March 7, 2001
Ex-Prosecutor Would Play Key Role in Overseeing Congressional Redistricting by Dan Eggen and David A. Vise / Washington Post Staff Writers; Page A21
Source: The Washington Post, Wednesday, 3/7/01
A former assistant U.S. attorney in Boston who has prosecuted gun crimes and defended gunmakers was nominated yesterday to head the civil rights division at the Justice Department, becoming the fourth minority tapped for a top position under Attorney General John D. Ashcroft.
Ralph F. Boyd Jr., 44, would take over the politically explosive job of overseeing federal enforcement of anti-discrimination laws, voting rights cases and school desegregation plans. The civil rights chief will also play a key role in the redrawing of congressional districts based on the 2000 census.
The nomination of Boyd, who is black, comes as Ashcroft attempts to reach out to African Americans and other minorities. Just last week, Ashcroft vowed to work with lawmakers to combat racial profiling and held a tense meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, a group that includes some of his harshest critics.
Ashcroft, a former Missouri governor and U.S. senator, came under heavy attack during his confirmation hearings on numerous racial issues, including his opposition to desegregation plans in St. Louis and Kansas City and his role in torpedoing a federal judgeship for Missouri Supreme Court Judge Ronnie White, the first black to sit on that court.
Justice Department spokeswoman Mindy Tucker said Ashcroft has made diversity a priority in discussing personnel issues with the White House.
"He's well aware of some of the things that were said during the hearings," Tucker said. "He wanted to send a clear signal that he is sincere about having a diverse group of people focused on enforcing the law for all citizens. . . . It's another way to show African Americans that he cares about these issues."
In addition to Boyd, Ashcroft and President Bush have endorsed former federal prosecutor Larry Thompson to be deputy attorney general and lawyer Charles A. James to head the antitrust division. Both men are black. Georgetown law professor Viet D. Dinh, a Vietnamese immigrant who praised Ashcroft's stance on asylum issues, has been asked to be assistant attorney general for legal policy.
(For the key job as head of the department's criminal division, Bush administration officials are talking with Michael Chertoff, a former U.S. attorney in New Jersey who served as chief counsel to the Senate's Whitewater committee, sources said yesterday.)
Few of the nominees so far appear to be raising the hackles of liberal Democrats, who vowed after Ashcroft's confirmation that they would vigorously fight any candidates seen as too right-wing. The biggest confrontation is likely to come over Theodore B. Olson, the solicitor general candidate who successfully argued Bush's election case at the U.S. Supreme Court.
The civil rights position has been a political punching bag for years. Most recently, President Bill Clinton appointed Bill Lann Lee to the job on an acting basis after Senate Republicans, including Ashcroft, blocked his confirmation.
Elliot Mincberg, legal director at People for the American Way, said Ashcroft has wisely sought a moderate tone in his first days as attorney general.
"It's certainly a positive thing that there have been some efforts to appoint minorities to important positions," Mincberg said. "But I don't think you can make a judgment until we start seeing policies implemented. . . . People would be thrilled to have been wrong about some of the concerns that were raised about Mr. Ashcroft. It's way too early to tell at this point."
Boyd, who did not return a phone call to his Boston office yesterday, worked for six years in the Massachusetts U.S. attorney's office, prosecuting bank fraud, firearms, homicide, bombing, narcotics trafficking and bank robbery cases, as well as several high-profile cases involving gang violence.
A Harvard Law School graduate known for working 16-hour days, which frequently started at 2 a.m., Boyd coordinated Operation Triggerlock, a national gun crime prosecution program set up by the Justice Department. He was also a member of an urban crime initiative at the department.
Since joining the Boston firm of Goodwin Procter in 1997, Boyd has advised both the tobacco and gun industries. In 1999, he said attempts to hold gun manufacturers responsible for firearm deaths were "preposterous."
Clint Bolick, litigation director at the Institute for Justice, a conservative Washington law firm, called the Boyd nomination "inspired."
"I'm hopeful he will return a sense of purpose to a civil rights division that has gone adrift on ideological crusades over the last eight years," Bolick said.
