Entries 2009, 2008
Updated 13 December 2009
in Virginia must be No-Smoking unless
they have a
separately ventilated smoking room. However, such a separate room would still
allow employees to be subjected to potential illness and death from
secondhand smoke related diseases, such as cancers, respiratory
illnesses, and heart disease including strokes. Employers could
face future lawsuits if their workers who service and clean smoking
rooms develop serious illnesses.
Philip Morris must pay $300 million for addicting ex-smoker who has
severe respiratory problems from smoking. Web
editor's note: It would seem that the least Philip Morris
could do is to pay immediately for the lung
transplant and all associated medical costs of the woman who is
suffering from being addicted to and smoking Philip Morris
products. She may or may not live through the appeals. But
then, Philip Morris is apparently not interested in helping consumers
or former consumers, since they continue to manufacture and market and
advertise products which are addictive and which kill one out of every
Corporate giant Philip Morris led the fight to defeat
health care reform in the 1990's according to their own documents,
using allies such as "Citizens for a Sound Economy" and others.
Judicial Court allows a 2006 lawsuit against Philip Morris to move
Secondhand smoke linked to breast
cancer in women -- again
Tobacco and oil pay for
No constitutional right
to smoke in public
EXCERPTS from The New York Times, Editorial,
November 27, 2009, A Big Loss for Big Tobacco, no writer listed.
Florida jury has ordered Philip
Morris USA to pay $300 million to a former smoker who developed severe
emphysema and may need a lung transplant. The verdict may encourage
more plaintiffs and lawyers to bring similar claims. There should be
more lawsuits seeking not only monetary damages, but changes in how the
tobacco industry markets its products.
Lucinda Naugle began smoking in 1968,
when she was 20, and succeeded in quitting, after several attempts, in
1993. Because of her emphysema, she requires 24-hour oxygen and travels
by wheelchair. Last week, the jury awarded her $56 million in
compensatory damages and $244 million in punitive damages, the most
damages for an individual suing a tobacco company.
Florida has become a hotbed of tobacco
litigation. A few years ago, its Supreme Court rejected a class-action
lawsuit, and a $145 billion plaintiffs’ award, and told the class
members they had to sue individually. It said the plaintiffs would not
have to again prove important elements of the case, including that
nicotine is addictive and that smoking causes illnesses. Those suits
are working their way through the courts.
The tobacco industry likes to argue
that smokers assumed the risk of smoking, and are responsible for their
injuries. But the industry spent years denying that its products were
addictive or deadly. It continues to spend billions on advertising,
giveaways and other marketing to persuade people to smoke.
Lawyers are often reluctant to
represent smokers and former smokers. Suits against the tobacco
industry, which is known for its tough litigation tactics, can take
years and be extremely expensive. Last week’s $300 million verdict,
which could still be reversed or reduced on appeal, provides a strong
incentive for others to sue.
Big awards can send a message to the
tobacco industry, or be regarded as simply a cost of doing business.
Mark Gottlieb, director of the Tobacco Products Liability Project, says
more class-action suits are needed, with settlements requiring the
industry to finance effective counter-marketing. ...
By the time a plaintiff like Ms.
Naugle wins a lawsuit against a tobacco company, the damage is done.
EXCERPTS from Lawyers USA,
November 25, 2009, "
$300 million record-setting tobacco verdict, writer,orrey E.
just three hours of deliberations, a six-person jury in Broward County,
Fla. has awarded a plaintiff suffering from severe emphysema $300
million against Philip Morris.
It was the 10th of the Engle
cases , which involve individual trials to determine if a plaintiff was
addicted to cigarettes and whether or not that addiction caused his or
If a jury sides with the plaintiff,
they are presented with findings that the defendants were negligent,
that cigarettes are defective, unreasonably dangerous and addictive,
and that the tobacco companies conspired to conceal health and
addiction information with the intention of consumer reliance on the
Of the eight plaintiffs’ victories to
date, this verdict, comprised of $56.6 million in compensatory damages
and $244 million in punitives, is far and away the largest.
Juries have awarded $7.8 million , $30
million , $8 million , $1.55 million , $1.3 million , $1.2 million and
$5.3 million . There have also been two defense verdicts .
In addition, while juries in prior
cases have apportioned fault to the plaintiff ranging from 34 percent
to 57 percent, jurors determined that Cindy Naugle was just 10 percent
Naugle’s attorney Robert W. Kelley, a
partner at Kelley Uustal in Fort Lauderdale, said that several factors
contributed to the size of the verdict: his client’s powerful
testimony, his success in blocking the defense from using its standard
juror questionnaire, and, for the first time in an Engle case, a
refusal to stipulate to the tobacco company’s own valuation of its net
The verdict is also the largest award
for a single plaintiff against a tobacco company, noted Edward L.
Sweda, senior attorney for the Tobacco Products Liability Project at
Northeastern University School of Law in Boston .
While only 10 trials have taken place
to date, many more cases are set to be tried in 2010. If similar
verdicts are reached, “the tobacco companies will need to re-examine
their position of not settling cases,” Sweda said. “They cannot afford
to take an unlimited number of nine-digit awards.”
In a written statement, Philip Morris
USA said it plans to appeal the verdict.
“Cindy” Naugle, 61, began smoking in 1968 when she was 20 years old.
She smoked for 25 years, trying
unsuccessfully to quit several times, and only with the help of the
nicotine patch finally quit in 1993.
Naugle suffers from severe emphysema
as a result of her smoking, requiring her to use oxygen at all times
and travel in a wheelchair, Kelley said.
“Her condition affects her ability to
do anything and everything,” he said.
Before Naugle even took the witness
stand the jury was able to see just how bad her condition was, Kelley
said, because after walking the 15 feet from the counsel table to the
witness stand, she had to take five minutes to catch her breath before
she could testify.
From the beginning of the trial,
Naugle took responsibility for smoking and admitted fault to the jury.
But Kelley said he tried to keep the
focus on Philip Morris and its behavior, which was “to refuse to accept
any responsibility. I don’t think juries appreciate that.”
He also objected to the defense’s use
of its standard juror questionnaire, which Kelley estimated contains
100 questions, most of them multiple choice, and runs about 25 pages.
He believes the defense scans the
questionnaires and then has its jury consultants and psychologists
profile potential jurors for the best advantage.
But having to conduct jury selection
the old-fashioned way “put them at an extreme disadvantage,” Kelley
Although the trial lasted three weeks,
Kelley said his presentation was just two days during the first phase
and about a day and a half during phase two. He used one expert during
both phases of the trial, who testified about the effects of addiction
on Naugle and later “enlightened the jury about the tobacco industry’s
50 years of distorting and denying the truth.”
Naugle’s treating physician, a
pulmonologist, also testified about her condition and her prognosis.
“He told the jury that she is going to
need a lung transplant and explained the cost that entails and the
difficulty of becoming a candidate and waiting for lungs to become
available, which can be a long time, or never,” Kelley said.
the first phase of the trial, jurors deliberated just 45 minutes before
determining that Naugle was addicted to cigarettes and that addiction
caused her emphysema.
Despite their quick deliberations,
Kelley said he felt “very confident” about the verdict. He only gave
jurors one suggestion about an award.
Naugle’s doctor testified that it
would cost $3.5 million for future medical care, and “I said they
should give her the benefit of the doubt on that, and assume she would
live as long as possible with a great deal of medical needs, like
oxygen and a wheelchair and a possible transplant,” Kelley said. “But I
left the rest of it up to the jury.”
They awarded $56.6 million in
Kelley intentionally left the jury to
its own devices for the punitive award.
“I didn’t give them a dollar amount,”
he said. “I told them I have four kids and sometimes I have to punish
them. But what they hate the most is when I say, ‘I love you, but you
did this bad thing and you know you have to be punished. How do you
think you should be punished?’”
He told the jurors to listen to the
closing argument from the defense and see how it suggested Philip
Morris should be punished. The defense attorneys didn’t suggest an
amount, which Kelley said could have been a factor in the size of the
In all the
prior Engle cases, the plaintiffs’ attorneys stipulated to the defense
valuation as to the net worth of the company, Kelley said. But he
objected, and presented expert testimony from an economist.
testified that Philip Morris, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Altria
Group, can manipulate its net worth downward by “sending its assets up”
to the parent company. He testified that through the end of the third
quarter of 2009, Philip Morris had almost $3 billion in excess free
cash (meaning after it paid all its employees and other obligations).
Averaged out on a daily basis, that comes to about $10 million per day,
The dollar amount the defense sought
to have the plaintiff agree to was significantly lower – $1.6 billion.
After Kelley reviewed the numbers in
his closing argument, he reminded jurors they had been in the courtroom
for roughly 21 days. $10 million per day over a 21-day period could
have formed the basis for the $244 million punitive award, he
Plaintiff’s attorneys: Robert W.
Kelley, Todd R. Falzone and Todd R. McPharlin of Kelley Uustal in Fort
Lauderdale , Fla.
Defense attorneys: Tom Quigley of
Winston & Strawn in New York and Jennifer Brown of Shook Hardy
& Bacon in Miami .
The case: Naugle v. Philip Morris USA
; Nov. 19, 2009; Broward County Circuit Court, Fort Lauderdale , Fla. ;
Judge Jeffrey Streitfeld.
EXCERPTS from Law.com,
November 25, 2009, "Plaintiffs Lawyer in $300 Million Florida Smoking
Suit: 'The Jury Was Impressed by the Numbers' ", writer, Ben Hallman.
record, so far, hasn't been very
good for the tobacco companies in the so-called Engle progeny smoker
suits. They've won, by our count, just two of the ten cases to go to
trial, and the damages awards have been climbing. The first Engle
progeny trial resulted in an $8 million verdict against Philip Morris
in February. In August, R.J. Reynolds lost a $30 million verdict. And
on Thursday, a Broward County jury ordered Philip Morris to pay a
whopping $300 million--$56 million in compensatory damages and $244
million in punitives--to Cindy Naugle, a former smoker who claimed the
company's negligence was to blame for her emphysema. Here's Bloomberg's
story on the jury verdict.
spoke with Naugle's attorney, Robert Kelley of Kelley and Uustal on
Friday. We wanted to know, first of all, why this award was so much
larger than those in previous Engle trials. One reason, he said, was
that this was the first trial in which the jury heard about the "real
financial resources" of Philip Morris. The company, he said, claimed
that it was worth only $1.7 billion. But he presented witnesses who
said that in just the first three quarters of 2009, Philip Morris paid
$3.1 billion in dividends to Altria, its parent company. "We broke it
down and it was about $10 million a day," he said. "The jury was
impressed by the numbers."
The Engle progeny trials resulted from
a controversial 2006 ruling by the Florida Supreme Court that
decertified the enormous Engle nationwide class action, but held that
individual plaintiffs could rely on the class action jury's liability
findings against the tobacco companies. The defendants have
consistently blamed the state supreme court's res judicata ruling for
adverse results in the progeny trials.
Naugle is no exception. ...
Plaintiffs lawyer Kelley, though,
disputed the significance of the state supreme court's res judicata
ruling. "The findings are worth very little," he said. "We still have
to prove that it was the addiction that caused the disease, while
[defense lawyers] are saying that it was the choice that caused the
Excerpts from The Virginian-Pilot,
2009, "Ex-smoker hopes verdict will buy a lung transplant", writer,
Tamara Lush, Associated Press.
Cindy Naugle took the witness stand in her lawsuit against tobacco
company Philip Morris USA, she toted an oxygen bottle and had to pause
a few minutes to catch her breath.
Lawyers for the 61-year-old Naugle say
her emphysema is so bad that she needs a lung transplant and can barely
walk a few feet without being winded. The cause of her health problems,
lawyers argued, was a 25-year smoking habit. Naugle's lawyers said the
cigarette maker committed fraud. They said the tobacco company knew -
but concealed - that smoking cigarettes is addictive and harmful to a
Jurors agreed. On Thursday, it took
the Broward County panel less than three hours to order Philip Morris
to pay Naugle $300 million. It is believed to be the largest award to
date among the 7,000-plus lawsuits filed in Florida against tobacco
"If the tobacco industry realizes what
their ultimate potential exposure will be, maybe they will decide to do
the right thing by these people," said Robert Kelley, the Fort
Lauderdale attorney who represented Naugle.
The award amounts to $56 million in
compensatory and $244 million in punitive damages against Richmond,
Virginia-based Philip Morris USA, a unit of Altria Group Inc.
In a statement e-mailed to the
Associated Press on Friday, Philip Morris USA said it would appeal the
L. Sweda, Jr., senior attorney for the Tobacco Products Liability
Project at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, said
appeals of cases like this often take years.
"Looking at the track record of these
cases, the delay really does serve the company's interest and very much
does not serve the interest of the individuals, especially if they are
very ill or have a serious disease," he said.
Naugle, who is the sister of former
Fort Lauderdale mayor Jim Naugle, began smoking Benson & Hedges
brand cigarettes in 1958 because she thought it made her look older.
"Her mistake was one of youth," said
She tried to quit for 25 years and
finally succeeded in 1993 after using a nicotine patch and being
diagnosed with emphysema.
Today, she relies on oxygen 24 hours a
day and Kelley said Naugle constantly feels like she is "suffocating."
A lung transplant will cost at least a half-million dollars.
EXCERPTS from The New York Times,
November 20, 2009, "Ex-Smoker Wins Against Philip Morris", writer, Duff
experts predict that thousands of tobacco lawsuits could gain momentum
in Florida after a Fort Lauderdale jury ordered Philip Morris USA to
pay $300 million to a former smoker who says she needs a lung
If it survives an appeal, the verdict
late Thursday would be the nation’s largest award of damages to an
individual suing a tobacco company and could encourage thousands of
plaintiffs who have filed similar cases in Florida, according to
Clifford E. Douglas of the University of Michigan Tobacco Research
A state supreme court ruling in
Florida a few years ago made it easier to pursue tobacco lawsuits there
than in other states. But the tobacco industry, which plans to appeal,
appeared unfazed. Tobacco companies have considered product liability
suits as little more than a cost of doing business since the seven
biggest companies agreed to pay $206 billion in a master settlement
agreement with 46 states in 1998.
