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Tobacco Control Implications of the First European Product Liability Suit

H. T. Hiilamo
Tobacco Control
Vol. 14, No. 1 (Feb., 2005), pp. 22-30
Published by: BMJ
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20208293
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Tobacco Control Implications of the First European Product Liability Suit
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Abstract

Objective: To examine tobacco control implication of the first European product liability suit in Finland. Methods: Systematic search of internal tobacco industry documents available on the internet and at the British American Tobacco Guildford Depository. Results: Despite legal loss, the litigation contributed to subsequent tobacco control legislation in Finland. The proceedings revealed that the industry had concealed the health hazards of its products and, despite indisputable evidence, continued to deny them. The positions taken by the industry rocked its reliability as a social actor and thus weakened its chances of influencing tobacco policy. Despite fierce opposition from the tobacco industry, tobacco products were included in the product liability legislation, tobacco was entered on the Finnish list of carcinogens, and an extensive Tobacco Act was passed in Parliament. Conclusions: Tobacco litigation might not stand alone as a tool for public health policymaking but it may well stimulate national debate over the role of smoking in society and influence the policy agenda.

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