This report from the Lorillard tobacco company discusses means of increasing "free" nicotine in tobacco. Nicotine in "free" form (as opposed to "bound" nicotine) is more readily absorbed by the smoker. The reason tobacco companies value free nicotine in tobacco is because it produces an "organoleptic effect" in the smoker. Dorland's Ilustrated Medical Dictionary (25th Edition) defines "organoleptic" as "making an impression on an organ of special sense." Many interpret this as the drug-effect of nicotine.
The document states that as tar levels decrease in cigarettes, so too does the amount of nicotine. Therefore, "the smoker desires more organoleptic effect than the low tar cigarette delivers." Lorillard wanted to enhance the organoleptic effect of nicotine by increasing the amount of free nicotine in smoke. They mention several ways of doing this, the most promising of which was treating tobacco with ammonia or ammonium ion. They determined this was inexpensive and safer than adding metal alkali.
Also of interest is the fact that they mention that treating tobacco with ammonia decreases its combustibility. This may be a reason why tobacco companies add chemicals to cigarette paper that keep cigarettes burning.
This paper from the Lorillard Tobacco Company explores the reasons why women are a good target market for cigarettes. Specific reasons include the fact that more women are starting to smoke, fewer are able to quit smoking and women are increasing the amount that they smoke per capita:
"...The growing importance of the female smoker is due to several factors including fewer females quitting, more females beginning to smoke, and female smokers increasing their daily cigarette volume....According to a recent HEW study, only 13% of adult women have given up smoking compared with 33% of adult males. Even assuming somewhat exaggerated figures, it is obvious that men are more likely to discontinue cigarette smoking."
Lorillard also thought that girls were an important target market because young girls were starting to take up smoking at a faster rate than young boys:
"And though one million adults are quitting smoking annually, teenagers are beginning to smoke in increasing numbers, with girls accounting for a growing proportion of teenage smokers. In the last four years, smoking among the 12 to 18 year age group increased from 14.7% to 15.7% among boys and from 8.4% to 13.3% among girls."
Here Lorillard ponders why fewer women quit than men: Their first hypotheses:
"One is the greater concern women have that if they stop smoking they will gain weight. This fear undoubtedly prevents many women from desiring to stop smoking."
This next hypothesis carries with it an implicit acknowledgement that cigarettes do, in fact, cause disease (and this was 1973):
"In addition, the first studies relating to smoking and health used male subjects. Because women were not shown evidence that smoking was equally deleterious to their own health, there was less reason for them to quit. However, recent studies have shown that as women's smoking habits become more like men's, women smokers become more prone to the same illnesses as male smokers."
Lorillard's assessment of the advertising copy for Eve cigarettes is also interesting. Eve was a cigarette with flowers printed on the paper around the tip, and was advertised typically with "cigarette packs frequently held in a brightly nail-polished hand against a background of flower/plants or in traditional feminine hobby situations..."
"This traditional and very feminine approach...is directed to the woman whose life revolves around her role as a women, being pretty, soft, and feminine and gaining fulfillment from acceptably female hobbies. Even the promotion offered, a horoscope, exemplifies women's passivity and lack of control over her own future."
Speech in which Chilcote says the TI expects favors in exchange for political contributions.
This internal Lorillard Tobacco Company memo from 1981 introduces Lorillard's estimates of the number of U.S. smokers in eleven different age goups--starting at age 13.
This document was used as a trial exhibit in Minnesota and Washington to demonstrate the industry's interest in child-smokers.
This internal Philip Morris (PM) memo from 1975 shows the extreme importance of youth smoking rates to sales of PM's flagship brand, Marlboro. The author describes the importance of "the teenage years" to the cigarette industry:
"...my own data, which includes younger teenagers, shows even higher market penetration [of Marlboro] among 15-17 year-olds. The teenage years are the most important because those are the years during which most smokers begin to smoke, the years in which initial brand selections are made and the period in the life-cycle in which conformity to peer-group norms is greatest."
He then describes how youth smoking has caused a "phenomenal" growth rate for Marlboro:
"Marlboro's phenomenal growth rate in the past has been attributable in large part to our high market penetration among our younger smokers...I pointed out that the number of 15-19 year olds is now increasing more slowly and will peak in 1976, and then begin to decline..."
