Our blog has moved, and is new and improved.

You should be automatically redirected in 3 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New tobacco suits likely won't include Minnesota

The announcement of pending legal action against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco couldn’t help but call to mind the prominent role Minnesota played in presaging the largest civil suit in U.S. history, and why it might be kept from joining the other states in this case.

Attorneys general from nine states this week announced plans to sue over the cigarette giant’s use of cartoons in an advertising section contained in Rolling Stone magazine, saying it violates terms of the landmark 1998 settlement between 46 states and the tobacco industry that reimbursed states for smoking-related health care costs.

In an effort to prevent the industry from trying to sell to minors, the agreement includes a provision against using cartoons in advertisements. The advertising section in question combines pages of Camel cigarette ads with pages of magazine-produced illustrations on the theme of independent rock music.

Minnesota’s AG’s office wasn’t one of the nine states that announced plans to sue. That could be because Minnesota, as part of the 1998 settlement, agreed not to make further claims to recover tobacco-related health care costs.

It would be ironic if Minnesota, as one of the first states to take on the hitherto untouchable tobacco industry and win, would be kept from joining in a renewed legal action because of those terms.

No comments: