4/5/95 Tobacco News

TOBACCO NEWS 4/5/95

Copyright 1995 Gene Borio, The Tobacco BBS (212-982-4645). Material may be reprinted in any non-commercial venue so long as this credit line is attached.

    HEALTH
  • Lung Disease Rates Studied
  • Colorectal Polyps & Smoking & Drinking
  • Smoking And Bone Healing
  • Smoking And Diet
  • Smoking And Gene Damage
      FEDERAL ISSUES
  • Drug Abuse Costs, So Make Abusers Pay Fed, Report Says
  • Regulatory Halt Passes House Committee
  • FDA Under Attack
  • HR 450 Passes
  • House Passes HR 450
  • Senate Curbs Regulations But Rejects Moratorium
    • LOCAL
  • VA: Anti-lobbyist Law Passes Senate
  • NC: Parents Can Ok School Smoking
  • IN: Furor Over Child Access Law
    • INTERNATIONAL
  • MEXICO: Tobacco Under Pressure
    • BUSINESS
  • X Cigarettes Withdrawn
  • AOL & Nabisco
    • LAWSUITS
  • American Exp. Gives Pm 7 Years Of Records
  • ABC & PM II
  • RJR Sues ABC
  • Stake-out At Medical Library
  • Business Lawsuits
  • Harley-davidson Peels Away From Cigarettes
  • Glass Gets In Your Filters
  • Marlboro Man Shoots Down Gunsmoke
    • PEOPLE
  • Victor Crawford On 60 Minutes
    • THE FUNNY PAGES
  • Mr. Butts Considers Lawsuits
  • Mr. Butts Goes To Law School
  • Mr. Butts Frets About Florida Suit
  • Mr. Butts Sees Florida Patients
  • Mr. Butts Visits Florida Governor
  • Mr. Butts Gets Back To Work
  • HEALTH

    LUNG DISEASE RATES STUDIED

    Washington, Feb. 14, 1994. Chronic obstructive lung disease--linked by researchers primarily to smoking-- is the fifth leading cause of death in the industrialized world, according to the most comprehensive report on international death rates ever done by the National Center for Health Statistics.

    In the US, womens death rates from lung cancer are the highest of the 20 countries studied, while mens rates have leveled off, which researchers ascribed to the decline in mens smoking rates.

    COLORECTAL POLYPS & SMOKING & DRINKING

    Houston, TX Feb. 14, 1995. People who both smoked and drank were found to have a whopping 321% higher chance of having colorectal polyps after the age of 34, according to a study at the University of Texas at Houston. A surprising twist: people who only smoked, or only drank, did not appear to have a statistically significantly higher risk.

    SMOKING AND BONE HEALING

    Feb. 24, 1995. The bones of smokers take almost twice as long to heal as those of nonsmokers, according to a study from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

    Researchers compared healing times of 76 tibia fractures and found nonsmokers bones healed in an average of 146 days, while smokers' bones took an average of 276 days to heal.

    Researchers said smoking likely affects the flow of blood to the bone.

    Meanwhile, reports USA Today, a Emory University School of Medicine an animal study found that while control rabbits had 100% spinal fusion 14 days after surgery, rabbits given nicotine had no bone fusion.

    SMOKING AND DIET

    Feb. 22, 1995. A story on food cravings in the NY Times mentioned two interesting studies:

    --A Duke University study found that people who quit smoking may have increased sudden cravings for sweets and fatty foods. --A University of Michigan study found that students on low-sugar, low-fat diets "were at greater risk for cigarette smoking, alcohol and drug abuse."

    SMOKING AND GENE DAMAGE

    March 16, 1995. A study of head and neck cancers has found increased mutations of the guardian angel gene (p53) in long-time smokers. The p53 gene is capable of preventing division in cells with damaged DNA. When p53 is lost, genetic mutations can be passed on and accumulate, an important step in tumor growth. The Johns Hopkins University study of 129 patients found the tumors of smokkers were twice as likely, and the tumors of smokers who drank were three times as likely to have p53 damage as those of patients who neither smoked nor drank.

    The tumors of 5 patients who neither smoked nor drank had p53 damage; however, the tumors were limited to a site considered naturally unstable and prone to random mutation without exposure to carcinogens. One-quarter of the smokers tumors appeared at this site.

    Some consider this phenomenon a smoking gun definitively linking smoking and cancer on a molecular level.

    "We have such strong molecular proof that we can take an individual cancer and potentially, based on the patterns of genetic change, determine whether cigarette smoking was the cause of that cancer," said Dr. David Sidransky. He called the study, "... the end of the road for the tobacco industry" in its assertions that no proof exists that smoking and cancer are linked.

    The study was published in todays New England Journal of Medicine.

    In other molecular news, Reuter reported on March 10 that a paper presented at a San Antonio American Heart Association meeting linked smoking to LDL (low- density lipoprotein), the bad cholesterol.

    Researchers tested 24 people between 16 and 37 years of age and found that smokers LDL oxidized 40% faster than the LDL of nonsmokers. LDL oxidation can increase plaque buildup in arteries.

    Previous studies have linked smoking with a negative effect on high-density lipoprotein--HDL, the good cholesterol--but the effect was minor.

