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 "nicotine" ...

  • Almost Forbidden

    As vaping-related youth nicotine addiction surged across the United States, we exposed a key political decision to ignore the clear warning signs years before the crisis. Government documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times revealed that, four years ago, the Food and Drug administration attempted to ban vaping flavors that were hooking young teenagers to nicotine. But after a deluge of over 100 lobbyists visited the White House, senior political officials overruled experts at the FDA and eliminated the flavor ban, along with much of the scientific evidence calling for it. Later that year, the national youth vaping rate skyrocketed.
  • CBC News - Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo

    This submission is for a podcast with ten episodes. The submission includes the episodes, an audio trailer as well as a link to the podcast website where you can find other material such as photos and video and text stories and uploaded files of the episode transcripts (as supplementary material) On the surface, this is a true crime story trying to answer the question - what happened to Cleo Semaganis Nicotine? She and her siblings in the Cree Indigenous family were taken into government care in Saskatchewan, Canada in the 1970's and adopted into white families in Canada and the United States. The siblings re-connected as adults but can't find Cleo. They've heard that she ran away from a home in Arkansas and was murdered but they don't know if that is true. They want help to at least find where she is buried.
  • “Leaves of Poison” and “Dying on the Farm”

    More than 75 years ago, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was signed into law. A groundbreaking achievement in the fight against child labor, the FLSA banned children from mines and factories, while also granting the Secretary of Labor the authority to protect youth from working in any other hazardous occupations. This series on child labor in agriculture uncovers how loopholes in the law continue to put child farm workers as young as 12 at risk for grave illness, injury, and death. It shows how the agriculture lobby fought back in 2012, blocking new rules that would have closed these loopholes — and that children have died as a result. “Leaves of Poison” focuses on the use of children as young as 12 to harvest tobacco in Southern tobacco fields. Tobacco is a notoriously hazardous crop, exposing field workers to acute nicotine poisoning, with symptoms that can include dizziness, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and heart rate fluctuations requiring hospitalization. The plants are also sprayed with high doses of pesticides, which pose special dangers to adolescents whose nervous systems are still developing. These dangers have led countries such as Russia and Khazakstan to ban minors from tobacco work, and the United States has donated millions to eradicate child tobacco labor overseas. But a proposed rule by the Department of Labor banning children from the harvest (and other particularly “hazardous” tasks) was withdrawn by Obama administration officials in response to concerted lobbying by the American Farm Bureau. “Dying on the Farm” was an ambitious effort to track how many child laborers have died since those rules were scuttled in April 2012, which would have barred them from performing particularly “hazardous” tasks, such as harvesting tobacco, working in manure pits and grain silos, or using heavy power machinery. The investigation shows that child farmworkers “fall through the cracks” when it comes to government tallies of work-related injuries and deaths. Nevertheless, using FOI requests to Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Workers’ Compensation offices, surveying local press clippings, and speaking with medical practitioners who work directly with farmworkers we found that at least four young farm workers-for-hire have been killed and 39 injured while doing these hazardous tasks since the rules were withdrawn. Both “Leaves of Poison” and “Dying on the Farm” movingly tell the personal stories of young workers at a risk.
  • A Question of Intent: A Great American Battle with a Deadly Industry

    Kessler's book depicts the investigation undertaken by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) into the tobacco industry. The author, former FDA commissioner in the early 90s, uncovers "historical evidence that the tobacco companies orchestrated the greatest conspiracy ever undertaken to put the nation's health at risk." The book follows step by step the disclosure of scientific information and documents that proved the tobacco companies awareness that nicotine is an addictive drug. Kessler looks at the money and politics strings that tobacco industry has been controlling over the past decades.
  • Crazy Tobacco

    A story that broke the news about the commercial production of a super-nicotine tobacco, and also explained how the genetically-altered plant had gone from an experiment in a U.S. government laboratory to a secret crop for the world tobacco market. The story was published in scores of U.S. newspapers, often on Page One, and prompted editorials in several including The Louisville Courier-Journal and the Pittsburg Post-Gazette.
  • ABC and Tobacco: The Anatomy of a Network News Mistake

    Weiser dissects how ABC reporters and researchers led by Walt Bogdanich, a Pulitzer-Prize winning former writer for the Wall Street Journal, concluded that cigarette manufacturers manipulated the levels of nicotine in cigarettes. The revelation was aired in a story called "Smoke Screen" for the newsmagazine Day One. Philip Morris sued ABC News after the story appeared -- and sparked tumultuous discussion about regulating tobacco. ABC News formally apologized for the story, but the reporters on the segment refused. Weiser suggests that the reporters had "led" sources for the story to make incriminating statements and had not assembled enough solid evidence to prove that cigarette manufacturers manipulated nicotine levels.
  • (Untitled)

    CNN examines the attack by whistleblowers on the tobacco industry, the industry's response and what is ahead for big tobacco. The series covers the attack in court on Jeffrey Wigand, the former Brown & Williamson scientist turned whistleblower. The series also looks at Philip Morris and the whistleblowers attacking it, including Ian Uydess, and on a failed effort by the company to produce no-nicotine cigarettes. (May 1996)
  • (Untitled)

    After ABC News aired an investigative report on reconstituted tobacco in cigarettes, Philip Morris promptly sued for libel. The ABA Journal examines the ensuing discovery wars that rank among the most contentious ever fought.
  • (Untitled)

    Are tobacco companies blowing smoke when they deny manipulating the nicotine content of cigarettes? The Nation reports on the troubles facing the tobacco industry including five federal grand juries, a national class-action suit on behalf of all addicted smokers, an antitrust investigation by the Justice Department into an alleged conspiracy to stifle development of a fire-safe cigarette, and suits by the Attorneys General of five states to recover cigarette-related health costs. (March 4, 1996)
  • (Untitled)

    The tobacco industry has never lost a lawsuit. But a new billion-dollar legal assault, and a high-ranking defector, may change that. Time investigates allegations of Jeffrey Wigand, former vice president of Brown & Williamson, that the tobacco company manipulated nicotine levels in cigarettes, knowingly used a carcinogenic additive to make pipe tobacco taste better and covered up research into "safer" cigarettes.