Nowadays, the most commonly-spread form is the filter-tipped cigarette; big companies like Philip Morris use machines which can produce thousands of cigarettes a minute; the cigarette becomes omnipresent during the 20th century: from the middle-class person to the worker, from the student to the gangster, it is on everyone's lips; according to the way of smoking, it can be associated with very different images (composure, cool, smartness, nervousness...); but of course, its fame isn't so good today, since medical statistics put thousands of deaths each year down to tobacco.
This article emanates from the Members of Parliament's report against Imperial Tobacco Company. It tackles the problem of the sale of illegally smuggled cigarettes, which is provoked by the lack of a good cooperation between the State and Imperial Tobacco that would aim at curbing cigarette smuggling. Such a situation has two bad impacts: on the one hand, from the point of view of the taxpayer (When customs asked legitimate questions about this activity Imperial's approach was to fob them off [l.55 to 58], enormous losses to the public purse [l.61-62]), and on the other hand, from the companies' point of view (It cannot help Imperial Tobacco's good name if there is a question mark over their attitude [l.68 to 70]).
Edward Leigh, the Tory Chairman of the committee, suggests two main solutions: providing more timely responses to customs' requests for information [l.64 to 66] and exercising greater discretion in their choice of markets [l.66 to 68]. But there is still a gap between the wish and the reality; thus, a full criminal investigation [l.81] has been called for.
[...] - 2002: miscellaneous amendments, the Tobacco Bill 2002, is introduced in order to further protect Victorian from the effects of passive smoking. People started being told about the tobacco dangers quite many years ago and there have been lawsuits against tobacco companies for several years; therefore, it is a well-known issue, which may explain that we don't find lots of long articles about it nowadays. “Imperial Tobacco accused of aiding sale of smuggled cigarettes”, by David Hencke (Guardian Weekly); published in January 2003. [...]
[...] - 1927: first woman body on a Marlboro pack. After the Second World War: at the same time as the cigarette success undoubted from then on, the first worries appear and get more and more serious: - the Second World War: that period puts the cigarette on an international level; the cinema, advertising, the media, broadcast pictures of exoticism, free time, in a society in which work lasts, in which people are in a hurry and in which social relations lack links; American soldiers get to the countries that they help (such as France) with vans of cigarettes, which makes the American way of life attractive. [...]
[...] - 1971: all the tobacco brand names manufactured in the EEC have a hand on the whole market. Recent developments in the tobacco industry : -since 1994: the tobacco industry has been the subject of a series of lawsuits brought by individual US states, which have led to two multi- million dollar out-of-court settlements; the states sued to recoup the cost to Medicaid of treating tobacco-related diseases; this in turn has led to lawsuits brought by private citizens, insurance companies and class actions. [...]
[...] The US legal system and contingency fees. The lawsuits against tobacco companies have an impact too. They put the stress on a characteristic of the US legal system that is highly controversial: the contingency fees. “Five Texas lawyers have been awared a record $ 3.3 billion in fees for reaching a $ 17.3 billion settlement in the state's lawsuit against the tobacco industry earlier this year. [ . ]The lawyers were hired on the understanding that they would earn nothing if they lost the state's lawsuit, filed against a group of big tobacco companies to recoup healthcare costs incurred treating smoking-related diseases over the past three decades.” (The Times). [...]
[...] - 1520: the Spanish conquistadors, after coming to Mexico, notice that Emperor Motecuhzoma smokes tobacco rolls trimmed with gorgeous drawings and gold. - 1584: tobacco growing in Virginia, then in Northern Carolina, Maryland and Kentucky. - 17th century: in Great-Britain, navigator Walter Raleigh makes pipe- smoking popular, which becomes a spread habit on the island. Birth of the cigarette, inspired from the South-American papelito; development of its marketing: - 1844: the French man Le Maire invents the first tobacco-rolling machine. [...]
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