WATCH: Tobacco Industry’s Court-Ordered Ad Warns Smoking Is Deadly

They tried for years to keep this ad off the air.

Smoking kills 1,200 people every day. Tobacco companies actively worked to make their product as addictive as possible. A safer cigarette never existed.

Ads with these statements just hit major television networks and newspapers this weekend. The message is not new, but the messenger is.

The ads’ sponsors are major tobacco companies under the orders of the federal courts.

“The ads will finally run after 11 years of appeals by the tobacco companies aimed at delaying and weakening them,” the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, National African American Tobacco Prevention Network and the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund said in a joint statement.

“Employing the highest paid lawyers in America, the tobacco companies used every tool at their disposal to delay and complicate this litigation to avoid their day of reckoning,” the American Cancer Society’s Cliff Douglas said.

It’s a pretty significant moment. This is the first time they have had to ‘fess up and tell the whole truth.”

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