"Why suddenly, out of the blue, the system went to war against tobacco in the name of the health of the American people?"
I was a waiter in Winston-Salem, NC at a golf club near the headquarters of RJR-Nabisco in the early 90's. Two execs from RJR and their wives were hosting two execs and their wives from an cigarette company in England at the club.
My co-waiter and I were stoked that we were going get such a big tip. But the conversation throughout the evening was about how good for business the USA Tobacco industry was and why they should consider doing business with RJR.
Among the topics from the American guys was, "Yes, we had to do safety test. But we were allowed, through our legal efforts, to hold the cigarette up to the testing device. Every cigarette company could hold their own product for testing. So we would light the cigarette, and hold it up to the vacuum testing device, and with our own fingers, we would squeeze the shit out of the filter. We never failed a test." (loose quote)
I'm still waiting for the sugar industry to get smacked under the same legal precedence.