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B&W Denies Luring Asbestos Workers

December 28, 2000|Associated Press

The chief executive of the nation's third-largest cigarette maker, testifying in a case brought by sick asbestos workers, rejected suggestions that Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. had ever targeted asbestos workers with cigarette advertising. In 1981, the company, maker of Kool and Lucky Strike and 18 other brands, dispatched workers to give away sample cigarettes outside locations where blue-collar workers might be found, but Chief Executive Nicholas G. Brookes said that the effort was conducted responsibly. The testimony in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn came in a case brought by sick asbestos workers and their heirs against Brown & Williamson and other tobacco giants. The trust sued three years ago in federal court in Brooklyn, alleging that the tobacco industry engaged in a conspiracy to hide and distort findings that asbestos workers who smoked were five times more likely to get lung disease than the average smoker.

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