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Tobacco Industry

May 25, 2012 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Every day, about 3,800 American kids try a cigarette for the first time. A thousand of them will grow up to to have a daily smoking habit, and nearly 300 will wind up dead due to a smoking-related disease.  Those statistics would be depressing under any circumstances. But they are all the more so considering that states and the federal government collect billions of dollars every year in cigarette taxes and funds from the 1998 tobacco industry settlements. In 2010, that added up to almost $24 billion, according to a study in Friday's edition of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.  And how much of that $24 billion was used to fund tobacco prevention programs, smoking cessation services and other public health interventions?
March 4, 2012 | By Auden Schendler
In the 1970s it seemed like we had problems we could never fix - and I'm not talking about white polyester disco suits and the band Air Supply. The '70s presented America with the residue of a catastrophic war, soaring inner-city crime rates, runaway inflation and subjugation to Middle East oil. To punctuate the dismal vibe, everybody smoked, or so it seemed if you were sitting on an airplane at the edge of the DMZ between the smoking and nonsmoking sections,...
October 10, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
If smoking rates stay at current levels, smoking could create 18 million extra cases of tuberculosis worldwide and 40 million excess deaths from the disease by 2050, a study finds. Researchers produced mathematical models based on various smoking rate scenarios to estimate rates of tuberculosis disease and deaths in each World Health Organization region around the world. The baseline scenario used current smoking levels to come up with the 18 million and 40 million numbers; right now, almost 20% of people worldwide smoke tobacco, and that figure may rise in some poor countries, the study authors said.
May 6, 2011 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from San Francisco -- Smokers may sue the tobacco industry once they develop a disease like lung cancer, even if they suffered different smoking-related ailments years earlier, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday. The decision is likely to keep lawsuits alive that might otherwise have been thrown out because of expired legal deadlines and allow new suits to be filed, lawyers who filed the suit said. In the case before the court, Nikki Pooshs, a former smoker, was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 1989 and a couple of years later with periodontal disease, both attributable to smoking.
March 29, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Major League Baseball begins the 2011 season in two days,  and if public heath officials have their way it will be the last season during which players will be able to chew and spit smokeless tobacco on the field. The leaders of 15 public health departments in cities with professional baseball teams sent a letter Monday to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and Michael Weiner, executive director of the union representing major league players, urging them to forbid the use of smokeless tobacco products.
March 18, 2011 | By Andrew Zajac, Washington Bureau
Despite evidence that menthol cigarettes are a significant factor in the rise of smoking among adolescents, a federal advisory panel on Friday stopped short of recommending a ban on the cigarettes. Instead, it urged further study of the issue, which suggested that the Food and Drug Administration would ultimately pursue more modest action, such as marketing restrictions aimed at reducing access for the young. The panel's long-awaited report on menthol cigarettes was met with a collective shrug from several tobacco companies, whose potent political and legal power could delay any new restrictions for years.
February 26, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
The online open-access journal PLoS Medicine said this week that it would no longer accept for publication reports of research sponsored by tobacco companies. The journal joins two of its sister publications, PLoS Biology and PLoS One, in formally adopting this position, but the announcement might be viewed as self-serving in that the journal has never published such a paper. In fact, PLoS One has published only two. The decision highlights a dispute among journal editors. The leading tobacco-control journal, Tobacco Control, does not ban industry-sponsored research, in part because it does not wish to appear biased.
July 25, 2009 | Times Staff And Wire Reports
Dr. Howard Engle, a Florida pediatrician and lifelong smoker whose tobacco lawsuit resulted in the largest punitive damage award in U.S. history, died Wednesday at his home in Miami Beach. He was 89. Engle had been in declining health for years from smoking-related ailments, said his attorney Stanley Rosenblatt. Engle made U.S. legal history in 2000 when a Miami jury awarded $145 billion in punitive damages against tobacco companies in Engle's class-action lawsuit.
June 29, 2009 | Melissa Healy
For most of the last 15 years, the Food and Drug Administration's authority to regulate tobacco has been either a thwarted promise or a fitful threat, depending on your point of view. It has been pressed by anti-smoking crusaders and public health groups, put on hold by the Supreme Court and beaten back repeatedly by the tobacco industry and its political allies.
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