Background of Cigarette Litigation

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Background Cigarette Litigation - At the heart of the paradigm of societal law, tobacco and tobacco related products remain a controversial issue. Globally, about 33% of adults use some type of tobacco daily, even though it likely has a strong effect on the deaths of over 5 million per year. In developing countries, largely due to stricter laws and bans on advertising, smoking has leveled off however, in developing countries the number of active smokers has risen each year over the past two decades ("Tobacco Facts," n.d.). The industry itself is very competitive, yet highly profitable and able to divert huge amounts of revenue to defend any potential litigation. The tobacco industry is dominated by a few large firms; price competition may also be restrained, either by outright collusion, or more commonly through "parallelism" of pricing decisions (See: Mackay, 2006; "Tobacco The Industry Perspective, 2009). The intense advertising efforts of the tobacco industry lead to strong brand awareness and subsequently to a highly differentiated product that can demand a higher price than would be the case if the products were indistinguishable (Glantz, 1998). Additionally the tobacco industry's revenues are highly consistent and stable, generally unaffected from booms or busts in the economy. Prior to 1950, and amazingly, the tobacco companies had no serious enemies even doctor's at times recommended cigarettes as a way to relax. After 1950, though, some of the early studies

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