    This very large effect of smoking on oxidative damage to LDL is consistent with the fairly large effect of smoking on the risk of heart disease," said Dr. James Dwyer of the University of Southern California School of Medicine in Los Angeles

    FEDERAL ISSUES

    DRUG ABUSE COSTS, SO MAKE ABUSERS PAY FED, REPORT SAYS

    Smokers, along with users of addictive drugs, will cost the Federal Treasury $77.6 billion this year, nearly 20% of the total spent on Medicaid, Medicare and other federal health and welfare programs, according to a study released by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.

    The study recommends that the government should follow the lead of private health plans and charge higher fees to substance abusers.

    CASA head Joe Califano said, If Speaker Gingrich and President Clinton are looking for a way to deal with the spiraling costs of entitlements without cutting benefits, raising taxes or dumping the problem on the states, then they must face up to the epidemic of tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse and addiction."

    "If we want to move people from welfare to work, we must first address a crippling stumbling block for many thousands -- their substance abuse and addiction -- by providing adequate funding."

    "To help reduce costs over the long term, Medicare should charge higher premiums for beneficiaries who smoke cigarettes . . . The impact of substance abuse and addiction on federal entitlements is equivalent to more than 40 percent of the federal deficit for 1995."

    The study said that "of all the substances, tobacco takes the greatest financial toll on health and disability entitlement spending. In 1995, the Social Security disability system will pay $4.6 billion ... to individuals disabled as a result of smoking-related diseases."

    REGULATORY HALT PASSES HOUSE COMMITTEE

    Washington. Feb. 13, 1995. A measure that would halt all government regulatory activity--including OSHAs investigation of the hazards of workplace smoking, the FDAs investigation into the addictiveness of nicotine, and implementation of the Synar child access rule--by the Government Reform and Oversight Committee. The vote was 28-13.

    The moratorium would extend to Dec. 31, 1995, by which time Republicans hope to have changed many governmental processes.

    Committee Chairman Rep. William Clinger (R-PA) said, Establishing a moratorium is an appropriate reaction to the federal regulatory factory that churns out too many expensive regulations.

    FDA UNDER ATTACK

    February, 1995. In a series of ads and press releases, a coalition of conservative groups have made it plain that the FDA heads the list of regulatory agencies they would like to see completely revamped or even eliminated.

    --House Speaker Newt Gingrich has called the FDA the leading job-killer in America, and has referred to FDA head David Kessler as a terrorist and a thug. --A Gingrich-spawned conservative think tank, the Progress and Freedom Foundation has announced a plan, to be drafted by June, to replace the FDA. --The Washington Legal Foundation placed an ad last month which read, "If a murderer kills you, it's homicide. If a drunk driver kills you, it's manslaughter. If the FDA kills you, it's just being cautious." --The Competitive Enterprise Institute, has suggested that all drugs and devices be sold whatever the outcome. --The Citizens for a Sound Economy recommend the corporations it regulates take over the agencys duties.

    While the agency has been criticized in the past for slow approval of drugs and medical devices and pharmaceutical and medical supply companies have pushed for reform, conservative groups appear to resent its very existence.

    Traditional critics appear uneasy with the conservative agenda. A Merck & Co. spokesperson said, "The tenets FDA enforces, and we live by, ought to remain in place," she said. The problem with the agency is managerial, not fundamental.

    And Health Industry Manufacturers' Association head Alan Magazine, who has long criticized the FDA, said a part of Americas reputation for superior products rests in the USs regulatory system. We are for a strong FDA. They are our credibility."

    The FDA helps assure unsafe drugs dont reach the market. An international survey by a frequent FDA critic, the Public Citizen's Health Research Group, found that of 56 drugs that had to be recalled because of injury or death, only 9 had been released in the US, whereas 31 had been released in France, 30 in Germany, and 23 in Britain.

    Anti-smoking groups consider the attack on the FDA the most dire threat to tobacco regulation, and are urging sympathizers to contact the president, their legislators, and the FDA itself to express support.

    HR 450 PASSES

    Washington, Feb. 13, 1995. The Government Reform and Oversight Committee passed H.R. 450, the regulatory moratorium that would halt all Federal regulatory activity until Dec. 31, 1995. Voting essentially followed party lines, although Representative Connie Morella (R-MD) broke ranks with fellow Republicans and voted against the bill.

    The bill now goes to the House floor for a scheduled Feb. 23 vote.

    HOUSE PASSES HR 450

    Washington. Feb. 24, 1995 The House of Representatives today passed HR 450, the bill that would halt federal regulatory activity for the rest of the year.

    The vote was 276-146. The bill's outlook in the Senate is uncertain. President Clinton has threatened to veto the bill, saying it will cost lives.

    The bill provides for emergency health and safety rules. What this provision means in practice is unclear.

    EPA head Carol M. Browner said, "...the exemption only applies to situations that are immediately life-threatening. We couldn't take action on long-term health risks such as cancer. We'd have to stop rules to control dioxin from incinerators, lead poisoning and bacterial contamination of drinking water."

    Who decides if a situation is an emergency? Sally Katzen, the director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, says the New York Times. The wrong decision by Ms. Katzen could lead to lawsuits from the affected industries.

