tobacco

Florida Supreme Court Refuses To Take Up Tobacco Case

Dec 5, 2017

In a victory for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the Florida Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case that initially involved a more than $23 billion verdict against the cigarette maker.

The use of electronic cigarettes by middle and high school students in the United States has dropped for the first time since the federal government started tracking the use of these products by young people.

The number of teenagers using e-cigarettes fell from 3 million in 2015 to 2.2 million in 2016, according to a report published Thursday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Appeals Court Deals Blow To Tobacco Companies

May 19, 2017
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More than a decade after the Florida Supreme Court opened the floodgates for lawsuits against tobacco companies, an Atlanta-based appeals court this week rejected arguments that could have helped shield cigarette makers in legal battles about smoking-related illnesses and deaths.

Tobacco Companies Appeal $35M Sick Smoker Case

May 17, 2017
wp paarz / Flickr

Two cigarette makers are asking the Florida Supreme Court to take up a case in which an appeals court said a longtime smoker and his wife should receive $35 million because of “intentional” wrongdoing in the past by the tobacco industry.

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Justices Deal Blow To Tobacco Industry

Apr 10, 2017
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As cigarette makers continue facing a barrage of lawsuits in Florida, state Supreme Court justices this week rejected arguments by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company that federal law should shield it from liability.

California's decision to legalize marijuana was touted as a victory for those who had argued that the state needed a system to decriminalize, regulate and tax it.

But the new law, approved by voters on Nov. 8, also could be a boon to the tobacco industry at a time when cigarette smoking is down and cigarette companies are looking for ways to expand their market, according to researchers in Los Angeles County and around the state.

Tobacco Free Florida is partnering with a state workforce board to help unemployed Floridians who smoke have a better chance at employment.

Supreme Court Turns Down Appeal In Tobacco Case

Aug 31, 2016
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to take up an appeal by a woman who sued tobacco companies after her husband died of cancer following decades of smoking.

Supreme Court To Take Up Tobacco Damages Dispute

May 27, 2016
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The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to take up a case in which an appeals court rejected a $30 million punitive-damages award against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co, according to an online docket. 

For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration has ordered a major tobacco company to stop selling several types of cigarettes.

The FDA on Tuesday ordered the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to stop selling four products: Camel Bold Crush, Vantage Tech 13 and the regular and menthol versions of Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter cigarettes.

The CVS retail chain is no longer selling tobacco products in its 7,700 stores -- including at more than 700 stores in Florida -- about a month before schedule, according to the South Florida Business Journal. The company, which stands to lose about $2 billion in annual tobacco sales, is also changing its name to CVS Health.

RJ Reynolds Fighting $23.6B in Damages

Jul 21, 2014

The nation's No. 2 cigarette maker is vowing to fight a jury verdict of $23.6 billion in punitive damages in a lawsuit filed by the widow of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. executive J. Jeffery Raborn has called the damages awarded by a Pensacola jury "grossly excessive and impermissible under state and constitutional law."

It's the Law: No E-Cigs for Kids

Jun 27, 2014

   A new state law banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors goes into effect next week.

Under the bill, it also is illegal for minors to possess e-cigarettes.

Some e-cigarettes look like traditional cigarettes. But instead of tobacco, e-cigarettes vaporize a mixture of flavorings - and nicotine.

Still, they are addictive and until recently, there were no laws in Florida banning their sale to people under the age of 18. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t issued any official rules concerning them.

Health groups are fighting a House measure that they claim will put tobacco products into teens’ hands, the News Service of Florida reports. The Florida House measure HB 169 would prevent those under 18 from buying electronic cigarettes, among other restrictions.

A bill to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors gained legislative support this week, according to the Miami Herald.

Reps. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, and Doc Renuart, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, sponsored the House version, which won approval from its first committee. The Senate version, (SB224), passed through two committees, including Appropriations.

Several cities also have made it illegal to sell e-cigarettes to minors, the Herald reports. 

Saying it is "the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health," the CEO of CVS Caremark announced Wednesday that the company's 7,600 pharmacies will stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products by Oct. 1.

Larry Merlo also said CVS will try to help those who want to quit smoking with a "robust national smoking cessation program" at its locations.

The teen smoking rate in Florida is at a record low, according to a new national report. As the Orlando Sentinel reports, the national rate is 15.8 percent; Florida’s is much lower at 8.6 percent. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says Florida’s anti-tobacco campaign is so effective they point to as a “model.” 

Doctors do make a difference when it comes to keeping children and teenagers from taking up tobacco. This may sound like a no-brainer, but until recently there wasn't strong evidence that anti-smoking efforts by pediatricians and other primary care doctors make a difference.

Courtesy of Grossman family

When Laura Grossman died of lung cancer in 1995, the 38-year-old had smoked for more than half her life, having gotten hooked at 15.  On Wednesday, a Broward jury said R.J. Reynolds should pay $37.5 million in damages, according to the Orlando Sentinel.  The tobacco company is expected to appeal. 

Most smokers want to quit. But how to nudge them in that direction is up for debate.

The health law allows new individual and small group health plans to charge smokers up to 50 percent higher premiums next year.

Luke Johnson / Tampa Tribune

Electronic cigarettes, which substitute water vapor for smoke, are growing in popularity, with new stores popping up all around. The Tampa Tribune reports that more than 20 percent of adult smokers across the country have tried “e-cigarettes,” which are not regulated by the FDA and contain varying amounts of nicotine and come in all kinds of flavors. Public health officials say they haven’t been adequately tested, but some former smokers swear by them. 

Smoking is expensive, and not just for the person buying the cigs. Employers are taking hard looks at the cost of employing smokers as they try to cut health insurance costs, with some refusing to hire people who say they smoke.

But figures on the cost of smoking have been rough estimates at best, with a very general estimate of $193 billion a year nationwide.

Researchers now say they're got much tighter focus on the number: $5,800 per smoker per year.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

A state-funded smoking cessation program has been a huge success, Florida health officials say. As the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports, Tobacco Free Florida has helped 72,000 smokers quit since the program launched in 2007. 

 

After a five-month investigation, Matt Dixon of the Florida Times-Union reports that the Legislature gave the tobacco industry a windfall in 2009 by passing an industry-written bill. The Senate President at the time, Mike Haridopolos, was getting free rides on industry jets at the time it went through.