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December 03, 1997 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-12-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 3, 1997

E.U. to decide on tobacco
advertising, sponsorship ban

SPA, Belgium (AP) - Health long
has been a formidable marketing tool in
this eastern town -- the original spa
resort. Yet health concerns, Mayor
Joseph Houssa fears, may cripple his
comm unity.
Spa is the proud host of Formula One
Grand Prix racing on the famed Spa-
.Francorchamps track. It boasts motor-
cycle and rally races and a popular cul-
tural festival. All of them are sponsored
by tobacco companies.
Now, intent on fighting cancer deaths
linked to smoking, the European Union
may outlaw such sponsorship.
Tomorrow it will consider an outright
ban on tobacco advertising.
Tobacco-sponsored events generate
about $58 million a year for the region
- income that H oussa, a nonsmoker, is
determined to protect.
"We will defend it to the day we die,"
Houssa said. "The consequences are
simple: Ban tobacco advertising and it
is finished with the races. It's finished
with the cultural festival."
Billboards, banners, and all other
forms of public tobacco advertising
would be prohibited under the proposal
to be taken up tomorrow. The only
exemption would be advertising inside
stores that sell tobacco products.
Current laws on tobacco advertising
vary in each E.U. nation. There is only
one common rule: tobacco commer-

"More than half a million E U. citizens
die as a result of cancer from
smoking and the use of tobacco
products every single year="
- Padraig Flynn
E.U. Health Commissioner

cials on television are prohibited.
The new legislation would prohibit
tobacco advertising in magazines and
newspapers published within the E.U.
It would force t~he closure of clothing
stores selling "Marlboro Classics," an
apparel line bearing the Marlboro
If the ban is accepted by the E.U.
leadership, all 15 member nations
would enact the law, a process that usu-
ally takes about two years. Any nations
failing to enforce the law could face
court action by EU officials.
"It's gone on for far too long," E.U.
Health Commissioner Padraig Flynn
said in an interview. "More than half a
million E.U. citizens die as a result of
cancer from smoking and the use of
tobacco products every single year."
More than 40 percent of European
adults, smoke and Flynn is convinced
that advertising continues to pull

unwitting victims toward disease and
death. The tobacco industry says
advertising offers existing smokers a
choice of brands.
Tobacco companies carry clout and
their advertising has become so inter-
woven in public life that a sudden sepa-
ration would wreak havoc in many
In poor regions of southern Europe
- Greece's Trace, Italy's Puglia, and
Spain's Extramadura - tobacco offers
a direct livelihood to some 200,000
people, from tobacco growers and pick-
ers to cigar rollers.
In addition, workers who rely on
tobacco-sponsored events would be
threatened. Worldwide, Formula One
racing gets some $200 million a year
from the tobacco industry. Other
sports with a global appeal such as ten-
nis and yachting similarly draw huge

A customer reaches for a pack of cigarettes on display.
Lawyercs sue for larg er payment

The Washington Post
When the state of Florida announced a $11.3 billion settle-
ment with the tobacco industry in August, Gov. Lawton Chiles
(D) said the state had "reached a victory of historic proportions."
What might turn out to be equally historic, however, is the size
of the fees demanded by some of the attorneys who worked for
the state - and the ugliness of the dispute over the money.
Some lawyers in the case are suing for immediate payment
of what could turn out to be more than $200 million each -
as much as $2.8 billion altogether -arguing that is what they
are owed under the original 25 percent contingency fee deal
they signed with the state.
"A deal's a deal," said Sheldon Schlessinger, one of the
attorneys fighting the state.
But Florida officials negotiated a different deal with the

industry. Under that agreement, the industry, not the state,
would pay all legal fees and the amount would be determined
by a panel of arbitrators.
Two weeks ago, a state judge in Palm Beach sided v ith the
state. Ruling that the attorneys' demands were "uncon-
scionable and clearly excessive," Circuit Judge Harold Jeffre*
Cohen ordered the attorneys to arbitrate their fees. The dissi-
dents have since sued to have the judge removed from the case,
The case is being closely watched. It's a nail-biting drama
for those supporting a national tobacco policy based in part
on the settlement proposal last June between the industry and
the states and private attorneys suing it. The Florida squabble,
and possible similar fights brewing in other states, represents
an eruption of precisely the kind of monetary infighting pro-
ponents had hoped to avoid.

Yale Corp.'
to review
Yale may join Harvard,
other universities in
divesting stock
Yale Daily News
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale
Corporation will review its tobacco
holdings policy within the first six
months of the new year, Corporatioi
members said earlier this week.
Members of the Yale Corporation
would not say last night if they dis-
cussed tobacco divestment at their
meeting last Saturday.
President Richard Levin will deliver
his summary of the meeting today. He
and other administrators said last night
that the meeting was routine - at least
as much as one of the University's to
policy-making body can be.
But Corporation member John
Pepper, Jr. '60 said while the possibili-
ty of divesting from tobacco stocks was
not discussed this time, "it's something
to be reviewed during the first six
months of 1998."
The Corporation Committee on
Investor Responsibility, a subcom-
mittee of the Yale Corporation,
reviews Yale's holdings in tobacco
and other controversial stocks in it*
analysis of investment ethics. An
advisory committee, composed of
Yale students, faculty and alumni,
also makes recommendations when
asked, but has no decision-making
The Advisory Committee on
Investor Responsibility will meet with-
in the next week and a half for the sec-
ond time this year, committee member
Lawrence Lipsher '62 said. 4
Lipsher added that the committee
has "met once very quickly" this year,
and if tobacco divestment was an agen-
da item at the Corporation meeting, "it
was not something that they advised us
As of June 30, Yale held $16.9 mil-
lion in tobacco stocks, and Philip
Morris was one of the University's 20
largest investment holdings.
Although Yale's tobacco holding,
have not peaked higher than 0.5 per-
cent of the total endowment, other
schools including Harvard University
-- which has the largest university
endowment -- Johns Hopkins
University and Tufts University have
divested their tobacco holdings.
In 1991, the ACIR released a prece-
dent-setting decision on investor
responsibility which stated that by
holding a company's stocks, th*
University gains the ability to influ-
ence the company's corporate respon-
sibility at shareholder meetings and in
"The use of 'voice' rather than 'exit'
(is) the best way to seek to affect cor-
porate behavior except under the most
exceptional conditions," the decision

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