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THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY

For 400 years, tobacco has been a pillar of American enterprise. But now it faces the most sustained assault since the Surgeon General in 1964 first declared smoking a health hazard. The danger attributed to cigarettes moved to a menacing new plane recently when the Environmental Protection Agency declared second-hand smoke responsible for as many as 9,000 deaths annually. Efforts to ban smoking have expanded exponentially: The Labor Department has proposed a broad ban on smoking that would affect 70 million workers; sweeping new no-smoking edicts are being enforced at military installations and in giant fast-food chains like McDonald’s.