    Democratic attempts to introduce amendments were beaten down. The amendments were characterized by the bill's sponsor as attempts at "frightening women and children and the elderly."

    SENATE CURBS REGULATIONS BUT REJECTS MORATORIUM

    Washington, DC March 29, 1995. The Senate today passed its version of the Houses regulatory reform bill. While rejecting the Houses one-year moratorium on new federal regulations, the Senate bill would allow Congress 45 days in which to review--and pass legislation to block--any proposed regulations which would cost industry or local goernment over $100 mlliion in one year.

    The differences between the two bills are to be worked out by a House-Senate committee. The committees meetings promise to be stormy.

    The bill passedd the Senate 100-0.

    "This provides an added bite of the apple for industry groups who have lots of high-powered lobbyists at their disposal to try to get regulations reversed or watered down. The opportunity for mischief is just enormous," said a spokesperson for Public Citizen.

    John Glenn (D-OH) said it was a bad idea to give Congress more work.

    With regards to tobacco, the bill would affect:

    --Clean indoor air regulations now being considered by.the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. --The potentiaal regulation of tobacco products as addicting devices by the Food and Drug Administration. --Possible restrictions on tobacco advertising by the Federal Trade Commission.Federal Trade Commission

    LOCAL

    VA: ANTI-LOBBYIST LAW PASSES SENATE

    Richmond, VA. Feb. 17, 1995. The Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would bar politicians from accepting campaign contributions from the sin industries--tobacco, beer and wine, and gambling.

    The bill now goes to the House of Delegates.

    NC: PARENTS CAN OK SCHOOL SMOKING

    Feb. 13, 1995. USA today reports that students at Smithfield-Selma High School can smoke at school, if they have a note from their parents.

    IN: FUROR OVER CHILD ACCESS LAW

    Indianapolis, IN. Feb, 1995. Indiana seems to be facing a similar situation to that California faced last November: a child-access tobacco law has been introduced to the legislature that critics claim is a Trojan Horse which in reality would gut enforcement of present child access laws.

    Senate Bill 595 would

  • --Preempt local laws, and prevent localities from regulating the sale, distribution or promotion of tobacco products.
  • --Establish cigarette vending machine placement restrictions that would invalidate the present law which forbids placement where minors could access them.
  • --Allow friends and family to give children tobacco products.
  • --Require sting operations to be conducted without the use of underage buyers.
  • The bill is opposed by Governor Evan Bayh, local governments and health organizations.

    It is being championed by retailers, grocery and liquor stores, and restaurant and bar owners.

    INTERNATIONAL

    MEXICO: TOBACCO UNDER PRESSURE

    March 10, 1995. Over the last two years, Mexican tobacco companies have suffered a serious decline in sales, due partly to a vigorous anti-smoking campaign by the government and partly to a steady influx of contraband American cigarettes, according to an article by Leslie Moore in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va. The devaluation of the peso has also been a factor.

    In 1993, cigarette sales fell by 7% for the first time in over a decade; in 1994, sales fell again, by 4.5%.

    While the two major Mexican tobacco companies, Cigarros La Tabacalera and Cigarrera La Moderna, have leasing deals with Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds to market some of their brands, Mexican Marlboros are not made in the same way as the US version, and the taste is considered inferior by some.

    Tariffs on American cigarettes are presently 40%. By 1995, they will fall to only 5%. At that time US companies may simply decide to import their own brands.

    Further dogging the Mexican companies is the governments years-old anti- tobacco campaign, which includes TV and radio ads, and features anti- commercial commercials. These TV spots attempt to deconstruct cigarette commercials.

    "Sometimes commercials use tricks to try to get people into smoking. Well, our commercials tell people about the tricks and try to counter that message. It's a commercial with a specific message," said a spokesperson.

    Moore writes, One commercial features a group of striking Mexican women frolicking on a beach. A narrator talks about how smoking used to symbolize a liberated woman. But smoking actually becomes a dependency, the narrator says.

    In another spot, aimed at young men, a group of rugged-looking cowboys saddles up their horses. Other shots show them lassoing cattle and sitting around a campfire - the typical Marlboro ad setting. Then a narrator says that smoking once may have been a sign of virility, but today, everyone knows that it eventually leads to debility.

    To counteract the campaign, La Tabacalera and La Moderna are considering joining forces and creating a Mexican version of the US manufacturers Tobacco Institute.

    BUSINESS

    X CIGARETTES WITHDRAWN

    March 16, 1995. Star Tobacco and Boston-based Stowecroft Brook Distributor have agreed to withdraw X cigarettes, a menthol brand packaged in red, green and black color which seemed to deliberately foster associations with revered black leader Malcolm X. It had been on sale in about 20 states, mostly on the East Coast, for about a year.

    The move came in response to intense pressure from African American groups, angry newspaper editorials, and national public outcry.

