#TBT: The Tobacco Industry is Grilled Before Congress

In 1994, seven big tobacco CEOs testified before Congress, claiming nicotine isn’t addictive — all under oath...

The relentless fight exposed tobacco’s decades of deceit

In 1994, 46 U.S. states sued the big tobacco companies for the recovery of Medicaid funds. That year, 7 big tobacco CEOs testified under oath before Congress. It wasn't until 1998 that the big tobacco companies finally admitted that nicotine is addictive — and that their products cause diseases like cancer. The tobacco companies agreed to pay out $246 billion over 25 years. That year, the companies were also ordered to declassify over 14 million internal corporate documents — known as the Truth Tobacco Industry Documents. The public then learned that big tobacco had spent half a century hiding tobacco's toxicity.

Over the last four decades, no member of Congress has done more to improve the health and well-being of Americans than Henry Waxman. He is, and for 40 years has been, the most dedicated, influential and effective advocate for public health in the House of Representatives. Senior F.D.A. officials and strong opponents of tobacco in Congress had said that they did not want to ban cigarettes outright but that some way ought to be found to regulate them to lessen the health and safety dangers that they have posed for decades. Some tobacco company executives, who asked not to be named said privately that they could accept some regulation. This hearing, they said, became the opening of a discussion about the future for cigarettes in the United States.

The relentless fight exposed tobacco’s decades of deceit. Today, we take it for granted that most Americans understand the truth about the dangers of tobacco use and the deception of the industry. The sea change on smoking in our country wouldn’t have happened without the courage and tenacity of politicians like Henry Waxman. In the 20th century, tobacco killed 100 million people globally. More deaths than in WW1 and WW2.


10/10/2019 12:02 PMupdated: 10/10/2019 1:29 PM


  • Joel B.
    05/16/2020 19:39

    Super infirmière ....

  • Keki K.
    05/07/2020 10:10

    Dayum these CEOs are straight up gangstahs. 🤫 they believe that nicotine is not addictive 😎. They also believe that skittles comes from 🌈🤦🏽‍♂️

  • Mepong L.
    01/03/2020 06:38

    Tobacco is not addictive

  • Ahweewa H.
    01/01/2020 16:47

    But why are cigarettes still selling now worldwide?

  • 전준호
    01/01/2020 14:21

    I guess the world is ending due to greedy people

  • Huseyin T.
    01/01/2020 13:28

    All liars

  • Rokas K.
    12/15/2019 18:36

    Killed by tabacco is better than live in overpopulated world.

  • Jordan G.
    11/28/2019 04:31

    Why are Americans so naive. The CEO s who tell everyone nicotine is not addictive. How many smokers out there that says that statement is true . Yet nobody stands up and says the CEOs are no truthful under oath . Are they in jail ?. It makes a mockery of the US govt .

  • Danny O.
    11/25/2019 09:02

    Mass murderers lying under oath

  • Joe S.
    11/23/2019 22:56

    No wonder we raised a pussy generation

  • Kayraz P.
    11/22/2019 03:32

    Even though nicotine is addictive u can still quit easily compare to other drugs like cocaine or methi

  • Delaine W.
    11/21/2019 03:40

    Probably one of the most, if not, the most, addictive drug, and it is a drug, a regulated drug, on earth!

  • Sujata B.
    11/17/2019 11:46

    People who got hooked should sue their asses.

  • Nitin J.
    11/15/2019 10:21

    Glad that I quit smoking 9 years ago.

  • Talha M.
    11/15/2019 03:35

    we should spread awareness among our people

  • তৌসিফ ত.
    11/13/2019 03:10

    what does "tbt" mean?

  • Aliashker A.
    11/10/2019 14:39

    I believe i can fly

  • Prakash M.
    11/10/2019 10:35

    Naresha GN

  • Yawar Y.
    11/09/2019 15:59

    Only now we are waking up to tobacco's ills! As for the industry's views long back there was nothing surprising there. After all,they were interested in making money.

  • Khan I.
    11/09/2019 13:03

    Pawan S Singh

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