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Tobacco Industry

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 16, 1997
If the tobacco industry contained a puff of decency, it would extinguish itself and disappear into the butt-can of history. JACK PETERSON Santa Barbara
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BUSINESS
March 9, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
Robert Proctor doesn't think ignorance is bliss. He thinks that what you don't know can hurt you. And that there's more ignorance around than there used to be, and that its purveyors have gotten much better at filling our heads with nonsense. Proctor, a professor of the history of science at Stanford, is one of the world's leading experts in agnotology, a neologism signifying the study of the cultural production of ignorance. It's a rich field, especially today when whole industries devote themselves to sowing public misinformation and doubt about their products and activities.
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BUSINESS
April 23, 1998 | From Staff and Wire Reports
The state of Iowa has no legal right to collect money from tobacco companies to cover the cost of treating sick smokers, the state's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. The tobacco industry hailed the decision as a major victory. But Iowa Atty. Gen. Tom Miller said the fight is far from over. "I consider this a setback, but only a temporary setback," Miller said. The decision upheld a lower court ruling that found nothing in Iowa law permitting the state to be compensated for treating smokers.
OPINION
January 10, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The 1964 U.S. Surgeon General's report on smoking - the first official acknowledgment by the federal government that smoking kills - was an extraordinarily progressive document for its time. It swiftly led to a federal law that restricted tobacco advertising and required the now-familiar warning label on each pack of cigarettes. Yet there was nothing truly surprising about the conclusion of the report. Throughout the 1950s, scientists had been discovering various ways in which smoking took a toll on people's health.
BUSINESS
May 1, 1997 | (Washington Post)
The tobacco industry would accept a ban on all cigarette vending machines, halt all outdoor advertising and pay $1 billion a year for anti-smoking campaigns as part of broad package of concessions offered in the hopes of settling virtually all legal claims against it, sources said. Details of the industry stance emerged as talks between the tobacco industry and its adversaries were about to resume over a critical hurdle--how much immunity the industry would get from lawsuits, sources said.
BUSINESS
January 9, 1989
The tobacco industry, in newspaper ads running around the country today, touted a survey indicating that three of four Americans don't support workplace or restaurant smoking bans. The industry's counter-initiative through its lobbying organization, the Tobacco Institute, comes during the week marking the 25th anniversary of the first of the surgeon general's reports to declare smoking a health hazard.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 12, 1996
The city of Los Angeles on Wednesday joined a lawsuit by San Francisco, 10 California counties and four health organizations accusing the tobacco industry of engaging in "deceptive and improper business practices," including false advertising. The lawsuit targets Phillip Morris Inc., R.J. Reynolds, Brown and Williamson and several tobacco industry organizations.
NEWS
October 22, 1997
Daniel E. Provost III, 78, a tobacco industry executive who got Arthur Godfrey and Ronald Reagan to endorse Chesterfield cigarettes. Provost joined the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency in 1948 and was assigned to the Liggett account until his retirement in 1984 as the tobacco company's chief spokesman. He was a power in the early days of television when cigarette companies sponsored programs. People such as Godfrey and Perry Como were important Chesterfield spokesmen.
NEWS
September 8, 1996 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A probe of possible perjury charges against several tobacco executives has been expanded into a far-reaching Justice Department investigation, officials said. The probe will look into whether industry executives systematically made false or misleading statements to Congress and government agencies in 1994 about the addictive nature of tobacco and about industry practices. About a dozen tobacco company employees have been subpoenaed to testify before a Washington grand jury.
BUSINESS
February 13, 2003 | From Bloomberg News
Philip Morris USA, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and other cigarette makers were spared the risk of billions of dollars in damages after a judge rejected a class-action lawsuit on behalf of underage smokers. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled that the claims on behalf of millions of young smokers were too diverse to be tried collectively. Lawyers Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. and Michael Hausfeld filed the suit in 2001 accusing tobacco firms of conspiring to market their products to minors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 27, 2013 | By Steve Chawkins
Over four years, Merrell Williams Jr. came up with a number of effective ways to smuggle documents from work. A $9-an-hour paralegal at a tobacco company's law firm in Louisville, Ky., Williams tucked a few memos at a time into a slit he cut in the lining of his overcoat. Sometimes he stashed cigarette marketing plans and medical studies under his shirt, between his skin and an old weight-loss corset. Then there were the days he wore his pants extra baggy, all the better to slide embarrassing correspondence under the waistband.
