Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, resigned Wednesday following reports that she bought shares in a tobacco company, among other financial dealings that presented a conflict of interest.

Advertising campaigns, tobacco taxes and public bans have lowered rates of smoking significantly in the U.S. since the 1960s. And for people who never smoke or manage to quit, there are major health benefits: lower risk of cancer, heart problems and stroke.

But 15 percent of Americans — about 40 million people — continue to smoke.

Who are they? And why are they still smoking?

A judge in Florida ordered R.J. Reynolds to continue paying the state millions of dollars in tobacco settlement money despite selling off major brands.


A ban on vaping in workplaces is one step closer to appearing on the 2018 ballot after a panel of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission unanimously approved the proposal on Tuesday.

Former state Sen. Lisa Carlton, a member of the commission, said people are being adversely affected by public vaping because a ban on smoking in workplaces was passed by Florida voters in 2002, well before electronic cigarettes and other devices became available.

She wants to expand the current smoking ban to include vaping devices.

If you read a newspaper on Sunday, there's a good chance you came across a full-page ad warning of the dangers of smoking.

The stark messages with black text on an otherwise blank page tell readers that cigarettes kill 1,200 Americans every day. The same messages start to run Monday evening on prime time television.

Tobacco Companies Ordered To Pay $1.5 Million In Broward Man's Death

Nov 26, 2017

An appeals court Wednesday ordered cigarette makers Philip Morris USA and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to pay a full $1.5 million in damages in the death of a longtime smoker.

A Broward County jury in 2015 awarded $1 million in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages to the estate of Salvatore Marchese. But a circuit judge lowered the amount the companies would have been required to pay in compensatory damages to $450,000 because of “comparative fault” — the concept that Marchese was partly responsible for his death.

Panel Eyes Vaping Restriction, Patient Rights

Nov 26, 2017

Vaping could be banned in workplaces, and nursing-home and assisted-living facility residents could be guaranteed certain rights — including the ability to sue without limitations — as part of a series of health-care related proposals being considered by a Florida panel that has the power to place proposed constitutional amendments on the 2018 ballot.

Appeals Court Deals Blow To Tobacco Companies

May 21, 2017

More than a decade after the Florida Supreme Court opened the floodgates for lawsuits against tobacco companies, an Atlanta-based appeals court this week rejected arguments that could have helped shield cigarette makers in legal battles about smoking-related illnesses and deaths.

Tobacco Companies Appeal $35M Sick Smoker Case

May 17, 2017

Two cigarette makers are asking the Florida Supreme Court to take up a case in which an appeals court said a longtime smoker and his wife should receive $35 million because of “intentional” wrongdoing in the past by the tobacco industry.

More teenagers are trying electronic cigarettes - known as e-cigarettes - according to a study by the University of Florida. Researchers found that teens who use e-cigarettes are more likely to use other tobacco products.

E-cigarettes produce vapor from a liquid that comes in a variety of flavors, like bubble gum and cotton candy. The liquid can be bought with or without nicotine. 

Creative Commons / Flickr user Phil Roeder

The U.S. Supreme Court has chosen not to rule on a ground-breaking case out of Florida. Pitting Tobacco companies against smokers, this seems to be one strike against the corporations.

In 2006, the Florida Supreme Court ruled against big tobacco companies in a decision that has come to be known as the Engle Case. Life-long smoker, physician, and Miami-Beach resident Howard Engle was the lead plaintiff.