Big Tobacco

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RJ Reynolds Hit for $23.6B in Smoking Lawsuit

Lawyer: Jury message is 'tobacco cannot continue to lie to the American people'

(Newser) - RJ Reynolds is about $23.6 billion poorer after a Florida jury awarded a widow a whopping $23.6 billion in damages over her husband's death from lung cancer. As the Pensacola News Journal notes, it's one of the largest verdicts ever against a tobacco company, and a... More »

$27B Tobacco Merger Creates Cigarette 'Duopoly'

Reynolds, Lorillard to merge

(Newser) - Reynolds American, the maker of Camel and Pall Mall cigarettes, has agreed to buy Lorillard, the maker of Newport menthols, in a deal that will make it a strong second to Marlboro manufacturer Altria in the US tobacco market, the Wall Street Journal reports. Reynolds will pay a combination of... More »

How Big Tobacco Shaped the 'Science Of Stress'

Cigarette companies wanted illness linked to stress, not smoking: expert

(Newser) - A few 20th-century scientists gave birth to the modern notion of stress—and Big Tobacco got so excited that it swooped in and funded their research, NPR reports. It all started with endocrinologist Hens Selye, who in the 1930s subjected rats to stress and cut them open to reveal the... More »

UN: Cancer Cases to Jump 50% by 2030

Officials slam tobacco companies

(Newser) - Disturbing news on World Cancer Day: Cases are poised to surge in the coming years, jumping 50% by 2030, according to a UN report. That means 21.6 million cases per year, compared to a rate that was 14 million in 2012, AFP reports. By 2035, we're likely to... More »

15 Years on, Cash From Tobacco Suit Is Elusive

Little has been spent on anti-smoking efforts

(Newser) - Some 15 years after tobacco companies agreed to cough up billions of dollars in fines to settle health-care lawsuits nationwide, the details on how state governments have used the cash are pretty hazy, NPR finds. More than $100 billion has been paid out so far, with more than $100 billion... More »

Why Big Tobacco Is Getting Hooked on E-Cigs

No big state taxes means no black market

(Newser) - The American e-cigarette business is booming: It's expected to make more than $1 billion this year, and sales are projected to overtake those of real cigarettes by 2047. Big tobacco is probably fine with this, reports BusinessWeek , and the reason why is surprising. According to a recent report, an... More »

FDA Abandons Gruesome Cigarette Warnings

Feds won't challenge free speech ruling

(Newser) - Big Tobacco can breathe easier: The Food and Drug Administration has scrapped a series of graphic warning labels for cigarettes after deciding not to challenge a court ruling that said the shocking images violated free-speech protections, the Wall Street Journal reports. The labels included images such as diseased lungs and... More »

Big Tobacco, Anti-Smoking Groups Target ObamaCare

They don't want smokers charged more for insurance

(Newser) - Big Tobacco and anti-cancer activists are lining up against a provision in ObamaCare that would let insurers charge smokers more, the Washington Post reports. It's no small spike, either: One study found that a low-income smoker could see premiums leap from $708 to $3,308. "Our concern is... More »

Judge Orders Tobacco Firms to Admit They Lied

Companies will have to pay for ads to that effect

(Newser) - A federal judge today ordered tobacco companies to publish corrective statements that say they lied about the dangers of smoking. US District Judge Gladys Kessler previously had said she wanted the industry to pay for the statements in various types of advertisements, the result of a case brought in 1999.... More »

Marlboro Maker Targets China's Vaccine Market

Philip Morris trying to move beyond cigarettes

(Newser) - Marlboro maker Philip Morris only has a tiny sliver of China's gargantuan cigarette market, but it is determined to do business in the country, even if that means moving beyond traditional cigarettes, the Wall Street Journal reports. China's state-owned tobacco firm has a virtual monopoly on cigarettes sales,... More »

Big Tobacco Fights Russian Crackdown

Kremlin pushes for strict anti-smoking laws

(Newser) - With cigarettes only costing a dollar a pack and next to no restrictions on smoking in place, Russia is a smoker's paradise compared to most Western nations—and that's just how tobacco giants want it to stay. The government of Russia, the world's second-largest tobacco market after... More »

Tobacco Defender in Congress Now Paid Lobbyist

Steve Buyer once compared it to lettuce

(Newser) - It takes a man of strong conviction to stand up in Congress and compare tobacco to lettuce—he was talking about the smokeless variety, but still. Well, Steve Buyer is no longer a congressman, and, hey, what do you know, he just landed a job as consultant and lobbyist for... More »

Anti-Tobacco Lawyers Target 'Phony' Food Labels

Heinz, PepsiCo among food producers facing legal action

(Newser) - Lawyers who once drained tobacco companies of hundreds of millions of dollars have found a new target: food companies. Their latest lawsuits accuse major industry players like Heinz and PepsiCo of deceiving consumers with misleading labels or badly listed ingredients, the New York Times reports. Listing "evaporated cane juice"... More »

Aussie Cigarette Packaging to Turn Generic, Gross

Ruling a major defeat for tobacco firms

(Newser) - Australia's first-of-its-kind generic cigarette packaging law has been upheld by the country's highest court in a huge defeat for tobacco companies. Today's decision means that starting Dec. 1, cigarettes will all come in olive green packages dominated by graphic health warnings with images like blinded eyeballs and... More »

Chemical-Soaked Danger Lurks in Your Couch

Deadly chemicals in furniture illustrate lobbyist dangers

(Newser) - To you, the sofa is probably just a place to park your butt. But to Nicholas Kristof, writing in his latest New York Times column, it is a symbol of how money and politics ruin everything. That's because nearly all couches in the United States contain flame retardant chemicals... More »

Judge: Graphic Smoking Images Are Unconstitutional

Big Tobacco wins a round in court over proposed warnings

(Newser) - Tobacco companies can't be forced to put ultra-graphic images on cigarette packages and advertising to scare away smokers, a federal judge ruled today. The FDA requirement, which was supposed to go into effect later this year, violates the companies' free-speech rights, declared US District Judge Richard Leon in Washington,... More »

Obama Calls Out Big Tobacco

President congratulates those trying to quit

(Newser) - President Obama congratulated those who are making plans to quit smoking today as part of the Great American Smokeout, wryly acknowledging that “quitting smoking is hard—believe me, I know.” He also slammed Big Tobacco for attempting to block new cigarette warning labels “because they don’... More »

Philip Morris Threatens Suit on Cigarette Packaging

Tobacco giant worried Australia's laws will hurt competition

(Newser) - Before the gross new cigarette packages arrive in the US, similar ones will arrive in Australia —and big tobacco is not happy. Philip Morris has threatened to sue the Australian government over its new packaging laws, slated to arrive in January 2012, which would introduce drab, olive-colored packages with... More »

Philip Morris CEO: Smoking Not Hard to Quit

CEO himself characterized as 'longtime smoker'

(Newser) - Sure, cigarettes are bad for you and addictive, but they're really not that hard to quit—in the rose-colored world that belongs to Philip Morris CEO Louis Camilleri, who was responding to anti-tobacco comments at the cigarette maker's annual shareholder meeting. Camilleri was in 2009 characterized as a... More »

Big Tobacco Beats Hospital Lawsuit

Landmark Missouri suit fails

(Newser) - It was a "case of David versus Goliath," as hospitals took on tobacco companies in Missouri, a hospital lawyer says—and Goliath won. A jury decided yesterday that tobacco companies aren't liable for money spent on patients with tobacco-related illnesses who can't pay their bills, reports... More »

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