TOBACCO ADS ADMIT CIGARETTES CAUSE CANCER
If you are watching a television show on CBS, ABC or NBC Mondays through
Thursdays bet ween 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., you might see a black-and-white ad
accompanied by a flat female voice informing you that “all cigarettes cause
cancer” and that “there is no safe cigarette.”
Similar words appeared in full-page newspaper ads that ran monthly from
November 2017 through March 2018 in more than 50 newspapers. These
“corrective statements” are the end result of an 11-year appeals court battle
that major tobacco companies waged after a U.S. district court judge ruled they
were guilty of racketeering and required them to tell Americans the truth about
the dangers of smoking.
The ads, like this screenshot from a TV ad at right, must explain that viewers are
seeing them because of a federal court order. The television ads will run through
November 2018. —SUE ROCHMAN
tobacco cessation programs; others
will build cessation programs from the
ground up. Some intend to tailor their
electronic medical records to prompt
health care providers to talk to patients
about their tobacco use and automatically generate referrals to the cancer
center’s tobacco cessation program or
an outside quitline (See “Looking to
Quit?” at right.)
Several cancer centers, including the
University of Kentucky Markey Cancer
Center in Lexington, will also imple-
ment education programs that teach cli-
nicians how to talk about tobacco with
their patients. University of Kentucky
psychologist Jessica Burris says that
clinicians may believe that it’s an uphill
battle to get patients to address tobacco
use while they are making cancer treat-
ment decisions, especially in states like
Kentucky, which is estimated to have
the second-highest rate of adults who
smoke in the U.S. “When you have a
long history of feeling that you’re not
helping people or that you’ve not been
successful, you can adopt an attitude of
pessimism,” she says.
Representatives from the cancer centers
will communicate regularly to share information about the efforts they are engaged
in to get the specific types of patients they
see—for instance, urban or rural, Latino,
Native American, African-American or
white—into cessation programs.
“We want to make [smoking cessation]
part of standard care, [so that for] every
cancer patient who smokes, we work
toward improving their health by delivering these services,” says Morgan.
“Being able to successfully quit
smoking or any tobacco use is big,” says
Burris. “To be able to be successful [at
quitting] for any long period of time is a
boon to self-esteem and quality of life.”
About 40 to 80 percent of adults and 50 percent of children treated with the chemotherapy
drug Platinol (cisplatin) will experience permanent hearing loss. To learn why, researchers
analyzed ear tissue from mice and humans treated with the drug. They found that Platinol
builds up and remains in the inner ear for months to years. In other areas of the body, it is
expelled within days or weeks. The researchers say finding a way to prevent the Platinol
buildup could prevent hearing loss.
LEARN MORE IN THE ONLINE FIRS T NOV. 21, 2017, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS.
• Visit smokefree.gov, which offers quitting
advice and tools tailored to a variety of groups,
including people 60 years or older, Spanish
speakers, teenagers, women and veterans.
• Sign up for Smokefree TX T to get support for
quitting tobacco via text message: smokefree.
• Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to be connected to your
state quitline and talk to a counselor about
• Call 1-877-44U-QUIT to talk with a National
Cancer Institute counselor about tobacco cessation.
• Chat with an information specialist about
quitting through the National Cancer Institute’s
LOOKING TO QUIT?
Study Helps Explain Why Platinol Causes Hearing Loss