Another nail in the coffin of fags

Cigarettes, or fags as they used to be known (in our part of the world at least), got another belting last week thanks to the steely determination of a US District Court Judge in Washington.

Gladys Kessler has used her legal authority to give cigarette manufacturers a bloody nose and they don’t like it one bit. Pardon the pun but it has taken thirteen years for Judge Kessler to have her day in court.

Enjoying the unfair advantage accruing to those with very deep pockets, the tobacco companies have used the courts to stonewall findings against them. This all started in 1999 when the US government launched action against the manufacturers over the safety – or otherwise – of smoking.

It took seven years of close-quarters legal combat before the court ruled in 2006 that tobacco companies had for decades lied about the real dangers of smoking and failed to disclose the true health impacts.

Judge Kessler handed-down that ruling and proposed that cigarette makers should public corrective statements to acknowledge their guilt. Another six years later, the US Justice Department has framed some words that Ms Kessler is now going to force the cigarette makers to publish in various media.

They don’t miss the mark, either. The makers will be forced to say that smoking kills more people than murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes and alcohol – COMBINED!

They will also have to state that second-hand smoke kills more than 3000 Americans a year.

To suggest the tobacco companies have smoke coming out of their ears is not what they see as humorous. They claim they are being coerced into forced public confessions. Hey, if the cap fits, guys . . .

What is really getting up their smoke-impaired nostrils is a statement that they “intentionally designed cigarettes to make them more addictive”. Another says that: “When you smoke, the nicotine actually changes the brain – that’s why quitting is so hard”. Go, you good thing, Ms Kessler!

The tobacco companies protest that they are being shamed and humiliated. Diddums, guys. As anyone who has smoked fags and quit will acknowledge: you deserve everything that’s coming to you – and then some. This, truly, is a breath of fresh air.


Acknowledgement: Associated Press in The Courier-Mail