    In February, the Boston Globes Derrick Z. Jackson wrote about the new cigarette, prefacing his column with the following quote: 'You are not a drug addict accidentally. Why, the white man maneuvers you into drug addiction." -- Malcolm X, 1963

    Among Jackson's points:

  • --The package itself is black, with a large white X reminiscent of promotional materials for director Spike Lees recent film biography of Malcolm X.
  • --The brand is a menthol, an additive favored by black smokers.
  • --A pack of X sells for only a few cents over $1, less than half what a premium brand sells for.
  • --The brand is the brainchild of Chris Duffy (what was then known as Duffy Distributors) who professed ignorance of possible connections to black culture. "I'm 28 years old. I don't remember a whole lot about Dr. Martin Luther King, he told Jackson. AP's story quotes Samuel Sears, head of Star Tobacco: ""It was just an X. . . Call us dense if you want, but it didn't occur to us."
  • Duffy told Jackson the X stood for X-tra Menthol; he said it also stood for the Roman numeral Ten, as there had been plans to market a ten-pack. When that plan fell through, it was too late to change the packaging.

    "The only reason we used black was that no other brand used it. Green is for menthol, and I don't know why we chose red," AP quotes Duffy.

    AP also reported that Star made the brand for Stowecroft, which had designed and marketed the cigarette.

    AP uniquely referred to the brand as "Menthol X," and quotes Duffy: "It hasn't sold that great anyway."

    The groups involved in forcing the removal of X are:

    African-American Tobacco Education Network (California)

    Churches Organized to Stop Tobacco (COST) The Medical Foundation 95 Berkeley Street Boston, MA 02116 617-451-0049, 617-451-0062 (fax)

    Black Health Education Council 1721 2nd Street, Suite 101 Sacramento, CA 95814 916-556-3344, 916-446-0427 (fax)

    National Association of African Americans for Positive Imagery Rev. Jesse W. Brown, Jr., President/Gladys Inman-Diawara, Project Director P.O. Box 18537 Philadelphia, PA 19129 215-477-4113, 610-617-9972 (fax)

    Rev. Brown was also instrumental in forcing the removal of RJ Reynolds Uptown cigarette in 1989. NAAAPI was formed as an outgrowth of that battle.

    ***

    The manufacturer of X, Star Tobacco, is an upstart 5-year-old company based in Petersburg, VA. Star has the daunting task of trying to break into a market dominated by the Big Five tobacco companies.

    Star is presently the target of a trademark infringement lawsuit filed last January by Philip Morris. The suit claims Stars Gunsmoke cigarette marketing campaign draws on imagery imitative of PMs own Marlboro brand.

    Besides using a cowboy image and typeface similar to Marlboros, Gunsmokes advertising uses slogans like, New Man in Town, and "Welcome to Gunsmoke Country."

    The suit also states that Star's marketing vice president, Scott Feit, is a former Philip Morris employee.

    AOL & NABISCO

    New York, NY. March 29, 1995. The Wall St. Journal reports that Nabisco, the food product subsidiary of tobacco giant RJR Nabisco, is scheduled to sponsor a series of soap operas on America Online. Described as corny, the soaps will feature parallel stories of a group of young Manhattanites, a boy and his dog, and a California couple with three kids.

    Viewers can offer suggestions and discuss the stories online.

    The soaps will be available at an unspecified date through the New York Times section of AOL. In addition, the Journal says, Nabisco offers free gifts, recipes and advice through four brand 'icons' that appear before a reader goes into the stories. The brands included are Milk-Bone dog biscuits, Cream of Wheat cereal, A-1 Steak Sauce and Triscuit crackers.

    LAWSUITS

    AMERICAN EXP. GIVES PM 7 YEARS OF RECORDS

    Feb. 24, 1995. A major focus of Philip Morris' $10 billion dollar libel lawsuit against ABC has been the identity of "Deep Cough," the ex-RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. manager presented on ABC's "Day One" program.

    Last October, in an effort to ferret out his or her identity, Philip Morris sent out subpeonas to credit card, telephone, airline and rental car companies, asking for the records of two Day One producers from the month of January, 1994, when PM believes meetings with "Deep Cough" took place.

    ABC immediately won a delay. In support of ABC, several major news outlets, including the New York Times and the Wall St. Journal, traveled to Richmond, Va., and testified as friends of the court that such a proceeding would be in effect an "end run" around privacy and First Amendment rights.

    But on January 26, the state circuit-court judge ruled PM could indeed gather the information. While other credit card companies took some time to process PM's requests. American Express had the records waiting for PM to pick up on January 27. In fact, AE gave far more than PM asked for--7 years worth of credit card history of the two producers, plus records of people uninvolved in the case. (This occured when AE gave out the records from a corporate card used by producer Walt Bogdanich at his previous job. That card had been shared by his colleagues at the Wall St. Journal.)

    ABC quickly won a delay in the implementation of the court order, but American Express' records were already in Philip Morris' hands, and unaffected. PM returned them on Feb. 17.

    "We believe it is an isolated incident, but are conducting a review to make sure it won't happen again and make adjustments in policy that are needed," said an American Express spokesperson.

    American Express said it has received a few calls about the gaffe, but planned no mailings or advertisements about it.

    Credit card companies are not bound by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which prohibits the release of client information to unauthorized parties.

    American Express Customer Service: 800-922-2839

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    ABC & PM II

    The Feb. 20th Philip Morris Corporate Forum at the PGA National Resort and Spa in West Palm Beach, Fla., featured the topic "Change in Washington: A Media Perspective with Cokie and Steve Roberts."