Florida, despite being one of those
states, had a major legal ruling [the Engle
trial] in 2006 that lowered a plaintiff’s burden of proof against a
The Florida Supreme Court rejected a
class-action verdict and a $145 billion award to plaintiffs, saying
smokers would have to sue individually. But the court said plaintiffs
would not have to prove some key elements that had been upheld in the
first stage of the class action: that nicotine is addictive, that
smoking causes diseases, and that cigarette companies fraudulently hid
“That makes these cases in Florida
unique,” Mr. Douglas said. Smokers in other states are still suing
cigarette makers, he said, but they have higher legal hurdles.
A spokesman for the Altria Group, the
Virginia-based parent company of Philip Morris USA, indicated it would
appeal the verdict and said the Florida rules were “fundamentally
unfair and unconstitutional.”
Shares of Altria, which had been up
more than 27 percent this year, dropped 1.2 percent Friday, to $18.98.
Lucinda Naugle, the 61-year-old sister
of a former Fort Lauderdale mayor, was awarded $56 million in
compensatory damages and $244 million in punitive damages Thursday
after a three-week trial and three hours of jury deliberation in
Broward County Circuit Court.
Ms. Naugle, an office manager, had
started smoking when she was 20 and quit when she was 45 years old, her
lawyer, Robert W. Kelley of Fort Lauderdale, said in a telephone
interview Friday. She now has severe emphysema and needs a lung
transplant she cannot afford, he said.
The jury assigned her 10 percent of
the liability for her smoking and disease, and Philip Morris 90 percent.
“She’ll get paid, I would hope, within
a year or two,” Mr. Kelley said. “The question is will she live long
Mr. Kelley said about 25 more cases
were lined up for trial in Florida next year. In all, more than 9,000
people from the former class action filed individual suits in various
courts in Florida against tobacco makers by January 2008, the deadline
set by the state Supreme Court.
About 4,000 of those cases were filed
in federal court and have been stayed, pending a review scheduled in
January by the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in
J. Adelman, a tobacco analyst for Morgan Stanley, said the Florida case
and, separately, forthcoming class-action lawsuits over light cigarette
claims pose an “undeniable” increase in the industry’s legal risk
“which had previously declined to an unprecedented low point.”
In an interview, Mr. Adelman noted
that there were no jury trials in cigarette cases all of last year, and
that other states had decertified class-action suits in ways more
favorable to the tobacco industry. Further, Mr. Adelman said, the major
legal threats to the industry were removed by the 1998 settlement with
states. And since then, the industry has fended off calls in court and
Congress for a huge disgorgement of its profits.
Even in light of the Florida verdict,
Mr. Adelman said the tobacco industry could afford several hundred
million dollars a year in legal losses if it had to. “That is a
financially manageable issue,” he said.
Of more concern, he said in the
interview and a note to investors, is a coming round of cases claiming
fraud and damages from past marketing of so-called light cigarettes.
Those products have been shown to be
no less harmful than regular cigarettes because smokers inhale them
more deeply. Congress, in landmark tobacco legislation earlier this
year, prohibited the use of the terms “light,” “low” or “mild” in all
cigarette labeling and marketing, effective June 22, 2010.
The first of the “light cigarette”
class-action cases is scheduled in Minnesota next October, followed by
Missouri in January 2011.
VIRGINIA -- 2009
Amendment to the Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act, banning smoking in
bars and restaurants
from The Richmond Times-Dispatch,
December 13, 2009, Kaine to force tough choices on McDonnell, writers
Jim Nolan and Jeff E. Schapiro.
interview with The News & Advance
of Lynchburg, Kaine said that earlier this year he deliberately pressed
for higher cigarette taxes -- aware they would fail -- to force
Republicans to make tough choices and seek compromise in a bill to ban
smoking in restaurants.
"There was some 'strategery'
involved," said Kaine, quoting a phrase from a 2000 debate sketch on
"Saturday Night Live." Kaine said he knew federal stimulus money to
cover the shortfall would be forthcoming from Washington.
"By putting the cigarette tax on the
table, too, I gave every legislator one way to make Philip Morris
happy, by voting against the cigarette tax. A lot of [legislators]
voted against the cigarette tax and then they voted for the smoking
EXCERPTS from The
Richmond Times-Dispatch, December 2, 2009,
"Smoke clears, mostly, as law goes into effect", Jim Nolan and
John Reid Blackwell.
giant sucking sound you hear?
That's the sound of Virginia
restaurant patrons taking a deep, smoke-free breath.
The state's ban on smoking in
restaurants took effect yesterday [December 1, 2009]. With some
exceptions, most smokers now have to drag themselves out of Virginia's
public dining rooms and bars to light up.
The ban passed the General Assembly
and was signed into law this year by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, marking a
significant step in the history of the commonwealth ...
The new law exempts private clubs and
requires restaurants that want to welcome smokers to maintain a
separately ventilated enclosed room, or relegate them to unenclosed
outdoor patio areas. Violations of the law are punishable by a $25 fine
per occurrence on both the proprietor and smoker.
Across the Richmond region yesterday,
smokers had their first dining-out meals without nicotine, while
anxious owners tried to assess the potential impact on their businesses.
The Sports Page bar and restaurant in
Midlothian broke the news with a large yellow banner outside the
"It's the law, brother," said
proprietor Ron Newcome, who estimated that 50 percent of his patrons
had enjoyed a smoke with their draft beer.
Creating a separately ventilated
section would have been too costly for the business ...
"Overall I like the law," said
Newcome, a nonsmoker. "I just don't like the law enough to lose all
State officials say the law will
protect patrons and restaurant workers from health risks posed by
Kaine toured the state yesterday to
promote the law. He stopped in Charlottesville, Alexandria and finally
Richmond, where he spoke at the Home Team Grill on Main Street in the
Fan District, a restaurant that went smoke-free yesterday.
Kaine said the law would be good for
patrons and especially for restaurant workers who, according to health
statistics, are twice as likely to develop lung cancer as people who do
not work in smoking environments.
"We have saved lives -- about 1,700
people a year die of the effects of secondhand smoke," Kaine told the
crowd at the restaurant.
Home Team Grill owner Garland Taylor
said business increased when his other restaurant in western Henrico
County went nonsmoking 18 months ago.
Kaine said he was not concerned that a
subsequent legislative session would repeal the law. If anything, he
believes it would be made more strict.
incoming governor does not approve of the law the current governor
governor-elect does believe this is a matter best left to the free
market, and he did not support this measure as it was debated in the
General Assembly," said Tucker Martin, a spokesman for Gov.-elect
restaurants already are smoke-free by choice, Martin said. "However,
the legislation passed, and the new law is now in effect. As governor,
he will uphold and enforce all Virginia laws."
But some things, especially in
tobacco-rich Richmond, will not change. The Tobacco Company, not
surprisingly, still has a smoking section in the downstairs bar area
and garden atrium, while the second and third-floor dining rooms of the
sprawling Shockoe Slip establishment are smoke-free.
Rudy Cobian smoked a Marlboro
cigarette after lunch yesterday at Bailey's Smokehouse & Tavern in
Henrico. The restaurant and bar has complied with the law by
maintaining a spacious smoking area, separated by doors and walls from
a nonsmoking area.
"I've been here three times, and it is
going to be more of a hangout for me," Cobian said.
Patrons at the smoke-free Sports Page
-- even the smokers -- didn't
seem put out by the new law.
"It doesn't really bother me," said
smoker Kevin Girts, 51, who came for lunch with his wife, Colleen.
"I'll just step outside."
were pleased about their new environment.
"No more extra washing of our
clothes," said Shelby Hamby, 39, the bartender yesterday at the
Milepost 5 seafood restaurant, which had a large smoking crowd at the
bar before yesterday.
Hamby, who quit the habit two years
ago, said that even if her tips fall off initially because of the ban,
she won't get the same grief from her children when she comes home from
"They'd say, 'Mom, you smell like
shrimp and cigarettes.'"
EXCERPTS from The Richmond
December 1, 2009, "Williams: Tougher restaurant smoking ban needed",
Michael Paul Williams.
Grill is closed on Mondays.
But yesterday evening, its owners were busy wiping away evidence of its
smoke-filled past and prepping the Lakeside eatery for the dawn of a
Actually, dawn would arrive at
midnight, when Virginia's restaurant smoking ban would go into effect.
The grill at 6010 Hermitage Road had
allowed smoking because it was too small to carve out a nonsmoking
section. New signs alerting its customers to the no-smoking policy lay
on the bar.
"We've been cleaning just like
everyone else," said co-owner Waller McCracken. "It's amazing where tar
and nicotine goes."
Where will the Hermitage Grill go from
"We think it's probably going to help
our dinner business," said co-owner John Meyers. "Our bar business
might be hurt."
McCracken smoked 35 years before
quitting cold turkey two years ago. He doesn't wish to alienate
smokers, he said. "Hopefully, everybody comes around, eventually."
It's about time Virginia came around.
There's a lot not to like about this
ban, which provides a loophole for restaurants with walled-off,
separately ventilated smoking areas and arrives with little enforcement
oomph. A $25 civil fine levied against a violating smoker or
nonenforcing proprietor is a joke.
But in a state once largely defined by
the tobacco leaf, even a watered-down smoking ban is significant.
Yesterday at the Third Street Diner,
customers took their final legal drags on their cigarettes and vented
about the no-smoking law.
"I'm upset, too,'cause I smoke," said
manager Angel Fortenberry-Smith. "I've got to go outside. Are you
The diner is renovating an upstairs
apartment for smoking patrons. But some customers remain steamed.
... By then, I was wondering what I'd
gotten myself into. My eyes stung and my lungs burned. I thought about
another nearby eating establishment, across Grace Street from this
The Red Door has been closed for
renovations. Its walls and floors were being scrubbed, its carpet
replaced, to remove smoke residue.
amazing where tar and
nicotine goes. Restaurant walls, floors and carpets aren't pack-a-day
smokers. They're passive observers. The same smoke that stains them
lines the lungs of nonsmoking patrons, as well as employees.
If those walls could talk, they'd say
that's no choice at all. They'd say public health should not be a point
of compromise. We need a real smoking ban with teeth.
EXCERPTS from The Virginian-Pilot, December 1,
2009, "Smoking ban begins at bars and restaurants in Virginia", Jaedda
Starting to day, smoking is banned
in most bars and restaurants across Virginia. The legislation, signed
by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine in March, allows patrons to smoke only on a
restaurant's outdoor patio or in a separate smoking room with its own
Colley Cantina, a Mexican restaurant
in Norfolk's Ghent neighborhood, won't allow smoking at all.
"It's a bit restrictive," said Turney,
a regular. "It's nice to have a place to come and have a cigarette and
Virginia will join 23 states that ban
smoking in restaurants. Owners and diners who violate the ban will face
a $25 fine.
Some restaurant patrons look forward
to returning home from a night out and not smelling like an ashtray.
"I think it's great," Pauline
Grehawick said as she got up to leave Kelly's Tavern, just down the
street from Colley Cantina, on Monday night.
"Speak for yourself," said her
husband, Greg - a smoker.
His wife responded: "I just don't like
what it releases in the air for the nonsmoker. The odor, and it's
cancer-causing. I don't want that."
At the next table, smoker Noreen
McCarthy said she will think twice about where she goes out to eat, but
she doesn't see the new law as a huge problem.
"It seems like there aren't that many
smokers anymore," she said. "Mainly because we can't afford it."
Some local restaurants and clubs have
found a way around the ban and were able to add an additional room or
convert outdoor patios into smoking areas.
At Mom's Kitchen and Scandal's Night
Club in Virginia Beach, the restaurant already has two separate rooms -
a diner and a bar.
Starting today, smoking will no longer
be allowed in the restaurant and will be limited to the nightclub area.
On Monday night, a handful of regular
customers lit up at the bar and watched a football game.
David Coates, who's been smoking at
the nightclub since it opened 25 years ago, is grateful cigarettes will
still be allowed. If they weren't, he said, he probably wouldn't come
"If a bar's not going to allow
smoking, I won't be there," he said. "As long as people aren't blowing
smoke in your face, I don't see why it's an issue."
Smoker Mark Kehayas agreed.
"Basically, we are once again giving
our rights to the government," he said as he ate dinner with his
family. The ban is going to kill the bar business, he said, especially
small bars that could not afford to create a separate room.
"I imagine until we quit smoking,"
said Kehayas, "we will eat at home a lot.
EXCERPTS from The Washington Post,
2009, "Virginia restaurant smoking ban begins tomorrow", writer Sandhya
Starting Tuesday, smoking will
banned in most of the 17,500 bars and restaurants across Virginia ...
The law, which was signed in February
after years of lobbying by smoking foes, puts Virginia in line with the
District, Maryland and dozens of other states and cities that have
adopted similar prohibitions. Virginia's law is more permissive than
its neighbors', allowing for walled-off smoking areas with separate
ventilation and exempting private clubs from the ban. Owners and
customers who violate the law are subject to a $25 fine.
As of last week, about 75 percent of
the state's eating and drinking establishments had gone completely
smoke-free, said Gary Hagy, a spokesman for the Virginia Health
"We've gotten calls from a few
[restaurant owners] who aren't happy, but we expect most Virginians
will comply with the law," Hagy said. "Some restaurants are actually
glad and are saying, 'We are happy the law passed, we have been wanting
to go smoke-free for some time.' "
Not Jimmy Cirrito, owner of Jimmy's
Old Town Tavern in Herndon, an upstate New York-style sports bar and
restaurant where for 12 years cigarette smoke has been as much a part
of the menu as the buffalo wings and poutine fries. Many of his
customers are smokers, and policing them will be a headache for the
staff, especially on nights when the line to get in wraps around the
corner, he said. Building a separate smoking area is not feasible, he
More upsetting, however, is what he
calls the slow erosion of personal freedom that has come to Virginia.
"I never thought it would happen," he
said. "I hate smoking, I never smoke. If my teenage daughter picks up a
cigarette it will be the end of me. But I love freedom. Why all of a
sudden are my rights taken away from me if I want to have a cigar when
my sister announces a pregnancy, or my best friend gets off the plane
from Iraq and I can't offer him a cigarette in my bar?"
