The Criminal Case

1954The Tobacco Industry Research Committee (later becomes Council on Tobacco Research) issues a "Frank Statement" to the public, a nationwide two-page ad that states cigarette makers don't believe their products are injurious to a person's health.

1963Brown & Williamson general counsel Addison Yeaman notes in a memo, "Nicotine is addictive. We are, then, in the business of selling nicotine, an addictive drug."

1964U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issues the first surgeon general report citing health risks associated with smoking.

1965U.S. Congress passes the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, requiring a surgeon general's warning on cigarette packs.

1971All broadcast advertising for cigarettes is banned.

1982U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop finds that secondhand smoke may cause lung cancer.

1988Judge Lee Sarokin rules that he has found evidence of tobacco industry conspiracy in the Cipollone case; Liggett is ordered to pay Cipollone $400,000 in compensatory damages.

1992Matthew Fishbein and other US Attorneys from the Eastern District of New York open a federal probe into criminal wrongdoing by the tobacco industry, focusing on Judge Sarokin's ruling in the Haines case; Sarokin called the industry the "king of concealment."

4/14/94Seven tobacco company executives testify during Rep. Henry Waxman's congressional hearings that they believe "nicotine is not addictive."

May 1994Scruggs hand carries Brown & Williamson internal documents to Rep. Waxman in Washington.

5/7/94New York Times publishes Brown & Williamson internal documents, saying they were received by a government official.

5/12/94Stan Glantz at the University of California receives Brown & Williamson internal documents from "Mr. Butts."

July 1994Justice Dept opens criminal investigation into possible perjury by top tobacco company executives in their testimony before the Congress during the Waxman hearings.

12/14/94Congressman Marty Meehan sends an 111-page prosecution memo to the Justice Department, requesting that Janet Reno open a formal criminal investigation against the tobacco industry and several of their law firms and industry organizations.

Dec 1995Jeffrey Wigand is questioned by US Justice Dept officials (grand jury testimony) in the criminal investigation of the tobacco Industry.

6/20/97The tobacco companies and state attorneys general announce a landmark $368.5 billion settlement agreement

1/7/98Justice Department brings charges against the DNA Plant Technology Corporation for their cooperation in developing Y-1 Tobacco, with high levels of nicotine and illegally exporting seeds to Brazil. DNA Plant Technology settles the case in exchange for testimony against Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company.

1/29/98Tobacco executives testify before Congress that nicotine is addictive under current definitions of the word and smoking may cause cancer.

 

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