The $206 Billion Dollar Settlement
Dear NV, What about the great lawsuit settlement between the state's attorneys general and the nicotine industry? How much of that $206 Billion dollar settlement will go to the victims?
The $206 Billion settlement of the 1997 law suit was "reluctantly agreed to" by the nicotine industry. The phrase "reluctantly agreed to" should always be translated as "laughing all the way to the bank". Over the next 25 years this settlement will transfer many billions to politicians in the state governments, tobacco farmers and certain attorneys involved in the case. Not only will the victims not receive a penny but the cost of their addiction has, and will continue to, increase to cover the cost of these payments.
The state and national governments were already business partners with the nicotine industry through the taxes the industry "reluctantly agreed to" years ago. The situation is much worse now! In order to receive this great windfall of money the states are now totally dependent on the nicotine industry staying in business for the next twenty-five years and addicting ever more of our children who will ultimately be the ones to pay for this settlement with their money and lives. (NV_1999)
Unfortunately confirmation of our position can be found in this Baltimore Sun article where "health advocates" express concern and surprise that the nicotine industry continues to make a profit after the "Great Settlement".
Controlling the Language of the Debate
Dear NV. Isn't tobacco just another agricultural crop, same as soy beans, cotton, etc?
The nicotine industry promotes that perception. Controlling the language of the debate is one of the ways they win. Tobacco is a crop but its active ingredient is an addictive nerve poison. Only when the non-addicted public perceives arsenic in a better light than nicotine will the problem start to be solved.
Why anti-smoking doesn't work.
Dear NV. Why isn't the anti-smoking media campaign more effective?
Most of the well meaning "anti-smoking" messages could not be more ineffective if they were written in the boardrooms of the nicotine companies. Using the industry's language they, in one form or another, simply say you should not smoke, it is bad for your health, etc., i.e. the same as too much fatty foods or no exercise. What these messages do provide (remember many are in fact paid for by the nicotine industry under the recent settlement) is an effective defense for the industry in court when their attorneys point to them as warning the victim that he or she should quit and since the victim did not after all the warnings, they should not be awarded any damages. The core issue of most victim's inability to terminate the chemical addiction to this nerve poison is ignored. Read actual excerpts from closing argument by a nicotine attorney in a lung cancer case.
Teenagers - What it's All About
Dear NV. Why do most victims become addicted while still teenagers?
That has been the industry's marketing plan for decades. In most areas the nicotine was sold by the local candy wholesaler and it continues to be retailed as close to children's candy as possible. Recently some of the medical community is waking up to what the industry has known for decades. See this CNN article from the Massachusetts School of Medicine article.
Source: The National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
Recently much ado was made by Congress, the President and the media, because a new law withholds millions of dollars from states that do not lower their DUI (driving under the influence) limit to .08% blood alcohol. The claim was that this could save as many a 500 lives per year in the US. That comes out to saving 1.36 lives per day. Yet over 1,000 per day die in the US because of nicotine addiction and nothing really ever changes. Where is the outrage?