To mark the occasion, a Camel
representative will be giving out free cigarettes and a DJ will be
playing smoking-related songs and commercials, including a classic
Winston cigarette ad featuring the Flintstones. Cirrito is also selling
the round glass ashtrays that have long graced his bar. He will sign
each one with a magic marker and write, "Virginia smoking ban Dec. 1,
2009." The proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.
Several upscale steakhouses around the
region will be hosting cigar parties, including a sold-out
Morton's the Steakhouse in Reston at which guests will be invited to
dine on oysters and beef Wellington and "savor your stogie in Morton's
one last time." The Palm, a swanky dining room and bar next door to the
Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner, will be hosting a smaller private party
in a back room as well.
But nonsmoking patrons of the Palm, a
hangout for many of the region's technology workers, say the real party
will be Thursday, when some 180 nonsmokers are expected to converge on
the bar for their own, smoke-free party.
"Most people, when they come back from
the Palm, they take a shower before they go to bed because you reek of
smoke," said Michael Norton, who owns an executive search firm and
often meets clients in the bar area. "A lot of people who frequent the
Palm are going to be very happy about this."
EXCERPTS from Yahoo News, Associated
Press article, November
27, 2009, "In tobacco-loving Va., bars to quit cold-turkey", writer Bob
Va. – The bluish haze that
has hung over the Third Street Diner's bar and booths for decades
finally lifts next month as a new anti-smoking law takes hold in
Virginia, a huge shift for a state whose tobacco habit dates to the
Jamestown settlement some 400 years ago.
Starting Dec. 1, Virginia will join
dozens of other states that ban smoking in restaurants. Restaurants in
Virginia will be allowed to have a smoking area only if they segregate
smokers into rooms with ventilation systems separate from those that
heat and cool nonsmoking patrons. ...
this year, strict new curbs on lighting up where food and drink are
sold were enacted by lawmakers in Richmond and in Raleigh, N.C., major
tobacco capitals where cigarette giants Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds
have been accustomed to getting their way.
North Carolina's law takes effect Jan.
2 and will allow smoking on outdoor patios and in private membership
clubs, as does Virginia's law. Unlike Virginia, North Carolina law will
not allow any smoking in restaurants.
Virginia restaurant industry lobbyist
Tom Lisk expects only about 10 percent of the state's restaurants to
retain smoking areas.
"A number of them, because of that
requirement in the law to create or construct a separate room, don't
have the wherewithal to do it, so they're just banning smoking
altogether," said Lisk, who last winter opposed the bill.
Some, like Williamsburg blues and jazz
nightspot owner Randall Plaxa, decided to go smoke-free well ahead of
Others, like the Third Street Diner
and the Beatles-themed Penny Lane Pub two blocks away in downtown
Richmond, will move their puffing patrons into upstairs quarters that
already comply with the law.
To Maher Elmasri, the change is an
unfair threat to his authentic hookah restaurant in Vienna. He's
spending thousands of dollars on architects, engineers, builders and
ventilation contractors to keep the hookah — a tall, ornate water pipe
popular in Arabic cultures — in use at his Middle Eastern restaurant,
"Am I confident I can stay in
business? I don't know that I am confident. I just know that I have to
do this to survive," said Elmasri, a Palestinian immigrant.
Twenty-eight states and the District
of Columbia have laws that ban restaurant smoking, according to the
American Lung Association. Some of them exempt hookah lounges. But by
the time Elmasri learned that Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and
legislative Republican leaders were rushing their compromise bill
toward passage, it was too late. North Carolina provides no hookah
"It's like the government going into
the Cheesecake Factory and saying, `You can't serve cheesecake any
more,'" Elmasri said.
For the restaurant industry, Lisk
argued that allowing separate smoking rooms put small, family-owned
places at a disadvantage to large franchise chains. A total ban would
be more fair, he said, and many anti-smoking activists agreed.
Now, as the effective date of
Virginia's law approaches, most restaurateurs are relieved it's here,
"Some of them wanted to ban (smoking)
all along, but didn't for competitive reasons," he said. Now, Lisk
added, they can prohibit smoking altogether knowing that very few
competitors will spend the money necessary to offer a smoking area.
"I am counting on that so much," said
Plaxa, who made J.M. Randalls smoke-free on Father's Day.
He lost the hard-drinking,
hard-partying, smoke-'em-if-you-got-'em crowd and saw sales fall nearly
$250,000 as liquor and beer orders dropped by nearly half. But food
orders are up 44 percent, and wine sales have increased eightfold,
While he hasn't fully recouped the
money the late-night party animals spent, costs have gone down. Smoke
took a toll on his equipment and maintenance budget, it yellowed the
walls and drapes, cigarettes burned holes in tabletops and upholstery,
and ashes left carpets in ruins, he said. He also sees steady growth in
a higher class of customer that may ultimately be even more profitable
for his business.
"The more responsible person is a
person who doesn't smoke. These people take care of themselves. They're
in bed by 10 or 10:30 at night and they're up before sunrise next
morning to work out," he said.
A few restaurants can retain smokers
under the new law without making any structural changes. Two — Penny
Lane and Third Street Diner — have long had separately ventilated rooms
upstairs. Penny Lane has an open-air patio, which can also accommodate
smokers under the new law.
"From a business standpoint, we are
lucky," said Lisa O'Neill, Penny Lane's manager and daughter-in-law of
its owner, Terry O'Neill.
EXCERTS from The Rolling Stone, October 1, 2009,
"Echoes of Philip Morris and Hillarycare", Tim Dickinson.
current campaign to defeat health
care reform bears an uncanny resemblance to the one secretly
implemented by Philip Morris and its third-party allies in the early
1990s to defeat Hillarycare.
I touched on the Philip Morris
campaign, briefly, in “The Lie Machine,” but I’ve since uncovered a
bumper crop of additional memos from the Legacy Tobacco Documents
Library that offer a detailed picture of the cigarette maker’s
behind-the-scenes moves to defeat the Clinton health care reform in ‘94
— and why the tobacco company was so motivated.
The costs of the Clinton health reform
were to be covered, in part, by new tobacco taxes. As this memo from
the company’s Washington Relations Office reveals, Philip Morris’
decided it would try beat back this threat by torpedoing health care
To fight Clinton’s
cent per pack excise tax increase, we are also working behind the
scenes to oppose the Clinton package as a whole.
knew it couldn’t be out
in front, as one executive explained in this April, 1994 presentation
detailing what the company called its “Tobacco Strategic Attack Plan”:
We do a great deal under the
heading of Allied Attacks
where friendly third parties are engaged on
our side but without direct or obvious connection to the industry.
The polling told us
two years ago
that almost any organization other than a tobacco company had more
credibility. That is still true and the work of our “allies” is more
important than it has ever been.
Who were those allies? This March 22,
1994, “Tobacco Strategy Review” marked “confidential” lists Philip
Morris’ friends in the foxhole, including, notably, the Manhattan
Institute, where one Betsy
McCaughey was a fellow:
• Third Party
important. We provide assistance to Citizens for a Sound Economy,
Center for Policy Analysis, Manhattan Institute and numerous other
documents tell us the most about Philip Morris’ payments to Citizens
for a Sound Economy — which
would later split, producing contemporary
anti-healthcare Astroturf giants Americans For
swing Democrats in the
House, PM quietly paid CSE to gin up a “grassroots” anti-tax rebellion,
as detailed in this memo:
• The House Energy
Committee will be a key battleground over the Clinton health care plan,
and we are giving $400,000 to Citizens For A Sound Economy – a free
market based grassroots organization — to run a grassroots program
aimed at “swing” Democrats on the Committee .
Citizens for a Sound Economy’s
bore a striking resemblance to the town-hall campaign waged this August
by its offspring. This “Tobacco Strategy” memo describes CSE’s program
in full swing, replete with a mobilization of up-in-arms constituents
at town halls:
Citizens for a
We are funding a
grassroots initiative in the districts of House – Energy & Commerce
members to educate and mobilize consumers, through town hall
meetings…meetings with Members and staff and the release of studies and
other educational pieces. The goal of this effort is to show the
Clinton plan as a government-run health care system….
A later memo — notes for an
executive’s “Board Presentation, March 30, 1994″ — brags about the toll
the town hall campaign was exacting on swing Democrats:
We have also
Democratic swing votes through third party groups, such as Citizens for
a Sound Economy… As a result of the controversy emanating at the
grassroots level, Subcommittee Chairman Waxman could not produce the
votes to pass legislation out of his Subcommittee….
In addition to relying on third-party
groups like Citizens
for a Sound Economy, Philip Morris also created
its own multifaceted political campaign to defeat the proposed Federal
Excise Tax [FET] on tobacco products. Notes from another executive’s
speech at same March ‘94 board meeting reveal the strategy:
The FET is a top
priority for us.
In fact, because the issue has taken on the proportions of a political
campaign, we’re treating it as one…
Indeed, the company brought in big
guns, including the recent former head of the RNC:
…we’ve hired former
GOP National Chairman Rich Bond
and his company to coordinate our grassroots effort.
Much as the insurance industry’s top
lobbying group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, has done in the
current health care debate, Philip Morris tapped its own employees to
play the part of concerned citizens:
PM USA employees
especially active… The recent march in Washington drew nearly 20,000
tobacco workers, the majority of them PM USA employees.
Philip Morris also reached out to
collaborate with the competition as revealed in this April 4, 1994 memo:
• PM COMPANIES INC.
AND RJR HAVE FORMED THE PM/RJR TOBACCO TASK FORCE TO COORDINATE ACTIONS
This “Task Force” was star-studded.
Indeed, it was anchored by a former
top George H.W. Bush consultant who
would go on to found FoxNews:
• TASK FORCE
Roger Ailes, public affairs strategist
EXCERPTS from The Boston Globe, October 19, 2009,
11:29 am online, "SJC: Philip Morris may have to pay for diagnostic
tests for smokers", writer John R. Ellement.
high court today
rewrote state law and ruled that cigarette maker Philip Morris may have
to pay for diagnostic chest exams so smokers can get early warning they
have developed lung cancer.
In a unanimous ruling, the
Judicial Court said that Massachusetts law has an antiquated definition
of negligence that must be updated. Historically, plaintiffs had to
show explicit injury -- such as a broken leg -- before the other party
can be ordered to pay for diagnostic tests. Writing for the court,
Justice Francis X. Spina said that legal thinking had to change.
"Modern living has exposed people
variety of toxic substances," Spina wrote. "Illness and disease from
exposure to these substances are often latent, not manifesting
themselves for years or even decades after the exposure."
Spina added, "Our tort law
in the late 19th and early 20th centuries …We must adapt to the growing
recognition that exposure to toxic substances and radiation may cause
substantial injury which should be compensable even if the full effects
are not immediately apparent."
The SJC said a federal class
lawsuit filed in 2006 against the cigarette maker by Patricia Cawley of
Rockland, Kathleen Donovan of Randolph and James Teague of Lowell is
now permitted under state law. The smokers had sued the cigarette maker
demanding the company pay for low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans
of the chest to get early warning of the disease.
"Courts around the country,
the United States Supreme Court, have been virtually unanimous in
rejecting the type of claim plaintiffs assert here," the company's
attorneys argued in court papers. "The sound policy reasons those
courts have cited are equally compelling."
"In short, the statute begins to
when there is a physiological change resulting in a substantial
increase in the risk of cancer, and that increase, under the standard
of care, triggers the need for available diagnostic testing that has
been accepted in the medical community as an efficacious method of lung
cancer screening or surveillance," Spina wrote.
While directly addressing
involving smoking, the SJC explicitly said its thinking in today’s
ruling does not automatically apply to other parts of the 21st
century’s toxic environment.
"We leave for another day
consideration of cases that involve exposure to levels of chemicals or
radiation known to cause cancer, for which immediate medical monitoring
may be medically necessary although no symptoms or subclinical changes
have occurred,’" Spina wrote.
Hamilton County, Ohio, USA, Common Pleas Judge Fred Nelson noted:
the Constitution of the United States nor the Ohio Constitution
creates a fundamental right to smoke in public.” Quoted in The Enquirer, March 12, 2008.
Canwest News Service, www.canada.com, April 23, 2009, "Second-hand
smoke increases risk of breast cancer in young women", Sharon Kirkey.
Parents who smoke
are putting their daughters at increased risk of breast cancer,
according to an [11 member] expert panel that has unanimously agreed
evidence now exists to link second-hand smoke to breast cancer.
"Even moderate exposure to passive smoking, such as living or working
with a smoker early in life, increases a woman's risk of breast cancer
when she is in her 30s, 40s and 50s," panellist and University of
Toronto public health expert Dr. Anthony Miller says.
"That is very important information people should know."
Studies on the possible relationship between cigarette smoke and breast
cancer have been inconsistent, with some showing an increase in risk
and others not.
But after reviewing all available
evidence — more than 100 studies — the panel concluded that all women
who smoke, particularly young women, are at increased risk of breast
cancer, and that even young women who don't smoke are at increased risk
if they're exposed to second-hand smoke.
"An estimated 80 to 90 per cent of women have been exposed to tobacco
smoke in adolescence and adulthood," says panel chairman Neil
Collishaw, of Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada. "Those women face an
increased risk of breast cancer because of that exposure."
"Everyone needs to know that no
girls and no women should be exposed to tobacco smoke," Miller said.
According to the 11-member Canadian expert panel on tobacco smoke and
breast cancer risk:
- Smoking increases the risk of breast
cancer in all women. "On
average, it would be about a 50- to 70-per-cent increase in risk,
depending on how much women smoke," says Miller, associate director of
research at the University of Toronto 's Dalla Lana School of Public
But, according to the panel,
"young women in particular should
understand that available evidence suggests that the relationship
between breast cancer and both active smoking and SHS (second-hand
smoking) is consistent with causality.
One in seven women in Canada will develop breast cancer in their
lifetime. "If you're an active smoker, you've moved from one in seven,
to about one in five," Miller says. The highest risks were for women
who started to smoke before age 15.
One study of women who carry the genes associated with breast cancer
found those who smoked more than one pack a day for five years had
double the risk of breast cancer than non-smokers.
