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By J. Joseph Curran Jr | March 11, 1998
AN army of lobbyists (14 at last count) has amassed in Annapolis because I have introduced legislation in the General Assembly (Senate Bill 652 and House Bill 972) that they say "targets" the tobacco industry.My bill does target this industry; it would strengthen Maryland's lawsuit against cigarette manufacturers to recoup past Medicaid costs by clarifying that the state does not have to drag every smoker before a court to prove he or she suffers from a smoking-related illness. A court ruling has left the state in this untenable position.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
March 16, 2012
While Maryland pays more than $2 billion annually in tobacco-related health-care costs, the tobacco industry spends upward of $1 million an hour to market its products nationwide. Even though Congress banned flavored cigarettes in 2009, Big Tobacco continues to target youth with flavored cigars sold for as little as 69 cents and packaged to look like candy. A new surgeon general's report finds that one in five high school males smokes cigars and that cigar use appears to be rising overall.
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NEWS
June 21, 2011
The pen may be mighty, but the new graphic warning labels the Food and Drug Administration has unveiled for cigarette packs and ads on Tuesday demonstrate that photographs can be even more powerful. Finally, the FDA is turning the tables and using the kind of modern advertising techniques that tobacco companies have long used to spread addiction. A close-up of a mouth with a cancer lesion, a corpse with its chest stitched up, a child reacting to cigarette smoke, an older man smoking through a tracheal hole, a shriveled and diseased lung, these images are far more wrenching then a few easily overlooked words of warning attributed to the U.S. Surgeon General.
NEWS
June 21, 2011
The pen may be mighty, but the new graphic warning labels the Food and Drug Administration has unveiled for cigarette packs and ads on Tuesday demonstrate that photographs can be even more powerful. Finally, the FDA is turning the tables and using the kind of modern advertising techniques that tobacco companies have long used to spread addiction. A close-up of a mouth with a cancer lesion, a corpse with its chest stitched up, a child reacting to cigarette smoke, an older man smoking through a tracheal hole, a shriveled and diseased lung, these images are far more wrenching then a few easily overlooked words of warning attributed to the U.S. Surgeon General.
NEWS
By Ellen Goodman | June 4, 1996
BOSTON -- And you didn't think it was possible for the tobacco image to sink any lower. Now Big Tobacco is the Evil Empire of a John Grisham novel.What next? A Stephen King film with a villain named Philip Morris?It's been that kind of year. With an anti-smoking president in the White House, with company memos leaking all over the media, with states suing for health expenses and smokers hiding in doorways, the tobacco executives will soon be slinking in to work with trench coats over their heads.
NEWS
By Jack W. Germond and Jules Witcover | April 13, 1998
WASHINGTON -- Thanks to the incredible arrogance and political stupidity of tobacco industry bigwigs, Americans may be relieved of the necessity of swallowing a needless bribe to get more protection for their kids against Big Tobacco's predatory practices.That, after all, was what the now-scuttled proposal to put an annual cap on the industry's liability in damage suits brought against cigarette makers was all about.In return for accepting greater restrictions on promotion of tobacco products, especially to the young, and much higher federal taxes on cigarettes, the industry was to have received from Congress a degree of protection from such suits.
NEWS
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | September 13, 1998
Of all the accusations being hurled at tobacco companies, none is more damning than the charge that they colluded to squelch development of "safer" cigarettes, fixating on avoiding legal liability rather than customers' welfare.Cigarette makers have hotly denied the claim. But the line of attack could get a significant boost from new evidence on the demise of a supposedly "safer" smoke that struggling Liggett Group Inc. once viewed as a breakthrough against lung cancer and the salvation of its dying business.
NEWS
By Dan Berger | April 15, 1998
If all the megabanks in the country merged into one, how could anyone tell?Peace between Irish Catholics and Protestants should mean anyone can make peace. Not so, alas.Bill is escaping again to the Summit of the Americas in Santiago, Chile, as far he could get and still be in the Americas.Merlin legislators finally agreed it is politically safe to take on Big Tobacco. There's courage for you.Pub Date: 4/15/98
NEWS
By Dan Rodricks | December 7, 2001
SEVERAL YEARS ago, in Judge Joe Pine's courtroom in Baltimore, the mother of a defendant looked at me and said, "If you write something bad about my son, I'm gonna throw a suitcase at you." Ever since, I've had this vision of attorneys walking up to people and hitting them with large pieces of luggage. That's my vision of this litigious society of ours - guys in suits whacking people with the full line of American Tourister products. When I see Peter Angelos, the busiest man in the litigation biz, I see a guy with more baggage than Cher and Charo combined, heaving jumbo suitcases at big corporations and chucking smaller, matching pieces at anyone else who might get in his way. He's good at it, maybe the best.
NEWS
August 14, 2001
VIRGINIA Gov. James Gilmore tried this spring to sell 20 years' worth of his state's tobacco settlement payments at a discount so he could repeal a car tax. Tennessee's legislature reaffirmed last week its intention to use four years' worth of tobacco payments to wipe out this year's $560 million budget deficit. These two states aren't the only ones misusing funds from the national tobacco settlement. Connecticut and Illinois cut their property taxes with the money. New Hampshire used its proceeds to comply with a court decision on education.
