Michigan's Budget Surplus Law
MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216 A Model for All States in View of
Budget Buster Cigarettes Creating
A Huge Cost to Society
And Taxpayers, And A Significant
Factor in Causing Inflation
and State/Local Budget Deficits,
and Damaging Competitiveness
States including Michigan could easily have budget surpluses, tens of billions of dollars in the bank, in their "rainy day funds." But they don't. Why not?
Let's see some examples. For 2005, the recent annual U.S. health care bill was $1.7 trillion, according to The Detroit News, p 4A (Tuesday, 11 Jan 2005), citing the journal Health-Affairs (Jan-Feb 2005). How much of this cost is preventable, is (for example) tobacco-related?
"Cigarettes may cost smokers more than they believe," says "Study: Cigarettes Costs Society [smokers] $40 a Pack" (AP Staff, Dec 2004). See also summary in USA Today (26 Nov 2004), citing the "study by a team of health economists" (Frank Sloan, PhD, Jan Ostermann, Christopher Conover, Donald H. Taylor, Jr., and Gabriel Picone). See also the book, The Price of Smoking (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, December 2004). (Sloan is Director, Center on Health, Policy, Law, and Management, at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.)
The cited $40 per pack cost refers to the monetary impact on smokers. But also nonsmokers are impacted; they are forced to help pay for the results of tobacco use, by higher insurance costs, by higher taxes, taxing more items, taxing more people (e.g., seniors), increasing college tuition for students, and/or reducing deductions -- not to mention reduced services (e.g., libraries, schools, roads), reduced on the excuse of "there's no money for that"! (Always plenty of money for paying for tobacco effects, though! with not a peep out of any politician! not even the ones who otherwise mouth off/pontificate against "waste"!!)
"The costs to treat smoking are astronomical. People wonder why their health care costs and health care premiums increase every year. It's simply the cause of [caused by costs for treating] chronic diseases--often times caused or exacerbated by smoking—that we end up paying for," says T. J. Bucholz of the Michigan Department of Community Health, quoted by Tony Manolatos, in "Fewer smoke, revenue grows after state cigarette tax hike," Detroit News (1 Feb 2005), p 6.
"Between 2001 and 2006, the healthcare sector added 1.7 million jobs while the rest of the economy added none . . . There was the emergence of what could be called the healthcare economy . . . If current trends continue, 30 percent to 40 percent of all new jobs created in the United States over the next 25 years will be in the healthcare business . . . Those costs put the squeeze on millions of American families. A study by the Commonwealth fund found that families' out-of-pocket expenses (and premium copayments) rose in direct proportion to overall healthcare spending. With wages stagnating, that's leading to real pain; almost half of those declaring bankruptcy in 2001 cited healthcare costs as a 'major contributor' . . . Allan Hubbard . . . told the Wall Street Journal that 'employers are spending more money on healthcare, and that's robbing people of wage increases,'" says Joshua Holland, "Two Trillion Spent on Healthcare Each Year: A Sick Way to Prop Up an Ailing Economy" (28 July 2007).
Note that "20 percent of patients account for 80 percent of spending, and that 20 percent is made up mostly of the chronically ill. These patients are often sick with multiple conditions—such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure—and more than half of the money we devote to caring for them is spent when they are in the hospital," says Shannon Brownlee, "Why Does Health Care Cost So Much?" (AARP, July-August 2008). See also "Smokers occupy one-third of hospital beds: study" (CBC News, 16 August 2010), for data on one province (state) alone: "Researchers found that those who smoke, or used to smoke heavily, occupy 32.6 per cent of hospital beds in the province. The report concludes that caring for smokers in hospital costs Quebec's health-care system $930 million a year."
A higher percentage, 25%, of the disabled smoke, says the article, "CDC: People With Disabilities Smoke More," by Michael Stobbe (3 October 2007). "Americans with disabilities smoke more than everyone else. . . . About one in four disabled people are smokers, compared to about one in five among the non-disabled. . . . The disabled population includes people with mental illness and drug and alcoholaddictions - groups known to have higher smoking rates. . . . More than 10 million Americans with disabilities smoke. . . . The survey did not include people in institutions or people whose disability prevents them from answering the phone, so it's likely the disabled smoking rate is even higher."
“In December 1994, [Rep. Marty] Meehan sent a 111-page prosecution memorandum to Attorney General Janet Reno, urging her to appoint a grand jury to investigate possible criminal conduct on the part of the [tobacco] industry,” says Harvard Medical School Prof. Allan M. Brandy, The Cigarette Century (New York: Perseus Books, 2007), p 368. “Meehan . . . suggested that there was . . . evidence that the companies, their executives, and perhaps even their lawyers had violated federal laws over more than three decades. ‘The enormity of the harm perpetrated by tobacco companies and their 369agents on American consumers is difficult to comprehend,’ Meehan wrote. ‘It is apparent, however, that the crimes alleged here, committed over decades have contributed profoundly to the serious illnesses and early death experienced by tens of millions of Americans, as well as literally trillions of dollars in health care costs and lost productivity borne by the economy of this nation and the individual states.’ Among these alleged crimes were perjury, mail fraud, false advertising, deception of the public, deception of federal agencies, and deception of Congress. Meehan also suggested that the DOJ also explore the possibility of criminal violations of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act,” says Prof. Allan M. Brandy, The Cigarette Century, supra, p 369.
Smoke-free laws enforcing already existing constitutional rights and criminal law save the public money. See, e.g., "Direct Evidence that Smokefree Laws Immediately Save Millions in Health Costs" in the American Journal of Public Health, 10.2105/AJPH.2009.179572 (13 May 2010). Prof. Stanton M. Glantz, Ph.D. says it "demonstrated that implementation of the Arizona statewide smokefree indoor air law was associated with drops in hospital admissions for not only heart attacks (which has been shown in many places already), but also for angina (chest pain), stroke, asthma. They showed that there were drops in Arizona counties that had no smoking restrictions before the state law went into effect, but not ones that were already smokefree. They also showed no changes in hospital admissions for diseases not cause by secondhand smoke. This is exactly what one would expect to happen if the law was making a big difference. The most important piece of information in the study, however, was a direct estimate of the hospitalization costs avoided. In the first 13 months, the law was associated with savings of $16.8 million. This is all the more impressive when you consider that the major population centers in Arizona were already smokefree. This study provides more evidence that we should shift from thinking about tobacco control as long run prevention to a highly effective, simple and inexpensive form of medical care cost containment."
This site provides data on, and links to, the convergence of pertinent tobacco-costs-to-society evidence developed over a period of centuries.
Wilma Stassen, "Tobacco Harmful to Those Who Farm It" (Pretoria News, 7 August 2012), says “tobacco companies lure governments and other leaders into believing that tobacco is an economically viable crop and a major source of revenue, while hiding the truth about the accompanying environmental and health losses. 'For example, while Tanzania earns about $50 million (nearly $407m) annually from tobacco revenue, more than $40m is spent to treat tobacco-related cancers alone.'” Additionally, “tobacco farming causes green tobacco sickness (GTS) in farmworkers who absorb nicotine through the skin when handling wet tobacco. GTS causes muscle weakness, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, abdominal cramps, breathing difficulty, diarrhoea, chills, fluctuations in blood pressure or heart rate, and increased perspiration and salivation. 'As a monocrop, tobacco plants are vulnerable to a variety of pests and diseases, which require the application of large quantities of chemicals. . .. ' Pesticide poisoning is common among workers and those living near tobacco-growing fields. Exposure to these chemicals causes respiratory, neurological, and psychological problems. Studies found pesticide sprayers in this industry are at increased risk of neurological and psychological conditions because of poor protection practices."
D. Gordon Draves, Cigarette Impact of Mississippi (18 August 2008) ("The State of Mississippi pays out $264 MILLION to treat tobacco-caused diseases through Medicaid alone, but only receives $46.5 MILLION from cigaret taxes a year (2006). Thus, $217.5 MILLION is taken from the pockets of everyone.")
"US's triple-A credit rating 'under threat'" (11 January 2008) ("The US is at risk of losing its top-notch triple-A credit rating within a decade unless it takes radical action to curb soaring healthcare and social security spending, Moody's, the credit rating agency, said yesterday. The warning over the future of the triple-A rating - granted to US government debt since it was first assessed in 1917 - reflects growing concerns over the country's ability to retain its financial and economic supremacy."