Other parts of the document show PM's disappointment at lagging sales of Marlboros, particularly to youth, for example the discussion of "why things fell apart" in 1974, when sales of Marlboro fell below what they predicted based on the number of 15-19 year-olds.
This confidential Philip Morris internal report on "smoker psychology" explores the relationship between socioeconomic status and smoking. It finds that:
"Lower class panelists smoke more and are much more likely to be smokers than upper class panelists..."
It also found that lower class people tend to smoke nonfiltered cigarettes (tend to "avoid health filters") and that they also tend to avoid 100 millimeter-length brands.
The writers also observe that lower class people have more incidence of poor mental health, hypothesizing that people use smoking as a "strategy" to combat the stress of low class status as well as poor mental health:
"...the incidence of poor mental health is greatest among the lower class...To the extent that smoking is one of the available strategies people can adopt to combat stress, we therefore would expect greater incidence of smoking among the lower social classes."
The study also finds a correlation between lower class and poor physical health, but avoids directly confronting the possibility that smoking could account for this, preferring to attribute poor physical health status to simply to BEING a member of the lower class:
"...because the incidence of smoking differs between the social classes, we would find our research literature filled with obervations suggesting that smoking is related to poor health. The literature does show this, and it may be wrong...At least part of the reported statistical relationships between health variables and incidence of smoking can probably be accounted for in this fashion.
The smoking and health relationships may be at least in part due to social class differences rather than to smoking per se."
Despite Philip Morris' internal findings of higher smoking rates among lower socioeconimic classes, as well as its findings that this group also has a higher incidence of both poor mental and physical health, it continued to promote its deadly and addictive products heavily among these groups. One must question whether this violates state charters for incorporation, which generally require that a corporation does not harm the population.
Here is what Colorado's state constitution says about revoking corporate charters:
"Section 3. Power to revoke, alter or annul charter. The general assembly shall have the power to alter, revoke or annul any charter of incorporation now existing and revocable at the adoption of this constitution, or any that may hereafter be created, whenever in their opinion it may be injurious to the citizens of the state, in such manner, however, that no injustice shall be done to the corporators."
Would it be just or unjust to Philip Morris to revoke its corporate charter if it was shown to have knowingly degraded the health of Colorado's least well-off citizens to achieve higher profits?
In 1977, the major global tobacco companies came together and formed a group called the International Committee on Smoking Issues, or ICOSI, to address their common problems: declining social acceptability of smoking, allegations that secondhand smoke harmed non-smokers, medical research that pinpointed cigarettes as a cause of disease, etc.
The American tobacco companies were apparently a leader in
The position papers that emerged from ICOSI
This brief memo from Helmut Wakeham (head of Research and Development at Philip Morris) to Clifford Goldsmith (Chief of Operations at PM USA) shows that by 1969 PM was aware of medical consensus that smoking causes pregnant women to produce smaller babies, and that "smaller babies suffer detrimental effects all through life."
Ray Fagan's analyses of the studies (mentioned in the memo) can be seen at http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/cgi/getdoc?tid=wou74e00&fmt=pdf&ref=results It states,
"All the investigations of this type agree that smoking mothers have babies of lower birth weight than non-smoking mothers, and that these lower weight babies are more likely to experience problems later in life. Whether the mechanism is that of a 'slight poison' as suggested by Russell et al or whether the mechanism is through the reduced appetite of the mother (and hence poor nutrition) is yet to be decided."
In this brief 1973 speech, Philip Morris' Vice President of Research and Development Helmut Wakeham describes the intensifying pressure on the company to develop a "safe cigaret." He tells PM's Board that the European tobacco industry "has agreed that smoking is harmful and is hard at work on developing 'less hazardous' products," and adds that
"We are working to be in a position to design a cigaret which will meet 'less hazardous' specifications if they are ever imposed on us..."
The statement that Philip Morris would only make their product safer if forced to reveals an alarmingly cavalier corporate attitude towards public health. Even though the company's director of research and development noted that his colleagues overseas had admitted that "smoking is harmful," the company's plan was to alter their products only if requirements to do so were imposed upon them by an outside force, such as government, or by market pressures like competition.
In this confidential, internal 1966 Philip Morris (PM) report, PM market researcher Myron Johnston, Jr. analyzes the feasibility of introducing a "health cigarette." The report shows that PM viewed medical reports linking cigarette smoking and disease as simply another driver for the cigarette market.
