Light Cigarette Suit Snuffed Out by Illinois High Court

Editorial - 08.27.07
Garnet Dawn - Illinois Smokers Rights

I am the first to loudly proclaim that smoking is not "addictive" in the true sense of the word. I am pro-choice and have never received a penny from the tobacco industry. Still, I need to side with big tobacco about these very tired "light" cigarette ongoing law suits.

Cigarette manufacturers are capitalists...they are in business for profit. They were running scared from our US health agencies for over 40 years and never said cigarettes were good for smokers. They said smoking made you feel good...and they were right.

I simply want to make it clear that our "nanny state" legislators and US appointed health gurus never knew what they were talking about from the beginning. Maybe smoking isn't the wisest choice, but stacked up against so many other health choices and habits, to me it's still a very viable and attractive choice.

Big tobacco tried to comply with all the federal harassment they were receiving by complying with demands for low tar and nicotine. Then they devised the best way to market the forced introduction of these lower tar cigarettes by calling them "light". I call that creative advertising.

The actual wording "less harmful" came from our heralded (and appointed) government health leaders, for whom we aren't even allowed to vote into office. People who smoked light cigarettes did it because they liked the taste. End of subject.

(I remember the common statement about, say for example, Kents. It was, "I'm not smoking those, or I'll get a hernia trying to get a decent drag from one!")

Just because some surviving widow or widower read that an old lady made a million in a law suit because she dumped a hot cup of coffee on her lap at a drive-up fast food place, these people jumped on the band wagon, hoping to sue for big bucks. Tillery in Madison County, IL just happened to be unscrupulous and willing to take these cases and drag them out forever. He reminds me of a small time Banzhaf.

No, cigarettes are NOT addictive, but some people preferred the "light" cigarettes. Each to their own. The disgusting part is when a few greedy, amoral people try to get rich from a personal preference, life-style choice.

The following text is referenced from an actual newspaper photocopy, archived from a Washington D.C. Associated Press news story in January 1972. It details the most recent report from the Surgeon General at that time, Jesse L. Steinfeld. That story supports my belief that big tobacco was coerced by powerful governmental forces 35 years ago to produce "light" cigarettes for consumption by the public. Reduced tar and nicotine levels were directly promoted by Surgeon General, Jesse L. Steinfeld and Health Secretary, Elliot L. Richardson to Congress and supported by Sen. Frank Moss. These recommendations were contested, even at that time, by scientists who felt the reduced nicotine and tar could have long term harmful effects.

If anyone should be blamed for any health damage to smokers of "light" cigarettes, it should be our own US government officials.

Monday, January 10, 1972
Surgeon General asks safer smoking

'....Jesse L. Steinfeld said...."We must also, however, work towards reducing the dangers of smoking for those who have not quit by developing less-hazardous cigarettes and encouraging less-hazardous ways of smoking,"......

...."The report, the fifth in a series since the first 1964 surgeon general's report linked cigarette smoking to disease and premature death, recommended that primary emphasis in developing a safer cigarette be aimed at reduction of carbon monoxide, nicotine and tar. Sen. Frank Moss immediately announced that his Senate Commerce subcommittee will hold hearings Feb. 1, 3 and 10 to consider legislation setting tar and nicotine limits.

Health Secretary Elliot L. Richardson, in a letter accompanying the new smoking report, told Congress his department supports regulatory efforts by the Federal Trade Commission to require health warnings in cigarette advertising along with listings of each brand's tar and nicotine content. Printed health warnings now are required on cigarette packages. "Should these efforts fail, however, we would return to our previous recommendations tliat this should be accompanied through legislative action," he said.

The report said carbon monoxide, nicotine and tar are "most likely to contribute to the health hazards of smoking." Removal of six other substances described as probable contributors should be given second priority, it said, before efforts are made to reduce several other compounds considered suspected contributors.

The report noted disagreement among scientists, however, as to whether lower nicotine cigarettes actually would curb smoking diseases. "An alternative point of view held by some is that smoking behavior is a response to the need to reach a certain nicotine level and that lowering the amount of nicotine available from a cigarette may result in an increase in the number of cigarettes smoked, the depth of inhalation or the number of puffs in order to maintain an accustomed level," the report said. "Such an increase in smoking might result in an increased inhalation of other hazardous substances in the smoke........'

Garnet Dawn Scheuer
The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Light Cigarette Suit Snuffed Out by Ill. High Court
Jim Suhr
The Associated Press
August 24, 2007

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