Title

Criminalizing Big Tobacco: Legal Mobilization and the Politics of Responsibility for Health Risks in the United States

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Publication Title

Law and Social Inquiry

Department

Politics and Government

Abstract

This article reinterprets the discursive terms and cultural meanings that redefined the legal campaign against Big Tobacco during recent decades. We underline the palpable shift from a conventional tort-based logic of products liability claims, which most analysts emphasize, to a logic incorporating key features identified with criminal law or “crimtorts.” The study builds on legal mobilization theory and combines narrative history of events with systematic analysis of media coverage across a twenty-year period to demonstrate how Big Tobacco was criminalized over two decades.

Volume

38

Issue

2

pp.

288-321

ISSN

0897-6546