• 22.12.2012 Berryville Bust Part Of $33M Cigarettes Sting

    A Federal Grand Jury sitting in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Harrisonburg has indicted dozens of individuals for conspiring to traffic in contraband cigarettes, money laundering and a variety of related charges.The defendants were charged by the grand jury in four separate indictments returned under seal on February 17, 2011, August 3, 2011 and October 6, 2011. Those indictments were unsealed earlier this week following the arrest and initial court appearances by the defendants.The charges are the result of a three-year investigation by the United...

  • 20.11.2012 Covenant Kicks The Habit

    Amy Olson-Yarbrough was tired of being a prisoner to tobacco."I decided I didn't want cigarettes to control my life any more," Olson-Yarbrough said. "When you're a smoker you have to figure out where you're going to be able to smoke cigarettes next, how long until my next cigarette, how am I going to hide it from my kids . . ."So, on Nov. 23, 2010, Olson-Yarbrough - a pack-a-day smoker who had been at it for close to two decades - quit smoking cigarettes.Now, Olson-Yarbrough can't stand anything about it."The smell of buy cigarettes really nauseates me," she said. "I'll never go back to...

  • 18.10.2012 No-smoking Policy For New Hires

    Should smokers who want to work for the county be forced to sign a pledge they will quit smoking cigarettes — and then be required to follow through before starting work?Should they pay more for their health-care coverage if they don’t keep the pledge, or decline to sign it?Is it discrimination for government not to consider smokers to fill open positions?The Muscatine County Board of Supervisors decided to have the county’s Health and Safety Committee study the issue, which was brought up by Sheriff Dave White at the Board’s regular meeting Monday.White told the Board he’s heard...

  • 10.09.2012 Court Upholds Big Award In Smoker's Case

    A state appeals court upheld $13.8 million in punitive damages against Philip Morris on Wednesday for the addiction and death of a 45-year cigarette smoker, saying the company's decades of concealment and lies about the dangers of its products were "extremely reprehensible."In a 2-1 ruling, the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles affirmed a verdict by a Los Angeles County jury in the case of Betty Bullock of Newport Beach (Orange County). Bullock had started smoking cigarettes Marlboros in 1956, at age 17, and quit in 2001 after she was diagnosed with lung cancer, two years...

  • 09.09.2012 California Court Approves 16:1 Punitive Damage Award

    Corporate America has pushed hard for years to hold the line on punitive damages, with some successThe Supreme Court has ruled that excessively high punitive damage awards, designed to punish defendants for particularly egregious behavior, can violate the Due Process clause. And the California Supreme Court had held that punitive damages typically should not be more than nine to ten times the size of damages awarded to compensate injured parties.But in a smoking cigarettes case against Philip Morris, a California appellate court yesterday signed off on punitive damages that were 16 times...

Up In Smoke

Beach-goers didn’t waste any time blowing smoke cigarettes in the face of the city’s recently enacted ban on public puffing, as dozens lit up along the Boardwalk in protest during the beach’s opening day.

The “Smoke in the Park Event,” held on Saturday near Brighton Sixth Steet, flouted Mayor Bloomberg’s Smoke-Free Air Act, which passed in February and went into effect on May 23.

No one was ticketed during the rally, though demonstrators risked a $50 fine with their defiance of the new law that bans lighting up in city-run parks and beaches along with other open spaces like the Riegelmann Boardwalk in Coney Island and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

“When the law is an ass, it’s our duty to revolt,” said protest organizer Audrey Silk, founder of the Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment.

Silk and her fellow protesters, which inluded members from as far away as Massachusetts, chanted and held signs like “cigarettes Control is Out of Control.” Some even performed smoking cigarettes stunts, such as inhaling a cigar, cigarette and pipe for a discount cigarettes hat-trick.

The protest took place just two days after city officials kicked off summer in Coney Island with a visit from Health Department officials who claim the new rules will saves lives. “[The new rule] is going to be great for people’s health,” city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley told NY1 on Thursday. “People won’t be exposed to second-hand smoke. It’ll be great for children who won’t be watching smokers and learning how to smoke.”

Bloomberg has been pushing the law, highlighting the dangers of secondhand smoke, namely that even brief exposure to outdoor cigarette smoke cigarettes can lead to more-frequent asthma attacks in children with the condition, and respiratory ailments in healthy adults.

City data claim that 7,500 New Yorkers die each year from cigarette smoke, and more than half of non-smokers have elevated levels of a nicotine by-product in their blood.

“The science is clear: prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke cigarettes — whether you’re indoors or out — hurts your health,” said Mayor Bloomberg.

But Marlboro men and women across the borough say that the ban violates their civil liberties.

“I’m not that worried about getting a ticket,” said Kristen Hess, who leisurely puffed her cigarette on the beach.

The Parks Department issued 300 verbal warnings — but only one ticket — to smokers over the weekend.