- Exposure to second-hand smoke increases the risk of breast cancer in
younger, primarily pre-menopausal women by 40 to 50 per cent.
- There's not enough evidence to judge whether second-hand smoke
increases the risk of breast cancer in older women. But Miller says it doesn't make a lot
of biological sense to think passive smoking only increases risk in
- More research is needed to know how many cases of breast cancer, and
deaths, can be attributed to active and passive smoking.
... Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canadian
with 22,700 new cases expected this year and 5,400 deaths from the
Overall, an estimated 5.9 million people, or 22 per cent of the
Canadian population aged 12 and older, were smokers in 2005, according
to Statistics Canada. Although they've fallen, smoking rates were still
highest among both men and women in the 18 to 34 age group. One-third
of men and 26 per cent of women in that age group were smokers in 2005.
There are at least 20 known or suspected cancer-causing chemicals in
tobacco smoke that have been shown to cause breast tumours in rodents.
Miller says some are even more abundant in sidestream smoke — the smoke
produced by a burning, idling cigarette. "That's the smoke you don't
actively inhale if you're a smoker, but the smoke you do inhale if you
are exposed to a smoker.
"Any woman who has lived in a family where mother and/or father have
smoked throughout her life is definitely at increased risk of breast
cancer," Miller says. "She's had long-term exposure under circumstances
where her breasts have been developing, and where they are very
susceptible to the effects of carcinogens. That's the worst type of
Girls who expose themselves to their friends' smoking, especially in
closed rooms, are "probably increasing their risk of breast cancer,"
The panel, comprised of six Canadian and five American experts, was
convened by the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, an affiliate of the
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, with support from the Public Health
Agency of Canada and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.
The Missoulian, October 1, 2008, headlined, "A healthy dose of humor --
Woman who survived cancer takes on Big Tobacco in her comedy act,"
writer, Vince Devlin.
Hicks, who never smoked a cigarette in her life - she was a
long-distance runner in college, for heaven’s sake - came down with
lung cancer in 2001.
She blames the secondhand smoke she
breathed in over years of performing in clubs and bars.
“That’s how I got cancer,” says the
comic, who appears Saturday in Polson at an event where the Lake County
Health Department will hand out its Healthy Business Awards.
One of those businesses is the St.
Luke Healthcare Network of Ronan, which next week will extend its
no-smoking policy to include a ban on smoking outdoors on all its
properties in Lake County. The 6:30 p.m. event, at Kwa Taq Nuk Resort,
is free and open to the public.
Hicks’ comedy act changed after she
had surgery to remove half of a lung.
“I find humor in every situation,”
Hicks says. “The things we find funny in any situation are often things
rooted in the tragic. When we deal with them with humor, it brings them
down to a more manageable size.”
So what’s so funny about lung cancer?
“Anything a tobacco company does is
funny,” Hicks says. “I mean, they’re trying to kill people, and trying
to make it seem like they’re not. There’s good fodder there, the
ways they come up with to sell death to people, to dress it up.”
Hicks gives Big Tobacco a pinch of
credit for its means, if not its motive.
“It’s like trying to sell someone a
gun so they can blow their head off,” she says. “No. 1, you’ve got to
be ballsy to do it, and second,you’ve got to be creative. They try to
make smoking look cool and hip. They even try to make it look
If smokers insist on inhaling poisons
into their lungs, Hicks thinks she has a cheaper way for them to do it
than buying cigarettes.
“Why not just put your mouth over the
tailpipe of a car?” she asks.
Hicks was a long-distance runner at Cal State-Hayward, where she
participated in track and cross country. She continued to run
long-distance races after college until she came down with cancer.
She won’t say how old she is - just
“old enough to know better and young enough to do it anyway.”
And now she aims her comedy at the
secondhand smoke she says gave her cancer.
“I just do a little jujitsu on the
tobacco companies,” she says, “and turn what they say and do against
them. They make it pretty easy.”
Please see Virginia
2009 Legislative efforts,
and News Excerpts for 2009.
2008 No-Smoking bills.
Articles, editorials, letters to
editors: Excerpts 2008
Suit exchanged her Delegate job for one as a lobbyist -- A special,
expensive, election was held for her replacement. If Suit had
allowed the no-smoking bills to go through, many lives would have been
saved, many people would not have been ill.
2008 legislative session -- Terrie Suit killed all no-smoking bills --
The 6 member House subcommittee killed 8 House bills February 7th, 4
Senate bills on February 14. This
killed all no-smoking bills for the last three years. The two
letters below summarize the 2008 Virginia session on no-smoking.
to the Editor, The Virginian-Pilot,
March 20, 2008, headlined, "Suit's
smoking legacy", writer, Hilton Oliver, Virginia Beach.
those upset at the
failure of proposed smoking bans should not blame the legislature,
since the full Senate passed four solid bills.
Del. Terrie Suit is totally
responsible for the fate of these measures. As
she insisted on assigning them all to the same pro-tobacco subcommittee
that killed such bills the last two years. She then refused to
full committee vote.
Twelve separate bills on smoking were
introduced this session, and Czarina Suit denied all of them a full
On Nov. 3, 2009, voters of Virginia
Beach's 81st District should show Del. Suit the door.
Letter to the
Bristol Herald Courier,
February 21, 2008, headlined, "Tell
delegates to give ban a vote",
writer, Hilton Oliver, Executive Director, Virginia GASP, Group to
Alleviate Smoking in Public.
recall learning in elementary school
that we lived in a democracy of the people, by the people and for the
people. The Virginia House of Delegates has made a mockery of that
For the third straight year, the House
leadership has used sleazy political maneuvering to kill widely popular
bills to restrict public smoking. The bills have been intentionally
routed to the illogical six-member subcommittee on Alcoholic Beverage
Control and Gaming because those legislators are all known to be
pro-tobacco. For three consecutive years, six delegates have prevented
100 delegates from even voting on this legislation.
J. Howell, who is
awash in tobacco contributions, opposes the bills and has sadly abused
his power to circumvent the democratic process. His stooge is Delegate
Terrie Suit, the new General Laws Committee chairwoman, who supported
Gov. Tim Kaine’s effort at smoke-free restaurants last year but just
coincidentally reversed her position after Howell made her committee
chair. The bills obviously belong in the Health Committee anyway, but
the speaker knows that committee would approve them.
Our legislators are plainly terrified
that the clear will of Virginians could prevail over the will of Big
Tobacco. The Senate passed four strong bills by a wide margin which
would protect non-smokers. Unless the people of Virginia express their
outrage, Howell and Suit will certainly spit on them again. Please
demand that these bills receive a full and fair vote.
Abstract, Preventive Medicine,
Feb. 9, 2008, study titled, "Active and passive smoking and depression
among Japanese workers", researchers Nakata A , Takahashi M , Ikeda T ,
Hojou M , Nigam JA, Swanson NG . National Institute for
Occupational Safety and Health, USA.
To assess the relation of passive and active smoking to depressive
symptoms in 1839 men and 931 women working in a suburb of Tokyo in 2002.
smoking history and exposure to passive smoking (no, occasional, or
regular) at work and at home. Depressive symptoms according to the
Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, with a cut-off point
Compared to never
smokers unexposed to passive smoking, never smokers reporting regular
and occasional exposure to passive smoking at work had increased
depressive symptoms. ... Current smokers had significantly increased
depressive symptoms ... but former smokers had only marginal increases
of depressive symptoms .... Gender did not modify the effects of
active/passive smoking on depressive symptoms.
Passive smoking at work and current smoking appear associated with
higher levels of depressive symptoms.
A more truthful name for the following
Excerpt would be The Face of Evil.
continue to manufacture and market a product which the manufacturers
know addicts and kills most of its consumers, increases global warming
by ripping up forests and agricultural lands, and pollutes the air, the
land, and the rivers, is indeed evil by most definitions of evil.
from Bloomberg, March 27, 2008, headlined, "Altria Dims as
Overseas Spinoff Gets Marlboro Growth", writer, Chris Burritt.
anyone anticipating the outcome of
the spinoff of Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris International
tomorrow, the best part may be the worst part.
Philip Morris International, the
biggest chunk of the Marlboro cigarette franchise, provides 75 percent
of Altria's revenue and two-thirds of the profit and is "a pretty easy
choice," said Donald Yacktman, who oversees $1 billion as president of
Yacktman Asset Management in Austin, Texas. The firm owned 61,704
Altria shares as of Dec. 31.
The spinoff's goal is to grab more
smokers in developing markets, where the habit [web editor's note
-- addiction] is on the rise and increasing wealth is spurring
purchases of Marlboro, the world's top-selling brand.
"If you have a 5- to 10-year view, the
stock you'd want to own is Philip Morris International," says Brian
Barish, who manages 4.5 million Altria shares as president of Cambiar
Investors in Denver. The firm oversees $8 billion in assets.
"There's growth in big, populous
countries like China, India, Indonesia and Thailand," Barish
the U.S., tobacco use has been in secular decline for multiple decades."
Altria's overseas shipments advanced
2.2 percent last year to 850 billion cigarettes and accounted for 16
percent of all the smokes sold worldwide. That contrasts with a U.S.
drop of 4.6 percent as smoking bans and higher prices crimped demand.
The American side of the company shipped 175.1 billion units.
Philip Morris International will
accelerate growth in markets where there are fewer smoking restrictions
and anti-tobacco lawsuits than in the U.S., investors say.
The company "won't have to worry about
getting pre-approval from the U.S. for things that are perfectly
acceptable in foreign markets," said Thomas Russo, who manages more
than $3 billion, including 5.7 million Altria shares as of Dec. 31, at
Gardner Russo & Gardner in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
As of Feb. 15, the international unit
was defending itself against an estimated 133 suits claiming products
harmed individuals, Altria said in a regulatory filing.
Altria faced 111 suits on behalf of
individuals and 2,622 cases brought by airline flight attendants
alleging they were injured by second-hand smoke, the filing said.
Shareholders in Altria will get one
share of Philip Morris International for each one they owned March 19.
The spinoff will trade under the ticker symbol "PM" starting March 31.
According to Bloomberg data, the
overseas company trades at a higher price-to-equity ratio than British
American Tobacco Plc, signaling it's fully valued against its European
inclusion of the international company in the Standard & Poor's 500
Index may help the stock as fund managers who mimic the index buy the
shares, said Giri Cherukuri, who helps manage $1.2 billion at Oakbrook
Investments LLC. The Lisle, Illinois- based firm owned 61,100 Altria
shares as of Dec. 31.
As the fastest
growth goes overseas, the U.S. company plans $1 billion in cost cuts
while boosting sales of smokeless tobacco products as Americans consume
as much as 2 percent fewer cigarettes a year.
company, which is relocating to Richmond, Virginia, from New York,
makes half of the cigarettes sold in the U.S.
It plans to buy back $7.5 billion in stock over the next two years and
pay an estimated $5.4 billion in dividends. It projected an annual
shareholder return greater than 12 percent.
Over the next two years, Philip Morris
International plans to spend about $21 billion on buybacks and
dividends. It hasn't forecast a total return to shareholders.
Altria's board approved the timing of
the split in January. It comes a year after the company spun off its 89
percent stake in Kraft Foods Inc., the world's second-largest food
Barish and other investors favored the
breakup, first mentioned by Chief Executive Officer Louis Camilleri in
2004, as a way to focus Altria's Philip Morris USA on boosting
Marlboro's 41 percent share of the U.S. market while expanding into snuff and cigars.
EXCERPTS from Associated Press,
March 26, 2008,
headlined, "Maine House votes to ban smoking in cars with child
passengers", writer, Glenn Adams.
to outlaw smoking in cars in
which children under 16 are present won an initial vote of approval
Tuesday in the Maine House of Representatives after supporters defended
it as a children's health measure that would save money.
The bill, which faces further House
and Senate voting, advanced on a 92-46 tally. It would authorize $50
fines for violations, but only after the first year. In the meantime,
warnings would be issued.
Speaking in support, Rep. Sheryl
Briggs said the bill would protect children from the effects of
secondhand smoke in enclosed areas that could lead to ear infections
and aggravate asthma and other respiratory ailments.
bill emerged with a 12-1 vote of support from the Health and Human
Services Committee. The dissenter, Rep. Robert Walker, urged against
"legislating common sense."
"Is the long arm of government once
again reaching into people's lives, into people's homes and now in
people's cars?" asked the Lincolnville Republican, who is a physician.
Rep. Sean Faircloth, the assistant
House Democratic leader, said the bill defends the rights of children
who are strapped in the enclosures of cars "and forced to breathe in
"As a civil libertarian, I am forced
to support this bill," said Faircloth.
Another Bangor Democrat, Rep. Patricia
Blanchette, had supported a city ordinance that was the state's first
and became a model of a legislative bill she sponsored earlier on. But
on Tuesday she called for rejection of the pending measure, saying it
had become too watered down in committee. Among the changes Blanchette
opposes are lowering the age in the original bill, which applied to
those under age 18, to those under 16 instead.
Maine's bill is similar to those that
have been enacted in other cities, counties and states and are under
consideration or enacted in Canadian provinces.
As of Tuesday, it will be against the
law in Nova Scotia to smoke in a vehicle while children under 18 are
present. The fine will be $394.50.
from The Enquirer, March 12,
2008, headlined, "Judge upholds smoking ban", writer, Sharon Coolidge.
group of bar and restaurant owners who argued in Hamilton County Common
Pleas Court that Ohio’s smoking ban is unconstitutional lost their bid
overturn the law.
Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge
Fred Nelson tossed the lawsuit out
Friday, upholding the “Smoke Free Workplace Act,” which voters passed
The law makes it illegal to smoke in
bars, restaurants and most places of
employment. Violators can be fined.
Constitution of the United States nor the Ohio Constitution
creates a fundamental right to smoke in public,” Nelson wrote. He
out the Ohio Supreme Court has determined the Ohio General Assembly has
the authority to enact smoking laws.
Nelson echoed sentiments he made last
May when he refused to block
enforcement of the ban.
“A law may be thought ill-advised,
paternalistic and generally obnoxious
and still not be unconstitutional,” he wrote.
Nelson’s decision is the first
upholding the law, according to Ohio
Attorney General Marc Dann’s office.
