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Action Smoking Health Australia Tobacco industry news – RICO convicted racketeers


2006: US District Court Judge Gladys Kessler’s damning judgment against Big Tobacco in a landmark US government lawsuit against the major companies.

She found they’d violated civil racketeering laws, defrauded the public, lied for decades about targeting of children and health risks of smoking.

See summary at and  full judgment     Some excerpts:

[The tobacco companies] have not ceased engaging in unlawful activity… Their continuing conduct misleads consumers in order to maximize … revenues

by recruiting new smokers (the majority of whom are under the age of 18), preventing current smokers from quitting, and thereby sustaining the industry.

[This industry] … survives, and profits, from selling a highly addictive product which causes diseases that lead to a staggering number of deaths…

an immeasurable amount of human suffering and economic loss, and a profound burden on our national health care system.

Defendants have known these facts for at least 50 years or more… [but] have  consistently, repeatedly, and with enormous skill and sophistication, denied these facts

to the public, to the Government, and to the public health community… [they] have marketed and sold their lethal products with zeal, with deception,

with a single-minded focus on their financial success, and without regard for the human tragedy or social costs that success exacted.

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