Tobacco Chief in Deaths Confession

  • Share
  • Read Later
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.: Marlboro Man must have fallen off his horse when he heard the news. Philip Morris, makers of Marlboro and the veritable Zeus of Big Tobacco, has effectively admitted that smoking kills.

Granted, it didn't come easy. But during a deposition for a lawsuit that is continuing despite the multi-billion dollar settlement, Florida attorney Ron Motley finally got what he was looking for. He asked Philip Morris CEO Geoffrey Bible if smoking had caused a single death over the past 30 years. "Might have," said Bible. How about 1,000? "Might have." And 100,000? "Might have."

It is as much of an admission as Big Tobacco is ever likely to make, but Bible still scurried to cover his tracks. Cigarettes, he added, are "certainly not pharmacologically addictive," just behaviorally so. Rather like Gummi Bears, one Philip Morris exec has said. Perhaps he should tell that to the 450,000 Americans who die each year from smoking- and secondhand smoke-related diseases. If Gummi Bears kill, it's yet to hit the headlines.