    So reports James Warren writing in Sunday's Chicago Tribune; he read it on an internal pamphlet which included photos and biographies.

    Cokie Roberts is a regular anchor and reporter for ABC news programs. Considering the pressures her fellow ABC news reporters are under from PM, Warren wondered how this could be.

    A spokesperson denied Ms. Roberts' attendance; the PM forum participant was apparently her husband Steve, who works for US News and World Report.

    Update: A week later, Warren repoted that a PM rep told him Cckie had been scheduled, but had taken ill that weekend.

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    RJR SUES ABC

    Winston-Salem, NC Feb. 25, 1995. RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. also filed suit against ABC today. The Reynolds suit is very similar to PM's, and asks for over $10,000 in damages (amounts aren't specified in NC).

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    STAKE-OUT AT MEDICAL LIBRARY

    San Francisco, CA. Feb. 24, 1995. Brown & Williamson has been accused of sending agents to "stake out" the University of California at San Francisco medical library where copies of "secret" B&W papers--the object of a lawsuit in Louisville, KY--are open for public inspection.

    John Schwartz of the Washington Post reports that B&W has filed a motion in San Francisco Superior Court asking for the papers, along with the names of those viewing them, and the substance of any resulting articles. UCSF has asked the court for protection from alleged B&W surveillance activities.

    UCSF filed a court memorandum which read: "B&W apparently hired two or more private investigators to remain in the public areas outside the Archive Librarian's office to 'stake out' the library" in early February.

    The agents left under threat of arrest, but have returned. The head of the archives believes the "only purpose" for the agents' presence "was harassment and intimidation."

    USCF maintains that "the documents now are in the public domain and are extremely significant in terms of their academic value and their public interest. We believe it's appropriate that they remain in the library."

    These are apparently duplicates of the same 4,000 pages of B&W documents allegedly copied by Merrell Williams, and disseminated to major news organizations. B&W has taken legal steps against most of those news organizations to retrieve the papers.

    Anti-smoking activist and UCSF professor Stanton Glantz reportedly placed the papers in the university's tobacco-oriented archives.

    UCSF has also requested a court order protecting Dr. Glantz from surveillance activities by B&W.

    BUSINESS LAWSUITS

    Its bad enough consumer lawsuits have been battering the tobacco industry. Now this month, two suits have been brought by suppliers to the industry-- companies which seem nervous about getting dragged into tobacco product liability cases.

    Harley Davidson had licensed its trademark for Lorillard to wrap around its cigarettes, and Manville Corp. had supplied fiberglass to be used in RJ Reynolds filter tips. Each company seems to be taking a long hard look at its partner, and wondering whatever could have possessed them last night. Now they just want to get home, but their respective partners are proving to be harshly unrelenting about previous promises.

    Tobacco industry suppliers may be paying special attention to the unexpected blow that hit paper manufacturer Kimberly-Clark Corp.--supplier of paper products and reconstituted tobacco to cigarette manufacturers--when it was named as a co-defendant in the West Virginia lawsuit which seeks reimbursement of Medicaid costs resulting from smoking-related diseases.

    More companies seem to be looking at their tobacco associations as potentially risky endeavors. According to Business Week, Pfizer Inc., for instance, plans to highlight in its first-quarter earnings statement a policy that prohibits units from doing business with Big Tobacco and its suppliers. Tobacco soon could become a very lonely field.

    HARLEY-DAVIDSON PEELS AWAY FROM CIGARETTES

    Cowboys still saddle up. Only today it's not always a sleek stallion. It's a chopper with bright chrome A Loud temper and an unbridled urge to stand out from the herd.

    --advertising copy for Marlboro cigarettes.

    March 22, 1995. Just as Philip Morris is trying to expand the definition of a Marlboro Man to encompass motorcycle-riding, Harley-Davidson has become locked in a bitter court battle trying to end its relationship with Lorillard, the maker of Harley-Davidson cigarettes.

    Harley first allowed the licensing of its name in 1986, when a lot of our riders smoked. For years, the cigarettes were only sold regionally. Then Lorillard made plans to take the brand national.

    In 1993, Harley refused to lend approval to a national ad campaign it felt appealed to children. Lorillard sued. An out-of-court settlement stipulated that Lorillard disclose its true financial condition. Harley apparently suspected that Lorillard was deplet(ing) its assets by paying large dividends to its parent company, Loews Corp., as a hedge against potential product-liability claims.

    Apparently neither side fulfilled its agreement.

    Last week, Lorillard filed a $320 million lawsuit claiming Harley was wrongfully refusing to approve its campaign, and that the true financial condition requirement was an act of bad faith.

    This week, Harley filed a countersuit seeking to terminate its 9-year-old licensing relationship with Lorillard, claiming that the ads could appeal to children, and that Lorillards accounting firm has refused to verify that the company could meet its financial commitments.

    `Children shouldn't smoke. It's immoral and illegal to encourage them to smoke, and we're opposed to any use of our name to induce kids to smoke, said Tim Hoelter, Harleys vice president and general counsel.

