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US government cuts penalty on tobacco firms as racketeering case closes

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 23 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1468
  1. Anne Harding
  1. New Jersey

    The US Justice Department has announced that it will seek $10bn (£5.5bn; €8.2bn) in penalties from the country's six largest tobacco companies to fund a five year smoking cessation programme. It had previously demanded $130bn for a 25 year effort designed to help all 45 million current US smokers kick the habit.

    The sudden shift came on the closing day of the government's civil case against racketeering by “big tobacco.” Democratic politicians and public health activists immediately accused the government of caving in to the industry.

    Judge Gladys Kessler, who is hearing the case …

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