Cigarette ads are returning to TV

In the United States, big tobacco companies are not just being allowed to advertise on TV again - they're being forced to.

The companies have launched newspaper and television ads that admit the truth about smoking - specifically, that it's harmful, addictive and kills.

The ads come after a 2006 court ruling required Big Tobacco (a conglomerate of the world's five largest tobacco companies) to issue "corrective statements", after being found to have misled the public for decades.

Throughout the 20th century, tobacco companies regularly claimed that smoking had health benefits and was not addictive. Those falsehoods are now being addressed.

For the next year, Big Tobacco will pay for ads appear in newspapers and on television. They will display a single statement about the dangers of tobacco, such as "Smoking kills, on average, 1,200 Americans every day", or "Smoking is highly addictive. Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco".

The ad campaign will cost the tobacco industry about $US30 million.