Problem

Misinformation about smoking

Other Names:
Tobacco myths
Nature:
The effects of smoking tobacco on human health are becoming startlingly clear. The reason for the long delay in recognising these health effects is in part due to the delay between starting smoking and the advent of health effects. The tobacco industry has been aware of these adverse health effects and has played them down over the years, even going to ellaborate lengths, providing counter-arguement scientific data, disputing prevailing scientific thinking, criticising anti-smoking lobbies and, through advertising and public media, presenting confusing and distorted informations on the health effects of smoking.
Background:
Four myths about the effects of smoking are, (1) that only heavy smoking is fatal, (2) that stopping smoking after many years has little effect, (3) that smoking only kills people in old age, and (4) that there are comparable causes of cancer.

The US agreement established in 1998 between state authorities and the tobacco manufacturing industry includes provision to address misinformation. The agreement aims to stop the conspiracy to hide research regarding smoking and health. It prohibits manufacturers from jointly contracting or conspiring to: limit information about the health hazards from the use of their products; limit or suppress research into smoking and health; and, limit or suppress research into the marketing or development of new products. It prohibits the industry from making any material misrepresentations regarding the health consequences of smoking.

Related Problems:
Deceptive misuse of research
Values:
Misinformation
Problem Type:
J: Problems Under Consideration
Date of last update
22.05.2003 – 00:00 CEST