Lesson 08
Tobacco and the World

Tobacco, Health and the Law
Professor Vernellia R. Randall
The University of Dayton Law School


bullet Syllabus
bullet Introduction
bullet Cigarettes and Health
bullet Tobacco and Native Americans 
bullet Targeting of Children, Women and Minorities
bullet Laws, Regulations and Litigation
bullet Settlement Agreements
bullet Proposed Laws, Regulation and Litigation
bullet Tobacco and  Third World Countries
Professional Websites
bullet Race, Health Care and the Law
bullet Race and Racism in American Law
bullet Gender and the Law
bullet Students, Learning and Legal Education

Reading Assignment
bullet International Tobacco-control Program
bullet World Health Organization - Tobacco Free Initative
bullet Tobacco Industry Undermines Public  Health Efforts Around the World
bullet AUSTRALIA: The AFCO Case: Federal Court examines 1986 ETS studies, finds data valid
Tobacco and the Third World
bullet Asia:  Experts Say Asian Women Could Be Next Target  Of Tobacco Industry
bullet India: Children bowled over by subtle sales pitch
bullet S. Tominaga, Spread of Smoking to the Developing Countries, Tobacco: A Major International Health Hazard 125 -133 (1986) (On Reserve)

bullet GLOBALink:  Tobacco Control News Services 
bullet Smoking and Health in the Amencas A 1992 Report of the Surgeon General, in Collaborahon with  the Pan Amencan Health Organization
bullet World Health Organization Website on Tobacco


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1991-02-07: AUSTRALIA: The AFCO Case: Federal Court examines 1986 ETS studies, finds data valid


THE 1991 AFCO Decision ...there is a strong public interest in the respondent being prevented from making the statement that there is little evidence and nothing which proves that cigarette smoke causes disease in non-smokers. Active smokers are likely to be misled or deceived by the statement into believing that theirsmoking does not prejudice the health of non-smokers, particularly small children. Non-smokers are likely to be deceived or misled by the statement into believing that cigarette smoke does not affect their own health or the health of their children. These are serious matters. -- Justice Trevor Morling, Australian Federal Court, February 7, 1991 

In 1986, the Tobacco Institute of Australia ran newspaper ads that claimed there was "little evidence and nothing which proves scientifically that cigarette smoke causes disease in nonsmokers."

The Australian Federation of Consumer Organizations (AFCO) brought suit in Australian Federal Court under the Trade Practices Act.

Heavy guns and major resources of both sides were thrown into the case, which lasted 30 months. 320 reports were presented, including evidence from noted ETS-critic and Cato Institute lecturer Gary Huber (The financial connection between Huber's work and the tobacco industry was not revealed until Business Week broke the story in 1994).

The main evidence for the plaintiffs were reports from 1986 by the US Surgeon General, the National Research Council (US), the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia) and the Froggatt inquiry into health and smoking (Britain).

The court found that even in 1986 there was "overwhelming evidence" that ETS triggers respiratory attacks in children, and "compelling scientific evidence that cigarette smoke causes lung cancer in non-smokers."

In a 211-page judgement, the court found that the TIA's advertised statement breached the Trade Practices Act and was likely to mislead people on the effects of ETS. Justice Trevor Morling granted an injunction which prevented the Tobacco Institute from running similar ads.

The Journal of the American Medical Association said in reference to the case,

"It is not surprising that the tobacco industry, which for decades has continued to obfuscate the causal link between smoking and disease despite massive evidence, should feel threatened by studies that show that nonsmokers may be harmed and killed by their products. After all, in 1991, the evidence that ETS causes lung cancer was reviewed and found, by a federal court in Australia, to be 'compelling.' And it's not surprising that scientist-editors at JAMA, who have read the evidence on both sides, believe that ETS is a great danger to nonsmokers and are depressed by industry tactics. . .

"It is interesting that the judge in the Australian case was generally critical of the narrow approach of the statistical experts called by the Tobacco Institute of Australia, and their tendency to be 'overcritical' of parts of every study while sometimes demanding "unattainable standards" of proof of causation. He was more favorably impressed by the broader approach of the epidemiologists, who stressed the importance of the pattern that emerged from all these studies -- studies 'supported by strong biological plausibility.'"

Motluk, Alison, Children bowled over by subtle sales pitch, 151 New Scientist. 6 (Aug. 24 1996)

Research in India and Britain has revealed that tobacco industry sponsorship of cricket test matches gives Indian children the impression that smoking contributes to the team's success.  Few children were aware that all of the Indian team were non-smokers. Some children clearly thought that smoking could improve their ability to play cricket.  A separate study in Britain has revealed that the number of 11 to 15 year olds smoking has increased, from 8 percent in 1988 to 12 percent in 1994.