is often too late. Just as smoking doesn't cause immediate signs of cancer, the latency period for brain tumors from radiation can be 10, 20, or even 30 years.
This means it is still too soon for most cell phone-induced brain tumors to show up.
Cell phones have been widely used for only about a decade, so we haven't even hit the tip of the iceberg in terms of the REAL effects of this radiation exposure. If cell phone popularity continues at its current rate—or increases, which is likely—we could be headed for a brain cancer epidemic, the likes of which the world has never seen.
Of course, not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer, and not every cell phone user will develop brain cancer or suffer neurological damage.
There are many variables that contribute to your susceptibility.But why risk it? Why gamble with your life or the life of your child?
Avoid the Mistakes the Last Generation Made
It took nearly two decades for the government to take action AFTER accepting the evidence that smoking was linked to lung cancer. The government accepted the link between smoking and lung cancer back in the 1950s, but they didn't require warning labels until the 1970s.
How long do you think it will be before the government takes similar action with regards to cell phone radiation?
Don't hold your breath waiting for your cell phone to come with a warning on the box.
Just as Big Tobacco did everything possible to keep you convinced cigarettes were safe, Big Cellular will do whatever is necessary to keep you equally reassured.
In 2008, Americans spent 2.2 trillion minutes on mobile phones, which is an increase of 100 billion minutes from the year before. When you compare the meteoric rise of cell phones to the history of cigarettes, several similarities emerge:
- Manufacturers and industry leaders either hide or debunk unfavorable study results and promote their products with ridiculous claims, despite awareness of significant dangers to your health.
- Lobbies for both industries, along with revenues generated from use taxes, create conflicts of interest within the government.
- Both industries have expensive, effective marketing campaigns aimed at every segment of society, including your children.
- Massive amounts of scientific data exist proving the direct link between these products and life-threatening damage to your body.
- Tobacco and cell phones are both addictive.
Sweet Nothings Whispered in Your Ear by the Sugar Industry
If you remain unconvinced, take a look at Big Sugar.The sugar industry has modeled itself after the tobacco industry, defending its products to the bitter end.
The Corn Refiners Association insists that corn syrup is no different than sugar and is in no way responsible for obesity or diabetes or any other health problems, while data to the contrary is literally pouring out of research labs.
That agency has been battling the truth about HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) since 2004, launching a major public relations campaign in 2008 to rehabilitate the reputation of HFCS. Just as tobacco company operatives began appearing at medical conventions and in doctors' offices to lavish them with free cigarettes and propaganda, the sugar and soft drink industries have partnered up to defend sugar's tarnished image.
The science about the damaging effects of fructose could not be clearer, in terms of its role in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. Even the American Heart Association agrees that excess sugar is harmful.
But again, it will likely be decades before the government demands an apology from the sugar industry—if EVER! And the same could be said about genetically modified foods and many dangerous prescription drugs still on the market.
Don't Learn the Lesson the Hard Way
Perhaps in 20 years we will see Big Cellular launching ad campaigns with statements like:
"Make sure your child starts kindergarten with a cell phone! That way, he can get an early start on his brain cancer—after all, a cell phone is much cheaper than college tuition."
As ridiculous as that sounds, early cigarette ads now sound equally ridiculous:
- "More Doctors Smoke Camels than Any Other Cigarette"
- "For Digestion's Sake, Smoke Camels"
- "Blow In Her Face And She'll Follow You Anywhere"
You wouldn't send your child off to school with a carton of cigarettes or a bottle of beer in his lunch box. Why supply him with a cell phone and expose him to unnecessary radiation that can have such disastrous effects on his developing brain?
You simply cannot wait for the government to protect you... look how long it's taken them to take a stand against the tobacco industry!
The clock is ticking.
There are things you can do to reduce your risk from cell phones, lower your sugar load, and avoid things like genetically modified goods, pesticides and chemicals. Start protecting yourself NOW—don't wait until the damage is done.
Read, and question what you read.
Use common sense, but check things out. This is part of becoming a proactive, informed individual—and taking control of your own health.