Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "cigarettes" ...

  • Gasping for Action

    It’s been known for years that diacetyl destroys lungs. Yet the federal government has failed to regulate it. Now, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation has found the buttery flavor chemical is injuring coffee workers and has seeped into other products such as e-cigarettes.
  • NYPD Rotten

    Following the death of Eric Garner during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes, WNYC took a look at the NYPD's policing in minority communities. They found the death of Eric Garner is not necessarily an anomaly. Rather, it is the cost of a crime reduction strategy that prioritizes the aggressive policing of low-level offenses in a department that spends a lot of energy looking for crime trends but has shown little interest in rooting out brutal cops.
  • Rehab Racket

    Taxpayers spend tens of millions of dollars each year in California on private drug rehab centers designed to help low-income addicts. The clinics make their money billing for every client counseled. But reporters from The Center for Investigative Reporting and CNN exposed glaring and systemic failures in the program, including pervasive fraud – reporting that led to scores of clinics getting shut down. In coverage rolled out over several months, the team showed that taxpayers had spent at least $94 million over two years on Los Angeles-area clinics with clear signs of fraud or questionable billing. Clinic directors pressured counselors to pad bills with “ghost clients” they never saw. Clinic staff bribed some of the region’s poorest residents to show up for counseling they didn’t need. In an ultimate irony, addicts were enticed to attend rehab sessions with gifts of booze and cigarettes. Regulators who could have stopped the abuses instead let misdeeds multiply. CIR reporters Christina Jewett and Will Evans teamed with CNN senior investigative producer Scott Zamost and investigative correspondent Drew Griffin to produce our series, “Rehab Racket,” on multiple platforms. Jewett and Evans wrote the stories for CIR and CNN. The cable network produced video that aired on “Anderson Cooper 360” and both of our websites.
  • Hampton's Cigarette Sting

    A tip that a high ranking officer at the Hampton Police Division had been placed on administrative leave for alleged misconduct piqued our curiosity. Eventually, it led to the revelation that several officers had been involved in a secret cigarette operation with a stated mission to crack down on the black-market tobacco trade. We discovered that millions of dollars had flowed through the undercover firm’s secret account, including tens of thousands of dollars for travel, and hundreds of thousands of dollars for new fully-loaded vehicles. Not only were the financial controls over the operation extremely lax, but not a single arrest resulted from the 19-month sting. Moreover, the City Council wasn’t told about the more than $720,000 in the company’s account until told about it by the Daily Press. Eventually — after the city first seemed to assert that was no problem with the operation — there were consequences. The police chief was soon placed on administrative leave, and a few weeks later he resigned from office. The city manager issued a statement confirming that financial protocols had not been followed. She ordered an outside audit and requested a state Attorney General’s opinion as to whether the cops had the authority to run these sorts of “churning” operations. Had the Daily Press not pressed for details over the course of months of investigating reporting, the entire operation might have forever remained a secret.
  • Tobacco Underground: The Booming Global Trade in Smuggled Cigarettes

    "Tobacco Underground" is groundbreaking series on the global trade in smuggled cigarettes, produced by a team of 14 journalists based in 10 countries. The illicit trafficking of tobacco is a multibillion-dollar business today, fueling organized crime and corruption, robbing governments of needed tax money, and spurring addiction to a deadly product. So profitable is the trade that tobacco is the world's most widely smuggled legal substance. In an interactive, multimedia Web site, ICIJ published a series of nine stories, integrated with undercover footage; audio and video interviews with experts, smugglers and undercover agents; maps and charts; and extensive links to resources ranging from tobacco control groups to repositories of tobacco industry documents.
  • Smoking ban fears proves unfounded

    After the ban of smoking in bars and restaurants, the ban in the Twin Cities does not appear to be the economic disaster many predicted.
  • Burning Secret

    This investigation revealed that tobacco companies have developed new cigarettes that pose a much lower fire risk than conventional cigarettes. An on-air test revealed that the new product was far less likely to ignite a furniture cushion than was a conventional cigarette. New York requires that the new cigarettes be sold in that state, and the tobacco companies do not sell them anywhere else.
  • One Heritage, Two Worlds

    This five part series about the Seneca Nation of Indians explores the economic disparity which exists among the tribe. After a year of invesigation, three reporters from the Buffalo News uncovered that, though the Seneca Nation receives millions of dollars from tax-free cigarettes and gasoline, 47 percent live in poverty while the other half live in luxury.
  • Tobacco Traffic

    The Center for Investigative Reporting looks at how major tobacco companies, Phillip Morris and Brown & Williamson, organized smuggling of cigarettes on a massive scale into Colombia and elsewhere in the world. The story aired on NOW with Bill Moyers, PBS.
  • Big Tobacco: Uncovering the Industry's Multi-Billion Dollar Global Smuggling Ring

    The Center for Investigative Reporting provides an inside look at "how the major tobacco companies, Phillip Morris and Brown & Williamson, organized smuggling of cigarettes on a massive scale into Colombia and elsewhere in the world. The story revealed how the tobacco companies helped orchestrate the smuggling operation as a means of entering the Colombian market through large-scale import tax evasion; the inside mechanics of how the smuggling enterprise worked; and how it was fueled with funds laundered by U.S. based drug dealers. The story also broke news in illuminating how the tobacco companies pressured Congress to alter the USA Patriot Act in order to preserve their insulation from legal accountability for allegations of smuggling and fraud that are contained in the lawsuits." The story was released April 23 and published May 6 in The Nation.