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Firms’ Shareholders to Vote on Youth Access

Times Staff and Wire Reports

New York’s state comptroller, H. Carl McCall, said his proposal to get tobacco companies to limit youth access to their products will go before shareholders at RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. and Loews Corp. McCall said his proposal was rejected by Philip Morris Cos. and UST Inc., which received the Securities and Exchange Commission’s permission to forgo putting the proposal on 1997 shareholder ballots. McCall said he would appeal to those two companies’ boards. McCall’s effort to influence tobacco companies as a shareholder, while common, carries a certain weight. New York’s $80-billion Common Retirement Fund holds 4.4 million shares of Philip Morris, 633,000 shares of RJR and 484,000 shares of Loews. . . . In a separate development, Wisconsin became the 21st state to sue U.S. tobacco companies to recover taxpayer money spent on treating people suffering from smoking-related illnesses.


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