Is Big Tobacco Ready To Deal?

RJR's Goldstone hopes to lead the industry toward a compromise

For the head of a major U.S. tobacco company, they were revolutionary words. Cigarette makers "can't continue in public as kind of an outlaw industry," declared RJR Nabisco CEO Steven F. Goldstone in a Dec. 5 speech to executives in Boston. More than that, he continued, "a lot of forces are at work" favoring some broad settlement with industry adversaries. "In 1997," Goldstone proclaimed, "the most meaningful thing I can do is come to some solution on this problem."

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