Frank A. Sloan, Donald H. Taylor, Jan Ostermann, Gabriel Picone, and Christopher Conover, The Price of Smoking (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, December 2004) (Subjects include: tabulating the cost; what is and is not known; smoking effects on mortality; smoking effect on personal health care, social security, and private pensions; cross-subsidies; life insurance impact; effects on morbidity, disability, and work loss; health effects on nonsmokers, etc.) (And see review by Hilary Smith, "The high cost of smoking" (18 November 2004)
Susanne R. Rasmussen, Eva Prescott, Thorkild I.A. Sørensen and Jes Søgaard, “The total lifetime costs of smoking,” 14 The European Journal of Public Health (#1) 95-100 (March 2004)
Elizabeth Johnson, Francesca Dominici, Micheal Griswold, Scott L. Zeger, “Disease Cases and Their Medical Costs Attributable to Smoking: An Analysis of the National Medical Expenditure Survey,” 112 Journal of Econometrics (#1) 135-151 (Jan 2003)
Raymond E. Gangarosa, M.D., M.P.H., Frank J. Vandall, J.D., LL.M., S.J.D., and Brian M. Willis, M.P.H., J.D., “Suits by Public Hospitals to Recover Expenditures for the Treatment of Disease, Injury and Disability Caused by Tobacco and Alcohol,” 22 Fordham Urban Law J (#1) 81-139 (Fall 1994)
Warner, Kenneth E., “The Economics of Smoking: Dollars and Sense,” 83 New York State J Med 1273-1274 (1986)
Bryan R. Luce, M.B.A., M.S.P.H., and Stuart O. Schweitzer, Ph.D., “Smoking and Alcohol Abuse: A Comparison of their Economic Consequences,” 298 New Engl J Med 569-571 (9 March 1978) (for treatment and earnings loss for 80,000 tobacco cancer cases, 200,000 respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and excess fire-protection costs and fire damages an estimated $20 billion annually)
Daniel H. Kress, M.D., Economic Repercussions of a Common Habit (London: Science and Society, 1937)
Rev. Luther H. Higley and Theodore F. Frech, The Evils of Tobacco and Cigarettes (Butler, Indiana: The Higley Printing Co, 1916), pp 7-14
R. Brudenell Carter, M.D., "Alcohol and Tobacco,” 250 Littell's Living Age 479-493 (1906), p 492
Rev. John B. Wight, Tobacco: Its Use and Abuse (Columbia: L. L. Pickett Pub Co, 1889), pp 26-35
Chemistry Professor John I. D. Hinds, The Use of Tobacco (Nashville, Tenn: Cumberland Presbyterian Publishing House, 1882), pp 122-125 (and citing data on the pattern of smoking-linked national collapses dating from the Spanish conquistadores' conquest of Mexico, the most major cost of all, national collapse)
Smoking as of 2002, cost Americans $157.4 billion per year for health care costs. The annual amount is about $3,391 per person. Each pack leads to medical costs. Each pack reduces productivity, promotes inflation. The total per-pack cost is calculated at $7.18, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Calculate your state's annual share of this cost: $157.4 billion / 50 = $3.148 billion.
Then calculate your share. This site will help you to do so.
Think about how many $ billions, $ tens of billions, your state could have in the bank, in its "rainy day fund," had it been doing prevention of these costs for past decades.
Some scoffers say this is all just “opinion.” But think about it, the mathematical calculation aspect. Add up the costs of the tobacco-related medical care, divide by number of packs.
That's not "opinion"—nor is your calculation, that your car went so many miles, used so much gas, got therefore so many miles per gallon. These calculations are not "opinion," they are basic arithmetic. (Medical psychiatric dysfunctions involving inability to comprehend arithmetic are called dyscalculia or acalculia, depending on severity.)
As each pack costs smokers far less than the actual cost impact on America, nonsmokers pay the difference. You pay the difference. Nonsmokers pay the difference via increased taxes, insurance premiums, company pressures to cut health care benefits, pay cuts, job losses, and the inflation spiral.
For this reason alone, the per-pack tax (for smokers) should be $7.18. (Right now, nonsmokers, you, you pay it (the amount the smokers don't pay) -- in higher taxes and insurance premiums.)
States receive only about $16 billion a year from tobacco taxes and the widely touted Attorney-General-initiated settlement. This is barely 10% of the aforesaid costs.
But are tobacco health-care costs the ONLY costs? Or does tobacco cause other, and additional costs? other costs known to researchers but not to the public?
Let's look into this possible area of extra tobacco-caused costs.
In addition, let's note that tobacco is the starter drug, leading to other drugs. Tobacco is typically the FIRST drug most commonly used. It is the one that starts most subsequent-drug users into the drug lifestyle. (If you want to see the medical background on this subject, click here.)
Those drugs drain an additional $160 billion a year from America's economy, says a White House Press Release (23 January 2002).
This fact (crime is almost exclusively by smokers) has been reported in medicine since . . . 1836, and repeatedly thereafter.
Are you perhaps wondering, are there any costs involved in the crimes committed disproportionately by tobacco users? Has this subject too been researched?
Yes, the subject has been researched.
The cost of incarcerations is notorious. See, e.g., "Michigan's High Incarceration Rate Drives Corrections Spending" (CRCM, 11 June 2008), and the article on this most recent confirmatory duplicative study by Charlie Cain and Gary Heinlein, "Prison costs may hit $2.6B in '12," Detroit News (13 June 1008), pp 1B and 5B. It says "spending on prisons is the leading cause of the state's continued budget troubles. Michigan already spends $2 billion on Corrections programs, one-fifth of the stae's general fund, and had to use tax increases last fall [Sept-Oct 2007] to house the 51,000 inmates and avoid a budget shortfall of $1.8 billion."
"Michigan's prisons are bursting at the seams, sucking up precious state dollars at an alarming rate and could close to new inmates by fall," says the article "Prisons full by fall; now what?" (Detroit News, 19 Feb 2007). "The state is paying more for corrections ($1.94 billion) than it does for its 15 public universities ($1.78 billion). Michigan's incarceration rate of 489 inmates for each 100,000 people is 28 percent higher than the rates in the neighboring Great Lakes states."
"National experts, both liberal and conservative, will gather . . . to explore ways to fix a U.S. justice system that relies on imprisoning more and more people . . . . the cost--both social and economic--of incarcerating a record 2 million people in the United States is staggering, critics say." The conference director is Joshua Bassett of Wayne County Community College. Source: Doug Guthrie, "High jail rate target of summit" (Detroit News, p D1, 14 Nov 2004), and related forum.
“There are more people behind bars in the United States today than ever before. Since 1980, the inmate population has more than quadrupled to two million—an unprecedented explosion that is incurring unprecedented costs to all Americans,” says the article “Debt to Society" (Mother Jones, Special Report on Prisons, September 2007).
"The U.S. prison system is the largest in the world, not only in terms of overall number of inmates, but as a percentage of the total population as well. With over 2.3 million people behind bars, U.S. prisoners represent almost 25% of the world's total prison population (the U.S. population is 5% of the world)," says Pamela Clark, "An In-Depth Look at the U.S. Prison Industry" (2011).
The 90% smoker caused portion is thus over $900 billion. That is an additional $40.38 per pack cost we all pay for current smoker-crime costs, not to mention the costs of the past still unrecovered.
Calculate your state's share of this cost: $900 billion / 50 = $ 18 billion.
How much would YOU save if your state could close, say, 80% of its prisons? and lay off the pricey vast numbers of guards, administrators, prosecutors, support staff? all involved in wholesale warehousing of smokers? Would your state thus avoid "budget deficit"?
The prison smoker-warehousing cost alone, reduced 80%, would come close to balancing most state budgets.
What are you waiting for? Contact your representative, your Senator, your Governor. Ask for a cigarette manufacturing and sales ban. Tell them these savings. All they ever hear about is cigarette costs linked to health, nary a word about the far greater costs related to drugs and crime.
The "higher" the so-called "cigarette tax" is, the LESS it is for nonsmokers, for you.
Politicians are subjected to disinformation and can think they know "what's in the budget, why it's in the budget, and how it got there." (Quote from Detroit News (5 Oct 2003), p 17A. The fact is, they typically have no idea of these tobacco costs, sharply adversely affecting the budget. For background, click here.
And note medical psychiatric dysfunctions involving inability to comprehend arithmetic, e.g., dyscalculia or acalculia, to the extent same are underlying factors in politicians' inability to comprehend tobacco's adverse, counterproductive, and damaging effects on governmental budgets.
This is not to omit to mention the "Vice lobby's vise grip on taxes" (Press-Telegram (Long Beach, CA) 4 July 2010): "Instead of showing some political courage for fiscal sanity, the vast majority of legislators are cowering before deep-pocketed lobbies for the alcohol and tobacco industries, trying to protect their own political hides."
Bottom line: Each pack costs society over $7.18 (medical) + $7.18 (drugs) + $40.38 (crime), >total $54.74, in damages.
Smokers may pay about $2 - $7 per pack tax. What they don't pay, you do.
You non-smokers, rather, we non-smokers, pay the remaining tab of about $47.74 - $52.74 per pack—a $50 bill + up in smoke, each pack!
