Debate and Issues Index

draft settlement

Cigarette Makers Are Just Using Smokers

An editorial in the DALLAS MORNING NEWS points out that the tobacco companies that recently raised the price of cigarettes 40-50 cents a pack to pay for the multi-state settlement are the same people who balked at the federal legislation that included a cigarette excise tax because it would be a "tax on smokers."

"The fact that the tobacco companies are unwilling to allow their shareholders to bear the cost of the settlement, but, rather, insist on passing those costs on to smokers proves the tobacco companies were never truly concerned about smokers' pocketbooks..."

"I believe that their real opposition to the legislation was regulation. The industry realized that having its product nicotine regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as a drug (as the legislation would have done) was just too big a risk to their long-term financial interests..."

Now smokers are learning the truth: cigarette makers never really cared about the price smokers paid for cigarettes nor did they intend to spare smokers the costs of the states' lawsuits. In fact, cigarette makers were just USING smokers. Of course, they have been doing this all along!

Source: Kortney Kloppe-Orton, "Cigarette Makers' Duplicity," DALLAS MORNING NEWS (on-line), December 15, 1998, p. A24.