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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

South Carolina Study on Smoking Dangers Receives Widespread Media Attention

A study, led by researchers at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, finds that many smokers still do not fully understand the dangers of smoking. Published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the study found that accurate and detailed information about smoking is novel or unknown to many smokers. The researchers examined the “corrective statements (CS)” ordered in 2006 by U.S. Federal Courts. The order called on the tobacco industry to make clear past deceptions. Five specific areas of concern needing to be addressed were health effects of smoking for smokers; health effects of secondhand smoke for nonsmokers; cigarette and nicotine addictiveness; industry design of cigarettes to increase addiction; and the lack of relative safety of low-tar and light cigarettes.

One of the study’s authors Dr. James Thrasher, an associate professor at the Arnold School, said, “The tobacco industry systematically deceived the public for decades, denying that smoking was dangerous or addictive.”

However, the implementation of the court’s ruling has been delayed while the industry has fought back in the courts. During this delay, tobacco marketing continues to make tobacco use seem like a “normal, important part of everyday behavior,” the authors wrote.

Dr. Thrasher said the study found that many smokers “are still unaware of tobacco industry lies” and that smokers indicate that receiving factual, corrective information about the dangers of smoking motivates them to quit. The study also found that members of groups that have been targeted by the tobacco industry were especially responsive to the corrective statements. These include women, African Americans, Latinos and lower-income people.

The study has received widespread media attention in: Huffington Post, Science Daily, Live Science,

The Brazil Sun, The Center for Advancing Health, and Medical Daily.

[Photo: Dr. James Thrasher]