If you feel that inflation (reduced value of your money, in terms of lower pay, benefits or purchasing power) is caused, deliberately caused, not accidental, you are right.
Calculate your state's share of the total costs:
$157.4 + 160 + 900 billion = $ 1217.4 billion for U.S.A.
Your average state's share per year $1217.4 billion / 50 = $ 24.348 billion.
Compare with your state's alleged "tobacco settlement money."
Michigan example: $8.7 billion over 25 years = $348 million per year.
Ask yourself: How much is tobacco costing Michigan each year?:
Answer: $24.348 billion - $.348 billion = $24 billion a year loss!
Yeah, right, there's a "settlement"!
That alleged "settlement" is at about a 1 to 70 ratio,
for each $ 1 in "settlement" money,
Michigan pays, no, YOU pay out about $70 in new tobacco-related costs!
Now do you understand why the budget deficit?!!
Residents of other states can do similar calculations.
Don't be scammed by tobacco lobby claims that researchers don't know how to do statistics! The statistical method to make analyses has been known since the 12th century.
The nation and all states and you, you massively lose, lose, lose, on tobacco. The near $54 per pack cost massively devastates each state's budget and promotes inflation. Instead of $$ billions, $$ tens of billions in the bank, in the "rainy day fund," they may be next to nothing!
Cigarette-related factors such as medical costs, Medicaid, drug abuse, alcoholism, crime, lead to a massive skewing of societal resources. Vast numbers of people become, not productive workers, but excess numbers of doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, prosecutors, police, judges, drug counselors, etc.
The lesser amounts produced by the articially reduced number of workers, means constricted consumer ability: $$$ seeking to buy in an artificially reduced supply.
Inflation is classically defined as related to the ratio of $$$ to what is available. When the latter is less available, e.g., has been artificially constricted, abused, over-used, etc., the ratio is thus altered, i.e., inflation.
Another definition of inflation "is the act of paying for jobs that don't produce anything," says Charles E. Carlson. "It is not easy to produce a valuable product that does not exist beforehand, such as a quart of milk or a pound of oatmeal. Ask any farmer." The vast number of jobs -- medical, health care, drug treatment, criminal processing, criminal warehousing, insurance, etc. -- that deal with tobacco effects are an example of this principle. They produce nothing. They cost, cost, and cost more and more. And we have nothing produced (no cars, no bridges, no houses, no appliances, no furniture, no toasters, no food items, no etc.) produced as a result of such vast uber-expenditures.
Due to Congressional and Legislative wrong priorities, including refusal to control tobacco so as to end the disproportionate smoker crime situation, among other effects, "it costs more to imprison an American than to educate him. The Bureau of Prisons announced on July 10  that the annual cost to incarcerate a person in a federal prison was $25,895 last year. Meanwhile, College Board statistics cited by Government Security News disclose that the average total charges an out-of-state student paid for tuition, fees, room and board at a public four-year college during the 2008-2009 school year was $25,200. And the College Board noted that nearly two-thirds of full-time undergraduate students receive grants that reduce the actual price of school."
In 1964, college tuition was four times the minimum wage, i.e., tuition was $5.00 per credit, when the minimum wage was $1.25/hr. College tuition is now typically substantially more than four times the minimum wage! Why? Because politicians would rather ignore the crime causation profile and instead spend vast amounts on prisons! to appear "tough on crime" ! crime they refuse to prevent! Politicians can do this because they count on the public being un-, ill-, mis- and dis-informed.
Government politicians (in states, counties, cities, etc.) then increase taxes and fees, college tuition, etc., and cut needed programs (e.g., schools, road repairs, libraries, infrastructure, pay and benefits, etc.). Employers downsize employees (or, e.g., hours, days, benefits, etc.). (Employees are oft considered an easier target, as they typically lack the lobbyists, finances, and clout that special interest programs have).
State cutbacks caused by easily foreseeable but unprevented tobacco-costs, in turn lead to pressures by local and other officials to make up for the cuts by increasing local taxes, local and school millages, college tuition, fees, licenses, etc. and/or by cutting services.
Help prevent such tax increases and budget cutbacks (fake “austerity”) and job and benefits 'down-sizings.' Insist your state prevent, and halt, the increasing massive, massive, massive, spending, in the tens of billions, on tobacco-related health costs, drug abuse, and crime. Insist your state and local police enforce anti-tobacco laws; and if such laws are weak, insist they be strengthened. The money you save will be your own! and often, the life!
Here are examples of what to demand your politicians do:
9. Meet with area judges to urge their support for enforcement of the pertinent laws.
The 1994-1999 Attorney General and 22 Sep 1999 Department of Justice litigation to recover some tiny portion of the taxpayers' money that had been spent for decades on cigarette costs did not just happen.
Pro-tobacco apologists used to allege that tobacco is a financial BENEFIT to society!!
Such writers or speakers would look you in the eye, and lie!! Others whine about the alleged need to control health care costs (meaning, cut doctor's pay!!), or attack the right to jury trial in malpractice cases, on the tobacco-lobby-dominated "tort reform" issue, a scam issue. Or they whine about the cost of health insurance for all. Let's agree with them in part on that latter point. BUT, let's mention the unmentionable, how about preventing the preventable conditions?!! tobacco-caused conditions?! that such attackers never mention.
Cost analysis research [dating back a century, details below] was involved in refuting that claim.
This site reprints the October 1980 paper by this writer that was one of those leading the way. It showed over $130 billion dollars in damages to society from tobacco that year alone.
My October 1980 paper answered the taxpayer-friendly question, is some of your money missing? (i.e., being spent on tobacco costs unbeknownst to you at the time?). The data surprised people then; and a lot of it still does!
“Are You Missing $omething?”
26 Smoke Signals 4 (Oct 1980)
July Smoke Signals quoted Newsman Paul Harvey alleging, “We are not subsidizing the tobacco industry, it is subsidizing us,” then via Editor Francis Soper, raised the question, Do you agree with Paul Harvey, or is there another side? Here's one reply [the only reply published] to that question:
In response to your July Question of the Month, the facts show that tobacco is an enormous drain on the country and contributes significantly to inflation:
46 million employed smokers X 1/2 hour daily time
smoking X $7.50 average pay/fringes X 260
340,000 tobacco deaths X $200,000 medical costs
340,000 tobacco deaths X $20,000 life insurance
10,000 fire deaths X $30,000 property/other costs
88,000,000 sick days X $60 per day average pay/fringes
34,000,000,000 smoke sensitive people X $120 medical costs
300,000 premature pensions for widows X $4,200
OVERALL TOTAL COSTS
In a two trillion [dollar Gross National Product] GNP economy, inflation of 12 percent would mean $240 billion. Tobacco abuse has destructive effects on productivity, to the extent that it is responsible for over half of inflation.
It is subject to governmental control. The question is whether the government has the will to control it, rather than use methods that attack symptoms rather than causes.
Considering the small size of the tobacco industry, the nation could easily save tens of billions of dollars each year simply by paying tobacco farmers not to farm, as with some other farmers.
Moreover, the above does not reflect future medical costs for psychiatric care for smokers, now that the American Psychiatric Association has recognized smoking as involving [mental] disorders. It took a long time to conclude that smoking is a disease, just as it took a long time to decide that alcoholism is a disease. The decisions on smoking as a mental problem are documented in the 1980 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III).
In the “substance use disorders” category, “tobacco dependence” is now recognized. It is cited as “obviously widespread,” i.e., “approximately 50 percent of smokers.” This disorder involves smokers who try but fail to stop smoking; have a “serious physical disorder” known to be “exacerbated by tobacco use”; or are developing “tobacco withdrawal.”
In the “organic mental disorders” category, “tobacco organic mental disorder” is listed, and this is where “tobacco withdrawal” is cited. The Manual does not estimate the number of TOMD victims, but page 5 of the July issue (Smoke Signals) connotes 99.5 percent. The Manual includes smokers in the TOMD category if withdrawal symptoms occur within 24 hours, but most smokers have symptoms in two hours. The 24-hour guidance is therefore overwhelmingly comprehensive.
Protection of and from such mentally disordered, dangerous persons will require a tremendous education effort involving medical personnel, the schools, mental division judges and court personnel, family members, and the public.”
By 1999, essentially everyone (including Attorneys General and the tobacco defendants) agreed that tobacco is a cost drain on society. What a major change since 1980!! when the opposite was being said nationwide!
By 1980, smoking had been officially recognized by the U.S. government and the American Psychiatric Association as a mental disorder. Smoking was listed as "tobacco use disorder” in the "mental disorders” section of the Department of Health and Human Services' International Classification of Disease, 9th edition (1980), p 231.