NATIONAL
August 31, 2013 | By Alexei Koseff
WASHINGTON - They are all "veterans of the tobacco wars," as Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois put it. Over the years, they have sponsored legislation to ban smoking on airplanes, led efforts to remove depictions of tobacco use in films and successfully sued the tobacco industry for misleading the public about the dangers of smoking. And at a recent hearing, the trio of Democratic senators - Durbin, Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut - grilled executives from an industry they said was selling an unhealthy product and an unsafe message to young people.
NEWS
July 18, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
About three-quarters of homeless people smoke cigarettes, and the complacent approach to that situation needs to change to support efforts to get them to quit, doctors wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. “Vulnerable and marginalized populations continue to use tobacco at high rates,” including the 2.3 million to 3.5 million people in the United States who are homeless. There exists “a fatalistic attitude among healthcare professionals toward addressing tobacco use in this population,” they wrote in the Thursday issue of the journal . The authors acknowledged particular difficulties in getting homeless people to stop or reduce their smoking, including psychiatric and substance abuse issues.
SCIENCE
April 29, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
Once celebrated as an economic mainstay, the tobacco industry has been hard hit by health concerns, bans, lawsuits and the social stigma of cigarette smoking. Now, UC researchers are testing the plant's potential to be genetically modified in order to produce socially acceptable bio-fuels to power airplanes, cars and trucks. Preliminary results are encouraging, but more research is required before tobacco can be commercially farmed as an energy crop to meet the demand for alternatives to fossil fuels.
OPINION
April 24, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
As thoroughly awful as everyone knows cigarettes to be - still the No. 1 cause of premature death in this country - public officials walk a blurry line when they try to reduce smoking's terrible toll. As long as they lack the will to ban tobacco altogether, they face all sorts of ethical, legal and political problems in regulating a product that is, after all, perfectly legal. High tobacco taxes, critics say, unfairly punish smokers, who are disproportionately low income. Banning advertising of a legal product raises free-speech issues.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2012 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
Sales of chewing tobacco and other such smokeless products rose sharply in California over the last decade, and officials are especially concerned about the increase in use among youths, state public health officials said Thursday. Smokeless tobacco use among high school students grew to 3.9% of students in 2010, up from 3.1% in 2004. Nearly $211 million in non-cigarette tobacco and nicotine products were sold in California in 2011, up from $77 million in 2001, according to a report released Thursday by the state Department of Public Health.
BUSINESS
June 17, 1997 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
Key issues remained unresolved in negotiations to settle massive lawsuits against the tobacco industry, according to several participants in the talks, which resumed Monday in Washington. "We're still working through a very similar set of issues," said Connecticut Atty. Gen. Richard Blumenthal, one of the five negotiators for states that have sued the tobacco industry to recoup billions of dollars in state health costs expended treating sick smokers.
NEWS
June 1, 2012 | By Sherry Lansing and Kristiina Vuori
If you spend any time reading The Times, watching television or listening to the radio, you've been inundated with opinions and commercials against Proposition 29, the California Cancer Research Act -- commercials paid for by Philip Morris USA and other tobacco companies. Proposition 29, on the June 5 ballot, would add a $1 tax on each pack of cigarettes to generate more than $700 million annually for research on cancer and other smoking-related diseases, as well as rejuvenate California's crucial tobacco cessation and prevention programs.
BUSINESS
May 27, 2012 | Michael Hiltzik
Yes, our freeways and surface streets are crumbling. But the next time your front wheel hits an enormous pothole, you can remember with pride that California is the world leader in one form of highway maintenance: paving the road to hell with good intentions. The June 5 election will give the state's voters another opportunity in this vein. The vehicle is Proposition 29, which would jack up the state tax on cigarettes by $1 a pack, generating some $800 million a year mostly for cancer research, with some going to related health and anti-smoking programs.
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