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Big Tobacco Says It’s the Judge’s Fault


Phillip Morris was found to be 38% at fault in the death of a smoker. This is the verdict delivered by a jury of good citizens on August 14, 2009, in Broward County, Florida.

Philip Morris and their lawyers, presumably, blame the judge and bad rulings made by him. Altria’s (Philip Morris’ owner) senior vice-president, Murray Garrick said that “Today’s verdict is the result of a severely prejudicial trial plan. From beginning to end, this case was marked by legal rulings that should be reversed on appeal”
Imagine a cigarette company denying their product had anything at all to do with the death of a smoker. Apparently, Philip Morris and Altria do not believe they shared even 38% of the blame. It seems that Big Tobacco is not going to ever accept responsibility for producing a product, which they have manipulated and adulterated to an extent that it really has little connection with original tobacco.

But why change your conduct if you are a multi-billion dollar empire that has produced a drug for 75 years that the FDA would never allow to be marketed today? Why change your concern for billions in profits over dead victims of your product?
In 1958, The Tobacco Institute (a propaganda organization created by Big Tobacco) spewed a press release that, in part, said the following:

“It is the position of the Tobacco Institute (and so Big Tobacco) that the health of the American people is more important than dividends for the tobacco or any other industry.”

Apparently, that was as false as their claims for the last 70 years that cigarettes are not addictive and cigarettes do not cause lung cancer, COPD or any of the other dozens of diseases we know they cause.

To be fair, this statement was made by Big Tobacco before they knew, that we knew, that they knew for a long time that cigarettes would make people sick and kill them. So, sure they were not really on a search for the truth; in fact, they were lying, but hey, the health of the American people was what was important to them. Billions of dollars in profit was not what was driving this industry. Greed was in the back seat to charity and compassion for Big Tobacco.

REP. WYDEN: Let me begin my questioning on whether or not nicotine is addictive. Let me ask you first, and I’d like to just go down the row, whether each of you believes that nicotine is not addictive. I heard virtually all of you touch on it. Yes or no, do you believe nicotine is not addictive?

MR. CAMPBELL (President of Philip Morris U.S.A.).
I believe nicotine is not addictive, yes.

REP. WYDEN: Mr. Johnston?

MR. JAMES JOHNSTON (Chairman and CEO of RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company). Mr. Congressman, cigarettes and nicotine clearly do not meet the classic definition of addiction. There is no intoxication.

REP. WYDEN: We’ll take that as a “no.” Again, time is short. I think that each of you believe that nicotine is not addictive. We would just like to have this for the record.
MR. TADDEO (President of U.S. Tobacco).

I don’t believe that nicotine or our products are addictive.
MR. TISCH (Chairman and CEO of Lorillard Tobacco Company).
I believe that nicotine is not addictive.

MR. HORRIGAN (Chairman and CEO of Liggett Group).
I believe that nicotine is not addictive.

MR. SANDEFUR (Chairman and CEO of Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company).
I believe that nicotine is not addictive.

MR. DONALD JOHNSTON (President and CEO of American Tobacco Company).
And I, too, believe that nicotine is not addictive.

Imagine in 1994 the leaders of Big Tobacco did not want to take responsibility for the addiction of cigarettes and their manipulation of nicotine. Is it any wonder that when citizens hear evidence and find Big Tobacco responsible that they still cannot accept any responsibility? Is it any wonder that Big Tobacco blames the judge?
Apparently Big Tobacco is glad to sell its drug in this country as long as it does not have to be compelled by its laws. Thanks for caring, Big Tobacco. You blame the judge; you blame the juries; are their mirrors at Big Tobacco’s headquarters? Take a look and try to be a responsible citizen.

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