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Tobacco firms sued

  • South Korea's National Health Insurance Service sues the local units of Philip Morris (PM) and British American Tobacco (BTI) and KT&G Corp. for ~$52M to offset the cost of treating smoking-related diseases.
  • The agency calculated the damages based on payments data by state insurers for patients with three types of cancer related to smoking.
  • This is the first lawsuit against tobacco firms from a country in the Western Pacific.
  • PM and BTI account for one third of South Korea's $9.3B tobacco market.
  • South Korea's Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of KT&G on a separate case brought by individuals.
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