#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
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  • Tammy F.
    10/10/2019 12:10

    and none went to prison for lying under oath. What's the point of oaths and contempt if there are no consequences?

  • Nevin S.
    10/10/2019 12:59

    lock them up along with killary and biden and pedowood celebs

  • Ivana V.
    10/10/2019 13:19

    Its just one of the strongest

  • Brut
    10/10/2019 13:26

    E-cigarettes hit the U.S. market over a decade ago, but there's a reason why the vaping revolution has picked up steam over the past few years. 🌬️5

  • Leo-Jan S.
    10/10/2019 13:27

    They believed nicotine is not addictive till they met science!

  • Kies K.
    10/10/2019 13:28

    Consequence is your own choice, first of all we know better because we have and share experience, second we stopped a long time ago to listen and believe to dumbquakers, and an additional word, not only that nicotine is addictive, but with consuming the usual cigarettes, you are also being exposed to a dangerous chemical cocktail, which are even more dangerous plus addictive than tabacco, if you still want to use tabacco, you can rather use cigars of pure tabacco, or even better you grow tabacco yourself, and learn how to use it after harvest, that would make the tabacindustry bankrupt and the taxmoney you have to pay with consuming tabac is not disappearing in dark channels, and the people who are electing their government, have to force those in office, to claim a refund money on cigarettes, so bringing back the pokes and filters produced from plastic cellulose the industry has to be obliged to pay the refund back, which gives for example homeless people the possibility to generate some income, so at least they can eat without having to beg for it, and it keeps the street and nature clean in the same time, that is a better way than to pay taxes on cigarettes and tabacco, and you can grow it at home, if you don't have a garden, you can grow it on your balcony as like you are also growing other plants

  • Walid B.
    10/10/2019 13:29

    2:08 cgb spender ?

  • Claire N.
    10/10/2019 13:42


  • Fitz B.
    10/10/2019 13:58

    Nobody wants to address the elephant in the room huh?

  • Elgar F.
    10/10/2019 15:03

    I also thought like they do, until angioplasty got me

  • Karen Z.
    10/10/2019 15:14

    MORE LIES!!!!!!

  • Luis F.
    10/10/2019 15:28


  • Veshu G.
    10/10/2019 15:34


  • Chuck A.
    10/10/2019 17:18

    So they all lied to congress, not one on jail

  • Michael S.
    10/11/2019 04:35

    WOW how much money did it cost them to sell their souls?

  • Marek V.
    10/11/2019 04:48

    "I believe that nicotine is not addictive" What kind of statement is that? They can believe in what they want, so if they said that they believe in unicorns, it wouldnt be a lie... O_o

  • Lucas S.
    10/11/2019 15:24

    Wait, a corporate businessman lied under oath to protect the business that lines their pockets with millions of dollars? Shocking

  • Kevin J.
    10/11/2019 22:01

    They are clearly non smokers😂

  • Claire M.
    10/11/2019 23:58

    .....and so it goes....I can't believe this was only in 1994, yet we still allow awful stuff to make it onto store and pharmacy shelves.

  • Christopher K.
    10/12/2019 00:32

    Jeffrey Wigand exposed these liars, and received death threats.