Tobacco spokesman Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) pays off the dying Marbolo Man (Sam Elliot). Naylor is kidnapped by anti-smoking radicals who try to kill him by putting dozens of nicotine patches on him, he survives only because he already smoked and his body was better prepared to handle it - however he can never smoke again or he will die. The reporter, Heather Holloway, he slept with (Katie Holmes) meanwhile publishes a devastating story about his callous view of smokers and the payoff and he is let go from his firm because of all the bad PR.
Inspired by his son Joey (who idolizes him), Nick publicly reveals how Heather got the details of her story and appears before the Senate committee headed by liberal Vermont senator Finisterre (William H. Macy). When asked if he would let his son smoke once he turned 18, Nick says yes - it would be his decision.
After the successful hearing Nick is offered back his job but turns it down because of his son. Shortly thereafter the tobacco industry settles a billion dollar suit and his company is shut down. Nick goes to work for cell phone companies, helping them sell the message that cell phones do not cause brain damage.
Thanks Mary C!