Under Proposed Consent Order Filed Today, Leading Tobacco Manufacturers Would Provide Important Funding for LegacyÂ® Tobacco Documents Library as Online Depository for Once Secret Tobacco Documents
Statement by Legacy Applauds Joint Motion to Make Important Documents More Accessible to the Public
WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As part of the remedy phase of the largest civil racketeering case in the nation’s history, the U.S. Department of Justice, Altria Group, Philip Morris USA and RJ Reynolds today filed a proposed consent order with a federal district court designed to make once secret tobacco documents more accessible to the public. If the order is approved, Philip Morris, Altria and RJ Reynolds will provide $6.25 million over the next three years to be used by the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library at the University of California at San Francisco to enhance the public’s access to formerly secret tobacco documents.
These funds, and related requirements governing how the companies produce their documents, would enable the Legacy Library to better code, index, digitize and improve free online public access to the documents, many of which focus on the tobacco companies’ advertising, marketing, manufacturing, sales, political, public relations and scientific activities.
The Legacy Library was created in 2000 and currently houses nearly 14 million documents. It is a resource for tens of thousands of investigators, journalists, public health advocates, researchers, scientists and students from around the world.
“When Legacy first launched this library, it was our vision that it would grow to be a respected source of information, and it has exceeded all our expectations,” said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, president and CEO of Legacy. “We hope this proposed consent order is approved so that UCSF can continue their important work to make these documents as accessible as possible.”
Legacy is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Located in Washington, D.C., the national public health organization helps Americans live longer, healthier lives. Legacy develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use, especially among vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco, through grants, technical assistance and training, partnerships, youth activism, and counter-marketing and grassroots marketing campaigns. The foundation’s programs include truthÃ‚®, a national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as having contributed to significant declines in youth smoking; EXÃ‚®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. The American Legacy Foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. Visit http://www.legacyforhealth.org/.