Tobacco Industry Behavior

Targeting Children:

RJ Reynolds, 1973 – “In view of the need to reverse the preference for Marlboros among young smokers, I wonder whether comic strip type copy might get a much higher readership among young people…”

Philip Morris, 1957 – “…hitting the youth can be more efficient…they are willing to experiment, they have more influence over others in their age group than they will later in life, and they are far more loyal to their starting brand.”

RJ Reynolds, 1987 memo – “Project LF is a wider circumference non-menthol cigarette targeted at the younger adult male smoker (primarily 13-24 year old Marlboro smokers).”

Philip Morris, late 1950s – concerning the Marlboro Man, “…the right image to capture the youth market’s fancy…a perfect symbol of independence and individualistic rebellion.”

RJ Reynolds, 1973 – “The fragile, developing self-image of the young person needs all of the support and enhancement it can get…This self-image enhancement effect has traditionally been a strong promotional theme for cigarette brands.”

Imperial Tobacco, 1977 – Project 16, a research study to learn everything possible about how smoking begins. “Serious efforts to learn to smoke occur between the ages of 12 and 13…However intriguing smoking was at 11, 12, or 13, by the age of 16 or 17 many regretted their use of cigarettes for health reasons and because they feel unable to stop when they want to.”

Imperial Tobacco, late 1980s – “If the last ten years have taught us anything, it is that the industry is dominated by the companies who respond most to the needs of younger smokers.” It later cites ‘target groups’ for various brands as ‘men 12-17’ and ‘men and women 12-34’.

Promoting an addictive drug:

British American Tobacco, 1963, chief scientist Sir Charles Ellis – “…smoking is a habit of addiction. Nicotine is a very fine drug.”

Brown and Williamson, 1963, Addison Yeaman – “Nicotine is addictive. We are, then, in the business of selling nicotine, an addictive drug.”

Philip Morris, 1971 – “The cigarette should be conceived not as a product but as a package. The product is nicotine…Think of the cigarette pack as a day’s supply of nicotine…Think of a cigarette as a dispenser for a dose unit of nicotine.”

Philip Morris scientist Victor DeNoble – “Nicotine has properties of a drug of abuse. It has properties of addiction…This (the results) was completely contradictory to the industry’s position that nicotine is in cigarettes for taste.”

British American Tobacco, 1980, Dr. S. Green – “It has been suggested that cigarette smoking is the most addictive drug. Certainly large numbers of people will continue to smoke because they can’t give it up. If they could they would do so. They can no longer be said to make an adult choice.”

Killing People:

RJ Reynolds, 1953 – “Studies of clinical data tend to confirm the relationship between heavy and prolonged smoking and incidence of cancer of the lung.”

Philip Morris scientist, 1958 – “Evidence is building up that heavy smoking contributes to lung cancer.”

Gallaher Limited, 1970, General Manager of Research to Managing Director – “We believe the Auerbach work proves beyond all reasonable doubt that fresh whole cigarette smoke is carcinogenic to dog lungs and therefore it is highly likely that it is carcinogenic to human lungs…the result of the research would appear to us to remove the controversy regarding the causation of the majority of human lung cancer.”

Liggett, 1954 – “If we can eliminate or reduce the carcinogenic agent in smoke we will have made real progress.”

Philip Morris, 1961 – “Medically acceptable cigarette …will require a major research effort, because carcinogens are found in practically every class of compounds in smoke.”

In the late 1950s one of RJ Reynolds’ top scientists tried to isolate one of the worst cancer-causing agents in tobacco. RJ Reynolds president Edward Darr – “Do we really need to be doing that kind of work?”

Murray Walker, Tobacco Institute vice president, 1998 under oath – “We don’t believe it’s ever been established that smoking is the cause of disease.”

Geoffrey Bible, Philip Morris Chairman, under oath, 1990s – “I’m unclear in my own mind whether anyone dies of cigarette smoking-related diseases.”

One company was forced to take a product off the market because it killed 9 people. The people of the tobacco industry kill 9 people every minute! They still have a legal product!