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Big Tobacco

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NEWS
June 14, 1998 | By Raja Mishra, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
In Richmond, Va., the real heart of Marlboro country, just 100 miles south of here, Gov. James S. Gilmore 3d spoke at a rally of tobacco farmers Thursday and sent a message to Congress: "These workers here today are under attack from politicians in Washington who want to regulate and tax them out of existence. " Gilmore was probably aiming at too narrow a target. Last week, Washington was just one front in the war on tobacco - and things were not looking good for the industry on most of them.
NEWS
January 19, 1998 | By Dick Polman, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
On a visit to Philadelphia not long ago, Big Tobacco troubleshooter J. Philip Carlton remarked that his client "clearly has problems. " What an understatement. Nearly seven months after America's cigarette makers signed a historic truce with antitobacco lawyers - promising to pay $368.5 billion for a slew of public health programs in exchange for broad immunity from civil lawsuits - the whole thing may well go up in smoke. Members of Congress, who return to work next Monday, are increasingly nervous about the political costs of ratifying a deal sought by an industry whose baggage weighs heavier by the day. And Big Tobacco's battered image probably will take some more hits.
NEWS
December 4, 2000 | by Josh Mitteldorf
Ever since Councilman Nutter introduced smoke-free workplace legislation in May, there's been a loud and heated controversy over the issue. Even though the legislation covers workplaces in general, all of the debate has focused on restaurants. You may be thinking that this is a typical conflict between health and environmental interests on one side, business profits on the other. This is exactly what the cigarette companies want you to think. In fact, there will be no losses to restaurants.
NEWS
July 9, 1999
Anyone concerned with improving public health in America should cheer Wednesday's initial finding in a landmark lawsuit. A Miami jury has held Big Tobacco liable for making a defective product - and defrauding consumers - in the first class-action lawsuit by smokers ever to go to trial. The jury next will determine damages, which could cost the five largest tobacco companies up to $200 billion, paid to as many as 500,000 sick Florida smokers. That staggering sum would come on top of the $206 billion the industry already has agreed to pay 46 states for smoking-related Medicaid costs.
NEWS
January 18, 1998
Say it ain't so, Joe Camel. Say that your parent company, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, didn't spend years trying to hook teenagers on Camels and other brands of coffin-nails. Well, the company's still issuing straight-faced denials, but they became laughable last week. Newly released company documents - dozens of them - expose RJR's intense interest in marketing to kids as young as 14. This is one more blow to Big Tobacco's credibility. And it's another reason for Congress to act carefully and independently in crafting legislation aimed at a dramatic decline in smoking among minors.
NEWS
July 11, 2014 | By Amy Worden and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Philadelphia was one Senate vote away from winning its $2-per-pack cigarette tax in the General Assembly on Tuesday. But after a late-hour lobbying effort by tobacco manufacturers, the senators jammed in a provision setting a five-year expiration for the tax. So, despite the prospect of delayed public school openings and hundreds of layoffs, the bill was sent back to the House, which had departed for its summer break and may not...
NEWS
July 17, 1998 | by Gar Joseph, Daily News Staff Writer
It takes a nice man to represent an evil industry. Which may be why Big Tobacco has hired Bob Heim as lead defense attorney in the trial of a $200 billion class-action lawsuit brought by smokers in Florida. Jury selection in the case got under way last week. Heim is a partner in the Philadelphia firm of Dechert Price & Rhoads. And, yes, he used to smoke. But he quit. Which sums up his case. "I quit because it seemed to me that if you smoked, you were going to have a higher risk of getting a disease," Heim said in an interview from Miami.
NEWS
July 18, 2000 | By Robert B. Sklaroff
The Big Tobacco Tar Baby has been whining all weekend. "I'll go bankrupt," it's saying, "before I'll pay the $145 billion verdict just rendered in Florida. " Like a child in the terrible twos, it threatens to hold its breath. Well, society must quit spoiling this youngster who has been sinning (and lying about it) for a half century. We must get it to pay up - and we must continue to seek redress for its sins. Our work is far from done. Pouting is a time-honored Big T strategy; it's a way of fighting any efforts to force it to accept shared responsibility for having become the major cause of preventable death and disability on earth.
NEWS
February 2, 1998
Tobacco companies are test-marketing something new: candor and contrition. That's welcome, but after so many years of industry irresponsibility, policy-makers and the public should beware. A quintet of industry execs last week admitted to some awkward truths. They conceded the link between cigarettes and lung cancer, and all but one of them allowed as how cigarettes are addictive. What's more, their testimony on Capitol Hill was soaked with regret that their industry had spent recent years warring with the antismoking forces.
NEWS
November 5, 1999 | by Gary Thompson, Daily News Movie Critic
"The Insider" is about Big Tobacco, infotainment, journalistic ethics and half a dozen other weighty subjects, but at its heart, it's a horror story. A thriller about what it's like to have at least nine of the world's most powerful corporations and your wife all mad at you at the same time. Tobacco industry whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe) can tell you all about it. Wigand, a biochemist for drug companies, goes for the big salary and swank house by taking a job as director of research for Brown and Williamson, the cigarette-maker.