But some Democrats said their biggest concern about Boyd would be his apparent lack of experience in civil rights issues and litigation.
"He's got a very good reputation, but he has basically no record on civil rights," said one Democratic Senate aide. "Judging from some of the Justice nominees so far, perhaps no record is better than a record."
Staff writer Susan Schmidt contributed to this report.Return to Topics of Interest Directory
February 27, 2001
The UCSF Tobacco Control Archives has released today released the Tobacco Litigation Documents web site, which contains key litigation documents from the cases brought against the tobacco industry by the Attorneys General. This resource augments the four collections of tobacco industry documents available through the Library and Center for Knowledge Management at the University of California San Francisco. The full-text searchable collection can be accessed at
Theis site contains litigation documents from the cases brought against the tobacco industry by the Attorneys General of 44 statesand similar actions, as well as documents from similar actions. Four of the states suing the tobacco industry reached settlements with the tobacco defendants. The remaining states signed a Master Settlement Agreement in November of 1998. Items on the new UCSF site, including press releases, complaints, transcripts of hearings, correspondence, and settlement agreements, can be viewed as web pages or downloaded as PDF files. Links to the web site of each state's current Attorney General website are also provided.
The contents of this site were developed by the State Tobacco Information Center at Northeastern University's Tobacco Products Liability Project, which maintains the Tobacco Control Resource Center web site (
Established in 1994, the Tobacco Control Archives (TCA) provides a centralized source of information about the tobacco control movement and resulting legislation. Sponsored by the UCSF Library and Center for Knowledge Management, the TCA collects, preserves, and provides access to papers, unpublished documents, and electronic resources. Highlights include the Brown & Williamson Collectionthe first tobacco industry documents to be released on the Internetand documentation of the lawsuit challenging the Joe Camel ad campaign.Return to Topics of Interest Directory
February 26, 2001
Return to Topics of Interest Directory
Pro-active leaders in New Mexico, Missouri and Alabama have proposed legislation to help curb teen smoking.
We all see groups of kids smoking a few feet from school grounds. This sends the wrong message. These young people openly flaunt their "coolness" to others who may be susceptable to drug experimentation.
Currently, our laws prohibit the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products to young people under the age of 18. We have no authority once our kids and children find a way to obtain these addictive products.
"Right now, literally, if a police officer walked into a restaurant and saw kids smoking cigarettes, they can't stop them. That's crazy," says state Rep. Tom Hoppe (Missouri).
This proposal does not make criminals of young people; but a traffic-type ticket imposes a hefty fine (research shows price is a powerful deterent to potential smokers). In addition, convicted teen smokers will attend up to 30 hours of specialized tobacco cessation and drug abuse prevention education.
MASCOT provides a complete review of this issue. In addition, you can send an e-letter supporting our state representative who is sponsoring this legislation. Please give New Mexico's kids just five minutes of your time!
February 24, 2001
The UCSF Tobacco Control Archives has released the British-American Tobacco Document Collection, the fourth collection of tobacco documents to be made available online by the Library and Center for Knowledge Management at the University of California San Francisco. The full-text searchable collection can be accessed at -
The British-American Tobacco Document Collection represents a small subset of over 8 million pages produced by the British-American Tobacco Company (BATCo) and now held at the Guildford Document Depository in Guildford, England. The documents were obtained through the legal discovery process for a successful suit against the major tobacco companies by the Attorney General of Minnesota and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota. The suit was settled in 1998.
Health Canada, Physicians for Smokefree Canada, the Ministry of the Attorney General of British Columbia, the World Health Organization, and individual researchers uncovered the documents through investigations at the Guildford Document Depository. This new collection was funded by the California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program. More documents from the depository will be added to the collection over the next eighteen months.
Ranging in date from the 1950s to the 1990s, the documents cover subject matter such as marketing, research and development, cigarette analysis and design, and establishing business in developing countries. The documents reveal how BATCo's efforts to develop new, "safer" cigarettes (products with fewer biological effects) evolve into efforts to convince consumers that certain existing cigarettes, such as low-tar varieties, are safer.
