[Virginia GASP]     Newest Entries 2009, 2008

 Updated 13 December 2009

Restaurants 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.
Additionally, Please see Virginia on the
2009 Legislative efforts, and the Legislative News Excerpts during 2009 legislative session.

Florida jury says 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 two consumers.

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.

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court allows a 2006 lawsuit against Philip Morris to move forward.

Secondhand smoke linked to breast cancer in women -- again

Tobacco and oil pay for climate conference
  Article 2008,   2006!

No constitutional right to smoke in public

Worth Repeating!

EXCERPTS from The New York Times, Editorial, November 27, 2009, A Big Loss for Big Tobacco, no writer listed.
A 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. Stephenson.

After 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 her injury.

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 misinformation.

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 at fault.

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 worth.

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.

Lucinda “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 said.

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.

After 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 compensatories.

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 verdict.

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.

The 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, Kelley said.

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 speculated.

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.
The 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.

The Litigation Daily 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 disease."

Excerpts from The Virginian-Pilot, November 20, 2009, "Ex-smoker hopes verdict will buy a lung transplant", writer, Tamara Lush, Associated Press.

When 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 person's health.

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 companies.

"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 verdict. ...

Edward 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 Kelley.

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 Wilson.

Legal 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 transplant.

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 Network.

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 tobacco company.

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 those facts.

“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 enough.”

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 Atlanta. ...

David 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

EXCERPTS from The Richmond Times-Dispatch, December 13, 2009, Kaine to force tough choices on McDonnell, writers Jim Nolan and Jeff E. Schapiro.
In an 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 ban."

The Richmond Times-Dispatch, December 2, 2009, "Smoke clears, mostly, as law goes into effect",  Jim Nolan and John Reid Blackwell.
That 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 entrance.

"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 that business."

State officials say the law will protect patrons and restaurant workers from health risks posed by secondhand smoke.

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.

Still the incoming governor does not approve of the law the current governor helped enact.

"The 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 Bob McDonnell.

Most Virginia 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."

Workers also 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 work.

"They'd say, 'Mom, you smell like shrimp and cigarettes.'"

EXCERPTS from The Richmond Times-Dispatch, December 1, 2009, "Williams: Tougher restaurant smoking ban needed", Michael Paul Williams.

Hermitage 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 new era.

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 here?

"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 kidding me?"

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 newspaper.

The Red Door has been closed for renovations. Its walls and floors were being scrubbed, its carpet replaced, to remove smoke residue.

Yes, it's 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 Armstrong.
... 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 ventilation system.

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 a cocktail."

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 back.

"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, November 30, 2009, "Virginia restaurant smoking ban begins tomorrow", writer Sandhya Somashekhar.

...  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 Department.

"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 said.

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 soirée at 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 Lewis.

RICHMOND, 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. ...

Yet 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 the deadline.

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, Lebnan Zaman.

"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 exemption, either.

"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, Lisk said.

"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, Plaxa said.

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.
The 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 reform altogether:

    To fight Clinton’s proposed 75 cent per pack excise tax increase, we are also working behind the scenes to oppose the Clinton package as a whole.

Philip Morris 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 support is important. We provide assistance to Citizens for a Sound Economy, Center for Policy Analysis, Manhattan Institute and numerous other organizations.

... The 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 Prosperity and FreedomWorks.

To influence swing Democrats in the House, PM quietly paid CSE to gin up a “grassroots” anti-tax rebellion, as detailed in this memo:

    Health Care Reform/Taxes
    • The House Energy and Commerce 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 effort 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 Sound Economy
    We are funding a major (400K) 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 targeted the 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 have been 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:


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:

    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.
Massachusetts' 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 Supreme 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 to a 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 developed 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 action 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, including 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 run 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 lawsuits 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:
 “Neither 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.

EXCERPTS from 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 strong enough 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 Health.

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 pre-menopausal women.

- More research is needed to know how many cases of breast cancer, and deaths, can be attributed to active and passive smoking.

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.

... Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canadian women, with 22,700 new cases expected this year and 5,400 deaths from the disease.

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 exposure."

Girls who expose themselves to their friends' smoking, especially in closed rooms, are "probably increasing their risk of breast cancer," Miller says.

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.

EXCERPTS from 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.
[Rene] 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 new 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 healthy.”

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 on the
2009 Legislative efforts, and News Excerpts for 2009.

2008 No-Smoking bills.  Articles, editorials, letters to editors:
Excerpts 2008 .
2008:  Terrie 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 subcommittee has killed all no-smoking bills for the last three years.  The two letters below summarize the 2008 Virginia session on no-smoking.

Letter 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 committee chairwoman, she insisted on assigning them all to the same pro-tobacco subcommittee that killed such bills the last two years.  She then refused to order a full committee vote.

Twelve separate bills on smoking were introduced this session, and Czarina Suit denied all of them a full committee hearing.

On Nov. 3, 2009, voters of Virginia Beach's 81st District should show Del. Suit the door.

Letter to the Editor, 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.
I 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 notion.

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.

Speaker William 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.

EXCERPTS, 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.
OBJECTIVE: 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.

METHOD: Self-reported 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 of 16.

RESULTS: 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.

CONCLUSION: 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.  To 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.
EXCERPTS from Bloomberg, March 27, 2008, headlined, "Altria Dims as Overseas Spinoff Gets Marlboro Growth", writer, Chris Burritt.
For 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 said.  "In 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 competitors.

