Justice Department To Appeal Secondhand Smoke Decision
By Wolf Blitzer/CNN
WASHINGTON (July 20) -- The Clinton Administration has decided to appeal a federal judge's decision last week striking down a 1993 government ruling that secondhand smoke increases the possibility of cancer.
Administration officials tell CNN a Justice Department announcement of the appeal could come as early as Monday.
Last Friday, U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen in North Carolina ruled that the 1993 decision was flawed.
In striking down the decision, Osteen said it had not demonstrated "a statistically significant association" between secondhand smoke and lung cancer and did not adequately take into consideration the views of the tobacco industry.
At the same time, administration officials tell CNN the White House is considering whether to file a lawsuit against the tobacco industry, charging that tobacco-related illnesses have increased Medicare costs.
The officials say no final decision has been made on whether to go forward with such a federal lawsuit, but consultations continue.