Dann applauded the decision Monday “as
landmark support of Ohio
Attorney Scott Nazzarine, who
represents the Buckeye Liquor Permit
Holders, the group that filed the lawsuit, said he is meeting with his
client Tuesday to discuss whether to appeal.
“I’m not sure about whether we’ll
appeal, but my guess would be yes,”
Similar smoking bans in other states
have been challenged and upheld.
The Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders
filed a lawsuit against the Ohio
Department of Health in 2006 to stop enforcement of the ban. The group
argued that privacy and property rights in the Ohio and U.S.
Constitution’s protected citizens’ right to smoke.
EXCERPTS from The Daily Tribune [Wisconsin],
March 12, 2008, headlined, "Study: Smoking ban benefits bar business",
writer, Patrick Thornton.
study published by a public
interest group finds the smoking bans passed in cities across the state
have had a neutral or even positive impact on the bar business.
These findings refute similar studies
published by tobacco companies and commercials paid for by the
Wisconsin Tavern League that claim a ban would cost businesses and
WISPIRG, a nonprofit group based in
Madison, found that in Madison and Appleton, which have had bans for a
few years, the tavern industry is going strong.
Requests for liquor licenses are up in
Madison and Appleton. There is a waiting list in Appleton for a
license. Employment in the service industry in Madison increased by
15.5 percent from 2005 to 2006.
WISPIRG firmly supports a statewide
ban, but had no biases going into this study, said Bruce Speight, a
public interest advocate.
"Tobacco companies have said that a
statewide ban would be bad for business and the state's economy, but
our findings was that a ban has either a neutral or positive effect on
the bar business," Speight said.
WISPIRG did not tabulate sales figures
for bars and restaurants before and after a ban was enacted. Still,
Speight said the study is conclusive.
"It seems like in communities that are
now smoke-free, people have adapted. They are still going to bars, and
the industry isn't hurting," Speight said.
Stevens Point has been smoke-free
since 2005 in restaurants with seating for more than 50. There is no
hard data on how the hospitality industry in the city has fared since
Bruce Woboril, the owner of the Elbow
Room in Stevens Point, disputes WISPIRG's findings. He and about 900
members of the state tavern league were in Madison to lobby lawmakers
last week. He said many bars in Madison have closed since the ban and
small taverns like his would be hurt by a statewide ban.
village of Park Ridge enacted its
own smoking ban in 2006. At the Silver Coach restaurant, business in
the dining room is steady, said co-owner Rob Tuszka.
"(The ban) hurt our bar a little bit,
but not terribly," Tuszka said.
A state Assembly committee heard
testimony last month on a statewide smoking ban proposal. A similar
bill in the state Senate stalled.
EXCERPTS from The
Irish Times, March 10, 2008, headlined, "Drop in smoking
illnesses welcomed", writer, Iveren Yongo.
figures ... indicate public smoking bans in Europe have reduced heart
attacks and heart-related strokes.
The information, published a week ago
by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), showed a 15 per cent fall
in patients admitted to hospital for myocardial infarction strokes in
France since the ban on was imposed.
The public smoking ban was introduced
there in February 2007 and received unprecedented support.
The ESC recorded an 11.2 per cent drop
in acute coronary events, such as angina, in Italy where the smoking
ban has entered its third year.
Ireland led the way in Europe when the
government introduced a full smoking ban in workplaces, pubs and
restaurants, in 2004.
Irish Heart Foundation medical
director Dr Brian Maurer said: "These figures are very welcome as they
confirm the positive impact of smoking bans on public health."
Dr Maurer said the move had been
"recognised internationally as a pioneering step" to reduce heart
illness caused by smoking and passive smoking.
The ESC urged other European
governments to take action in response to their findings by
implementing a smoking bans across Europe.
ESC senior cardiologist Prof Daniel
Thomas, said: "The most striking aspect in this study is the reduction
of pollution inside cafes and restaurants by over 75 per cent between
December 2007 and January 2008.
"Passive smoking has been shown to
increase the risk of coronary heart disease, and the recent smoking ban
is obviously having a beneficial effect on both smokers and
EXCERPTS from Nicotine & Tobacco Research,
Volume 10, Issue 3, March 2008 , pages 547 - 555, "Exposure to
secondhand smoke in Germany: Air contamination due to smoking in German
restaurants, bars, and other venues", Authors, Sven
Schneider, et al. Abstract.
study quantified exposure to secondhand smoke in German restaurants,
bars, and entertainment venues by determining the concentration of
respirable suspended particles measuring 2.5 µm or less (PM2.5)
indoor air. The measurements were taken using an inconspicuous device
placed on the investigator's table in the venue. The concentration of
particulate matter in the indoor air was measured for a minimum of 30
A total of 39 restaurants, 20 coffee
bars, 12 bars, 9 discotheques, and
20 restaurant cars in trains were visited throughout Germany from
September 30 to October 31, 2005. The readings disclosed a median PM2.5
of 260 µg/m3 and an arithmetic mean PM2.5 of 333 µg/m3.
were 378 µg/m3 in bars, 131 µg/m3 in cafes, and 173
restaurants. The highest medians were measured in discotheques and
restaurant cars, with values averaging 432 µg/m3 and 525
study was the first to show
the magnitude and extent of exposure to secondhand smoke on such an
extensive scale in Germany. The contaminated air due to smoking is a
human carcinogenic and major health hazard, which would be prevented
most effectively and completely by implementing a ban on smoking. This
study is important for the ongoing national debate in Germany as well
as for debates in all countries without smoke-free air legislation,
which includes most countries around the world.
EXCERPTS from The Independent (United Kingdom),
March 3, 2008, headlined, "Tobacco and oil pay for climate conference",
writer, Steve Connor, Science Editor.
first international conference
designed to question the scientific consensus on climate change is
being sponsored by a right-wing American think-tank which receives
money from the oil industry.
The same group has tried to undermine
the link between passive smoking and health problems and has accepted
donations from a major tobacco company.
The 2008 International Conference on
Climate Change in New York appears to be a conventional exchange of
ideas on the science of global warming. Yet it is organised by the
Heartland Institute of Chicago, which has opposed much of the science
of climate change and passive smoking.
Exxon, the oil giant, and Philip
Morris, the tobacco company, have both donated money to it ... It
believed to be the first time that a direct link has emerged between
anti-global warming sceptics funded by the oil industry and the
opponents of the scientific evidence showing that passive smoking can
damage people's health.
The Heartland Institute claims no
money from energy companies is being used to support the conference.
But one of the co-sponsors, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, has
received funds from Texaco.
to the above 3/9/2008 article on Tobacco and oil paying for a climate
conference, is this article below from 9/19/2006 also noting
connections between tobacco and oil:
EXCERPTS from The Guardian (United Kingdom), September 19, 2006,
headlined, The denial industry, writer George Monbiot, taken from his
book Heat, published by Allen Lane.
For years, a network
citizens' groups and bogus scientific bodies has been claiming that
science of global warming is inconclusive. They set back action on
climate change by a decade. But who funded them? Exxon's involvement is
well known, but not the strange role of Big Tobacco. In the first of
three extracts from his new book, Heat,
[published by Allen Lane] George Monbiot tells a bizarre and shocking
is the world's most profitable corporation. Its sales now amount to
more than $1bn a day. It makes most of this money from oil, and has
more to lose than any other company from efforts to tackle climate
change. To safeguard its profits, ExxonMobil needs to sow doubt about
whether serious action needs to be taken on climate change. But there
are difficulties: it must confront a scientific consensus as strong as
that which maintains that smoking causes lung cancer or that HIV causes
Aids. So what's its strategy?
The website Exxonsecrets.org, using
data found in the company's official documents, lists 124 organisations
that have taken money from the company or work closely with those that
have. These organisations take a consistent line on climate change:
that the science is contradictory, the scientists are split,
environmentalists are charlatans, liars or lunatics, and if governments
took action to prevent global warming, they would be endangering the
global economy for no good reason. The findings these organisations
dislike are labelled "junk science". The findings they welcome are
labelled "sound science".
Among the organisations that have been
funded by Exxon are such well-known websites and lobby groups as
TechCentralStation, the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation.
Some of those on the list have names that make them look like
grassroots citizens' organisations or academic bodies: the Centre for
the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, for example. One or two
of them, such as the Congress of Racial Equality, are citizens'
organisations or academic bodies, but the line they take on climate
change is very much like that of the other sponsored groups. While all
these groups are based in America, their publications are read and
cited, and their staff are interviewed and quoted, all over the world.
By funding a large number of
organisations, Exxon helps to create the impression that doubt about
climate change is widespread. For those who do not understand that
scientific findings cannot be trusted if they have not appeared in
peer-reviewed journals, the names of these institutes help to suggest
that serious researchers are challenging the consensus.
This is not to claim that all the
science these groups champion is bogus. On the whole, they use
selection, not invention. They will find one contradictory study - such
as the discovery of tropospheric cooling, which, in a garbled form, has
been used by Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday - and promote it
relentlessly. They will continue to do so long after it has been
disproved by further work. So, for example, John Christy, the author of
the troposphere paper, admitted in August 2005 that his figures were
incorrect, yet his initial findings are still being circulated and
championed by many of these groups, as a quick internet search will
But they do not stop there. The
chairman of a group called the Science and Environmental Policy Project
is Frederick Seitz. Seitz is a physicist who in the 1960s was president
of the US National Academy of Sciences. In 1998, he wrote a document,
known as the Oregon Petition, which has been cited by almost every
journalist who claims that climate change is a myth.
The document reads as follows: "We
urge the United States government to reject the global warming
agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997, and any
other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would
harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and
damage the health and welfare of mankind. There is no convincing
scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or
other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future,
cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of
the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence
that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial
effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."
Anyone with a degree was entitled to
sign it. It was attached to a letter written by Seitz, entitled
Research Review of Global Warming Evidence. The lead author of the
"review" that followed Seitz's letter is a Christian fundamentalist
called Arthur B Robinson. He is not a professional climate scientist.
It was co-published by Robinson's organisation - the Oregon Institute
of Science and Medicine - and an outfit called the George C Marshall
Institute, which has received $630,000 from ExxonMobil
since 1998. The other authors were Robinson's 22-year-old son and two
employees of the George C Marshall Institute. The chairman of the
George C Marshall Institute was Frederick
The paper maintained that: "We are
living in an increasingly lush environment of plants and animals as a
result of the carbon dioxide increase. Our children will enjoy an Earth
with far more plant and animal life than that with which we now are
blessed. This is a wonderful and unexpected gift from the Industrial
It was printed in the font and format
of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: the journal of
the organisation of which Seitz - as he had just reminded his
correspondents - was once president.
Soon after the
petition was published, the National Academy of Sciences released this
statement: "The NAS Council would like to make it clear that this
petition has nothing to do with the National Academy of Sciences and
that the manuscript was not published in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences or in any other peer-reviewed journal. The
petition does not reflect the conclusions of expert reports of the
But it was too late. Seitz, the Oregon
Institute and the George C Marshall Institute had already circulated
tens of thousands of copies, and the petition had established a major
presence on the internet. Some 17,000 graduates signed it, the majority
of whom had no background in climate science. It has been repeatedly
cited - by global-warming sceptics such as David Bellamy, Melanie
Phillips and others - as a petition by climate scientists. It is
promoted by the Exxon-sponsored sites as evidence that there is no
scientific consensus on climate change.
All this is now well known to climate
scientists and environmentalists. But
what I have discovered while researching this issue is that the
corporate funding of lobby groups denying that manmade climate change
is taking place was initiated not by Exxon, or by any other firm
directly involved in the fossil fuel industry. It was started by the
tobacco company Philip Morris.
In December 1992, the US Environmental
Protection Agency published a 500-page report called Respiratory Health
Effects of Passive Smoking. It found that "the widespread exposure to
environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in the United States presents a
serious and substantial public health impact. In adults: ETS is a human
lung carcinogen, responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths
annually in US non-smokers. In children: ETS exposure is causally
associated with an increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections
such as bronchitis and pneumonia. This report estimates that 150,000 to
300,000 cases annually in infants and young children up to 18 months of
age are attributable to ETS."
Had it not been for the settlement of
a major class action against the tobacco companies in the US, we would
never have been able to see what happened next. But in 1998 they were
forced to publish their internal documents and post them on the
Within two months of its publication,
Philip Morris, the world's biggest tobacco firm, had devised a strategy
for dealing with the passive-smoking report. In February 1993 Ellen Merlo, its senior vice-president
of corporate affairs, sent a letter to William I Campbell, Philip Morris's
chief executive officer and president,
explaining her intentions: "Our overriding objective is to discredit
the EPA report ... Concurrently, it is our objective to prevent states
and cities, as well as businesses, from passive-smoking bans."
To this end, she had hired a public
relations company called APCO. She had attached the advice it had given
her. APCO warned that: "No matter how strong the arguments, industry
spokespeople are, in and of themselves, not always credible or
So the fight against a ban on passive
smoking had to be associated with other people and other issues. Philip
Morris, APCO said, needed to create the impression of a "grassroots"
movement - one that had been formed spontaneously by concerned citizens
to fight "overregulation". It should portray the danger of tobacco
smoke as just one "unfounded fear" among others, such as concerns about
pesticides and cellphones. APCO proposed to set up "a national
coalition intended to educate the media, public officials and the
public about the dangers of 'junk science'. Coalition will address
credibility of government's scientific studies, risk-assessment
techniques and misuse of tax dollars ... Upon formation of Coalition,
key leaders will begin media outreach, eg editorial board tours,
opinion articles, and brief elected officials in selected states."
APCO would found the coalition, write
its mission statements, and "prepare and place opinion articles in key
markets". For this it required $150,000 for its own fees and $75,000
for the coalition's costs.
May 1993, as another memo from APCO to Philip Morris shows, the fake
citizens' group had a name: the Advancement of Sound Science Coalition.
It was important, further letters stated, "to ensure that TASSC has a
diverse group of contributors"; to "link the tobacco issue with other
more 'politically correct' products"; and to associate scientific
studies that cast smoking in a bad light with "broader questions about
government research and regulations" - such as "global warming",
"nuclear waste disposal" and "biotechnology". APCO would engage in the
"intensive recruitment of high-profile representatives from business
and industry, scientists, public officials, and other individuals
interested in promoting the use of sound science".