Ignoring the physical devastation their product causes hundreds of thousands of Americans, Johnston coldly observed that the American Cancer Society's conclusion that cigarettes cause disease in women as well as men could result in the generation of a whole new market for a "health cigarette":
"[Young women's] willingness to accept health filters may increase now that the American Cancer Society purports to have found a relationship between smoking and health for women as well as men. This group could provide a market for a health cigarette..."
"Women, and particularly young women, would constitute the greatest potential market for a health cigarette."
He suggests the strategy of marketing a "health cigarette" (or one with the illusion of being healthier) only when pressed to do so by authorities:
"My recommendation is that we not introduce a new health cigarette unless there is another health scare or additional restrictive legislation is passed. In the event of another health scare...our entry should be determined by the form of the scare..."
Johnston also touches on the addictive properties of nicotine as he observes:
"A cigarette that does not delivery nicotine cannot satisfy the habituated smker and cannot lead to habituation, and would therefore almost certainly fail.
He discusses the dynamics of smoking initiation among young people, saying,
"...Tobacco flavor is absent or far down the lists of reasons given for beginning to smoke, so it should be theoretically possible for a health cigarette to satisfy the most common reasons (to be like friends, to feel or look older, to combat nervousness, to be rebellious). This is apparently not the case. Young smokers are the ones...least likely to smoke health cigarettes..."
There is no mention in the report of empathy or concern for the fact that their products cause painful illness and early death among consumers, although Johnston states (on page 1000338652) that "Most smokers would rather quit than switch." The concern is clearly only to determine ways to market more cigarettes.
Reports on a scientific test done on yeast to explore the "cell death response to smoke." Notes that cell death "is not an important factor." Notes that cells go into respiratory arrest when exposed to cigarette smoke.
This confidential internal research report by the Philip Morris Tobacco company studies the relationship between smoking and personality, aggression, frustration, hyperkinesis, "smoking and learned helplessness," and variations in smoking behavior when subjects smoke low nicotine cigarettes.
The Roper organization was a market research and polling organization that was retained by the Tobacco Institute for many years. The Roper organization proposed ideas for studies that would help take the focus of smoking as a source of disease.
In this Philip Morris memo Thomas Osdene (Philip Morris (PM) director of Science and Technology) reviews yet another proposal from Roper. This time, Roper proposed the "Theory of Excesses," which assumed that some people were doomed to excessive behavior, and that as a result of their inherent nature, these people did things to extremes, including cigarette smoking.
In this memo, Thomas Osdene of Philip Morris critiques the "Theory of Excesses," and says that while the "thesis is probabably valid," that such a study should not be done for a number of reasons which primarily revolved around marketing and liability considerations.
One reason not to do the study was that such a study would not deter anti-smoking forces. Another reason was that a study blaming smokers for their illnesses would "alienate certain segments of the smoking population and in today's climate we need to keep all the dedicated smokers we can." Another reason was that could cause trouble for their beer business "which has its own battles to fight." Yet another reason was that
"An admission by the industry that excessive cigarette smoking is bad for you is tantamount to an admission of guilt with regard to the lung cancer problem. This could open the door the legal suits in which the industry would have no defense."
The last reason Osdene gave not to do the study was that such a study would convey to people that they have little control over their lives, and that "A tobacco industry sponsored study which suggests that [the people]are doomed to excessive behavior...does not constitute good faith on the part of the industry towards its customers."
In the early 1960s, Philip Morris' (PM) Tareyton cigarettes sported a "dual filter" that contained carbon particles. There were subsequent reports that smokers of these "dual filter" cigarettes were experiencing a higher incidence of chronic coughing. Philip Morris CEO Hugh Cullman asked his director of research, Dr. Helmut Wakeham, to design a test to see if any of the carbon particles were being sucked out of the cigarettes and inhaled. A handwritten note on the original memo from Cullman stated, "Dr. Bavley,
Virginia Johnson said she did this four years ago and carbon particles were sucked out of the cigarettes when smoked. She is looking for the negatives showing the carbon particles of transmitted carbon. RHB 1/10/62"
In this memo, Wakeham responds to the problem by minimizing it, saying "All cigarette filters can be shown to transmit particles...Medical and industrial hygiene literature abounds in studies of the abilities of humans to inhale copious quantities of solid particles of all kinds without suffering ill effects..."
