EDITORIAL: Tobacco Becomes a Federal Case

New York Times
Thursday, 9/23/99
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[Provided by Tobacco Daily News Summaries]
An editorial in the NEW YORK TIMES supports the Justice Department's lawsuit against the tobacco industry, citing Congressional failure to enact comprehensive tobacco legislation.

The TIMES says the suit could force the companies to accept Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco as well as changes in the industry's marketing practices.

"The industry has long understood, through its own research, that smoking can cause disease and death and that nicotine is addictive. Yet it carried out a relentless national campaign of falsehoods designed to cast doubt on those very questions. The conspiracy of lies has been documented in thousands of incriminating documents unearthed in litigation brought by the state attorneys general. . . . Congress should give the Justice Department the $20 million it has requested in the fiscal year 2000 budget to pursue this case. The industry will likely spend much more than that fighting the suit. Billions of dollars ride on the outcome. But it is the nonmonetary controls that could help reduce smoking's annual death toll of 400,000 Americans."

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