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BUSINESS
August 4, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
Do traditional market indexes such as the Standard & Poor's 500 represent the soundest ways to track stocks? Are mutual funds and ETFs that invest in those index stocks the best for you? Maybe not. Many so-called alternative indexes have gained credibility, and investors, in recent years and may offer new options for market participation and growth. Firms have been adding them at a brisk clip. This June post at etftrends.com describes new ETFs (stock-like exchange-traded funds)
NEWS
July 11, 2014 | By Amy Worden and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Philadelphia was one Senate vote away from winning its $2-per-pack cigarette tax in the General Assembly on Tuesday. But after a late-hour lobbying effort by tobacco manufacturers, the senators jammed in a provision setting a five-year expiration for the tax. So, despite the prospect of delayed public school openings and hundreds of layoffs, the bill was sent back to the House, which had departed for its summer break and may not...
NEWS
March 29, 2014 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA Electronic cigarettes are relatively new products still penetrating American consumer and popular culture, and the debate over their health risks and benefits remains intense. But Philadelphia City Council on Thursday joined a number of cities and states that have taken preemptive action - to regulate e-cigarettes the same as old-fashioned Marlboros or Newports. In the face of a lobbying and advertising drive by the new industry - much of it owned by big tobacco - Council unanimously passed bills to include e-cigarettes in the city's existing ban on public indoor smoking and forbid their sale to minors.
NEWS
July 8, 2013
For the first time, Big Tobacco must ask for government permission to market new cigarette brands under the still-evolving oversight of the industry by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And the FDA, in its efforts to improve public health by reducing smoking, put tobacco firms on notice late last month that sometimes its answer will be no. While the agency did approve the marketing of two more versions of the flagship Newport brand from the Lorillard Tobacco Co., it rejected four requests to sell other tobacco products - and announced that firms had pulled 136 more products from FDA consideration.
NEWS
December 28, 2012
The latest annual report card on state spending to prevent teens from first lighting up and help smokers quit should put heat on elected officials in both Harrisburg and Trenton - because their budgeting priorities make it appear that the lives of nearly a half-million teenagers aren't worth saving. Pennsylvania and New Jersey are among nearly two-dozen states that spend less than 10 cents on the dollar toward what federal public health officials view as necessary to steer Americans away from smoking habits that annually kill 440,000 smokers and others who breathe secondhand smoke.
NEWS
August 29, 2012
A fight for the hearts and minds - not to mention the lungs - of every American who's lighting up for the first time or thinking of kicking the smoking habit is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a split ruling that accorded Big Tobacco little-deserved deference, a federal appeals court in Washington last week struck down the Food and Drug Administration's bold and sensible plan to require graphic warnings about the dangers of smoking on cigarette packs. The court majority ruled that the FDA requirement violates tobacco firms' free-speech rights, saying it goes too far in seeking to "browbeat consumers into quitting" smoking.
NEWS
September 7, 2011
By Arthur L. Caplan and Zachary D. Caplan Butt out is the message from four of the five largest cigarette manufacturers who have filed suit in a Washington, D.C., federal court challenging new FDA regulations that require them to print nine graphic images on their cigarette packaging. Under the FDA rule, the images must be printed in color and displayed on the top 50 percent of the both the front and back panels of every pack. Grim news has to cover the top 20 percent of all printed cigarette advertising.
NEWS
September 8, 2009
Any company selling products that addict and eventually kill 400,000 customers annually might well be reluctant to point out the health dangers. So the federal courts should be mighty skeptical when Big Tobacco screams about its First Amendment rights to keep peddling cigarettes without the oversize health warning labels ordered by Congress this year. With a free-speech lawsuit filed last week, the nation's largest tobacco companies challenged marketing restrictions and a mandate from the Food and Drug Administration to cover the top half of cigarette packages with graphic warnings by next year.
NEWS
June 17, 2009
As Congress and President Obama move closer toward bringing tobacco products under federal oversight for the first time, they have to wonder if they're also making a pact with the devil. Advocates for Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco have no doubt that the public-health outcome will be net-positive. The FDA will be able to limit cigarette advertising, mandate even bigger health warnings on cigarette packs, ban toxic substances, and restrict levels of addictive nicotine - all likely to be life-savers.
NEWS
March 3, 2008
Even as smoke-free laws are being enacted in states and municipalities across America, the tobacco industry keeps pushing to hook the next generation on health-threatening products. Big Tobacco is now experimenting with products that provide maximum nicotine delivery while using candy, fruit flavorings and other additives to make them taste milder, easier to inhale, and more appealing to young smokers. Smokeless tobacco - didn't they use to call this stuff snuff? - now comes in flavorful varieties; some are spit-free.
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