    Although Lorillard has agreed to assume all financial liability in the event of a lawsuit, Hoelter said, "We have not been sued, but our name is out there on cigarettes. And we are seeing these massive claims. Our goal is to close the barn door before the horse runs away."

    Richard F. Teerlink, president and chief executive officer of Harley said in a press release, "We make no apologies about our concern for children . . . we were dismayed by Lorillard's 'don't ask' policy when we sought information about how their ads affected kids. And, in light of mounting litigation threats against Lorillard, we certainly can't turn a blind eye toward Lorillard's inability or unwillingness to verify its true financial condition, as this relates directly to its ability to satisfy its future indemnification obligations to us.

    "We've been very concerned about our relationship with Lorillard for the last several years. Lorillard's financial promises to us are worthless once litigation forces cigarette manufacturers into distress or bankruptcy. . . . We are not required to wait until Lorillard has declared bankruptcy before ending this relationship. Our stakeholders . . deserve better stewardship than that."

    The disputed ad campaign featured a "Darth Vader-type motorcycle rider with a background of neon colors . . . clearly derivative of comic book characters and `heavy metal' art that are extremely popular among teenagers, according to Hoelter.

    A Harley spokesperson said the company could tell where Lorillard was test- marketing because of the complaints from customers and dealers that would start pouring in.

    Lorillard claims Harley has blocked virtually any ad that shows a motorcycle or rider.

    GLASS GETS IN YOUR FILTERS

    March 6, 1995. Former asbestos manufacturer Manville Corporation filed suit today to stop providing fiberglass for RJ Reynolds filter tips. The move threatens to derail the introduction of Reynolds smokeless cigarette, Eclipse. Eclipse is the product Reynolds is hoping will help defuse the environmental tobacco smoke issue..

    Three years ago, Manvilles Schuller International unit agreed to supply Reynolds with glass fiber for developmental purposes. Manville said it was comfortable with that arrangement, but did not intend for the fibers to be used in cigarettes sold to consumers.

    There is some concern that inhaled glass fibers may combine with tars to increase chances of lung cancer. Reynolds claims such fibers would become fused by the heat passing through the filter. But Philip Morris patent papers --filed for its own version of a smokeless cigarette--expressed concern that "glass fibers may become dislodged during shipping and migrate through the pack to rest on the mouth end . . . giving rise to the potential for the inhalation of glass fibers."

    Business Week addressed the function of the glass fibers this way: *** John F. Pauly, a researcher at Roswell Park Cancer Institute who has analyzed Eclipse samples, says glass fiber is a key component. "It could be difficult to find a good insulator that's cheap and poses no health problems," he says. "These are high-tech devices. These are not just tobacco wrapped in paper." ***

    According to a spokesperson, RJR claims the suit is just a misunderstanding. . . We fully expect we'll be able to resolve any issues with them in the next few days or weeks.

    Under an avalanche of asbestos-related lawsuits, Manville filed for bankruptcy protection in 1982. After a restructuring in 1988 it agreed to set up a $2.5 billion trust to pay for asbestos claims.

    MARLBORO MAN SHOOTS DOWN GUNSMOKE

    March 21, 1995. Just because the Marlboro Man might like a chopper-ride once in awhile, hes not ready to turn in his horse--or let it get rustled away by some young whipper-snapper looking to make a name. In a copyright infringement suit in US District Court, Philip Morris today won a temporary injunction forbidding the marketing of 5-year-old Star Tobacco Co.s Gunsmoke cigarette brand. PM said the company, one of whose officers is a former PM officer, used packaging and type similar to PMs Marlboro. Gunsmoke has also used evocative slogans such as Theres a new man in town, and Welcome to Gunsmoke Country. Star will appeal.

    Star recently made news in a controversy unrelated to the PM suit. Just last week the company agreed to withdraw its X cigarette brand, which received wide criticism for seeming to trade on an association with Malcolm X. Unmentioned in the news coverage was the irony that Malcolm X had made an anti-smoking commercial in the early 60s.

    PEOPLE

    VICTOR CRAWFORD ON 60 MINUTES

    On Sunday, March 19, 1995, the CBS-TV news show, "60 Minutes" featured ex- tobacco industry lobbyist, Victor Crawford. Mr. Crawford has had throat and lung cancer, and is now an anti-tobacco activist in his home state of Maryland-- which at this moment is undergoing a monumental battle over implementation of the toughest anti-smoking legislation in the nation..

    Leslie Stahl conducted the interview. Below are Mr. Crawfords observations:

    Stahl: You yourself said it wasn't addictive when you were smoking and knew it was addictive.

    Crawford: True. It's not a crime 'cause I wasn't under oath. It wasn't perjury. And it was what I was been paid to do.

    Crawford: Was I lying? Yes, yes. . . Yes, yes. . . Of course. My job was to win. . . Even if you're going out lying about a product that's gonna hurt kids. Your job is to win.

    Stahl: So you took on a black hat. Why did you do it?

    Crawford: Money, big money. The big money. Unfortunately the, uh, the other groups are not in the position to pay, to pay the big bucks, which is necessary to hire the best people.

    . . I could make a phone call and get the Speaker of the House of Delegates out of his bathtub at home to come to the phone.