Established in 1994, the Tobacco Control Archives (TCA) provides a centralized source of information about the tobacco control movement and resulting legislation. Sponsored by the UCSF Library and Center for Knowledge Management, the TCA collects, preserves, and provides access to papers, unpublished documents, and electronic resources. Highlights include the Brown & Williamson Collectionthe first tobacco industry documents to be released on the Internetand documentation of the lawsuit challenging the Joe Camel ad campaign.
For more information, email email@example.com.Return to Topics of Interest Directory
February 17, 2001
It has been rumored that this new report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was originally slated for a very public release, but that the publicity was squelched owing to pressure from officials at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Whether or not this is true, the report, which offers the first comprehensive look at how states have (or have not) used funds from the national tobacco settlement for tobacco prevention purposes, is available online in its entirety for all to read.
You can download the full text of the 150-page report, look up individual state information via an interactive map, and view a number of summary maps and tables.Return to Topics of Interest Directory
January 18, 2001
An announcement from the University of California -
As part of the University of California's digital library initiative, UC has placed the full text of Stan Glantz' book, Tobacco War on line (for free). It is full text searchable. Check it out at
Of course, UC Press remains happy to sell you a copy if you don;t like the web.
The history of California in this book is being repeated all over the country. Advocates would do well to read it to learn what to expect and how to prevail.
The people at the California Digital LIbrary who did the work noted:
As you probably know, it is the first text we have published in this manner (using the Extensible Markup Language), and the only one of which I am aware on the Internet. Please take a look and let me know what you think. Some things we may be able to change right away, others may take longer, depending on what the change is. We are also still fine-tuning it. Thanks
They would appreciate any feedback you have. Email them at:
January 11, 2001
Dr. Stan Glantz, at the Institute of Public Health Studies, University of Southern California, has expanded his research group's scope internationally, and announces the release of their first international report, this one on the tobacco industry meddling in politics in Switzerland. As with other previous reports, it draws heavily on once-secret industry documents.
The bottom line: The industry uses the same subversive tactics in Switzerland as the USA.
The full report (including executive summaries in German and French, is on the web at -
January 9, 2001
One of the leading candidates for the position of U.S. Trade Representative is Richard Parsons, president of Time Warner and a former Ford administration official. Parsons is also a member of the board of directors of Philip Morris.
The appointment of Parsons could be a serious setback for tobacco control efforts. Not only would it confer undeserved respectability on the tobacco industry and give Philip Morris (more) worrisome access to top levels of the Bush administration, it might also signal a return to the bad old days of U.S. trade policy -- when the U.S. government used trade sanctions or the threat of trade sanctions to force open markets to U.S. tobacco multinationals, and to undermine tobacco control measures.
See Essential Information for more details.Return to Topics of Interest Directory
January 3, 2001
Commercial Alert, child advocates and several public health organizations sent a letter today to National Association of Attorneys General President Andrew Ketterer, Attorney General of Maine, requesting an investigation of whether Philip Morris Cos. is luring children to smoking by distributing millions of textbook covers bearing the Philip Morris name.
More information is available at the Commercial Alert web site -
December 22, 2000
Tommy Thompson, the 14-year governor of Wisconsin is being considered by George W. Bush to be nominated as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. The DHHS is the federal agency responsible for tobacco control, prevention and treatment, and includes the Surgeon General's Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Service and the National Institutes of Health.
Tommy Thompson has a long-standing track record of pro-tobacco activities in Wisconsin, and has had a very close relationship with Philip Morris.
Following are some website links that document some of Thompson's longstanding relationship with the tobacco cartel.
Activists point to campaign donations, trips; By STEVE SCHULTZE of the Journal Sentinel staff
Tobacco Industry Political Activity and Tobacco Control Policy Making in Wisconsin: 1983-1998 -
Tommy Thompson and Tobacco (a policy review) -
Thompson accepts $55,000 from tobacco companies -
Thompson travels to other countries at Philip Morris' expense -
Thompson makes 12 calls to Philip Morris 12/95 - 6/97 -
To quickly learn about Tommy Thompson and Philip Morris -
Ditto above, Option 2 -
On the other hand -
Unlike some other high level Bush appointees, John Ashcroft, the nominee for Attorney General, has supported several tobacco control initiatives during his term as Missouri governor. For details, see the report on Missouri at
Another view on the upcoming presidency -
December 7, 2000
The WHO European Center has just released a new report, "Policies to Reduce Exposure to ETS"
This report has many conclusions that are valuable here in the US and around the world. They stress the importance of legislation and the fact that (contrary to tobacco industry assertions) ventilation is not a solution.