The 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.

The 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 company.

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.

A bill 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.

The 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 carcinogens."

"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.

EXCERPTS from The Enquirer, March 12, 2008, headlined, "Judge upholds smoking ban", writer, Sharon Coolidge.
A group of bar and restaurant owners who argued in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court that Ohio’s smoking ban is unconstitutional lost their bid to overturn the law.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Fred Nelson tossed the lawsuit out Friday, upholding the “Smoke Free Workplace Act,” which voters passed in November 2006.

The law makes it illegal to smoke in bars, restaurants and most places of employment. Violators can be fined.

“Neither the Constitution of the United States nor the Ohio Constitution creates a fundamental right to smoke in public,” Nelson wrote. He pointed 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 voters.”

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,” Nazzarine said.

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.
A new 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 employees money.

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 the ban.

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.

The 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 non-smokers."

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.
This 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) in 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 min.

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. Median values were 378 µg/m3 in bars, 131 µg/m3 in cafes, and 173 µg/m3 in restaurants. The highest medians were measured in discotheques and restaurant cars, with values averaging 432 µg/m3 and 525 µg/m3 PM2.5, respectively.

This 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.
The 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 is 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.

Related 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 of fake 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 new story:

ExxonMobil 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 show you.

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 Seitz.

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 Revolution."

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 Academy."

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 internet.

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 appropriate messengers."

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.

By 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 country."

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 "grassroots".

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.

TASSC 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.

Milloy 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 Reynolds. 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) respectively ..."

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.

Secondhand 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. Samet 1
1 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology
2 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health Sciences
Objectives. We sought to describe the range of SHS exposures among women and children living with smokers in countries around the world.

Methods. In 2006, we conducted a cross-sectional exposure survey to 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 in households with smokers (0.18 µg/m3) compared with households without smokers (0.01 µg/m3). Air nicotine and hair nicotine concentrations in 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.

Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke Exposure During Pregnancy: An Investigative Survey of Women in 9 Developing Nations; American Journal of Public Health, AJPH First Look, published online ahead of print Feb 28, 2008; Michele Bloch, et al (13 co-authors).
Objectives. 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, and Africa.

Methods. Face-to-face surveys were administered to 7961 pregnant women (more than700 per site) between October 2004 and September 2005.

Results. 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.

Conclusions. 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.

Three 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 that."

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 disease.

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 industry.

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.

Aurejarvi, who 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.

Web 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 "habit".  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.

Daniel Radcliffe ... — just 18 — has been nicknamed Harry Puffer on the set of the new Hogwarts movie after rushing to light up whenever the director yells “Cut”.

A 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.
The 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.

Under 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.

EXCERPTS from The Globe and Mail [Canada], February 27, 2008, headlined, "Bans on smoking near kids catch on", writer, Carly Weeks.

Before 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 collisions.

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."

Although the 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 expecting."

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 people."

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, 2008. 

Authors 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.

Conclusions—We 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.
One 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 rolled 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.

Tobacco 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 steeply as 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 future."

"In 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 marketing techniques 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.

Numerous 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 tobacco advertising.

Only 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 cancer).

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.

WHO's 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 allowed 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.”

Reiterating 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 significance.

“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 is in 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, the 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 who wish to stop using tobacco, at http://www.etsu.edu/humanres/smokingcessationresources.htm.”

EXCERPTS from Business Week, 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 Austin.
In 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.

The 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 statement today.

"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 when 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, Sunday, February 3, 2008, Editorial headlined, "Monsters in the boardroom", no writer given.

The 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 public opinion.

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 cigarettes.”

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 ballpark.

We fail to see how Altria executives can be distinguished from such monsters.

EXCERPTS from 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.
About 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 study found.

"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.

EXCERPTS from The Bristol Herald Courier, February 1, 2008, headlined, "Smoking to be restricted in the stands at Bristol Motor Speedway", writer Gary B. Gray.
BRISTOL, 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 levels dance.

Smoking 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 said.

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
From the Oregon Supreme Court --
"The court's decision in Williams v. Philip Morris Inc., 340 Or 35, 127 P3d 1165 (2006), is adhered to. The 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.
The URL is http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5701a1.htm

From the Abstract:
"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 advertising."

From the Introduction:
** "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 countries."
** "[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 ..."

January 17, 2008
How Many Deaths Will it Take Before All Indoor Workplaces are NO-SMOKING?
The 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:
The 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:

Remember Heather Crowe, a waitress in Canada 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.

No Happy Anniversary after all --
EXCERPTS from January 12, 2008, Le Devoir, Montreal, Canada, original en francais:   "Enterrement de première classe pour le 100e anniversaire d'Imperial Tobacco", writer, Guillaume Bourgault-Côté, English translation courtesy S. Shatenstein, excerpted below,"First-class burial for the 100th anniversary of Imperial Tobacco", complete article & photo at
The 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 the centenary.

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 attaché, Christiane Chaillé, explained. "Mme. Blais supports all the government's positions with respect to tobacco control," said Mme. Chaillé.

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).

Worth Repeating:
The situation appears to be totally grotesque, bordering on the obscene,
in that there is a manufacturer who admits its merchandise harms and kills,
yet continues to advertise and sell it at home and abroad, and
to harvest the world's children as customers to secure future profits. 

The fact that PM was able to do this with impunity, and
by preserving 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.

[VirginiaGASP]  Updated 13 December 2009