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In quiet town, big tobacco company keeps its skeletons

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dArKeR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 06:04 AM
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In quiet town, big tobacco company keeps its skeletons
By Jamie Doward
THE GUARDIAN
Friday, Sep 19, 2003,Page 9

The ultra-modern, glass-fronted building has no name and no number. To enter the two-story office block in a nondescript business park in Guildford, southern England, you have to have made an appointment weeks in advance.

Outside the building stands a uniformed security guard. Inside, a CCTV camera tracks your moves and staff can watch you from behind a two-way mirror. A helpful minion points out the bathrooms before laying out the ground rules. There is to be no photocopying of documents. All requests to obtain copies of documents have to go through a City law firm.

This is the library that houses the archives of British American Tobacco (BAT), the UK's largest tobacco company, valued on the London Stock Exchange at a fraction under ?13.5 billion. This is the library assembled by the biggest team of paralegals in UK history. It contains 41,000 files -- a total of 8 million pages -- that chronicle how the tobacco industry has anticipated every threat to its existence for the past five decades.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/edit/archives/2003/09/1...
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Cappurr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 07:21 AM
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1. You know what really pisses me off?
I've been smoking since I was 13 and was fully addicted almost immediately. This was a few years BEFORE the Surgeon General's report and no-body really thought there were health risks. Oh I was told it "would stunt my growth" but since I am female and was 5 10' by the time I started smoking stunting my growth was not a big worry. Now, decades later, I learn all the real health risks. It is extremely hard to stop (thus far, for me it has been impossible). Now smoking is no longer "cool" so you have huddle outside with other disgusting creatures who don't know how to behave civilly. You can't find a resturant anymore where you can smoke. Hell, I even get dirty looks smoking on the beach (and I do NOT throw my butts on the ground.)

So just because I watched too many James Dean movies, and all my friends thought it was cool to smoke and the tobacco company happily helped us become addicted, I not only have to worry about cancer and emphsemia, but I gotta pay hughe taxes (sin taxes) on each pack of cigarettes. Pardon me, but wasn't it the government that was making everything so easy for the tobacco companies back then? There were no rules against selling cigarettes to minors when I was a child. Please....why am I paying a "sin tax". Don't you think the Tobacco companies committed the sin, not some dumbfuck thirteen year old kid trying to impress the boys.
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rock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I'm a long time smoker too (since I was 11)
If they were wrong on the 'stunt your growth', why would we believe anything else they say? They lie. Smoking may be unhealtful, but we'll never know. Everyone has a prediposition on the subject and nobody wants to do anything reasonable (for example legalize safer drugs). Screw 'em.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. "Smoking may be unhealt[h]ful, but we'll never know"???
I have a database of some 250 persons that I've interviewed who have lost their health to smoking. You can ask them whether they know smoking is unhealthful or not. Well, at least you can ask the survivors, because I know that in the time since I talked with quite a number of them, they've died. What kind of nonsense is that? Smoking "may be" unhealthful?

Smoking is deadly and addictive. Of that, there is not the slightest controversy among informed medical opinion. Tobacco companies, including BAT, Philip Morris and RJR Nabisco, have lied for decades about what they know about smoking, its impact on smokers' health, its addictiveness, and their own manipulation of tobacco and nicotine levels to keep smokers addicted.

Tobacco companies have also engaged in a methodical, systematic program of fraud on the public to maintain a "false controversy"* over the dangers of smoking, and to provide a psychological "crutch" for smokers to justify keeping up their habit. Tobacco companies have researched the properties of tobacco and smoke to a fare-thee-well, calculating exactly how much nicotine each cigarette must deliver to keep a statistically valid number of smokers smoking to maintain their high profit margins. In addition to research on nicotine, and manipulation of levels of nicotine, tobacco companies have also "cured" tobacco with various substances, including sugars and ammonia, which increase the nicotine "kick" during combustion.

The data and the research are fully compiled on smoking, and the deceptive practices of tobacco companies to maintain a false controversy over smoking and health have long been discredited. Tobacco companies have made billions and billions of dollars in profits off the intentional infliction of misery and death on millions of smokers. They have used their blood money to buy the cooperation of government agencies and regulators who are supposed to work on behalf of public health, not compromise it. If you're unsure whether smoking is unhealthful, it's because the tobacco companies have spent a lot of money to persuade you of that. Take the blinders off.

*These quotations are from plaintiff's exhibits of Philip Morris documents in the trial of Williams v. Philip Morris, Multnomah County Circuit Court (Oregon) case number 9705-03957.
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