    . . . My job was to defeat legislation that was gonna hurt the industry. If I couldn't defeat it, then the job was to wound it to the point where it wouldn't fly.

    . . . We were used to bringing scientists out of the woodwork and have this particular lab do this, and we'd have a poll polled by some cockamamie pollster saying this, that or the other.

    . . . just to show him that the jury's still out, that you shouldn't take away anybody's civil rights until you're absolutely sure what you're doing. How can you be absolutely sure when this, this XYZ laboratory, world famous laboratory . . . Why is it world famous? Because I said it is and nobody's checked.

    Stahl: I have to tell you, it's shameful.

    Crawford: It happens. It happens every day. It happens every, in every legislature.

    . . .

    Stahl: And how do you arrange a pro-smoking rally?

    Crawford: Well, the name of just about every smoker who's ever filled out a cigarette coupon or questionnaire goes right into some computer somewhere. . . In some cases, even brands they smoke. How they . . .

    Stahl: Every smoker?

    Crawford: Of course.

    Stahl: Of course?

    Crawford: They send out cards . . .

    Stahl: People are going to be surprised to know that if they're a smoker, just because they're a smoker, their name's on some computer.

    Crawford: Oh sure. How do you think, how do you think all of a sudden in twenty-four hours' notice I was able to turn out a big display, uh, smokers for equal rights waving signs? Where do you think that, all that information comes from?

    Stahl: Well, how did, how did you get those people?

    Crawford: Pick up a phone. Pick up a phone. Call down. Say, "Hey, I need a demonstration. You better get all the troops alerted." And next thing you know, most of 'em show up.

    Stahl: [voiceover] But the demonstration against the proposed ban didn't work. So Crawford tried a new tactic. He denounced the ban's backers as "health Nazis," a term he coined.

    Stahl: What did you mean when you first used it?

    Crawford: I attacked the messenger on the grounds that they were trying to destroy civil liberties, that what they were trying to do was to put their values upon the general public, and try to impose it upon the working man who wants a glass of beer and a pack of cigarettes and destroy his freedom of choice.

    Stahl: I've heard that argument myself.

    Crawford: That's right. If you've got good people arguing for you, you can turn the issue away from the message. That's what I'm saying. Get them away from the focus because you can't defend it. . . Attack the messenger.

    Stahl: You are describing the most cold-hearted, cynical, destructive set of values, I'm sorry, because these were your values.

    Crawford: They were.

    Stahl: And you're just telling it to us as if, sure . . .

    Crawford: It's the American way.

    . . .

    Stahl: You don't smoke any more?

    Crawford: Oh God, no. I still miss it.

    Stahl: You still miss it?

    Crawford: Yeah. Oh yeah.

    Stahl: Come on.

    Crawford: I can still remember how great it was in the morning with that cup of coffee and that cigarette. I mean, even now.

    Stahl: You have a look of close to ecstasy on your face.

    Crawford: If, if it wasn't for this cancer, I'd be smoking. I'm an addict. If you can, statistically if you can hook people like me in their teens, they always stay hooked.

    . . .

    60 Minutes then focused on the federal anti-tobacco actions of 1994, and the radically changed congressional situation now. It told of the new head of the committee which would regulate tobacco, Thomas A. Bliley (R-VA).

    Bliley: There was uh, a uh, a kangaroo court type operation which the chairman brought em in and swore these executives in and treated them rather shabbily and uh, they testified and under oath that they uh, did not spike uh, their cigarettes. And they don't.

    Stahl: Bliley, by the way, represents the Virginia district that includes the headquarters of Philip Morris, maker of Marlboro the world's best selling cigarette.

    Bliley: As far as I'm concerned, uhhh, we have uh, enough laws on the books regulating the uh, sale of tobacco uhhhh, already.

    Crawford: They have the chairman of the committee. Makes no bones - He's from Richmond - that, that he's financed by Philip Morris.

    Stahl: Mr. Bliley?

    Crawford: Yeah. He makes no bones about it

    Stahl: He makes no bones about it?

    Crawford: No. He makes no bones about it. There's no question about it. And he says, no bill will ever get out of his committee.

    Stahl: Then, are you saying he's owned by the tobacco lobby?

    Crawford: Uh, owned? I don't know . . . I would certainly say he's controlled by them.

    If he's, if he's gonna stand up and say that no tobacco bill will ever pass my committee. Ha! That's pretty clear indication where he's coming from and who's, who's pulling his strings.

    Michael Pertschuk (head of the anti-smoking Advocacy Institute): And in every key congressional district Philip Morris hires a particular lobbyist. . . every single key district where they, where there's a key chairman or a key, key member of congress that they need to get. They hire a lobbyist with one purpose, to lobby one member of Congress. . .

    . . .

    The shows last segment focused on the relationship between Crawford and his new close friend--Michael Pertschuk.

    Pertschuk: Now, I didn't know Victor. And I had seen this guy over the years. I mean he was . . . Not only didn't I know who he was, but I didn't like him. I mean, he did this Tai Chi in a way that was sort of uhhh, well, something of a show- off. That's what I thought.

    Crawford: I didn't know who he was. And we were sitting around having breakfast after my Tai Chi. I was taking Tai Chi. I still am for 30 years.