NEWS
By Carter Beach | April 16, 2010
This year, millions of people will watch the Orioles at Camden Yards or on TV. We can't know whether the O's will win or lose, but there's at least one thing every baseball fan can be sure of witnessing: spit tobacco use. Baseball has always been a numbers game. Fans everywhere know their favorite players' batting averages and earned run averages. Here in Baltimore, the number 2,632 — Cal Ripken's record for consecutive games played — is etched in many minds. Well, how about these numbers?
BUSINESS
By Andrew Leckey and Andrew Leckey,Tribune Media Services | May 27, 2007
From age 16, my father smoked cigarettes, cigars and a pipe, chewed tobacco and used smokeless tobacco. That makes the Marlboro man seem like a wimp. Years later, about to become a father, he decided he didn't want his children to smoke and didn't want to be hypocritical. So, he stopped cold turkey. For good. Never seemed to bother him, though he could devour a king-size pack of chewing gum very quickly. Encouraging his behavior was my mother, who, in an era before health studies on smoking, often said: "How could sucking smoke into your lungs possibly be good for you?
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | September 21, 2004
When the Justice Department's massive lawsuit against the tobacco industry goes to trial today, the most striking aspect of the case might not be the whopping $280 billion in potential damages the government is seeking or its novel decision to pursue the cigarette makers under racketeering laws originally designed to bring down the Mafia. Instead, what stands out to observers on both sides of the nation's long-running tobacco wars is that the case has made it to trial at all. Brought late in President Bill Clinton's final term, the now five-year-old lawsuit was widely expected to face sudden death under a Republican administration.
NEWS
By Dan Rodricks | December 7, 2001
SEVERAL YEARS ago, in Judge Joe Pine's courtroom in Baltimore, the mother of a defendant looked at me and said, "If you write something bad about my son, I'm gonna throw a suitcase at you." Ever since, I've had this vision of attorneys walking up to people and hitting them with large pieces of luggage. That's my vision of this litigious society of ours - guys in suits whacking people with the full line of American Tourister products. When I see Peter Angelos, the busiest man in the litigation biz, I see a guy with more baggage than Cher and Charo combined, heaving jumbo suitcases at big corporations and chucking smaller, matching pieces at anyone else who might get in his way. He's good at it, maybe the best.
NEWS
August 14, 2001
VIRGINIA Gov. James Gilmore tried this spring to sell 20 years' worth of his state's tobacco settlement payments at a discount so he could repeal a car tax. Tennessee's legislature reaffirmed last week its intention to use four years' worth of tobacco payments to wipe out this year's $560 million budget deficit. These two states aren't the only ones misusing funds from the national tobacco settlement. Connecticut and Illinois cut their property taxes with the money. New Hampshire used its proceeds to comply with a court decision on education.
NEWS
July 20, 2000
DESPITE THOSE banner headlines and breathless predictions by TV commentators of bankrupting Big Tobacco, that $145 billion jury verdict in Miami last week isn't the end of the world for cigarette companies. Far from it. For starters, the trial judge will almost surely have to slash that astounding jury award dramatically to comply with a Florida law prohibiting awards that might bankrupt a company. Second, the two-year case seems ripe for appeals that might prove successful. Third, it could be many years, perhaps even a decade, before the companies exhaust legal challenges to the verdict.
NEWS
By Carter Beach | April 16, 2010
This year, millions of people will watch the Orioles at Camden Yards or on TV. We can't know whether the O's will win or lose, but there's at least one thing every baseball fan can be sure of witnessing: spit tobacco use. Baseball has always been a numbers game. Fans everywhere know their favorite players' batting averages and earned run averages. Here in Baltimore, the number 2,632 — Cal Ripken's record for consecutive games played — is etched in many minds. Well, how about these numbers?
NEWS
March 23, 2000
PORK-BARREL politics is driving powerful House legislators to turn the governor's anti-cancer and smoking-cessation crusade into a grab-bag for local special interests eager for a piece of the state's $4.2 billion tobacco settlement. That would be a big mistake. It would weaken a well-conceived plan to dedicate most tobacco money to fighting cancer and reducing teen smoking. Instead of a focused drive to curb Maryland's high cancer rate, the legislature would be playing politics with the tobacco money.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | November 5, 1999
Russell Crowe delivers a quietly mind-blowing performance in "The Insider," in which he portrays real-life tobacco whistle-blower Jeffrey S. Wigand with uncanny verisimilitude.With his upper lip covered in sweat and his oddly impassive bespectacled gaze, Crowe makes a fascinating focus for this era's closest story to Watergate in its depiction of greed, power and the fragility of the press.Unfortunately, Crowe's presence is all but obliterated by Al Pacino, who as the crusading "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman has commandeered the story as a vanity piece for both him and his character.
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