Peace Time: May 21, 2001


The Veterans Administration will no longer honor claims for smoking-related claims for death or disability. These claims were authorized by a 1993 court ruling, but Congress moved to outlaw such claims to control the budget. President Clinton signed orders in 1999 to divert money that would have paid such claims into highway and bridge repairs, and the VA has finally completed the new regulations and posted them in the Federal Register. Smoking-related illness is now regarded as willful misconduct, the same as alcohol and drug problems.--Stephen V Cole


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