Tobacco whistleblower testifies industry underplays health risks

Jeffrey Wigand who influence onUSAtobacco industry from 1993 in a movie inspired award-winningHollywoodmovie, saying that cigarette companies were underplaying tobacco products potential risk.

Wigand was inQuebec’s Court on Monday as a part of a $30 billion againstCanada’s three biggest cigarette companies. The tobacco chief at Brown and Williamson Tobacco is testifying the case of cigarette companies against representing groups, 2 million smokers inQuebec.

It is considered that the biggest lawsuits in Canadian history and tobacco companies have gone to trial inCanada. A group of people who became ill because of smoking and a group of smokers that was unable to quit.

Both groups allege Imperial Tobacco, Rothmans Benson & Hedges and JTI MacDonald’ did everything possible for addiction encouragement and are seeking for $30 billion settlement.

Scientists for the firms knew of health risks associated with tobacco. Wigand said that the tobacco industry influenced scientific understanding with public. Mario Bujold spoke about anti-tobacco groups in the lawsuit, said the doctrine went for decades.

“They decide to hire people for finding of data that could help them give a message about safeness of smoking.” Wigand informed Superior Court about industry engagement, criticism and denial of the facts.

Brown and Williamson was aware smoking caused health risks also he mentioned that he was impressed about safer cigarette development.

Famous whistleblower

Wigand blew the whistle on the U.S.tobacco industry in 1993 when he told CBS’s 60 Minutes producer Lowell Bergman that tobacco companies were concealing some of the health risks of cigarettes.

He was asked to testify at a lawsuit against five largeU.S.companies.

The lawsuit culminated with a landmark $368-billion settlement between tobacco companies and state governments in theU.S., as well as individual victims of smoking.

The cigarette companies, including the parent company of Canada’s Imperial Tobacco, Britain-based BATCO, were told to hand over documents relating to their research and processes in creating the addictive product.

Wigand’s testimony and expertise inspired The Insider, starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe.

At the time, the jury taking part in the Florida lawsuit were ordered not to watch The Insider after the lawyer representing Brown and Williamson Tobacco claimed it could sway the vote.

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