1997-12-31: LITIGATION: MINNESOTA Judge Fitzpatrick fines BROWN &
WILLIAMSON $100,000 for failure to turn over American Tobacco Co. documents now held by Gallaher in Britain. This is the most severe court sanction against a tobacco company in decades.
1998: CONSUMPTION: 26.4% of men are smokers; 22% of women are smokers (SG Report,
"Womena and Smoking" CDC, 2002 Preview)
1998: BUSINESS: Sara Lee sells its loose-tobacco business, (Amphora, Drum, etc.) to
Britain's Imperial Tobacco for $1.1 billion.
1998: LEGISLATION: CA: Willie Brown's "napkin statute" -- Code of Civil Procedure
--is amended to allow lawsuits against tobacco companies.
1998-03-23: Los Angeles, CA: Graydon Carter defies California smoke-free law. At the 1998
Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Morton's in smoke-free California, "all 150 diners arrived to discover a pewter ashtray and a Zippo lighter in their place settings. This was Graydon's way of letting people know it was okay to smoke." --Young, Toby "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People," Da Capo Press, 2002.
1998-01-01: REGULATION: CALIFORNIA becomes the first state in the nation to ban
smoking in bars. AB-13, passed in 1994, finally comes into effect for bars.
1998-01-07: Justice Department files a criminal information against DNA Plant Technology
Corp. of Oakland, CA accusing them of developing "Y-1" high-nicotine tobacco with an "unindicted coconspirator"
1998-01-14: SCIENCE: JAMA publishes major study that links both active and passive
smoking with irreversible artery damage.
1998-01-14: LITIGATION: MANGINI Documents Released. RJR documents that appear to
discuss targeting youths as young as 14 create a furor.
1998-01-16: LITIGATION: TEXAS settles its medicaid lawsuit for over $14 billion.
1998-03: PROPAGANDA: BAT leaks information to the London Telegraph on the 10-year,
$2 million study by the International agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) (an affiliate of WHO). BAT's information was printed uncritically. The ET author writes that the study was buried because it found no risk. The study in fact found a 16% increase in risk in lung cancer for non-smokers, a result consistent with earlier studies. Although the results were clear and comparable to those found by others, the number of people in the study was too small to reach statistical significance (at the 95 percent level). The findings were thus supportive of earlier studies showing that passive smoking increases cancer risk, but taken alone would not have been conclusive. However, the study was described by newspapers and the tobacco industry as demonstrating no increase in risk. . . Ong and Glantz analysed industry documents released in US litigation and interviewed IARC investigators. The Philip Morris tobacco company feared that the study (and a possible IARC monograph on second-hand smoke) would lead to increased restrictions in Europe, so they spearheaded a $2 million inter-industry, three-prong strategy to subvert IARC's work. The scientific strategy attempted to undercut IARC's research and to develop industry-directed research to counter the anticipated findings; the communications strategy planned to shape opinion by manipulating the media and the public; the government strategy sought to prevent increased smoking restrictions. For full links to items from IARC, ET, BAT secret docs, etc., see the ASH-UK Roundup
1998-01-26: LITIGATION: MINNESOTA: The massive Minnesota/Blue Cross-Blue Shield
trial begins in Minneapolis.
1998-01-29: SETTLEMENT: Tobacco CEOs Appear Before the House Commerce
Committee Laurence A. Tisch, Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Loews Corporation, Geoffrey Bible, Chairman, Philip Morris Companies, Inc, Vincent A. Gierer Jr., Chief Executive Officer, UST, Inc., Steven F. Goldstone, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, RJR Nabisco and Nicholas G. Brookes, Chairman, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Companies.