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Judge Rules Against Big Tobacco
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled Thursday that the tobacco industry engaged in racketeering, finding in favor of the government in its lawsuit against the tobacco industry in a 1,653-page ruling.
Kessler found the conspiracy dates back to 1953, when a group of tobacco companies met together at the Plaza Hotel in New York City and devised a public relations plan to counter health concerns associated with smoking.
Kessler said that, even after the 1964 Surgeon General's report linking smoking to lung cancer, tobacco companies continued "to falsely deny and distort the serious health effects of smoking."
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US Surgeon General's 2006 Report on Secondhand Smoke
U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona today issued a comprehensive scientific report which concludes that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent and lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent. The finding is of major public health concern due to the fact that nearly half of all nonsmoking Americans are still regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.
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