Major Events in Fight vs. Tobacco
Major events in the fight over tobacco in the United States:
1954 - Industry faces first liability lawsuit by lung cancer victim alleging negligence and breach of warranty. Suit dropped 13 years later.
1964 - Surgeon general releases reports concluding smoking causes lung cancer.
1965 - Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act requires warnings on cigarette packs.
1967 - Government requires one antismoking advertisement for every three cigarette ads.
1971 - Broadcast ads for cigarettes are banned.
1972 - Officials rule airlines must create nonsmoking sections.
1981 - Insurers offer discounts on life insurance premiums to nonsmokers.
1984 - Warnings strengthened on cigarette packages and ads. Nicotine-based chewing gum approved as quitting aid. San Francisco requires businesses to accommodate nonsmokers.
1988 - Government bans smoking on short domestic airline flights. Surgeon general concludes nicotine is an addictive drug.
1990 - Smoking banned on interstate buses and domestic airline flights of six hours or less.
1992 - Nicotine patches introduced.
1993 - Vermont bans smoking in indoor public places.
April 1994 - Executives of seven largest U.S. tobacco companies swear in congressional testimony that nicotine isn't addictive and deny manipulating nicotine levels in cigarettes.
May 1994 - Amtrak bans smoking on short and medium-distance trips. Brown & Williamson documents show tobacco executives discovered smoking's risks before the surgeon general made declaration. Mississippi files first of 24 state lawsuits seeking to recoup millions from tobacco companies for smokers' Medicaid bills.
March 1996 - Liggett Group, smallest of major tobacco companies, settles claims with five state attorneys general and promises to help them against other companies.
April 1997 - Federal judge rules government can regulate tobacco as a drug. But industry is allowed to continue advertising.
June 1997 - Landmark settlement, subject to congressional approval, calls for unprecedented restrictions on cigarettes and on tobacco makers' liability in lawsuits. Industry to spend $368 billion over 25 years, mainly on anti-smoking campaigns, use bold health warning on packs, curb advertising and face fines if youth smoking doesn't drop enough.
July 1997 - Mississippi, first state to settle lawsuit, agrees to $3.6 billion deal with tobacco companies.
August 1997 - Florida reaches settlement reported to be $11.3 billion.
January 1998 - Texas settles with the tobacco industry for $15.3 billion over 25 years. Tobacco executives testify before Congress that nicotine is addictive under current definitions of the word and smoking may cause cancer.
May 1998 - Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota reach a $6.6 billion settlement with tobacco industry. Despite pressure from President Clinton, Senate rejects a proposed $1.50-per-pack tax increase on cigarettes.
June 1998 - After lengthy debate, Senate kills settlement bill that would have cost tobacco companies at least $516 billion over 25 years.
November 1998 - Forty-six states embrace a $206 billion settlement with cigarette makers over health costs for treating sick smokers.
September 1999 - Justice Department sues the tobacco industry to recover billions of government dollars spent on smoking-related health care, accusing cigarette-makers of a ``coordinated campaign of fraud and deceit.''
December 1999 - Government and tobacco industry lawyers argue before the Supreme Court over whether the Food and Drug Administration can regulate tobacco as a drug and crack down on cigarette sales to minors.
February 2000 - Tobacco farmers sue cigarette makers for $69 billion, contending they conspired to undo the federal system that regulates tobacco prices.
March 21, 2000 - Supreme Court rules, 5-4, the government lacks authority to regulate tobacco as an addictive drug.