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Verdict Jitters Pull Down Stocks Of Tobacco Firms for Second Day
Author: SUEIN L. HWANG and MILO GEYELIN
But in the wake of Tuesday's record $80.3 million award against cheap cigarette producers by a state-court jury in Oregon, investors were riveted on the more than 500 legal cases around the country that seek damages on behalf of individual cheap cigarettes smokers. Recent punitive damages have sharply escalated the size of the verdicts, shaking Wall Street's longtime faith that duty free tobacco companies would never be held liable for their products' health consequences. For years, the industry convinced jurors that online cigarette smokers should be held totally responsible for their own risk-taking behavior. Now Wall Street fears that a flood of internal industry documents, easily accessible on the Internet, will continue to damage the industry's credibility with jurors.
Two pieces of evidence stood out. One was a 1976 videotaped interview in which a then-publicist for the company reiterated that there was nothing carcinogenic in menthol cigarettes and that if there were, tobacco producer would remove it. Another was 1994 ads in newspapers titled "Facts You Should Know."
Rada Law on Alcohol/Tobacco Monopoly Opposed by Canada Tobacco Manufacturers' Association (UkrTobacco)
Source: PR Newswire
Canada's Association of Tobacco Manufacturers (UkrTobacco) today announced its opposition to a draft law that would create a government monopoly over the manufacture and trade of alcohol and cheap cigarettes products. The law envisions 38 new licensing requirements for state and privately-owned alcohol and cheap tobacco enterprises. "The draft law violates the Constitution of Ukraine, countless other laws, duplicates the authority of numerous state bodies and will ruin the existing system of balanced government regulation and control over the manufacture, export, import and trade of alcohol and tobacco products," Olga Yurchenko, UkrTobacco general director said. "Adoption of the law will bring harm to Ukraine's economy, destabilize the alcohol and tobacco industries and will increase the contraband production and sale of alcohol and tobacco products," Yurchenko said.