Tobacco, Secondhand Smoke and the Law

Legal Strategies Related to ETS
Florida Jury Holds RJR Accountable
Jury Finds TI Not Liable In Secondhand Smoke Case
Tobacco Companies Suing Massachusetts
Sunday Paper Wrapped In Cigarette Ads Angers Readers
Philip Morris Ingratiates New York Lawmakers
Justice Department Tobacco Civil Suit Faces LongRoad
Senator Durbin Seeks Investigation Of Bidis
South Dakota Toughens Youth Access Law
PM Ordered to Supply Data on Secondhand Smoke
PM "willful, malicious, sneaky" - Jury Awards $81 Million
Minnesota Lawyer Aids Justice Department Lawsuit
Ontario To Sue U.S. Tobacco Companies
Supreme Court Decides To Hear FDA Appeal
Utah Couple Sue Neighbor For Smoking
Florida Flight Attendants' Settlement Upheld
Indian Tribes In North Dakota File Suit Against Industry
Teacher Files Suit Against Student Over Secondhand Smoke
Forty-six States Settle With Big Tobacco
Second-Hand Smoke Leads Neighbors To Court

Citizens for Clean Air and Clean Lungs

Another Flight Attendants ETS Class Action Lawsuit Moves Forward
On December 11th, 2000, a divided U.S. Supreme Court let stand a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision of April 6, 2000 which will enable a class action lawsuit to proceed against Northwest Airlines on behalf of flight attendants who claim they were harmed by secondhand smoke on flights to Asia.

In ruling 6 to 3 not to hear the appeal of Northwest Airlines in this case, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for a federal District Court in Washington state to begin further legal proceedings in the case (Julie Duncan v. Northwest Airlines) in which flight attendants are seeking tens of millions of dollars for up to 4,000 flight attendants who were forced to breath secondhand smoke on long flights to Asia after Northwest Airlines had banned smoking on domestic flights many years previously. Go to the SFELP Recent ETS News site for a news article on this case, and for direct links to the U.S. Supreme Court decision, and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court decision.

Source: Jim Bergman
Smoke-Free Environments Law Project
The Center for Social Gerontology
Ann Arbor, Michigan

California Smoker Wins $1.5M in Lawsuit
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 10, 1999 (AP) -- A smoker who sued Philip Morris after being diagnosed with inoperable cancer won $1.5 million Tuesday (Feb. 9th) in the first case to reach trial since California lifted a ban on lawsuits by individuals against tobacco companies.
UPDATE: Jury awards Patricia Henley $50 million in punitive damages (full story).

Judge Strikes Down NYC Outdoor Tobacco Ad Ban
A federal judge yesterday struck down a New York City law that would have banned outdoor cigarette advertisements within 1,000 feet of schools, playgrounds, arcades and youth centers, and would have prohibited store owners from placing tobacco ads in doors and windows. In her ruling, Judge Deborah Batts found that the city's law is preempted by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, which prevents states from addressing health concerns by passing more aggressive tobacco advertising restrictions than are already imposed by federal law.

Advertising trade groups and a coalition of grocery stores that sued to block the law said they were vindicated by the ruling. "The issue we are dealing with is our right to advertise perfectly legal products. This was an attack by the health police, who were willing to destroy us to accomplish their goal," said Howard Tisch, president of the Metropolitan Food Council. City Council Speaker Peter Vallone said he would appeal the ruling. "Today's decision is a setback for the children of New York City. All research shows that teen-age smoking is skyrocketing, and one of the biggest reasons is the advertising targeting young people," Vallone said.

Source(s): NEW YORK TIMES, (12/16/98) "Law Limiting Cigarette Ads Is Overturned", Abby Goodnough, p. A27
WALL STREET JOURNAL, (12/16/98) "Federal Judge Strikes Down Ban Against Tobacco Ads In New York", Paul Barrett, p. B8
USA TODAY, (12/16/98) "Tobacco Ads", p. A3

South Dakota Extends Smoking Ban To State Prisons
In South Dakota, the State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls and the Springfield State Prison will be smokefree, starting January 1, 1999.
Update: Inmates can no longer smoke at the South Dakota State Penitentiary, but prisoners will still be allowed to use ceremonial pipes for American Indian religious ceremonies.

Source: "South Dakota," USA TODAY, December 18, 1998, p. A8.
USA TODAY, January 12, 1999, p. A11.

Commentary: It seems that some prisoners now have the right to cleaner air than most apartment dwellers and individuals who reside in group-living areas.

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