Behind the settlement
This past November the tobacco industry agreed to give $208 billion to the states over the next 25 years. The tobacco companies want us to think that they have redeemed themselves from their evil deeds. But the truth is that they've engineered a settlement that may be one of the best con jobs in American history.
The industry's exploitation of the American public began in the 1950s when scientific evidence was establishing the insidious effects of tobacco. Although in 1954 the tobacco industry proclaimed in nationwide ads that it would cooperate with scientists to keep smokers informed, it failed to do so. Instead it concealed the truth, withheld evidence from the U.S. surgeon general, and continued its campaigns to lure young people into nicotine addiction.
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