"The facts about smoking and mental illness are stark. Almost half of all cigarettes sold in the United States (44 percent) are consumed by people with mental illness. This is because so many people who have mental illnesses smoke (50 to 80 percent, compared with less than 20 percent of the general population) and because they smoke so many cigarettes a day -- often three packs. Furthermore, smokers with mental illness are much more likely to smoke their cigarettes right down to the filters." Source: Steven A. Schroeder, "A Hidden Epidemic," (Washington Post, 18 November 2007), p B07. The Michigan law (MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216) is designed to prevent and preclude this situation.
This objective medical data refutes the myth that smoking is merely a "habit." Officially, that myth was refuted long ago. The problem is, myths die hard; there are some people who still think the earth is flat!! even though that myth was also refuted long ago.
Regular tobacco use involves an addiction, not a habit, says Ronald M. Davis, M.D., (a health authority during Michigan Governor John Engler's first term [1990-1994]), "The Language of Nicotine Addiction: Purging the Word 'Habit' From Our Lexicon,” 1 Tobacco Control 163-164 (1992), opposing the "Big Tobacco” myth that smoking is merely a habit.
Returning to the cost issue, others before this writer had noted tobacco costs, e.g.,
Daniel H. Kress, M.D., Economic Repercussions of a Common Habit (London: Science and Society, 1937);
Rev. Luther H. Higley and Theodore F. Frech, The Evils of Tobacco and Cigarettes (Butler, Indiana: The Higley Printing Co, 1916), pp 7-14;
R. Brudenell Carter, M.D., "Alcohol and Tobacco,” 250 Littell's Living Age 479-493 (1906), p 492;
Rev. John B. Wight, Tobacco: Its Use and Abuse (Columbia: L. L. Pickett Pub Co, 1889), pp 26-35;
Chemistry Professor John I. D. Hinds, The Use of Tobacco (Nashville, Tenn: Cumberland Presbyterian Publishing House, 1882), pp 122-125 (and citing data on the pattern of smoking-linked national collapses dating from the Spanish conquistadores' conquest of Mexico, the most major cost of all, national collapse);
William A. Alcott, M.D., The Use of Tobacco: Its Physical, Intellectual, and Moral Effects on The Human System (New York: Fowler and Wells, 1836), Chapter XVII, pp 77-81; and
Rev. Orin S. Fowler, Disquisition on the Evils of Using Tobacco, and the Necessity of Immediate and Entire Reformation (Providence: S. R. Weeden, 1833), Chapter V, pp 13-19.
"At present the tobacco-growing and cigarette-manufacturing industries drain away capital and labor which would much better go into other fields.”—Prof. Pryns Hopkins, Ph.D., Gone Up in Smoke: An Analysis of Tobaccoism (Culver City, CA: The Highland Press, 1948), p 78.
Prior to the vast increase in tobacco-caused health care costs, one might say that the average person might see a doctor four times in life: at birth, maybe twice more, and at pendency of death. Doctors made house calls, and got paid a chicken (a couple dollars!!).
Let's say a doctor's appointment now is $110. Four of them, that'd be $440 for health care for a lifetime. Let's say you have that covered by insurance, let's add 25% (another $110) to cover the insurance company fees and overhead: total $550 for a lifetime of full coverage health care ($7.33 or so a year amortized over an average lifetime, say 75 years).
Don't tell me, you pay more than that! Maybe every month! Whatever you pay more, attribute much of that increase to tobacco vastly increasing health care costs. Re the long-cited No. 1 cause of death, treatments don't come cheap!
(And there are costs for the fancy new equipment too, that was invented to deal with these new artificial conditions our pre-tobacco ancestors never had.
Health care costs caused by smoking substantially increase employer costs per person. Example: "Deutsche Bank estimates health care costs GM [General Motors] $10,000 annually for each employee," cited in "GM hit by $1.1B in red ink," by Ed Garsten, The Detroit News, p 2 (19 April 2005).
In contrast, the normal per year cost for employers is $6,000, says Rep. Robert Gosselin, Detroit News (Letter, 16 May 2005).
And don't forget, when the doctor can't figure out how to treat the tobacco-caused condition, many people sue the doctor, not the tobacco pushers who caused the condition, so add onto the bill, a lot for malpractice insurance, and add some more for 'defensive medicine'!
Be aware, my 1980 analysis was not complete, it wasn't intended to be a full-scale overview of tobacco costs, just a quick answer to then-disinformation. There is a lot that my 1980 paper did not include!
If I were to update my 1980 analysis, I would specifically differentiate, make explicit rather than implicit, the costs for alcoholism due to the huge role (a 90% role) of tobacco therein.
Data from the office of Michigan Governor John Engler (1991-2002) said tobacco-health-care-costs alone cost Michigan $800 million per year. Over 25 years (the term of the Attorney General deal), that is $20 billion. The Michigan Attorney General deal only recovers about $8.7 billion (see "Panel awards $450 million in legal fees to outside counsel," Macomb Daily, Saturday, 8 Sep 2001, p 5A). So the taxpayers in essence got nothing for the past loss, and only a fraction of the future costs. And the deal wholly ignores the other cigarette-related costs identified above.
Gary Heinlein, "Cigarette tax boosts budget,” Detroit News, 19 Jan 2003, cited Michigan Treasury spokesman Terry Stanton, saying sales of cigarettes averaged 59.2 million packs a month in Michigan. Taking the 59.2 million packs sold per month, X 12 months in one year = 710 million packs per year. Multiply the 710 million packs X $54.74 as damages-caused per each pack. That totals $38.86 billion in damages in one year. That means Michigan is losing, not gaining! This loss continued into 2005 when the number of packs sold in Michigan dropped to 681 million, per Tony Manolatos, in "Fewer smoke, revenue grows after state cigarette tax hike," Detroit News (1 Feb 2005), p 1. 681 million packs X $54.74 = $37,277,940,000.
Here is an example of how this impacts one state: “Michigan spent $270 per capita on smoking-attributable direct medical expenditures. In 1998, about 16% ($881,000,000 or $646.11 per recipient) of all Medicaid expenditures were spent on smoking-related illnesses and diseases.” For this and related background, see www.cdc.gov/tobacco/statehi/html_2002/michigan.htm. Everybody, repeat, everybody, in the Budget Department knows this.
See also “Medicaid Crimps Budget,” Macomb Daily, Monday, 20 Dec 2004, pp 1A and 7A, “Medicaid, the state's primary health care safety net . . . costs gobble up a quarter of state government's general fund . . . annual price tag . . . more than $7 billions. . . .” A 16% factor of tobacco costs, amongst the over $7 billion costs would now, two years later, mean more than $1.12 billion in bills being shifted off the pushers onto the taxpayers.
Other states' taxpayers are hit with increased taxes likewise. Find out and examine the data for your own state. Then demand your state politicians pass laws to
abolish tobacco manufacturing and selling
require tobacco pushers to pay the Medicaid bill (via a form having each sick smoker seeking taxpayer-paid health care, name his/her pusher store)
pass a "Dramshop" type act covering tobacco (i.e., the direct opposite of "tort reform"). Any costs attributed to tobacco (e.g., smoker coming in for health care), the smoker's supplier will be billed (to reimburse the taxpayers or other payers).
unleash trial lawyers to take on the tobacco lobby. (Don't be bluffed or stymied by terms such as "tort reform," "frivolous litigation," or "over-paid trial lawyers." That's pusher lingo for, "let us pushers off free," "have taxpayers pay," "continue tobacco effects").
For centuries, medical science has been telling us, and for the last 43 years, the Surgeon General too, has been telling us cigarettes are the No. 1 cause of illness, disability and premature death, thus the resultant costs.
So enforcement of the protective laws is urgent both for the sake of the lives involved, and the costs to taxpayers and society at large—who are continuing their involuntary subsidies of which I wrote so long ago. We tried, unsuccessfully, to get some of the protective laws enforced, by our petition drive.
When I wrote the above analysis in July 1980, my intention was for more than getting cost recovery. I intended that the laws be enforced, e.g., the ones concerning illegal sales to children, the ones concerning deleterious products, and the mental health laws against people's behavior posing a danger to themselves and others, etc., examples of some of which are cited at the above website.
Contact your state budget department. Ask what are the costs of each factor above. Contrast with the small amount of tobacco taxes and settlement amounts collected. You, we, the taxpayers, we are picking up the difference, a huge amount.
Example: about 90% of the criminal justice system is for warehousing smokers (smokers are the preponderance, about 90%, of criminals; nonsmokers rarely commit crime). That one cost alone, the prison system, is MORE than all tobacco taxes, more than all the so-called tobacco settlement money!
Everybody, repeat, everybody, in your State Budget Department knows this.
They know it on other matters as well, e.g., alcoholism cost impact. See, e.g.,
"Head of SF Budget Committee Calls for Alcohol Impact Fee Program to Fund
Essential Services" (9 June 2009), and want "an alcohol mitigation fee [pursuant to the] nexus between health care, human services and public safety costs and the sales of alcohol by wholesalers in the county."
