Big Tech, Big Oil—Every Industry Is Big Tobacco Now

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It’s worth remembering why tobacco executives lied in the infamous 1994 congressional hearings. Not to fool customers into continuing to smoke. Americans by then knew for decades that smoking was deadly. Polls in 1994 showed smokers actually overestimated the damage smoking was likely doing to them.

On the advice of lawyers, executives were simply avoiding magic words that could be used against them in a litigation game then going on, aimed at shifting a big chunk of smoking revenue from shareholders to politicians and their trial-lawyer allies.