By September 1993, APCO had produced a
"Plan for the Public Launching of TASSC". The media launch would not
take place in "Washington, DC or the top media markets of the country.
Rather, we suggest creating a series of aggressive, decentralised
launches in several targeted local and regional markets across the
country. This approach ... avoids cynical reporters from major media:
less reviewing/challenging of TASSC messages."
The media coverage, the public
relations company hoped, would enable TASSC to "establish an image of a
national grassroots coalition". In case the media asked hostile
questions, APCO circulated a sheet of answers, drafted by Philip
Morris. The first question was:
"Isn't it true that Philip Morris
created TASSC to act as a front group for it?
"A: No, not at all. As a large
corporation, PM belongs to many national, regional, and state business,
public policy, and legislative organisations. PM has contributed to
TASSC, as we have with various groups and corporations across the
There are clear similarities between
the language used and the approaches adopted by Philip Morris and by
the organisations funded by Exxon. The two lobbies use the same terms,
which appear to have been invented by Philip Morris's consultants.
"Junk science" meant peer-reviewed studies showing that smoking was
linked to cancer and other diseases. "Sound science" meant studies
sponsored by the tobacco industry suggesting that the link was
inconclusive. Both lobbies recognised that their best chance of
avoiding regulation was to challenge the scientific consensus. As a
memo from the tobacco company Brown and Williamson noted, "Doubt is our
product since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact'
that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of
establishing a controversy." Both industries also sought to distance
themselves from their own campaigns, creating the impression that they
were spontaneous movements of professionals or ordinary citizens: the
But the connection goes further than
that. TASSC, the "coalition" created by Philip Morris, was the first
and most important of the corporate-funded organisations denying that
climate change is taking place. It has done more damage to the campaign
to halt it than any other body.
did as its founders at APCO suggested, and sought funding from other
sources. Between 2000 and 2002 it received $30,000 from Exxon. The
website it has financed - JunkScience.com - has been the main entrepot
for almost every kind of climate-change denial that has found its way
into the mainstream press. It equates environmentalists with
Nazis, communists and terrorists. It flings at us the accusations that
could justifably be levelled against itself: the website claims, for
example, that it is campaigning against "faulty scientific data and
analysis used to advance special and, often, hidden agendas". I have
lost count of the number of correspondents who, while questioning
manmade global warming, have pointed me there.
The man who runs it is called Steve
Milloy. In 1992, he started working for APCO - Philip Morris's
consultants. While there, he set up the JunkScience site. In March
1997, the documents show, he was appointed TASSC's executive director.
By 1998, as he explained in a memo to TASSC board members, his
JunkScience website was was being funded by TASSC. Both he and the
"coalition" continued to receive money from Philip Morris. An internal
document dated February 1998 reveals that TASSC took $200,000 from the
tobacco company in 1997. Philip Morris's 2001 budget document records a
payment to Steven Milloy of $90,000. Altria, Philip Morris's parent
company, admits that Milloy was under contract to the tobacco firm
until at least the end of 2005.
He has done well. You can find his
name attached to letters and articles seeking to discredit
passive-smoking studies all over the internet and in the academic
databases. He has even managed to reach the British Medical Journal:
I found a letter from him there which claimed that the studies it had
reported "do not bear out the hypothesis that maternal smoking/ passive
smoking increases cancer risk among infants". TASSC paid him $126,000
in 2004 for 15 hours' work a week. Two other organisations are
registered at his address: the Free Enterprise Education Institute and
the Free Enterprise Action Institute. They have received $10,000 and
$50,000 respectively from Exxon.
The secretary of the Free Enterprise Action Institute is Thomas
Borelli. Borelli was the Philip
Morris executive who oversaw the payments to TASSC.
also writes a weekly Junk Science column for the Fox News website. Without
declaring his interests, he has used this column to pour scorn on
studies documenting the medical effects of second-hand tobacco smoke
and showing that climate change is taking place. Even
after Fox News was told about the money he had been receiving from
Philip Morris and Exxon, it continued to employ him, without informing
its readers about his interests.
TASSC's headed notepaper names an
advisory board of eight people. Three of them are listed by
Exxonsecrets.org as working for organisations taking money from Exxon. One of them is Frederick Seitz,
the man who wrote the Oregon Petition, and who chairs the Science and
Environmental Policy Project. In 1979, Seitz became a permanent
consultant to the tobacco company RJ
He worked for the firm until at least 1987, for an annual fee of
$65,000. He was in charge of deciding which medical research projects
the company should fund, and handed out millions of dollars a year to
American universities. The purpose of this funding, a memo from the
chairman of RJ Reynolds shows, was to "refute the criticisms against
cigarettes". An undated note in the Philip Morris
archive shows that it was planning a "Seitz symposium" with the help of
TASSC, in which Frederick Seitz would speak to "40-60 regulators".
The president of Seitz's Science and
Environmental Policy Project is a maverick environmental scientist
called S Fred Singer.
He has spent the past few years refuting evidence for manmade climate
change. It was he, for example, who published the misleading claim that
most of the world's glaciers are advancing, which landed David Bellamy
in so much trouble when he repeated it last year. He also had
connections with the tobacco industry. In March 1993, APCO sent a memo
to Ellen Merlo, the
vice-president of Philip Morris,
who had just commissioned it to fight the Environmental Protection
Agency: "As you know, we have been working with Dr Fred Singer and Dr Dwight Lee,
who have authored articles on junk science and indoor air quality (IAQ)
Singer's article, entitled Junk
Science at the EPA, claimed that "the latest 'crisis' - environmental
tobacco smoke - has been widely criticised as the most shocking
distortion of scientific evidence yet". He alleged that the
Environmental Protection Agency had had to "rig the numbers" in its
report on passive smoking. This was the report that Philip Morris and
APCO had set out to discredit a month before Singer wrote his article.
I have no evidence that Fred Singer or
his organisation have taken money from Philip Morris. But many of the
other bodies that have been sponsored by Exxon and have sought to
repudiate climate change were also funded by the tobacco company. Among
them are some of the world's best-known "thinktanks": the Competitive
Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the
Hudson Institute, the Frontiers of Freedom Institute, the Reason
Foundation and the Independent Institute, as well as George Mason
University's Law and Economics Centre. I can't help wondering whether
there is any aspect of conservative thought in the United States that
has not been formed and funded by the corporations.
Until I came across this material, I
believed that the accusations, the insults and the taunts such people
had slung at us environmentalists were personal: that they really did
hate us, and had found someone who would pay to help them express those
feelings. Now I realise that they have simply transferred their skills.
While they have been most effective in
the United States, the impacts of the climate-change deniers sponsored
by Exxon and Philip Morris have been felt all over the world. I have
seen their arguments endlessly repeated in Australia, Canada, India,
Russia and the UK. By dominating the media debate on climate change
during seven or eight critical years in which urgent international
talks should have been taking place, by constantly seeding doubt about
the science just as it should have been most persuasive, they have
justified the money their sponsors have spent on them many times over.
It is fair to say that the professional denial industry has delayed
effective global action on climate change by years, just as it helped
to delay action against the tobacco companies.
Smoke Exposure Among Women and Children: Evidence From 31 Countries
American Journal of Public Health,
AJPH First Look, published online ahead of print Feb 28, 2008, 10.2105/AJPH.2007.126631
Heather Wipfli 1*, Erika Avila-Tang 1, Ana Navas-Acien 2, Sungroul Kim
2, Georgiana Onicescu 1, Jie Yuan 2, Patrick Breysse 1, Jonathan M.
1 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of
2 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of
Environmental Health Sciences
Objectives. We sought to describe the range of SHS exposures
women and children living with smokers in countries around the world.
Methods. In 2006, we conducted a cross-sectional exposure
measure air nicotine concentrations in households and hair nicotine
concentrations among nonsmoking women and children in convenience
samples of 40 households in 31 countries.
Results. Median air nicotine concentration was 17 times higher
households with smokers (0.18 µg/m3) compared with households
smokers (0.01 µg/m3). Air nicotine and hair nicotine
women and children increased with the number of smokers in the
household. The dose–response relationship was steeper among children.
Air nicotine concentrations increased an estimated 12.9 times (95%
confidence interval=9.4, 17.6) in households allowing smoking inside
compared with those prohibiting smoking inside.
Conclusions. Our results
indicate that women and children living with
smokers are at increased risk of premature death and disease from
exposure to SHS. Interventions to protect women and children from
household SHS need to be strengthened.
Use and Secondhand Smoke Exposure During Pregnancy: An Investigative
Survey of Women in 9 Developing Nations; American Journal of Public Health,
Look, published online ahead of print Feb 28, 2008; Michele Bloch, et al (13 co-authors).
We examined pregnant women’s use of cigarettes and other
tobacco products and the exposure
of pregnant women and their young
children to secondhand smoke (SHS) in 9 nations in Latin America, Asia,
Face-to-face surveys were administered to 7961 pregnant women
(more than700 per site) between October 2004 and September 2005.
At all Latin American sites, pregnant women commonly reported
that they had ever tried cigarette smoking (range: 78.3% [Uruguay] to
35.0% [Guatemala]). The highest levels of current smoking were found in
Uruguay (18.3%), Argentina (10.3%), and Brazil (6.1%). Experimentation
with smokeless tobacco occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
and India; one third of all respondents in Orissa, India, were current
smokeless tobacco users. SHS exposure was common: between 91.6%
(Pakistan) and 17.1% (Democratic Republic of the Congo) of pregnant
women reported that smoking was permitted in their home.
Pregnant women’s tobacco use and SHS exposure are current
or emerging problems in several low- and middle-income nations,
jeopardizing ongoing efforts to improve maternal and child health.
EXCERPTS from Reuters, March
5, 2008, headlined,
"Finnish women sue tobacco firms over lung disease", writer Sami Torma,
editing by David Cowell.
Finnish women with lung disease
are claiming 348,000 euros ($527,900) in damages from two tobacco
companies in a case that could set a precedent in Europe.
The women, aged 64, 58 and 52, are
suing the Nordic unit of British
American Tobacco (BAT) and Finland's
Amer, which manufactured cigarettes until 2004 under licence from
Altria's Philip Morris.
Both companies deny the charges.
"This is about consumer protection and
product responsibility," Erkki Aurejarvi, the plaintiffs' lawyer, told
the district court of Helsinki on Monday.
"Tobacco and nicotine are addictive.
Despite our efforts, we haven't been able to get Amer or BAT to admit
The plaintiffs argue they were not
aware of the dangers of smoking when they started in their teenage
years, and that the tobacco companies hid and publicly denied that
cigarettes cause various diseases, including lung cancer.
Two of the women have had lung cancer
and all three have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary
Their lawyers also argue that tobacco
companies have since the 1970s marketed light cigarettes as a healthier
option. A European Union directive in 2002 banned the description of
cigarettes as "mild" or "light".
"Amer has not in its production or
marketing of tobacco broken in any way such a duty, ban or order it
should have followed during the time in question," Amer said, according
to court documents.
BAT said the manufacture and sale of
tobacco had been and is a legal activity in Finland in all relevant
times in the case.
Tobacco litigation cases in Europe
have not been as successful as in the United States, and the only major
case in Britain, the McTear case in May 2005, was won by the tobacco
The widow of Alfred McTear, a man who
died from lung cancer, failed in her bid to sue British tobacco company
Imperial Tobacco Group Plc.
is representing the
Finnish plaintiffs free of charge, said tobacco companies had strived
to cause addiction by their nicotine research and manipulation. "It is
the science they do in the closed laboratories," he said.
The hearings are expected to last
until May with a decision due later in the year.
Cigarette advertising has been banned
in Finland since 1976.
Editor's Note: Daniel Radcliffe has starred in two productions
(not the Harry Potter series), one on
stage, one in film, which required him, a minor, to smoke. This
article is spacey, not treating the subject with the
seriousness it deserves, and referring to "addiction" as a
And where are Radcliffe's parents in all this?
EXCERPTS from The Sun (United
Kingdom), March 19, 2008, headlined, "Harry Puffer and the cigs curse",
writer, Gordon Smart.
Radcliffe ... — just 18 — has
nicknamed Harry Puffer on the set of the new Hogwarts movie after
rushing to light up whenever the director yells “Cut”.
source confirmed last night: “Daniel has recently been smoking up to 20
cigarettes a day.
“Every time they call ‘Cut’, he lights
up. It’s disgusting.
“Friends and co-stars including Rupert
Grint have been warning him about the dangers of smoking. But he
doesn’t take any notice.”
Producers fear the actor’s habit could
ruin his schoolboy image — and have now warned him not to be seen
puffing in public.
February 8, 2008 -- In Memory of Mitch
Van Yahres --
a compassionate man who put
people before politics,
Mitch worked tirelessly in supporting health by helping pass the
Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act in 1990, and protecting it
thereafter. He was a delegate from the Charlottesville, Virginia
area. His death at 81 is a loss to us all. His obituary
notes: he "tended trees for a
living and people for a lifetime."
Excerpts from Bloomberg, February 27, 2008,
headlined, "U.S. Supreme Court Won't Question West Virginia Tobacco
Suits", writer, Greg Stohr.
tobacco industry lost a U.S.
Supreme Court bid aimed at limiting damage awards in more than 700 West
Virginia lawsuits filed by smokers who say cigarettes gave them cancer
and other diseases.
The justices, without comment, today
left intact a trial plan that Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA
unit and other cigarette makers said will lead to unconstitutional
awards of punitive damages. The approach calls for a jury to consider
common issues, including the availability of punitive damages, before
separate trials are held on individual cases.
"Defense counsel will be wholly unable
to defend against plaintiffs' amorphous claim for punitive damages,"
the cigarette makers argued in their unsuccessful appeal, filed in
Washington. In addition to Philip Morris, Reynolds America Inc.'s R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Loews Corp.'s Lorillard Tobacco Co. urged the
Supreme Court to intervene.
The rejection clears the way for sick
smokers to seek millions, if not billions, of dollars in damages.
Lawyers for the smokers say the trial plan is a valid way to ensure
that claims against cigarette makers can move forward quickly.
