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Up in Smoke: From Legislation to Litigation in Tobacco Politics [Paperback]

Martha A. Derthick
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Paperback, September 2001 --  
There is a newer edition of this item:
Up in Smoke: From Legislation to Litigation in Tobacco Politics Up in Smoke: From Legislation to Litigation in Tobacco Politics 4.6 out of 5 stars (7)
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Book Description

September 2001 1568026692 978-1568026695 Underlining/Highlighting
In a landmark report by the U.S. Surgeon General in 1964, the government warned its citizens of the adverse effects of smoking on their health and took a series of steps to discourage smoking. These steps stemmed from "ordinary politics" -that is, actions taken or authorized by legislatures. 1994 heralded a new era in tobacco politics: of "adversarial legalism," wherein state attorneys general sued leading cigarette manufacturers for the harm they had done to public health. These law-suits culminated in the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) that directed an estimated $250 billion to state governments over the next 25 years and imposed new marketing and advertising restrictions.

In her second edition, Martha Derthick introduces new evidence from 5 years of experience under the MSA to show that the states were more interested in raising revenue than in improving tobacco control, that the enrichment of wealthy tort lawyers violated the legal profession's ethics, and that the agreement, ironically, spawned the rise of small, upstart cigarette manufacturers able to undersell the major companies. In this clearly written, fast-paced case study, Derthick concludes that the tobacco lawsuits not only produced flawed public policy that flouted the American system of checks and balances, but has done little to improve or better safeguard public health.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews


"The book is the gold standard for this type of text-it's clear, it makes a strong argument about reliance on courts to make policy, and it says something about the state of American democracy." -- John Barnes Review 20100604 "I have found this to be an excellent book for my course, accessible to an undergraduate audience and well-written." -- Daniel Gitterman Review 20100608 "I think Up in Smoke does an excellent job of showing the multiple avenues of policy development in the American context. It can be used to show the power of interest groups, the nature of litigation, and the variations in normal politics over time. The structure of the book fits naturally with how one might discuss this in class." -- John Bruce Review 20100610 "The book is exceptionally lucid and captures the confiscatory logic of the Master Settlement AGreement brilliantly and shows that it is indeed a pathology of federalism. The book is brilliant at telling a story and unveiling important lessons about adversarial legalism and its downside." -- Rick Valelly Review 20101018 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Martha Derthick retired in 1999 from the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia, where she was the Julia Allen Cooper Professor. She is the author of numerous books on American government, including: Dilemmas of Scale in America's Federal Democracy (editor, 1999) ; Agency Under Stress: The Social Security Administration in American Government (1990); The Politics of Deregulation (with Paul J. Quirk, 1985); and Policymaking for Social Security (1979), which won the Kammerer Prize of the American Political Science Association as the best book of the year on American public policy. Before going to the University of Virginia, she was for twelve years a member of the Governmental Studies Program of The Brookings Institution, and was the program's director between 1978 and 1983. She has also taught at Dartmouth College, Stanford University, Harvard University, and Boston College. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Cq Pr; Underlining/Highlighting edition (September 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568026692
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568026695
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,879,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Image of American Politics March 5, 2002
By Cheri
Derthick's story of the tobacco wars is the real deal of American politics, not the civics you learned in high school. Unlike some writers, Derthick doesn't moralize about tobacco. Some looking for fevered preaching may be put off by her detachment and even skepticism about the anti-tobacco movement. Careful readers, however, will find all the creepy details about tobacco companies they have come to expect. Derthick is objective, and the tobacco executives are, objectively, creepy. The best part about this book, though, is that Derthick has a deep understanding about American politics, and the reader will take away sharp images of how policy is made--from trial lawyers to crusading agencies, from university faculty and health professionals to the muddle in Congress. It's all here, in one timely and highly readable book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Public Policy Book! October 10, 2007
This book was one of two books that were required readings in my Public Policy course at Rutgers University. It is a great book to read to understand how public policy has changed through time from Legislation to Litigation. Check it out if you are interested in learning about Public Policy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provoking Look at Public Policy and the Tobacco Industry September 4, 2003
By A Customer
"In "Up in Smoke," Martha A. Derthick, former professor of government at the University of Virginia and author or coauthor of several studies of the U.S. policy process, describes and analyzes the events leading to the historic 1998 tobacco settlement with the states. She concludes that these developments continue an unfortunate movement away from representative democratic negotiation toward a process of "adversarial legalism" that relegates democratic politics to the sidelines of public policy."
"For those readers sincerely interested in reducing smoking and its attendant health risks, "Up in Smoke" presents a decidedly mixed bag. Although smoking continues to decline among Americans, the states now have a large vested interest in seeing that the sale of cigarettes continues unabated. If such continuation occurs, they can count on substantial payments from the industry for at least the next two decades. Also, many states are now increasing dramatically their excise taxes on cigarettes. The revenue stream from this unhealthy habit has become important to state finances. Obviously, the states will be reluctant to ban smoking entirely."
"Thus, those aspiring to a smoke-free society are now considerably more limited in their alternatives for achieving their goal. Local governments may continue to enact highly restrictive legislation, and there is the slim possibility that national government litigation may result in heavier penalties on smoking. Lawsuits by private plaintiffs also remain a viable, though limited, option. The most serious problem posed by the MSA (master settlement agreement of 1997) for antismoking activists, however, is that it has created a powerful political constituency that reaps substantial rewards from the tobacco industry. There is little reason to believe that state legislatures will stand idly by and allow either their courts or their local governments to threaten their revenue."
-From "The Independent Review," Winter 2003
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Derthick does an excellent job on outlining big tobacco and public policy in the U.S. and how Congress explicitly protects the interests of rich corporations. This book is just meat, no fillers, and it provides excellent information on public policy.
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