For the well-documented centuries known nexus between tobacco and effects, thus their costs, click here.
Everybody, everybody, in your State Budget Department knows this. E v e r y b o d y.
But politicians typically refuse. This adverse symptom of politicians has long been documented. See, e.g.,
Frédéric Bastiat's essay Ce qu'on voit et ce qu'on ne voit pas (English: "What is Seen and What is Not Seen") (1850), and its "broken window parable"; and Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson (1946), especially "The Broken Window" chapter.
With tobacco costs left uncontrolled and unprevented by 2005, 15% of the total US Gross National Product (GNP), was being spent for health care costs! says Thomas Bray (Editorial Analysis, Detroit News, 8 May 2005).
The Attorneys General deal definitely did not solve the problem, it failed to even get already existing laws enforced. For example, it did not get enforced MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216, Michigan's safe cigarettes' law. All other products must be safe for their intended use. Cigarettes are not safe for their intended use; they kill. Wherefore, the safe cigarettes law bans their manufacture and sale. It is inexcusable that the deal did not require cigarettes to be brought up to that standard, especially in Michigan, where this has been the law for now over 90 years.
Note the grand total dollar amount of the 1998 settlement by each State Attorney General with the tobacco companies: $246,000,000,000 total. That is not enough to recover the $260,000,000,000 costs to society in a mere two years. Worse, the Attorney General settlement divided the supposed "win” into tiny payments over 25 years, not quite $10 billion per year.
If you had a $260,000 house, destroyed by some disaster, and the insurance company settled in court with you for a mere $10,000, you'd know
you had "lost," not won! So much for the so-called Attorney General case!
Worse, even without factoring in inflation since 1980, note how much additional costs will accrue 1999-2024: an additional $130,000,000,000 x 25 years in costs: $3,250,000,000,000. Add in the costs for the nineteen year period 1980-1998: $130,000,000,000 X 19=$2,470,000,000,000. Total costs in the 1980-2024 period: $5,720,000,000,000. Conclusion: The Attorney General deal was a loss, not a win!
Some expressed concern at the time. Some few efforts were made to challenge the Attorney General tobacco deal, for various reasons, details at tobaccovags.htm and related links. Sadly, those efforts failed, and the pretended "settlement" went into effect. Others, though not challenging the deal in court, raised concerns about its inadequacies. One focus is the failure to deal with tobacco's impact in the African-American community.
"Medical Bills Increased—Tobacco, being a poison, has an injurious effect on every part of the body and thus aggravates and increases the severity of many diseases, and actually produces others, so that it increases bills for medicines and doctor's services. . . .
"For the support of all these we are taxed [nowadays including via 'Medicaid'], and that doubly since we are also assessed to supply many of them with the very poison that brought them there.”—Theodore F. Frech and Luther H. Higley, The Evils of Tobacco and Cigarettes (Butler, Indiana: Higley Printing Co, 1916), pp 13-14.
Even Michigan's 1909 MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216, the safe cigarettes' law, a smokers' rights law (the right to a safe product that does not injure or kill when used as the manufacturers and sellers intend) remains unenforced, setting Michigan up for more tobacco-caused injuries, deaths, and costs now and in the future. Michigan could be an example to the nation, and world, and is missing the opportunity. (As per the 'no-consent-to-self-harm' rule, smokers have a right to a safe product!)
Bottom line: The politiicans who claim to be looking out for you, blow the job at every opportunity. Then they want to send you, us the ever higher and hgher bill! And even want to increase your, our taxes, to pay for the ever-increasing cigarette-caused costs that their refusal to do their jobs, causes. And note that lobbyists even from so-called public-spirited groups, themselves rarely if ever mention the issue of tobacco costs devastating even constituencies and budget items re which such lobbyists profess to be concerned!
2. Provision of standard consumer protection law which provides all other consumers the right that the product not kill when used as the manufacturer designs and intends. All other consumers have this right. Smokers must not remain singled out for exclusion from the right all others have. Trial lawyers must be unleashed to protect all smokers from pushers killing them (few, sadly, very few, smokers have sued.)
Provision for compliance with already existing state laws, e.g., Michigan's MCL 750.27, MSA 28.216, which ban manufacture and sale of deleterious or adulterated products, including deleterious-ingredient-containing or adulterated cigarettes. All cigarettes of course contain deleterious ingredients.
Michigan Governor John Engler (1991-2002) and staff were paper supportive of Michigan's safe cigarettes law, issuing five pertinent memoranda.
Free Press Editorial, 17 Feb 2002, on Non-Use of Settlement Money on Smoking Cessation
You are urged to join in getting the laws enforced. Even supportive politicans and officials need encouraging letters. If you live in Michigan, please join a letter writing campaign requesting enforcement of the Michigan cigarette control law, MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216, by writing to Governor Jennifer Granholm, to Attorney General Michael Cox, and to Michigan State Police Director Col. Peter Munoz, requesting enforcement. Addresses are as follows:
Honorable Jennifer Granholm,
Governor, State of Michigan,
P. O. Box 30013,
Lansing MI 48909-7513
Attorney General, State of Michigan,
P. O. Box 30213,
Lansing MI 48909
Col. Peter C. Munoz, Director,
Department of State Police,
714 South Harrison Road,
East Lansing MI 48823-5143
Also, please write to your legislators (senators and representatives) asking for
(a) enforcement of the law,
(b) hearings on why the law has not been enforced,
(c) consequences (lives lost, costs) of the non-enforcement.
Elsewhere, to help achieve the goal of reducing cigarette harm and costs to society, please use our proposed sample letter to write asking that your jurisdiction (assuming that it does not already have such a law) pass a similar law (only safe cigarettes are allowed, no unsafe ones). Write to your Governors, Attorneys General, legislators, MP's, Senators, and/or Representatives, asking for them to work for such a law.
Politicians who oppose ending the tobacco holocaust endanger not only you but also their own spouses and children by tobacco effects and correlatives including crime, drunk driving, cancer, etc. Such politicians are not merely pro-death, they are also willfully damaging the economy and competitiveness. They thus pose a clear and present danger, a double danger, to both your life and your job.
Also note that so-called "tort reform" (meaning, obstruction of our constitutional right to jury trial, on so-called "product liability" cases) obstructs cost-recovery efforts. Suing tobacco pushers for the harm they cause to society and taxpayers is a major, necessary, method of recovering some tiny fraction of the costs. Don't let tobacco pushers, pro-tobacco politicians, and their phony "tort reform" fool you. Educate yourself on this. Read the history of pertinent anti-tobacco smokers' rights litigation.
It is essential to understand that what is at issue is an "ultrahazardous activity" as that term is defined in professional material. See an analysis of the concept by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Laird v Nelms, 406 US 797; 92 S Ct 1899; 32 L Ed 2d 499 (1972). There, sonic booms and dynamite blasting are discussed in context of "ultrahazardous activity."
Each produces a spreading effect.
Cigarettes do that, their effects spread. How? Via fires and via their toxic chemicals, superheated, moving at high speed.
In contrast to sonic booms and dynamite blasting, cigarettes kill 37,000,000 in the U.S. alone, and constitute a "holocaust." This is the most ultrahazardous activity on earth.
The point, in law, is that in dealing with "ultrahazardous activity," even absent negligence, the law mandates "strict liability" for all resultant damages. (Trial lawyers are the normal method of getting this legal principle enforced).
With cigarettes, worse than mere pusher 'negligence' is evident; see our anti-murder site.
Some people claim cigarette taxes that are "too high" drive cigarettes underground -- as though that were a bad thing!! Let's be clear. There is no such thing as a "too high" cigarette tax, considering the centuries of accrued damages, the unconstitutionality of killing people without due process of law, the evidence that poisoning people is murder, the holocaust level number of people killed, and that the current taxes don't even cover current costs, much less, what would be wrongful death costs of, for example, $46,000,000.00 (Example: $12.6 million with respect to parental estate, and $33.5 million for compensatory and punitive damages). $46,000,000.00 multipled by just the one billion killings this century, not to mention the centuries of past killings, means 46 million billion dollars, i.e., 46 thousand trillion dollars, i.e., 46 quadrillion dollars.
If high taxes drive cigarettes underground, so much the better. Let's get them out of all legitimate stores. The Supreme Court of Tennessee as long ago as 1898 said cigarettes are NOT "legitimate articles of commerce." The case citation is Austin v State of Tennessee, 101 Tenn 563; 48 SW 305;
70 Am St Rep 703 (22 Dec 1898) affirmed, 179 US 343; 21 S Ct 132; 45 L Ed 224 (U.S. Supreme Court, 19 Nov 1900). Let's apply this concept, drive cigarettes underground.