The full report is available at
1. Public health policy and action should aim at the elimination of ETS pollution by creating smoke-free environments for everyone.
2. This goal should be achieved through a combined programme of legislation and education. Legislation is necessary to create smoke-free workplaces and public places, including restaurants, educational institutions, day care centres and hospitals. Educational and promotional campaigns should be implemented to facilitate compliance with this legislation and also to encourage smoke-free homes.
3. An integrated multisectoral response should be developed involving, among others, the health, environment and education ministries as well as appropriate NGOs.
4. Laws and regulations are essential to provide protection against involuntary smoking. Voluntary arrangements are not sufficient. For such legal instruments to be effective, they should have viable means of enforcement, be supported through educational and promotional programmes, and be equipped with appropriate sanctions for non-compliance.
5. Since there is no evidence for a safe exposure level, legislation limited to ventilation design and standards cannot achieve smoke-free workplaces and public places.
6. The enforcement instruments should be created and administered by the health, occupational health and safety, and environment agencies.
7. Action at both national and sub-national levels to develop and enforce legislation or regulations is important and mutually reinforcing. The model of local or grass-roots legislation (e.g. city by-laws) has proved very effective and should be encouraged in countries where this is possible. In countries where action cannot be taken locally, the focus should be on national legislation.
8. The tobacco industry should be required to disclose the names of people and organizations to which it provides both direct and indirect funding and support.
9. Legal action should be taken using existing laws to protect nonsmokers and to require smoke-free environments. This action should be encouraged to use existing laws and legal systems to protect the rights of nonsmokers most effectively.
10. The American litigation has proved very effective in bringing the truth to the public, and has acted as a catalyst for political action. The British and Irish parliamentary enquiries and the USA Congressional hearings have also contributed to this. Such enquiries are most effective when parliaments have the legal authority to compel witnesses to testify and documents to be produced. Countries are encouraged to take appropriate action to hold the tobacco industry accountable for damage caused by second-hand smoke. Education and the promotion of smoke-free environments
11. Governments should educate their populations regarding the right to smoke-free air, existing laws and the dangers of involuntary smoking, including the fact that there is no safe level of exposure.
12. Educational efforts on the particular dangers of second-hand smoke to children should be used as a critical part of educational campaigns designed to achieve smoke-free homes. These educational programmes should address parents, children, child health professionals and family doctors.
13. Employers, health professionals, teachers, occupational health and safety professionals, union leaders, policy-makers, the media, the hospitality industry and other opinion-formers should be informed of the benefits of and need for smoke-free environments.
14. Legislators, policy-makers and the public (including employers and members of the hospitality industry) should be educated about disinformation campaigns by the tobacco industry.
15. No educational institution should accept any "educational" programme prepared, distributed or financed by the tobacco industry. Information/networking.
16. WHO/EURO should provide a clearing-house to support legislation and other action to create and support smoke-free environments. This support should include a comprehensive database of existing legislation, individuals and organizations working to create smoke-free environments, current data on the health effects of involuntary smoking, and information on the tobacco industry's activities to prevent the creation of smoke-free environments.
17. WHO/EURO should disseminate the Air quality guidelines chapter on environmental tobacco smoke as a separate document. It should also encourage occupational agencies to promote smoke-free workplaces and advise Member States' environmental health agencies to promote smoke-free environments.
18. There is a need for a well supported, structured European network to share experience related to ETS on a continuing basis and to develop and operate standardized analytical tools.
19. WHO's activities need to recognize and address the distinct needs of different regions, which have different cultures and perspectives.
