Originally created 11/28/98

Notes states 'guilty' on tobacco 112898 - The Augusta Chronicle



I see that "Big Tobacco" -- a name selected as if the agencies against them are the "little guy" -- has signed agreements to provide billions to the states for health care. Supposedly, this ends state lawsuits against those tobacco companies. Humph!

If you want to talk about suits, I would suggest citizens examine the states' role in tobacco use. The states suing tobacco companies are doing something almost criminally incredible: suing companies that the state permitted, licensed, regulated, taxed and even subsidized in the production of commercial tobacco -- all the while ignoring the advice of their own public health departments!

That's right -- states paid tobacco growers to do so at the same time their health departments were clamoring for them to stop! Hmmm. Which has the greater duty to ensure the welfare of its people -- the state, or a commercially licensed company?

A business law principle is that an individual or entity with access control allowing a contestable activity to occur may appear as defendant in an action. People, don't forget to include the State of Georgia or South Carolina if you wish to sue about a tobacco issue. That's who allowed the trade in cigarettes to reach you!

John Culbert, Williston