By Noreen Marcus, FairWarning  

During the 1990s, legal assaults on the tobacco industry spawned the largest and most expensive  civil litigation in U.S. history. Explosive revelations from secret internal documents and tobacco whistleblowers became front page news, and inspired the feature film ”The Insider.”

After decades of deception, cigarette makers were forced to admit the dangers and addictiveness of smoking. Sweeping settlements with state attorneys general totaling $246 billion placed marketing restrictions on the industry and, by driving up the price of cigarettes, accelerated a decline in smoking rates.

And then, more than a decade ago, tobacco litigation all but died–except in Florida.

By Dave Levinthal, Center for Public Integrity cigarettes

Tobacco giant Reynolds American Inc. last year helped fund several of the nation’s most politically active — and secretive — nonprofit organizations, according to a company document reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity.

Reynolds American’s contributions include $175,000 to Americans for Tax Reform, a nonprofit led by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, and $50,000 to Americans for Prosperity, a free-market advocacy outfit heavily backed by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.


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