Gallaher allegations hit UK tobacco firms
Tuesday 17 March 1998
Shares in Gallaher fell 19p to 335p and Imperial Tobacco's stock gave up 10.5p to 401.5p amid fears that the documents would increase the chance of successful litigation against the two tobacco giants.
Anti-smoking campaigners claimed an internal confidential memo from Gallaher's former general manager of research to its managing director proved the group knew smoking caused cancer as far back as 1970. The research executive concluded that independent research using beagles in the late 1960s "proves beyond all reasonable doubt the causation of lung cancer by smoke" and that the research "would appear to remove the controversy regarding the causation of the majority of human lung cancer."
Leigh Day, the solicitors representing 52 lung cancer victims in their bid for compensation from Gallaher and Imperial, said yesterday the new evidence significantly raised the chances of mounting a successful legal claim against the industry. "The tobacco companies have always maintained that there is no proven link between smoking and cancer. This blows their defence out of the window," said a spokeswoman for the firm. "This is only one of many documents that will surface over the next few months that will strengthen our case," she added.
Gallaher hit back at the claims, saying the memo had simply been an initial reaction to the research and that it was later discounted by the company after being heavily criticised in the scientific community.
A Gallaher spokesman said: "Our position is that the link between smoking and cancer has not been proved, although we agree that smoking is a risk factor and that statistics show that if you smoke you are more likely to get certain diseases,"
"We have of course been aware of the existence of this memo and its publication now does nothing to change our confidence in our ability to defend ourselves against litigation," he added
Clive Bates, director of anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said: "This is the great beauty of litigation - their internal documents show what they really knew and how they behaved, and their top executives have to take the stand under oath. Litigation means the truth does actually come out and the PR waffle gets taken to pieces."
The next stage in the UK action by lung cancer victims will take place on 3 April when a judge will be named for the case. The full trial is now expected to take place next year, after the claimants recently won the right to fight on under a no-win, no-fee agreement with their solicitors.
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat
Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down
Review: Witty banalities aside, the comedian has an authentic voice
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
- 1 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery claims: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 2 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 3 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 4 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Australian jihadist Abdullah Elmir vows Isis will fight 'until black flag is on the top of Buckingham Palace'
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery claims: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...
£23000 per annum + pension and 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ...