Chapter

Lessons from the Tobacco Deal

in Smoke-Filled Rooms

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2002 | ISBN: 9780226857473
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226857480 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226857480.003.0010
Lessons from the Tobacco Deal

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The tobacco industry has been the target of a succession of individual lawsuits. It fended off these assaults with an unblemished record of success. The cigarette industry's decision to propose a comprehensive settlement of all the litigation before it had ever lost a single state case proved to be an enormous error in judgment. The regulation-by-litigation approach also has led to the award of the largest attorneys' fees in history. The welfare of smokers never arose as an explicit concern in any of these state lawsuits; the battle over tobacco had been reduced to an accounting exercise in which the states sought to reclaim financial costs associated with cigarettes. Providing risk information and fostering market competition in the development of safe cigarettes will accelerate this decline and promote individual health, while at the same time respecting individual choice.

Keywords: smokers; risk; tobacco; individual health; financial cost

Chapter.  2948 words. 

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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