"An inefficient trial plan would
practically deny a substantial portion of these terminally ill
plaintiffs their day in court," lawyers for the West Virginia smokers
argued in court papers. The first phase of the case is scheduled to go
to trial March 18, according to court papers.
the West Virginia trial plan, the first jury will determine liability
questions that affect all the defendants. That same jury also will
decide whether punitive damages are appropriate and, if so, establish a
"multiplier" that would be used to assess punitive damages once
compensatory damages are measured for each smoker.
West Virginia's highest court, known
as the Supreme Court of Appeals, in November refused to question the
trial plan. In 2005 that court rejected the tobacco industry's
contention that the approach was unconstitutional under a 2003 U.S.
Supreme Court ruling.
In their latest appeal, the tobacco
companies pointed to that ruling and a 2007 decision in another Supreme
Court case involving Philip Morris. Those decisions establish that
"punishment must be narrowly focused on the defendant's conduct toward
the plaintiff," the appeal argued.
The smokers' lawyers said the 2007
decision made clear that juries can consider the impact of a
defendant's conduct on other people.
"Philip Morris admitted and this court
held that evidence of harm to others is relevant to the determination
of a punitive damages multiplier," they argued.
from The Globe and Mail
[Canada], February 27, 2008, headlined, "Bans on smoking near kids
catch on", writer, Carly Weeks.
last November, Wolfville, N.S., was best known as a university town and
quaint tourist destination.
But all that changed when it became
the first municipality in Canada to pass a bylaw to ban smoking in cars
carrying anyone younger than 18.
Now, the community has become the
centre of a national movement against lighting up in cars with
children, the latest anti-smoking campaign that is sweeping across
Canada and picking up considerable political willpower along the way.
Since Wolfville adopted the historic
bylaw less than four months ago, the entire province of Nova Scotia has
moved to ban smoking in cars with kids under a law expected to take
effect in the near future.
British Columbia's government promised
to create a ban in its Throne Speech earlier this month, while
Summerside, PEI, recently adopted a motion to prohibit smoking in cars
carrying kids. A spokesman for Ontario Minister of Health Promotion
Margarett Best said the government is considering a ban, and a private
member's bill is currently making its way through the province's
legislature. Numerous other provinces including Manitoba, New Brunswick
and Newfoundland say they're considering similar action.
"I'm optimistic that in 2008 we're
going to have several provinces join Nova Scotia. We now have
unstoppable momentum on this issue," said Rob Cunningham, senior policy
analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society.
Few public health issues have
attracted such attention and triggered such rapid political change in
recent years as the issue of smoking in cars with children. For
instance, drivers can still talk freely on their cellphones in most
parts of the country, despite years of urging from medical experts to
ban the practice and mounting evidence it can increase the risk of
The speed and success of the move to
ban lighting up when kids are in the car shows how an aggressive
campaign by powerful advocacy groups, public fear for children's
health, an increasing taboo on smoking and the political domino effect
have combined to create a major public policy change.
"If we were to look six months ago, no
one would have predicted that things would have moved so quickly on
this issue," Mr. Cunningham said. "It's an issue whose time has come."
idea of a smoking ban in
cars has been floated in the past, particularly after some U.S. states
and Australia passed laws on the issue, most observers credit a small
grassroots organization in Wolfville as the catalyst for change in
Canada. The group, called Smoke Free Kings, found significant support
when it approached town council with the idea of a ban several months
ago. But they didn't anticipate how fast support would grow from there.
"I have never seen anything happen so
quickly," said Lila Hope-Simpson, the group's administrative
co-ordinator. "It snowballed. It went faster than anybody was
When the ban was adopted, major
organizations including the Ontario Medical Association, the Canadian
Lung Association, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the
Canadian Cancer Society seized the momentum by launching focused
campaigns designed to win public support and pressure politicians to
take action. For some of the large non-profit organizations, that meant
taking advantage of individual chapters throughout the country to help
spread the message.
"Clearly [the campaigns have] been a
factor," Mr. Cunningham said. "This is an issue that resonates with
Earlier this month, the Ontario
Medical Association published a report showing that children can be
exposed to 60 times the concentration of secondhand smoke in cars
compared with less confined indoor spaces.
"It's very concentrated, the dose and
the concentration of the toxins, and the time they have to spend in
close proximity [to secondhand smoke]," said Janice Willett, president
of the association.
Provinces such as Alberta and Quebec
are holdouts, saying they're not ready to consider a ban on smoking in
cars with kids.
Regardless, Dr. Willett said that
focusing public attention on the dangers of smoking in cars will serve
a larger purpose by reminding people not to smoke in front of children
and to consider quitting.
One leading smoking cessation expert
said the medical community has long known about the health hazards of
lighting up in the car when kids are present. But the rapid response
from various provinces is a prime example of how quickly politicians
can be prompted to move on an issue that has won popular support, said
Roberta Ferrence, executive director of the Ontario Tobacco Research
Unit at the University of Toronto.
"It makes an idea seem more generally
acceptable" when a city becomes the first to take action on a
potentially controversial issue, she said.
Similarly rapid political movement
occurred several years ago when Canadian cities began to ban smoking in
public places, Dr. Ferrence said.
"It was kind of a domino effect."
Wolfville's ban and subsequent support
from other parts of the country have attracted some opposition from
civil liberties and smokers' rights groups, who argue that the
government shouldn't be able to dictate whether people can smoke in the
semi-private space of their car.
But the resistance has failed to gain
much traction, an indicator of how strong public support for smoking
restrictions has become in recent years, particularly when children are
involved, according to Ms. Hope-Simpson.
"There aren't too many people, even if
they believe it, [who are] going to say 'I want to smoke in my car with
my kids in there.' "
EXCERPTS from Circulation,
February 2008, "Effect of the Italian Smoking Ban on Population Rates
of Acute Coronary Events", published online before print, February 11,
Giulia Cesaroni MSc, Francesco
Forastiere MD, PhD*, Nera Agabiti MD, Pasquale Valente MD, Piergiorgio
Zuccaro PhD, and Carlo A. Perucci MD
From the Department of Epidemiology
(G.C., F.F., N.A., C.A.P.), Local Health Unit ASL RME, and Istituto
Superiore di Sanità (P.V., P.Z.), Rome, Italy.
Noting here the "Background" and the
"Conclusions" from the Abstract:
Background—Several countries in the
world have not yet prohibited smoking in public places. Few studies
have been conducted on the effects of smoking bans on cardiac health. We
evaluated changes in the frequency of acute coronary events in Rome,
Italy, after the introduction of legislation that banned smoking in all
indoor public places in January 2005.
found a statistically significant reduction in acute coronary events in
the adult population after the smoking ban.
The size of the effect was consistent with the pollution reduction
observed in indoor public places and with the known health effects of
passive smoking. The results
affirm that public interventions that prohibit smoking can have
enormous public health implications.
EXCERPTS from The Washington Post,
February 8, 2008, headlined, "WHO Unveils Global Effort to Fight
Smoking -- U.N. Organization Says Tobacco Now Causes 10 Percent of
World's Adult Deaths", writer David Brown, assistance from Colum Lynch.
billion people may die of
tobacco-related illness this century, almost all of them in developing
countries, the World Health Organization warned yesterday as it
out an unprecedented global campaign to limit the spread of smoking.
The effort provides the first
comprehensive look at tobacco use, as well as smoking control and
taxation policies, in 179 countries. It also lays out six strategies to
reduce tobacco use, many used by rich countries in recent decades,
although far from fully deployed even there.
use is a risk factor for six
of the world's eight leading causes of death, and causes about one in
every 10 deaths of adults now. That toll is expected to rise
tobacco companies target new customers, particularly women, in
low-income countries, WHO officials said.
"What we're saying is that we don't
want to let that happen," said Douglas Bettcher, director of the WHO
Tobacco Free Initiative. "We want to see the operating environment of
the tobacco companies become as difficult as possible in the near
many countries, money spent by the poor on cigarettes is taken away
from what they could spend on health and education," said Patrick
Petit, a WHO economist who helped produce the 329-page report
accompanying the initiative's launch in New York.
Margaret Chan, WHO's director-general,
said the compilation of data is itself a powerful tool for change. "I
truly believe that what gets measured gets done," she said.
WHO is using
reminiscent of the tobacco companies'. It has branded the campaign
MPOWER -- each letter represents one of six strategies -- and is
eschewing scare tactics in favor of the theme "fresh and alive." Press
materials came with a box that looks like a pack of cigarettes and
contains a pad and pens describing the elements of the campaign.
The six strategies are: monitoring
tobacco use and control policy; protecting people by enforcing
"smoke-free" laws; offering smokers nicotine replacement and counseling
programs; warning on cigarette packs about smoking's hazards; enforcing
bans on tobacco advertising and promotion; and raising the price of
tobacco through taxes.
studies have shown that raising the price of cigarettes is by far the
most powerful strategy. For every 10 percent increase in price,
cigarette consumption drops about 4 percent overall and about 8 percent
in young people.
While some cities, states and
provinces employ the strategies in a coordinated fashion, no countries
do so, the WHO report said. Uruguay employs the most of any nation --
three: graphic pack warnings, a ban on smoking in public buildings and
free smoking-cessation help. The United States employs two, at least to
a degree: national monitoring and a national ban on many forms of
5 percent of the global population is protected by laws to curb
smoking; only 5 percent live in countries that completely ban tobacco
advertising and event sponsorship; and only 6 percent live in places
where cigarette packs carry pictorial warnings of smoking's hazards.
(In Brazil, some packs feature a man with a tracheotomy, a breathing
hole created in the front of the neck after treatment for throat
Nearly two-thirds of the world's
smokers live in 10 countries, with China accounting for nearly 30
percent. About 100 million Chinese men now under 30 will die from
tobacco use unless they quit, the report said.
In India, which is second to China in
the number of smokers, tobacco control is complicated by the fact there
are two types of cigarettes that are priced and taxed differently.
In 2006, Indians smoked about 106
billion conventional cigarettes and 1 trillion "biris." The latter are
loosely packed combinations of tobacco and flavorings such as chocolate
or clove, wrapped in a leaf of the tendu tree.
campaign was put together with financial help from a philanthropy run
by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman. He
is giving $125 million over two years for global tobacco control and
helped pay for the country-by-country survey that provided baseline
data for the campaign.
In New York, he created one of the
most comprehensive anti-smoking programs in the country. His advocacy
of higher tobacco taxes has pushed the average price of a pack of
cigarettes there to $6.20, and he is seeking another 50-cent increase.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention reported in June that the percentage of adult New
Yorkers who smoke fell from 22 to 18 from 2002 to 2006, with the
steepest drop in people 18 to 24 years old.
EXCERPTS from TriCities.Com, News Channel 11,
February 11, 2008, headlined, "ETSU expands smoking ban; now
only in private vehicles", writer Josh Smith.
East Tennessee State University
President Dr. Paul E. Stanton Jr. announces that ETSU is expanding its
current Smoking and Tobacco-Free Workplace Policy, established in 1997,
to limit all use of tobacco products to private vehicles.
Stanton said, “In recognition of our
commitment to provide for everyone a clean, healthy environment
conducive to working, learning and living, East Tennessee State
University will officially become a ‘Tobacco-Free Campus’ on Aug. 11,
2008, six months from today. Smoking and all
other tobacco usage will be
permitted only in private vehicles.”
what he initially
noted more than a decade ago, Stanton pointed out that ETSU is the
flagship health sciences university in the entire Tennessee Board of
Regents system, and, as such, the issue of tobacco use has even more
“We set an
example for the rest of the
state in 1997 by banning the use of tobacco in all university
buildings,” Stanton said. “Revising our policy to reflect increasing
health concerns about smoking and the use of other tobacco products is
an appropriate response for ETSU regarding these ongoing issues.”
The university began the process of
strengthening its policy at the behest of the ETSU Faculty and Staff
senates, as well as other personnel and students. The Tobacco-Free
Campus Policy addresses expressed concerns regarding personal health
issues and campus environmental aesthetics, and further notes that
“failure to address the use of tobacco products on campus would
constitute a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the
Vocational Rehabilitation Act and Tennessee law.”
ETSU is sensitive to the importance of
tobacco in the Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Western
North Carolina region, and Stanton said he is confident that
researchers will continue to explore alternative uses of tobacco that
would benefit the economy and health care. For example, such beneficial
uses might include vitamins and other pharmaceuticals.
The Tobacco-Free Campus Policy
effect 24 hours a day year-round and applies to the main campus in
Johnson City as well as all other university sites, ETSU-affiliated
off-campus locations and clinics, and ETSU facilities on the campus of
the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Mountain Home.
Tobacco use is also prohibited in
all state vehicles.
Over the next several months,
university will post signs and banners to ensure that visitors and
members of the ETSU community are aware of the Tobacco-Free Campus
Policy and the restriction to private vehicles.
Stanton said, “And, in understanding
the addictive nature of tobacco
products, we are offering current
information about available resources for the benefit of persons
wish to stop using tobacco, at
Viewpoint, February 10, 2008, headlined "Saying No to Tobacco Money,
How McCombs decided to put a halt to donations derived from the sale of
a product that's dangerous to consumer health", writer George W. Gau,
Dean of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at
November of last year, the McCombs
School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin instituted a
new policy regarding the school's relationship with tobacco companies:
It would no longer accept money from them. This ban covers
contributions to student organizations, career fairs, faculty research
projects, and research centers.
Was this a difficult decision? We
certainly knew it would be controversial as well as unprecedented for
an American business school. However, after careful deliberation, it
was a decision we believed was right for our school and our students.
The school's leadership joined me in believing it is not ethical for us
to continue to accept donations from tobacco companies, since those
gifts come from revenue generated through the sale of a product that
has damaging health consequences for its consumers.
This is not to say we did not fully
consider all the arguments against instituting this policy. I respect
and understand these different viewpoints. The most prominent argument
against such a ban is the "slippery slope" one. A few of the negative
letters I received from alumni addressed this point. What will be next?
Banning donations from fast-food companies? From alcohol companies?
For me, this argument doesn't hold up.