Other Writings by Same Author
"Smoking as hazardous conduct,"
86 N Y St J Med 493 (September 1986)
(discusses workplace smoking as already illegal
pursuant to OSHA's 29 CFR § 1910.1000 emissions
limits, which cigarettes regularly exceed)
"[Indoor Air Quality] IAQ Already Regulated,"
3 Indoor Air Rev 3 (April 1993)
(discusses workplace smoking as already illegal
pursuant to OSHA's 29 CFR § 1910.1000 emissions
limits, which cigarettes regularly exceed)
Susanne R. Rasmussen, Eva Prescott,
Thorkild I.A. Sørensen and Jes Søgaard,
"The total lifetime costs of smoking"
14 The European Journal of Public Health (#1)
95-100 (March 2004)
Elizabeth Johnson, Francesca Dominici,
Micheal Griswold, Scott L. Zeger,
"Disease Cases and Their Medical Costs
Attributable to Smoking: An Analysis
of the National Medical Expenditure Survey,"
112 Journal of Econometrics (#1) 135-151
Raymond E. Gangarosa, M.D., M.P.H.,
Frank J. Vandall, J.D., LL.M., S.J.D.,
and Brian M. Willis, M.P.H., J.D.,
"Suits by Public Hospitals to Recover
Expenditures for the Treatment of Disease,
Injury and Disability
Caused by Tobacco and Alcohol,"
22 Fordham Urban Law J (#1) 81-139 (Fall 1994)
Warner, Kenneth E.,
"The Economics of Smoking: Dollars and Sense,"
83 New York State J Med 1273-1274 (1986)
Bryan R. Luce, M.B.A., M.S.P.H., and Stuart O. Schweitzer, Ph.D. "Smoking and Alcohol Abuse: A Comparison of their Economic Consequences," 298 New Engl J Med 569-571 (9 March 1978)
for treatment and earnings loss for 80,000 tobacco cancer cases,
200,000 respiratory and cardiovascular diseases,
and excess fire-protection costs and fire damages
an estimated $20 billion annually
Daniel H. Kress, M.D., Economic Repercussions of a Common Habit (London: Science and Society, 1937)
Charles M. Fillmore, The Tobacco Taboo (Indianapolis: Meigs Pub Co, 1930), pp 62-64 (then costing the U.S. $3.5 billion annually)
Henry W. Farnam, Professor of Economics, Yale University, "Our Tobacco Bill," in Unpopular Review (Jan 1914)
Note that "the government program Medicare . . . has about 3 percent overhead [whereas] private insurance companies have in some cases 30 percent overhead," says Joseph Borgatta, Detroit News (27 August 2009), p 2B.
And note the overhead cost with the "Cash for Clunkers" program in August 2009. It was a three billion dollar program, with only 100 million for overhead, about 3 1/3 percent overhead.
Reason for low government overhead: the contrast between federal vs private sector pay. Private sector CEOs can get pay in the multiple millions of dollars, whereas federal executives are typically in the tenth of million category. Thus the federal government, with the cost savings, can hire a higher percentage of actual workers. To review federal pay charts, see, e.g., www.opm.gov.
For background, see Thom Hartmann, "Profiling CEOs and Their Sociopathic Paychecks" (CommonDreams.org, 27 July 2009): "Executives and other highly compensated employees now receive more than one-third of all pay in the US . . . Highly paid employees received nearly $2.1 trillion of the $6.4 trillion in total US pay in 2007, the latest figures available." -- citing the Wall Street Journal.
Thus for fuller control of health care costs, not only tobacco but also overhead costs (including executive pay) should be addressed.
Under the current system, "$350 billion a year in administrative costs and profits" are drained away annually. And "45,000 Americans die every year from lack of health insurance. That's 120 a day," says Public Citizen, March 2012.
Note data by Geeta Anand, “Life Support: The Big Secret in Health Care: Rationing Is Here: With Little Guidance, Workers on Front Lines Decide Who Gets What Treatment: Nurse Micheletti's Tough Calls,” CCXLII Wall Street Journal (#52) pp A1, A6 (12 September 2003) (covers pressures to get expensive cases out of Intensive Care, by cajoling doctors, pharmacies, relatives, “to let some very ill patients die with less medical intervention”).
C. J. Zook and F. D. Moore, "High-cost users of medical care," 302 N Engl J Med (#18)
996-1002 (1 May 1980) ("On average, the high-cost 13% of patients consumed as many resources as the low-cost 87%," referring to smoking and drinking)
Examples of Litigation
(Some Successful, Some Not,
to Recover Our Money Spent
on Smokers Sickened by Tobacco
Commonwealth of Massachusetts v Philip Morris, Inc, 942 F Supp 690 (Mass, 20 May 1996) (remand to state court)
State of Minnesota v Philip Morris, Inc, 551 NW2d 490 (Minn, 25 July 1996) (affirming denial of motion to dismiss state antitrust, consumer protection, and equitable claims, but dismissing tort claims)
State of Maryland v Philip Morris, Inc, 934 F Supp 173 (D Md, 1 Aug 1996) (remand to state court)
State of Washington v American Tobacco Co, No. 96-2-15056-8 SEA, 1996 WL 931316 (Wash Super Ct, 19 Nov 1996), and 1997 WL 714842 (Wash Super Ct, 6 June 1997) (denying motion to dismiss state antitrust claims, but dismissing special duty and unjust enrichment claims)
City & County of San Francisco v Philip Morris, Inc, 957 F Supp 1130 (ND Cal, 26 Feb 1997) (dismissing RICO, negligent misrepresentation, special duty, warranty, and unjust enrichment claims with leave to amend), and No. C-96-2090 DLJ, 1998 WL 230980 (ND Cal, 3 March 1998) (denying motion to dismiss fraud and certain special duty claims, but dismissing other special duty claims)
State of Maryland v Philip Morris, Inc, No. 96122017, 1997 WL 540913 (Md Cir Ct, 21 May 1997) (denying motion to dismiss consumer protection and antitrust claims, but dismissing unjust enrichment, special duty, fraud, breach of warranty, negligence, strict liability, and conspiracy claims with leave to amend)
State of Arizona v American Tobacco Co, No. CV-96-14769 (Ariz Super Ct, 27 May 1997) (denying motion to dismiss)
State of Texas v American Tobacco Co, 14 F Supp 2d 956 (ED Tex, 8 Sep 1997) (denying motion to dismiss RICO claims, but dismissing antitrust, unjust enrichment, and nuisance claims)
State of Illinois v Philip Morris, Inc, No. 96L 13146 (Ill Cir Ct, 13 Nov 1997) (denying motion to dismiss state antitrust, negligence, and civil conspiracy claims, but dismissing special duty, nuisance, and unjust enrichment claims)
County of Los Angeles v R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co, No. 707651 (Cal Super Ct, 23 Dec 1997) (dismissing breach of warranty, fraud, strict liability, and negligence claims with leave to amend), petition for review granted, No. S068747, 1998 Cal. LEXIS 2475 (Cal, 22 April 1998)
Northwest Laborers-Employeers Health and Security Trust Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, C97-849WD, US DC 1997 WL 1134971 (WD Wa, 24 Dec 1997)
Central Illinois Carpenters Health & Welfare Trust Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 28 F Supp 2d 514 (SD Ill, 16 March 1998)
West Virginia-Ohio Valley Area I.B.E.W. Welfare Fund v American Tobacco Co, 29 F Supp 2d 733 (SD W Va, 19 March 1998)
Laborers Local 17 Health & Benefit Fund, et al v Philip Morris, Inc, et al, 7 F Supp 2d 277; RICO Bus Disp Guide (CCH) ¶ 9463 (SD NY, 25 March 1998) (denying motion to dismiss fraud, special duty, and RICO claims, but dismissing unjust enrichment and antitrust claims), interlocutory appeal granted, 7 F Supp 2d 294 (SD NY, 28 April 1998), aff'd, Case 98-7944, 172 F3d 223 (CA 2, SD NY, 9 April 1999) rev'd 191 F3d 229 (CA 2, 9 April 1999 amended 18 Aug 1999) cert den 528 US 1080; 120 S Ct 799; 145 L Ed 2d 673; 2000 US LEXIS 185 (10 Jan 2000)
Philip Morris v Minnesota, 523 US 1056; 118 S Ct 1384; 140 L 643 (6 April 1998)
Laborers Local 17 Health & Benefit Fund, et al v Philip Morris, Inc, et al, 179 FRD 417; RICO Bus Disp Guide (CCH) ¶ 9479 (SD NY, 7 April 1998)
Southeast Fla. Laborers Dist. Health & Welfare Trust Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, No. 97-8715-CIV-RYSKAMP, 1998 WL 186878 (SD Fla, 13 April 1998) (dismissing fraud, special duty, unjust enrichment, RICO, and antitrust claims)
State of Iowa ex rel. Miller v Philip Morris, Inc, 577 NW2d 401 (Iowa, 22 April 1998) (affirming dismissal of deception, special duty, and indemnity claims)
Stationary Eng'rs Local 39 Health & Welfare Trust Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, No. C-97-01519 DLJ, 1998 WL 476265 (ND Cal, 30 April 1998) (denying motion to dismiss negligent breach of special duty claim, but dismissing fraud claims with leave to amend, and dismissing RICO, antitrust, intentional breach of special duty, unfair trade, and unjust enrichment claims without leave to amend)
