The stark messages with black text on an otherwise blank page tell readers that cigarettes kill 1,200 Americans every day.
The ads are more than a decade in the making. They’re the result of a 2006 judicial ruling in a lawsuit filed by the federal government that found that cigarette makers deliberately misled the public about the dangers of smoking. And the tobacco companies and anti-smoking advocates fought over every word.
But experts in public health say they may not be all that effective.
“If the intention was for these ads to have some dampening effect on smoking initiation, or just continuing to smoke, I would say it won’t work,” says Nora Rifon, a professor of consumer psychology at Michigan State University.