Saying Americans have been “hoodwinked” for far too long about the dangers of tobacco, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin is co-sponsoring a bill being introduced today (Thursday) which he says would put a stop to deceptions by tobacco giants. Harkin says the “stark dangers of smoking” should not be veiled by lies.
Harkin says “Cigarette companies have been putting labels on like ‘light’ or ‘low’ or ‘mild’ which would imply that somehow they have less tar and nicotine which now we know is not true. It’s false phrasing.” Studies have found many smokers mistakenly believe cigarettes identified with such descriptors cause fewer health problems, but research demonstrates there is no reduced risk.
Harkin says it’s the responsibility of Congress to make sure people get accurate information so they can make informed decisions, adding, “We want them to know in no uncertain terms that cigarettes are dangerous.”
Harkin says “Our Truth in Cigarette Labeling Act would prohibit tobacco companies from using descriptions like ‘light’ or ‘low’ or ‘mild’ in marketing their cigarettes and it would ban the Federal Trade Commission test used to determine tar and nicotine levels.”
The F-T-C has concluded cigarette tar and nicotine ratings can’t predict the amount of tar and nicotine you get from any particular cigarette. Harkin is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.