Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani


Mayor's WINS Address
October 20, 1996

Good morning. Last Thursday, I announced an important new law suit that the City of New York has brought against major U.S. tobacco companies and the trade associations that they control.

Recent findings suggest that as far back as 1953 the tobacco industry had scientific evidence linking smoking to lung cancer. Not only did the tobacco industry actively suppress this information, they actually created strategies to generate new customers -- customers who would replace those who were dying from smoking-related diseases.

However, there are many, many people who began smoking in the 1950's and the 1960's who were never told what the tobacco industry already knew about smoking, and who were targeted by the industry's unlawful practices.

A Columbia University study estimates that New York City spends approximately 300 million dollars a year on health costs attributable to tobacco use.

In our law suit, the City will seek recovery of the cost of treating lung cancer and other tobacco related diseases in Medicaid patients and uninsured patients, who are treated without charge in public hospitals. The complaint also seeks reimbursement for tobacco-related costs of health benefits for city employees.

In filing this suit, New York City joins 15 other states and two other cities that have filed similar actions.

In a tragic development, on Friday evening, New York City lost an exceptional police lieutenant, Federico Narvaez, who was killed by a man who had a criminal record, dating back to 1957. Since 1957, this murderer was arrested 17 times, for rape, for attempted murder, for many violent crimes. He was convicted of felonies 7 times. Twice he was convicted of assaulting police officers. Twice he was convicted for attempted murder. Yet he was continually released ... in very short periods of time. It's time to end parole in the state of New York. After two convictions for serious felonies, people should go to jail for life. If we had ended parole in New York five years ago, ten years ago, 15 years ago when it was first urged, if we had, in New York as they have in many other states, a provision that says after you've been convicted of two or three felonies, this man was convicted of seven, you go to prison for life, Lieutenant Narvaez would be alive today. To lead his officers in a way that was exemplary. And also, to bring up his daughter. This was a death that didn't have to happen. A brave and decent man is now lost, because New York did not have the foresight and the courage to change its laws as 40, 45 other states have done. It's time that we do that.

Finally, in closing, I'd certainly like to congratulate the New York Yankees on their first pennant in 15 years. From the tens of thousands of people who waited on line for tickets at the stadium, to the millions and millions of Yankee fans who are watching every pitch during the playoff series, the entire city has pulled together in support of our Yankees. New York City today, is Yankee Town, and as they prepare for the World Series, the first game of which hopefully will take place this evening, let me join with all New Yorkers saying, "Go Yankees!"

From Gracie Mansion, this is Rudy Giuliani.

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