20. There is a need for uniform reporting of the indicators on both active and passive smoking across the WHO European Region to assess progress towards meeting the stated goals. Readily accessible data, which quantify the exposure of the population (both adults and children) and the efficacy of specific interventions, should be a part of this information. WHO should include these data in its information system.Return to Topics of Interest Directory
December 2, 2000
The current issue of PR Watch (PR Watch, Volume 7, No. 3, Third Quarter 2000) examines the industry-funded "sound science" movement of Steve Milloy, Dennis Avery, Elizabeth Whelan and others behind the NoMoreScares.com campaign. This contains two excellent articles of especial interest to tobacco control advocates:
Web address -
The global tobacco problem is examined in three interesting articles -
Put "tobacco control" on the agenda of the presidential debates by using the Web Site of the Presidential Debate Commission. Follow steps one through four below. ("Tobacco control" is not currently listed as a topic to be debated.)
Step one: Click on the link to the web site of the Commission on Presidential Debates. The link is http://www.Debates.org/ The opening screen will say "Commission on Presidential Debates".
Step two: Click on "Suggest topics for the debates" at the top left-hand side of the screen. The new screen will show "CPD Pre-Debate Survey". Complete the survey. When you complete the survey, you will come to a screen which says "We are interested in learning which topics you would most like to be discussed in the upcoming Presidential Debates.
Step three: Click on Domestic Programs and Policies. One of the options is "Other".
Step four: Click on "Other". Type in your statement that "tobacco control" should be on the agenda.Return to Topics of Interest Directory
Oregon's Tobacco "INFORMATION CENTRAL" is open! This site as a "one-stop library" for tobacco prevention tools and information:
What do all of the following World-Wide Web domain names have in common?
Here is a review of an excellent discussion by James Repace about a recommendation by a panel of ventilation experts assembled by OSHA and ACGIH that concluded dilution ventilation, used in virtually all mechanically ventilated buildings, will not control secondhand smoke in the hospitality industry (e.g., restaurants, bars, casinos). But, this panel claimed - erroneously - that a new and unproved technology, displacement ventilation, offered the potential for up to 90% reductions in ETS levels relative to dilution technology.Return to Topics of Interest Directory
Here is a reprint of an extensive review of a recent book, "Tobacco War: Inside the California Battles", by Stan Glantz and Balbach which presents extensive detail about the development of the tobacco control movement, especially from the perspective of California.Return to Topics of Interest Directory
From Jackson, Mississippi, July 19th; The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi is broadcasting a weeklong series over the Internet called "Cold Turkey," in which five strangers who smoke a pack a day or more will be locked up in a two-bedroom apartment -- without cigarettes. I.e., an Internet version of "Survivor."
From July 31 through Aug. 6, Web surfers can go to http://www.questionit.com/coldturkey and watch the 18- to 21-year-olds under 24 hours of surveillance quit their habit. Viewers can also control the characters' other actions, by voting on things such as whether they should take an aerobic "Kardio Kombat" class or be subjected to loud doses of Conway Twitty tunes.Return to Topics of Interest Directory
Now that the jury has spoken in the Florida trial of the tobacco industry, we are seeing claims that any large settlement will "bankrupt" the industry. See the section on bankruptcy in the University of Southern California study on the Global Settlement for a realistic analysis of this claim.Return to Topics of Interest Directory
See "Common Cause; Paying the Price How Special Interests Block Common Sense" for a very penetrating analysis of how special interests have diverted attention from the massive public health issues that are a very integral part of the tobacco issue and must be addressed for a comprehensive resolution of the problem.Return to Topics of Interest Directory
Secondhand tobacco smoke has been added to the official list of known carcinogens in a report just issued by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).Return to Topics of Interest Directory
Here is a recent far reaching interview with Kirk Kleinschmidt, Vice President of Advocacy for the American Heart Association, Western States Affiliate, has a lot of interesting perspectives on the current state of tobacco control.Return to Topics of Interest Directory
The Florida North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Kentucky Legislatures have tried to enact special protections for the the Tobacco Industry in response to the Engle class action tobacco lawsuit in Florida. Here are some of the responses from health groups and an article from the Sun-Sentinal.Return to Topics of Interest Directory