Ever since its late anchor Peter Jennings was diagnosed with lung cancer, ABC has covered smoking more heavily than its two rivals put together. Total coverage for the past two years (2005 and 2006) of cigarettes and lung cancer combined show 82 minutes on ABC (CBS 32, NBC 41). Following this pattern, ABC selected a cigarette story for its lead that the other two networks did not even mention in passing.
Bill Weir (subscription required) reported on a Harvard study that the strength of the nicotine in every type of cigarettes has increased steadily, up 11% since 1997. RJR Reynolds blames the spike on the "natural variability of tobacco crops," a claim disputed by anti-industry activists, citing the intense quality controls that cigarette manufacturing employs. Even if it true that Big Tobacco boosted nicotine to make more smokers addicted, Weir observed, it "broke no laws."
You must be logged in to this website to leave a comment. Please click here to log in so you can participate in the discussion.