    Pertschuk: And we introduced ourselves around. And he says, "My name is Victor Crawford. I used to be a tobacco lobbyist and now I've got throat cancer. I guess I've got my just desserts." Just like that.

    Stahl: So why is Victor Crawford saying what he's saying?

    Pertschuk: Victor really doesn't give a damn. Victor's really thinking about how he can make some use of the rest of his life.

    Stahl: [to Crawford] Have you heard from your old colleagues?

    Crawford: I have . . . received word back by the grapevine that they, they feel I'm not exactly kosher to bite the hand that fed me. And they have a good point. That's exactly what I'm doing. There's nothing they can do to me. Like I told at, the person that called me. What are you going to do? Give me cancer . . . ? Huh?

    THE FUNNY PAGES

    A new study says that people who quit smoking have healthier lungs . . . Yet another ground-breaking story from the pages of the medical journal, "Duh."

    --Norm MacDonald, Saturday Night Live March 25, 1995

    MR. BUTTS CONSIDERS LAWSUITS

    March 18, 1995. This week Gary Trudeau's "Doonesbury" comic strip once again featured the walking, talking, tobacco-touting lit cigarette, Mr. Butts.

    MR. BUTTS [reading newspaper with headline: "States Out Of Control"]: "So I'm just reading the newspaper, okay? . . Suddenly I see the news that states are pressing class- action suits against tobacco companies! I can scarcely believe my peepers!

    Frankly, I'm steamed! This is supposed to be a conservative era -- with less interference from government! I decided to demand an explanation!

    MR. BUTTS [talking to a floating lit bomb, Trudeaus symbol for Newt Gingrich] What's the deal with all the lawsuits?

    BOMB: I don't control the courts. . . yet.

    MR. BUTTS GOES TO LAW SCHOOL

    MR. BUTTS: So I ask the Speaker, 'What's the deal? I thought you people were going to CONTAIN product liability!

    BOMB: Keep your shirt on!

    MR. BUTTS: ...He admonishes me.

    BOMB: We're getting to it as fast as we can! The problem is the lawyers -- they HATE reform! Take the Florida suit, where the state is trying to recover $1.4 billion in medical costs . . . Know how much the lawyers get if they win? $350 million! That's why they're taking on tobacco! You guys better be READY!

    MR. BUTTS [in a classroom]: Panicked, I enroll in LAW SCHOOL!

    But it turns out to be TOO BORING!"

    MR. BUTTS FRETS ABOUT FLORIDA SUIT

    MR. BUTTS: At first I worry myself sick over the Florida Class-action suit.

    MR. BUTTS: Then suddenly it HITS me! The suit is for only $1.4 Billion! The tobacco companies make more than $50 Billion in the U.S.!

    MR. BUTTS (at a party): So even if we LOSE, we can handle it! Now THATS cause for celebration!

    MR. BUTTS (the partys over): Then I remember--there are 50 states!

    MR. BUTTS: I bum myself totally.

    MR. BUTTS SEES FLORIDA PATIENTS

    MR. BUTTS: (in hospital room) Okay, so I fly down to Florida to see for MYSELF these patients with tobacco-related illnesses!

    DOCTOR: This patient has emphysema. Each day hes in the hospital costs the state $900. Thats why were suing,

    MR. BUTTS: ...claimed the attending doctor!

    MR. BUTTS (alone at night, walking by the shore) Later, I have a dark night of the soul...

    ...I take a long walk...

    ...I agonize...

    MR. BUTTS (in the day, on a beach lounger with a parasol-drink and two blondes): ...I get OVER it!

    Heck, Im in FLORIDA!

    MR. BUTTS VISITS FLORIDA GOVERNOR

    MR. BUTTS: "I decide to take the bull by the horns! I set up an appointment with the GOVERNOR himself!

    MR. BUTTS [in Florida Governor's office]: Governor, if you drive tobacco out of Florida, people will put on WEIGHT! Think of the impact on your BEACHES! And the TOURIST TRADE! Okay?

    GOVERNOR [speaking to a confused-looking Mr. Butts.]: My God sir! People are dying and you speak of WEIGHT GAIN? Have you no shame, sir? Have you finally no SHAME?

    MR. BUTTS [floating in a swimming pool, drink in hand]: I extend my visit to think it over! (Thought balloon): Wonder what he meant by shame . . ."

    MR. BUTTS GETS BACK TO WORK

    MR. BUTTS (at poolside with his drink): "On the face of it, not such a hot week for Old Buttsie, right? Wrong.

    MR. BUTTS: You see, I suddenly remembered something: we never lose lawsuits! Since 1954, we've won 800 in a row!

    MR. BUTTS: So what was I worried about? The INDUSTRY had things under control! It was time for me to get back to what I do BEST!"

    [Mr. Butts is sitting on a staircase, talking to a crowd of kids]

    KID: "And that's why you're talking to US?"

    MR. BUTTS: "That's right, Suzy! And to kids JUST LIKE you all over Florida!"



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  • 1996 Gene Borio, Tobacco BBS (212-982-4645). WebPage: http://www.tobacco.org).Original Tobacco BBS material may be reprinted in any non-commercial venue if accompanied by this credit

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