The descriptor "Big Tobacco" has been used in the L.A. Times 56 times in the last two years. But the term will probably show up less often now that the Times' Language, Usage and Style guide has urged it be avoided in news stories, outside of quotes.
"We have occasionally used this term to refer collectively to the largest U.S. tobacco companies, and in so doing may have suggested a bias against them.The term is never used by the industry itself, but anti-tobacco groups have adopted it as an expletive for their adversaries. It has developed the unavoidable implications that the big tobacco companies--the likes of Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson and Lorillard--are in collusion and have ominous intentions. To preserve our neutrality, we should not use it in news stories."