on Aug. 16, 2000), in a suit brought by B&W and Santa Fe Natural. The law, "neither impedes nor obstructs the flow of cigarettes in interstate commerce," Senior Judge Roger J. Miner said.
2003-02-14: UK: Tobacco advertising comes to an end. The first stage of the Tobacco
Advertising and Promotion Act 2002 officially begins at one minute past midnight; banning new tobacco sponsorship agreements, advertising on billboards and in the press and free distributions. The ban also covers direct mail, internet advertising and new promotions.
2003-02-17-28: WHO's Sixtth Framework Convention on Tobacco Control session meets in
Geneva, finalizing a landmark treaty to stem tobacco use and related disease worldwide. It is scheduled to be formally adopted in May, 2003.
2003-03-01: TX: SMOKEFREE: Dallas' smoking ban goes into effect, forbidding smoking in
restaurants, bingo halls, hotel meeting rooms and bars that derive less than 25% of their incomes from food.
2003-03-18: LITIGATION: NY Times reveals that the US Department of Justice is
demanding $289 billion in disgorged profits from tobacco companies for their half-century of "fraudulent and dangerous market practices. The DOJ has filed over 1400 pages of court documents, including many "secret" documents from the industry's files.
2003-03-18: National LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Health Awareness Week
kicks off, focusing on smoking and the tobacco industry's marketing to the LGBT community.
2003-03-22: IL: Judge orders Philip Morris to pay $10.1 billion in damages for misleading
smokers into believing that low-tar cigarettes are safer than regular brands. Susan Miles et al v Philip Morris Inc. See: http://www.tobacco.org/resources/documents/030321milesvmo.html The Court finds that the term 'Lights' not only conveyed a message of reduced harm and safety, but also conveyed to Class members that the 'Lights' cigarette product was lower in tar and nicotine. . . . Philip Morris' strategy was to create doubt about the negative health implications of smoking without actually denying these allegations. . . . The evidence at trial establishes that Philip Morris continued this disinformation campaign through the mid-1990s. . . Philip Morris' motive was evil and the acts showed a reckless disregard for the consumers' rights. — Illinois Circuit Court Judge Nicholas Byron.
2003-03-25: BUSINESS: Ratings agencies downgrade MO, MSA bonds. Because of Philip
Morris' $12 Billion bond in the Price case, Moody's reduces the credit rating for Altria, the parent of Philip Morris. The next day, Standard & Poor's places all its ratings on all tobacco settlement revenue securitization and tobacco litigation settlement securitization transactions on CreditWatch with negative implications. These actions spark a sell-off in tobacco bonds. Over the next few days, MO stock falls to 52-week low.
2003-03-26: New York state passes near-total statewide smoking ban. The NY state Senate
passes an Assemblye-approved bill amending the Clean Indoor Air Act of 1989. Hours later, Gov. Pataki signs it. It bans smoking in all bars, restaurants, and clubs like the VFW and Elks. Exempt are cigar bars already registered in NYC, Indian casinos, personal residences and cars, and clubs staffed by volunteers. The bill will supercede some of New York City's exemptions, most notably those involving ventilation systems. NYC's law goes into effect April 1; NY State's law goes into effect in 120 days, ie, July 24.
2003-04: SARS Scare. The SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Disease) epidemic in Asia spurs
rumors, akin to conventional wisdom during Europe's plague years, that smoking prevents the disease. The rumors have surface in China, Singapore and the Philippines.
2003-04-01: RJR, Lorillard file suit against California's "vilifying" ad campaign. Filing in
federal court in Sacramento, the companies allege that the Prop 99-funded ads are a misuse of taxpayer money, poison the juror pool, violate the companies' constitutional rights of free speech and make it impossible "to get a fair trial in the state of California." The companies seek a halt to ads inteded to "vilify" the industry.
2003-04-01: NY: SMOKEFREE: New York City's smoking ban goes into effect, forbidding
smoking in all restaurants and bars, except for a few cigar lounges.