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Alan Landers, a billboard model for Winston in the 60’s and 70’s, has filed suit in Palm Beach County against the tobacco companies. He claims that the dangers of smoking were hidden from him and caused his cancer. The tobacco industry, no doubt, will claim that he is more like Nick Naylor in Thank You For Smoking. How could someone who worked for the industry not understand the perils of smoking? Well, how about the seven tobacco executives who testified under oath before Congress in the mid 1990s that cigarettes are not addictive and do not cause cancer?

Big Tobacco, Big Oil and the Insurance industry have taken a page from the cheating spouse’s book – never, never, never, never admit to anything. People will forget, they will be intimidated, they will lose hope. Just keep a stiff upper lip – sooner or later they will move on to bigger problems – like losing their jobs and losing their homes.

The answer is concerted action. Be aware, study up, get involved, question the wisdom of those who don’t have your best interests in mind. Don’t let them ignore you. Don’t let those who were elected by their campaign donations ignore you. Don’t look back on your life feeling like Alan Landers.

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