By the early 1970s the evidence of the health dangers of smoking had accumulated to the point of causing serious legal problems for the tobacco industry. The industry was being attacked on many fronts and faced increasing government efforts to regulate it in various ways. By the mid-1980s the industry also had to contend with a new wave of products liability lawsuits, filed by plaintiffs who were encouraged by the new significance attached to products liability law regarding toxic substances. If any one lawsuit could be won by a showing that the tobacco industry was responsible for the death or disease of a smoker, the eventual liability of the industry might bankrupt it. With this threat in mind, the industry's lawyers were working hard to protect against potential lawsuits.