Philip Morris, Inc v Glendening, 349 Md 660; 709 A2d 1230 (19 May 1998) (state attorney general contingency fee arrangement with private attorneys)
Day Care Council, Local 205, DC 1707 Welfare Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 11 F Supp 2d 384 (SD NY, 29 June 1998)
Eastern States Health & Welfare Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 11 F Supp 2d 384 (SD NY, 29 June 1998)
IBEW Local 25 Health & Benefit Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 11 F Supp 2d 384 (SD NY, 29 June 1998)
IBEW Local 363 Welfare Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 11 F Supp 2d 384 (SD NY, 29 June 1998)
Local 1199 Home Care Industry Benefit Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 11 F Supp 2d 384 (SD NY, 29 June 1998)
Local 1199 National Benefit Fund for Health & Human Services Employees v Philip Morris, Inc, 11 F Supp 2d 384 (SD NY, 29 June 1998)
Local 138, 138A, and 138B International Union of Operating Engineers Welfare Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 11 F Supp 2d 384 (SD NY, 29 June 1998)
Local 840, Internat'l Broth of Teamsters Health & Ins Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 11 F Supp 2d 384 (SD NY, 29 June 1998)
Long Island Regional Council of Carpenters Welfare Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 11 F Supp 2d 384 (SD NY, 29 June 1998)
Puerto Rican ILGWU Health & Welfare Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 11 F Supp 2d 384 (SD NY, 29 June 1998)
Operating Eng'rs Local 12 Health & Welfare Trust v American Tobacco Co, No. BC 177968 (Cal Super Ct, 9 July 1998) (dismissing strict liability, special duty, breach of warranty, restitution, and unjust enrichment claims without leave to amend, and dismissing fraud and conspiracy claims with leave to amend)
Seafarers Welfare Plan v Philip Morris, Inc, 27 F Supp 2d 623 (D Md, 13 July 1998) (dismissing RICO, antitrust, tort, consumer protection, and unjust enrichment claims)
Indiana v Philip Morris, Inc, No. 49D07-9702-CT-003236 (Ind Super Ct, 23 July 1998) (dismissing conspiracy, antitrust, unjust enrichment, indemnity, assumed duty, criminal mischief, and nuisance claims)
West Va.-Ohio Valley Area I.B.E.W. Fund v American Tobacco Co, No. 2:97-0978 (SD W Va, 11 Aug 1998) (denying motion to dismiss)
West Va. Laborers' Pension Trust Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, No. 3:97-0708 (SD W Va, 12 Aug 1998) (denying motion to dismiss)
Oregon Laborers-Employers Health & Welfare Trust Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 188 FRD 369 (D Oregon, 1 June 1998) and 17 F Supp 2d 1170 (D Oregon, 24 Aug 1998) aff'd Appeal Case No. 98-36024 (CA 9, Oregon, 14 July 1999) (dismissing antitrust, RICO, consumer protection, unjust enrichment, indemnity, assumed duty, and conspiracy claims)
New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 17 F Supp 2d 324 (D NJ, 26 Aug 1998) (denying motion to dismiss certain fraud and RICO claims, but dismissing antitrust, special duty, and unjust enrichment claims)
Laborers Local 17 Health & Benefit Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 26 F Supp 2d 593 (SD NY, 27 Aug 1998)
United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 26 F Supp 2d 593 (SD NY, 27 Aug 1998)
Texas Carpenters Health Benefit Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 21 F Supp 2d 664 (ED Tex, 31 Aug 1998) (dismissing RICO, antitrust, tort, breach of warranty, and unjust enrichment claims)
State of Idaho v Philip Morris, Inc, No. CV-OC-97-03239*D (Idaho Dist Ct, 2 Sep 1998) (denying motion to dismiss consumer protection claims, but dismissing antitrust, nuisance, and conspiracy claims)
Iron Workers Local Union No. 17 Ins. Fund v Philip Morris, Inc., 23 F Supp 2d 771 (ND Ohio, 10 and 21 Sep 1998) (denying motion to dismiss RICO, antitrust, and conspiracy claims)
Iron Workers Local Union No. 17 Ins Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 23 F Supp 2d 796 (14 Sep 1998)
Iron Workers Local Union No. 17 Ins Fund and Its Trustees v Philip Morris, Inc, 182 FRD 512 (23 and 29 Sep 1998)
Kentucky Laborers Dist. Council Health & Welfare Trust Fund v Hill & Knowlton, Inc, 24 F Supp 2d 755 (WD Ky, 30 Sep 1998) (denying motion to dismiss some RICO and deceit claims, but dismissing other RICO claims and antitrust, fraud, special duty, and unjust enrichment claims)
National Asbestos Workers Med. Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 23 F Supp 2d 321 (ED NY, 19 Oct 1998) (denying motion to dismiss RICO, unjust enrichment, indemnity, and assumed duty claims)
Iron Workers Local Union No. 17 Ins Fund and Its Trustees v Philip Morris, Inc, 182 FRD 523 (20 Oct 1998)
Iron Workers Local Union No. 17 Ins Fund and Its Trustees v Philip Morris, Inc, 29 F Supp 2d 801 (23 Nov 1998)
International Bhd. of Teamsters Local 734 Health & Welfare Trust Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 34 F Supp 2d 656, Nos. 97-C-8113 & -8114, 1998 WL 849528 (ND Ill, 1 Dec 1998) (dismissing antitrust, special duty, strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, fraud, unjust enrichment, and conspiracy claims)
Iron Workers Local Union No. 17 Ins Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 29 F Supp 2d 825 (2 Dec 1998)
Williams & Drake Co v American Tobacco Co, No. 98-553 (WD Penn, 21 Dec 1998) (dismissing RICO, antitrust, consumer protection, fraud, special duty, indemnity, and unjust enrichment claims brought by self-insured employer)
Northwest Laborers-Employers Health & Sec. Trust Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, No. C97-849WD (WD Wash, 23 Dec 1998) (denying motion to dismiss)
New Mex. & West Tex. Multi-Craft Health & Welfare Trust Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, No. CV-97-09118 (NM Dist Ct, 24 Dec 1998) (dismissing all claims)
Regence Blue Shield v Philip Morris, Inc, 40 F Supp 2d 1179; Case No. C98-559R, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1820 (WD Wash, 6 Jan 1999) (dismissing RICO, antitrust, fraud, special duty, unjust enrichment, and conspiracy claims)
Laborers and Operating Engineers Utility Agreement Health & Welfare Trust Fund for Arizona v Philip Morris, Inc, 42 F Supp 2d 943 (Ariz, 19 Jan 1999)
Hawaii Health & Welfare Trust Fund for Operating Eng'rs v Philip Morris, Inc, No. 97-00833 SPK (D Haw, 25 Jan 1999) (dismissing RICO, antitrust, false advertising, and special duty claims)
Iron Workers Local Union No. 17 Ins Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 35 F Supp 2d 582 (ND Ohio, 3 Feb 1999)
Laborers & Operating Eng'rs Util. Agreement Health & Welfare Trust Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, No. CIV 97-1406 PHX SMM (D Ariz, 10 Feb 1999) (dismissing RICO, antitrust, fraud, assumed duty, and unjust enrichment claims)
Operating Eng'rs Local 324 Health Care Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, No. 97-741291 CZ (Mich Cir Ct, 12 Feb 1999) (dismissing all claims)
University of South Alabama v American Tobacco Co, 168 F3d 405 (CA 11, Ala, 22 Feb 1999)
Republic of Bolivia v Philip Morris Companies, Inc, 39 F Supp 2d 1008 (SD Texas, 1 March 1999)
Steamfitters Local Union No. 420 Welfare Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 171 F3d 912, No. 98-1426 (CA 3, 29 March 1999) (affirming dismissal of RICO, antitrust, fraud, special duty, unjust enrichment, strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty claims). SCB: 1998 WL 212846
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey, Inc v Philip Morris, Inc, 36 F Supp 2d 560 (ED NY, 30 March 1999)
Coyne and Taxpayers v American Tobacco Co, 183 F3d 488, 1999 Fed App 252P (CA 6, Ohio, 12 July 1999)
Oregon Laborers-Employers Health & Welfare Trust Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, Case No. 98-36024 (CA 9, Oregon, 14 July 1999) (cost recovery case rejected, on the pretext that "smokers . . . direct victims of the alleged wrongful conduct . . . can be counted on to vindicate the injury caused by defendants' alleged wrongful conduct . . ." (One court, Barnes v American Tobacco Co, 161 F3d 127 (CA 3, Penn, 12 Nov 1998), says 99½% isn't enough to act on; this court speculates, and fabricates 100% will seek redress!, though well knowing to the contrary that an ultra-tiny percent of the 37 million casualties take remedial action).
