Friday, February 19, 2010

Starting in June, new federal tobacco laws require cigarette companies to stop using words like “light” or “mild” on packages to imply that those cigarettes are safer than others. At the same time, however, they are adopting lighter colors for the packages of such products. Critics say such moves make those same distinctions: light colors for light cigarettes.

Marlboro Lights, the nation’s best-selling brand, will be renamed Marlboro Gold and Marlboro Ultra Lights will change to Marlboro Silver. Meanwhile, R.J. Reynolds has already changed Salem Ultra Lights, which are sold in a silver box, to Silver Box.

“They’re circumventing the law,” said Gregory N. Connolly, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, tells The New York Times. “They’re using color coding to perpetuate one of the biggest public health myths into the next century.”


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