It is evident that tobacco has been a unique product in American
history, and extensive research has shown it is highly addictive and
harmful. While there are other legal products that can be misused by
some, such as alcohol, tobacco is different in that it is damaging no
matter how it's used.
Many universities and schools that
have debated similar bans on tobacco money, such as the University of
California system, have received pushback from faculty who consider it
an incursion on academic freedom. We considered this as well. I would
have been concerned if we had faculty research projects that were
dependent on funding from tobacco companies, because banning those
funds could have infringed on the freedom of those faculty members to
pursue their research. However, all of the research at the school that
was supported by tobacco donations could continue without that funding.
As for the students, to their credit,
the organizations that have lost funding have been supportive and
respectful of the decision.
Under the new policy, tobacco
companies will still be allowed to recruit prospective employees at our
school. I believe that as a public university, we do not have the right
to prohibit recruitment activities by lawful companies. Therefore we
will continue to provide them with the same placement support given to
other companies. ...
At McCombs, we have put ethics at the
core of our mission in educating the next generation of business
leaders. In the final analysis, I simply felt that accepting money from
an industry that has caused so much harm to so many without any
redeeming qualities was incompatible with this mission.
EXCERPTS from Bloomberg, February 6,
2008, headlined "German Government Pushes
Anti-Smoking With Month of Abstinence", writer Patrick Donahue.
German government, encouraged by country-wide smoking bans in bars and
restaurants ... [urged] German
smokers ... to sign up for the campaign, which calls
for nicotine addicts to go smoke-free from May 1-29 and encourages
abstinence from tobacco afterward, the government said in an e-mailed
"Joining in is worth it, for smokers
and for society," German Health
Minister Ulla Schmidt said in the statement.
The Health Ministry cited a survey
showing that one in seven smokers has
considered giving up after a ban was introduced in public buildings and
restaurants. As many as 140,000 Germans die a year because of
smoking-related illness, it said.
The ministry said attempts are
fruitful: the proportion of young smokers
fell to 18 percent in 2007 from 28 percent in 2003.
The anti-smoking movement in Germany
gained attention last month when
former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, 89, drew a possible criminal charge
he and his wife, Loki, 88, lit up at a New Year's reception in Hamburg,
according to the Bild-Zeitung. The charge was later dropped and Schmidt
abstained when he turned up at another public event later in the month.
EXCERPTS from The Boston Herald,
3, 2008, Editorial headlined, "Monsters in the boardroom", no writer
makers of Marlboro cigarettes,
Altria Corp., plan to spin off a company to make and sell cigarettes
overseas, beyond the reach of American law, courts, regulation and
What creates not just a place in hell
for these people, but a special place in hell, is that many of the
cigarettes they plan to sell will be even more dangerous than today’s.
One such cigarette is “Marlboro Mix
9,” a high-nicotine, high-tar smoke offered in Indonesia since July.
According to The Wall Street Journal,
the new company will be particularly interested in expanding sales in
China, whose 350 million smokers prefer “the stronger taste of full-tar
Or how about this clever little coffin
nail, “Marlboro Intense,” half an inch shorter than the regular kind.
It reportedly is aimed at giving “seven potent puffs apiece” to
“customers who, due to indoor smoking bans, want to dash outside for a
quick nicotine hit but don’t always finish a full-size cigarette.”
How long such a company can stay in
business is anybody’s guess, but apparently the organizers believe it
will be worthwhile. ... it will be only a matter of time before the
rest of the globe wakes up to the enormous health costs of ... smoking
... and seeks to reduce them.
What would we think of a company that
arranged to sell foreigners some harmless but addictive little pleasure
(think gumdrops) daily but 20 years later for some, 25 for others, 30
for still others and so forth, coerced gumdrop-eaters into taking a
revolver loaded with one bullet, spinning the cylinder, putting the
muzzle to their temples and pulling the trigger?
We’d think it was a moral offense of
the worst kind. This is not an exact statistical analogue to the
dangers of a lifetime of smoking, but the risks are in the same
We fail to see how Altria executives
can be distinguished from such monsters.
The Washington Post, February 6, 2008,
headlined, "1 in 3 Hit Songs Mentions Substance Abuse, Smoking", no
writer given; re. study in the journal Archives
of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine,
February 2008; 162(2):169-175,
study by Brian A. Primack, Madeline A. Dalton, Mary V. Carroll, Aaron
A. Agarwal, Michael J. Fine.
one-third of hit songs -- including three-quarters of rap songs -- have
some form of explicit reference to drug, alcohol or tobacco use, a new
"Overall, 116 of the 279 unique songs
(41.6 percent) had a substance use reference of any kind. Ninety-three
songs (33.3 percent) contained explicit substance use references,"
wrote the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers.
Just under 3 percent of the songs
mentioned smoking, but almost 24 percent touched on alcohol use, close
to 14 percent depicted marijuana use and 11.5 percent depicted other or
unspecified substance use, the researchers noted.
The researchers did their study by
analyzing Billboardmagazine's 279 most popular songs of 2005.
The overall rate of references varied
widely by musical genre. One or more references to substance use were
found in 48 of 62 rap songs (77 percent); 22 of 61 country songs (36
percent); 11 of 55 R&B/hip-hop songs (20 percent); nine of 66 rock
songs (14 percent); and three of 35 pop songs (9 percent).
Of the 93 songs with explicit
substance use references, the behaviors were frequently associated with
partying (54 percent), sex (46 percent), violence (29 percent) and/or
humor (24 percent). In these songs, substance use was most often
motivated by peer/social pressure (48 percent) or sex (30 percent).
"Only four songs (4 percent) contained
explicit anti-use messages, and none portrayed substance refusal," the
study authors wrote. "Most songs with substance use (68 percent)
portrayed more positive than negative consequences; these positive
consequences were most commonly social, sexual, financial or emotional."
"Children and adolescents are heavily
exposed to substance use in popular music, and this exposure varies
widely by genre. Substance use in music is frequently motivated by peer
acceptance and sex, and it has highly positive associations and
consequences," the study authors concluded.
The Bristol Herald Courier,
February 1, 2008, headlined, "Smoking to be
restricted in the stands at Bristol Motor Speedway", writer Gary B.
Tenn. – Once inside the racing cathedral that is Bristol Motor
Speedway, fans are subjected to the deafening roar of engines,
screaming fighter jets flying overhead and cheers that make decibel
is now banned in all seating areas, terraces and restrooms, and
smokers will be asked to extinguish cigarettes and cigars when spotted.
The same goes for Bristol Dragway.
"We’re not going to have the smoking
police out there, we’ll just be
trying to adhere to the laws," said Kevin Triplett, BMS vice president
of public affairs. "We have reserved seating where a ticket-holder
doesn’t have a choice of where he or she will sit. Knowing that, we
decided to err on their behalf and go ahead with this."
Triplett said the speedway has fielded
many calls about the change.
"Some are happy; some are upset," he
The change is the result of a
Tennessee law that took effect on Oct. 1.
The General Assembly approved the "Non-Smoker Protection Act" in May.
The law prohibits smoking in most
public facilities, including "sports arenas."
Guests at the speedway and dragway can
still light up in the concourses.
"I don’t smoke, myself," said Alfred
Hawkins, who has attended several
races at the speedway. "But if a person wants to smoke, they should be
allowed to, especially while they’re watching the race. I’ve got some
friends that smoke and go to the race all the time. I don’t know how
they’re going to take this."
John Leonard, owner of Bristol
Virginia’s Sidetrack Tobacco, said he
regularly attends the races "with a few stogies and a cooler of beer."
"It used to be called Winston Cup,"
Leonard barked, referring to the
tobacco company that was once NASCAR’s main sponsor. "I wish they’d
just leave us [smokers] alone. Drinking and smoking, that’s mainly what
people do at the track."
Triplett said "no-smoking" signs will
be placed above all gate and
concourse entrances, and other signs will briefly explain the rules.
For now, there is no policy that would
allow the speedway to eject someone for not complying, Triplett added.
"We don’t want it to come to that," he
added. "Frankly, I don’t think it will, because we’ll be providing a
place for smokers."
January 31, 2008
the Oregon Supreme
court's decision in Williams v.
Philip Morris Inc., 340 Or 35, 127 P3d 1165 (2006), is adhered
decision of the Court of Appeals is affirmed. The judgment of the
circuit court is reversed, and the case is remanded to the circuit
court for further proceedings."
This means that the tobacco companies are
still held guilty, and the jury's original decision was upheld that
punitive damages of $79.5
million in the wrongful death of
smoker Jesse Williams must be paid by Philip Morris for their
reprehensible actions and lethal business practices.
The Oregon Supreme
Court decision is at http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/S051805.htm
January 25, 2008: Global Youth Tobacco Surveillance 2000-2007,
conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World
Health Organization, and health authorities from several countries.
URL is http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5701a1.htm
"Problem: Tobacco use is a major
contributor to deaths from chronic diseases. The findings from the
Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) suggest that the estimate of a
doubling of deaths from smoking (from 5 million per year to
approximately 10 million per year by 2020) might be an underestimate
because of the increase in smoking among young girls compared with
adult females, the high susceptibility of smoking among never smokers,
high levels of exposure to
secondhand smoke, and protobacco indirect
"Tobacco use is one of the major
preventable causes of premature death and disease in the world. A
disproportionate share of the global tobacco burden falls on developing
countries, where 84% of 1.3 billion current smokers reside. The World
Health Organization (WHO) attributes approximately 5 million deaths a
year to tobacco. The number is expected to exceed 10 million deaths by
2020, with approximately 70% of these deaths occurring in developing
"[Students also used tobacco
products] other than cigarettes (e.g., pipes, water pipes, smokeless
tobacco, and bidis) ..."
"Overall, 68.7% of students who
currently smoke cigarettes reported that they desired to stop smoking
"Overall, approximately four in 10
students (42.5%) were exposed to smoke in their home during the week
preceding the survey ..."
"Approximately half (55.1%) of all students were exposed to SHS in
public places during the week preceding the survey ..."
** "More than
three fourths (78.3%) of students in all regions thought smoking should
be banned in all public places ..."
How Many Deaths Will it Take Before All Indoor Workplaces are
online edition, American
Journal Industrial Medicine, Dec. 7, 2007,
published the extract of an article by M. Stanbury, D. Chester, E.
Hanna, K. Rosenman of Michigan, noting that:
waitress collapsed at the bar where she worked and was declared dead
shortly thereafter. Evaluation of the circumstances of her death and
her medical history concluded that her death was from acute asthma
due to environmental tobacco smoke at work. CONCLUSIONS: This is the
first reported acute asthma death associated with work-related ETS.
Recent studies of asthma among bar and restaurant workers before and
after smoking bans support this association. This death dramatizes
the need to enact legal protections for workers in the hospitality
industry from secondhand smoke.
Web Editor's Comment added here:
Heather Crowe, a waitress
for 40 years in a restaurant where smoking was permitted. She
died at the age of 61, and secondhand smoke was blamed for causing her
death. Heather became an eloquent spokesperson for not allowing
smoking around people. Her employer apologized for having
permitted smoking in the restaurant.
after all --
January 12, 2008, Le Devoir,
Montreal, Canada, original en
francais: "Enterrement de première classe pour le
d'Imperial Tobacco", writer, Guillaume Bourgault-Côté,
translation courtesy S. Shatenstein, excerpted below,"First-class
burial for the 100th
anniversary of Imperial Tobacco", complete article & photo at http://www.ledevoir.com/2008/01/12/171548.html
100th anniversary festivities for
Imperial Tobacco turned sour yesterday. The company cancelled its
public event, the government disassociated itself from the event, and
it was ultimately a demonstration by anti-tobacco groups that marked
On Thursday, the St. Henri-based
enterprise announced in a press release that Marguerite Blais, Minister
for Seniors and Member of the National Assembly for
Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne would attend the next day to take part in the
unveiling of an ice sculpture to mark the 100 years of the company.
None of that took place.
First, Mme. Blais cancelled her
participation, then the weather conditions forced cancellation of the
unveiling of the sculpture. (It was 2 degrees Celsius and raining
yesterday afternoon in Montreal.)
According to Imperial Tobacco, a
scheduling conflict forced Mme. Blais to cancel. However, at the
minister's office, Le Devoir was told it was a question of principle
and good judgment that dictated the decision.
Even if she could have attended, Mme.
Blais would not have taken part in the ceremony, her press
Christiane Chaillé, explained. "Mme. Blais supports all the
government's positions with respect to tobacco control," said Mme.
It appears it was the riding office of
Mme. Blais that accepted the invitation without informing the cabinet
office. The latter gave assurances that it would never have agreed to
having the Minister for Seniors take part in a celebration organized by
a leading tobacco products company.
The Quebec Coalition for Tobacco
Control (CQCT) figures that the minister would have been playing with
fire in showing up for the event. "It would have been a completely
contradictory message," argued Louis Gauvin, spokesman for the group.
The coalition organized a
demonstration yesterday in front of the head office of Imperial
Tobacco, accompanied by Physicians
for a Smoke-Free Canada. "We find it
revolting that a tobacco company celebrates its anniversary with
balloons and cheers," said M. Gauvin.
"For us, the only real contribution by
Imperial Tobacco is the hundreds
of thousands of deaths in Canada in the last 100 years, the illness,
the suffering, the deceit, the hiding of information. They've done
everything in their power to maintain the privilege of marketing an
essentially deadly product. There's nothing to celebrate here."
Imperial Tobacco has been located in
the South-West of Montreal since its beginnings. ... In a press release
sent out yesterday, the company justified its decision to celebrate its
centenary in public due its respect for "the most rigorous norms of
social responsibility" and the role it has played over the years in
"the evolution of the artistic, cultural and sporting heritage, fashion
and community services."
Since 2000, the company has belonged
to British American Tobacco (BAT).
situation appears to be totally grotesque, bordering on the obscene,
that there is a manufacturer who admits its merchandise harms and
yet continues to advertise and sell it at home and abroad, and
to harvest the world's children as customers to secure future
The fact that PM was able to do this with impunity, and
the status quo of conducting "business as usual"
without even the least
objection by government or society, reflects
the depth of social morass
and the moral abyss of disintegrating values
into which this
civilization has plunged.
Updated 13 December 2009