Arkansas Carpenters' Health & Welfare Fund v Philip Morris, Inc, 75 F Supp 2d 936 (ED Ark, 28 Sep 1999)
In Re Tobacco/Governmental Health Care Costs Litigation, 76 F Supp 2d 5 (DDC, 17 Nov 1999) (court rejected tobacco company request to consolidate the federal government case, with cases by other nations)
Laborers Local 17 Health & Benefit Fund, et al v Philip Morris, Inc, et al, 528 US 1080; 120 S Ct 799; 145 L Ed 2d 673; 2000 US LEXIS 185 (10 Jan 2000). SCB: 7 F Supp 2d 277; 191 F3d 229
Group Health Plan Inc v Philip Morris Inc, 86 F Supp 912 (25 Jan 2000)
State of Minnesota ex rel. Attorney General Humphrey v Philip Morris Inc, 606 NW2d 676 (Minn App, 22 Feb 2000 rev den 25 April 2000) (affirmed public access to secret tobacco lobby documents: e.g., tobaccodocuments.org and smokefree.net/doc-alert)
Wayne County, Michigan v Philip Morris Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., American Tobacco Corp., Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., Ligget & Myers Inc., Lorillard Tobacco Co Inc., United States Tobacco Co., B.A.T. Industries P.L.C., British American Tobacco Co., the Council for Tobacco Research U.S.A. Inc., Smokeless Tobacco Council Inc., and the Tobacco Institute Inc., ___ F Supp 2d ___ (Aug 2000) (referral by Judge Paul Borman to Michigan Supreme Court)
In re Tobacco Cases II, __ Cal App 3d ___; 113 Cal Rptr 2d 120 (25 Oct 2001) (union health and welfare trust fund case, citing negligent misrepresentation and intentional fraud; court said Calif. law did not allow retroactivity)
Group Health Plan Inc v Philip Morris Inc, 188 F Supp 2d 1122 (D Minn, 31 Jan 2002) (loss recovery attempt): SCB 86 F Supp 912; 621 NW2d 2
Darlene Robinson v Montana, 315 Mont 353; 68 P3d 750; 2003 MT 110 (25 April 2003) (cigarette cost case under MSA)
U.S. v Philip Morris, Inc, 312 F Supp 2d 27 (D DC, 6 April 2004) (granting U.S. DOJ motions pursuant to D.C. Rule of Professional Conduct to disqualify former U.S. DOJ lawyer for 'side-switching' to an 'intervenor')
U.S. v Philip Morris, Inc, 300 F Supp 2d 61 (D DC, 23 June 2004) (doctrine of "unclean hands" does not apply in public interest cases; waiver means intentional relinquishment or abandonment of a known right)
Why didn't ALL such cases win? and thus help stop the tobacco holocaust? Answer: Due to
"tort reformist" type laws obstructing protecting the public from having to pay for these pusher-caused conditions. Such "tort reform" has the effect of increasing health care costs to policy holders (you, me, us), and of increasing Medicaid costs to taxpayers
the strong opposition of judges. Judges mostly followed "tort-reform" concept and rejected the cost-recovery efforts.
In addition, judges are well aware that the vast increase in jobs for judges is due to tobacco, due to the tobacco connection to drugs, crime, drunk driving, divorce, etc. It defies human nature to think they'd as a whole (vs rare exceptions) want to drop their case loads by a large percentage! and bring about, horrors!, unemployment among judges! Unemployment is for you peons, not for them!
1. Tobacco taxes never return as much money to the public treasury as cleaning up after tobacco users costs the public. Numerous studies show that the tobacco pusher system is a burden to society. The wages paid and the materials purchased by the pushers, overall, do not equal the social services, medical, and law enforcement costs to society of the pusher system. The cost/benefit ratio is about 54:1 as shown above.
2. The tax revenues vs. the tax expenditures accrue to different agencies of government. Thus an illusion of "profit" exists in the tax-receiving branch and is believed by politicians. The costs are distributed widely among many departments and agencies and are not readily admitted as "tobacco costs." This statistical disconnect is exploited by tobacco pushers to scam and gull the public into believing that, for example, an additional tobacco pusher license or a new tobacco store would enrich the local community.
3. Making any government service dependent upon ear-marked revenue from tobacco taxes ensures that there will always be an alleged "need" for tobacco sales and taxes, else the government will collapse. It was fiendishly manipulative of the tobacco pushers, for example, to tie tobacco prevention education to the tobacco pusher litigation payments: Once they are paid, and spent, the paid system anti-tobacco education (pathetic as it is) may well halt, new smokers will be recruited, and the pushers will thrive even more.
Other Tobacco Costs Generally Overlooked
How Above Litigation Could Have Been Avoided
The above-cited employer-related health care plans (meaning us, plan members and policy holders), ended up paying billions due to employers having hired smokers. How could this have been avoided? By employers having followed the wisdom of the early 1900's and not having hired smokers in the first place. For details, click here.
Tobacco's Impact on the Soil
Tobacco contains many ingredients that exhaust the soil, "beyond all other crops," impacting "future generations," so tobacco-growing has been disfavored "by the best farmers."
Tobacco's Role In Slavery
Millions were killed. Tobacco farmers were especially responsible for slavery. They began the major use of slaves in the U.S.See Glenn Porter, ed., Encyclopedia of American Economic History, Vol II (NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1980), "Slavery," pp 552-561: "of the American slave population . . . most worked in tobacco," p 552.
This began early, "by the end of the [seventeenth] century  plantation gangs were almost wholly composed of Negroes."—Jerome E. Brooks, The Mighty Leaf: Tobacco Through the Centuries (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1952), p 99.
In communication with leaders such as politicians, be aware that for them, content is a mere 10%!! Non-verbal communication is 60%! with vocal tonality, pitch, and pauses 30%. Once they do hear that 10% — of that small amount, recall is a mere 25%. Reference: Stanley Zareff, "Literally Speaking," 14 Worth (#1) 46-48 (January 2005). In short, professional politicians essentially comprehend and act upon facts at only a 2.5% level! Thus they are easily conned, scammed by tobacco pushers' lobbyists!
Thus, politicians are often conned into thinking they "increased" taxes when they raise cigarette "taxes." No, they are CUTTING taxes, the tax on nonsmokers' to pay for all these cigarette effects' costs.
Tell them so.
Better yet, the public could elect only people who have already had tobacco-related health classes in grade school hygiene class, and a career requiring fact orientation, including on statistics and mathematics.
Note the Christian viewpoint and sponsorship of the magazine Smoke Signals. And note the
"evidence on the association between smoking . . . and church attendance. . . . Church attendance was most closely related to non-smoking . . . . Thus, men who were not churchgoers were not only more likely to smoke at all, but were also more likely to smoke heavily. . . . non-smoking tended to be associated with abstention from alcohol. In addition, men who took alcohol regularly . . . were much more likely to be heavy smokers. . . . Men in unskilled occupations were not only more likely to smoke and to smoke heavily, but also to begin to smoke at an earlier age. . . . The lower the social-class level, the higher the ratio of smokers to non-smokers, the greater the proportion of heavy smokers, and the earlier the age at which regular smoking began."—A. Cartwright, F. M. Martin, and J. G. Thomson, "Distribution and Development of Smoking Habits," 2 Lancet (#7105) 725-727 (31 Oct 1959).
Christians smoke less pursuant to (a) belief in commandments including but not limited to "thou shalt not kill," (b) the fact of tobacco pushers' Kevorkianesque role in the tobacco holocaust, and (c) pushers' sinfulness, hence, they are the beneficiaries of the Psalms 91:10 principle, that though tens of thousands die all round, no such evil result shall befall them.
"Indeed, the anti-cigarette movement of the United States—and the same is true of that of Britain—has in a considerable degree been of religious inspiration."—Pryns Hopkins, Ph.D., Gone Up in Smoke: An Analysis of Tobaccoism (Culver City, CA: The Highland Press, 1948), p 221.
Christians know the duty to not aid and abet evil, to not partake, to keep themselves pure. Ephesians 5:7. “Be not ye therefore partakers with them.” 1 Timothy 5:22. cf. John 17:15, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, and Revelation 18:4.
Denunciations of the non-smoking movement as 'big government' and 'nannyism' are in reality code terms for an anti-Christian / persecution mentality. (See also Paul Krugman, "Fear Strikes Out" (22 March 2010).)
The amoral and immoral pro-tobaccoists who use such arguments intend evil for their fellow man, intend for people to suffer hurtful and fatal effects.
Such hurtful types avoid mentioning that enforcement of the Michigan cigarette law is easy.