'Truth' Campaign Threatened In Ongoing Legal Battle
The future of the American Legacy Foundation's Truth campaign could be in jeopardy following a Delaware Supreme Court case next Wednesday, April 26 during which Lorillard Tobacco Company will appeal an earlier ruling which found the American Legacy Foundation Truth campaign did not, as Lorillard claimed it did, vilify the tobacco company. If Lorillard wins, the tone of the campaign may have to change dramatically and Lorillard has asked the approximately $1.5 billion in money provided by manufacturers to American Legacy Foundation be returned to an escrow account making it, the organization claims, impossible to continue with its anti-smoking efforts.
The American Legacy Foundation claims the Truth campaign is crucial to maintaining and lowering youth smoking. The Foundation claims the campaign aided the decline in youth smoking 22 percent from 2000 to 2002 resulting in 300,000 teens choosing not to smoke in 2002. There are simple truths here. Every human knows this. Smoking is bad. If a person wants to smoke, they can make that choice. But cigarette makers should not be able to stifle organizations that are trying to provide information that helps a person decide whether or not they will take up smoking. That's just wrong.