He concludes with the ironic line,
"Let's worry about the chemical constituents of smoke. There's a real problem!"
In this memo, a consumer research expert at Philip Morris memo acknowledges the narcotic effects of nicotine, and its appeal to consumers:
"...A widely held theory holds that most people smoke for the narcotic effect (relaxation, sedative) that comes from the nicotine...Although more people talk about 'taste,' it is likely that greater numbers smoke for the narcotic value that comes from the nicotine."
This confidential internal 1969 Philip Morris (PM) memo has been used as a trial exhibit in cases against the industry including Minnesota, Texas and most recently in the Boeken case in California. In it, author William Dunn of PM comments on potential areas of research proposed by another PM employee, J. E. ("Jet") Lincoln, that could prove beneficial for PM. In the memo, Dunn states
"Our position should obviously be supportive of Jet's for the primitive reason of 'Who ain't for more money?..."
However, Dunn cautioned against doing research that could be construed as an admission that cigarette smoke is a drug:
"I would be more cautious in using the pharmic-medical model--do we really want to tout cigarette smoke as a drug? It is, of course, but there are dangerous F.D.A. implications to have such conceptualization go beyond these walls."
Dunn concludes by saying that if they can understand the "reinforcing mechanism" of cigarette smoking, "we are potentially more able to upgrade our product."
This Philip Morris (PM) memo discusses a proposed research project to determine the addictiveness of nicotine. The writer, PM scientist William L. Dunn, announces that he has given approval for the study to be done, but says if the results prove adverse and show that the results with nicotine "are similar to those gotten with morphine and caffein, we will want to bury it."
These handwritten notes on studies of college students links puffing patterns to personality traits. The notes say that short-interval puffers have "Higher intelligence, more immaturity, a tendency to be submissive...to be timid rather than thick-skinned, to be more naive rather than sophisticated, to show less will power in general (that's good--means their unlikely to quit)..." "They are young people who are obviously not very sure of themselves and who display their personalities by their puffing."
This memo from the National Resources Defense Council relates the discovery of a strong correlation between smoking behavior and those who died of Legionnaire's Disease the 1976 breakout of the disease at a hotel. A telephone survey of the family members of the deceased revealed that 81 percent of the people who died in the incident were smokers. The author of the memo is Marc Reisner, who also authored the book Cadillac Desert.
George Weissman, President of the Philip Morris Tobacco Company (PM), sent this 3-page confidential memo to Joseph Cullman III (PM's Chair and Chief Executive Officer) on January 29, 1964, barely three weeks after the first U.S. Surgeon General issued the first Report on Smoking and Health to the public on January 11, 1964. The 1964 report was America's first widely publicized official recognition that cigarette smoking causes cancer and other serious diseases. This memo reveals PM's internal reaction to the report.
Weissman refers to the Surgeon General's Report as a "propaganda blast" and launches into a list of ideas about how the industry can counteract it. He suggests that the industry "take the initiative in securing a mild federal labeling act to thwart the efforts of the various states" to require health warning labels on cigarettes.
Weissman also suggests the industry work clandestinely to make fun of the Surgeon General's health concerns, saying
"While it should not be done in the industry's name, someone ought to be contacting all the cartoonists, television gag writers, satirical reviews, etc., to apply the light touch to this question..."
As if this wasn't enough, though, Wiessman suggested the industry's next move, which turned out in all deadly seriousness to be the tobacco company's chosen direction for decades:
"...[W]e must in the near future provide some answers which will give smokers a psychological crutch and a self-rationale to continue smoking..."
This fascinating early historical document from the Philip Morris Tobacco Company reveals the psychological turmoil that tobacco company executives went through in the 1950s over early allegations that use of their products damaged human health.
The writer of this document describes the "guilt complex" from which "all of us, or at least some of us" in the tobacco industry suffer:
"We tend to suffer from the sternly repressed fear that our opponents are right and we are wrong on the health question and that we are thus devoting our business lives to the propagation of lung cancer."
He goes on to conclude in no uncertain terms that a particularly bad constituent of cigarette smoke needs to be removed.
"BENZPYRENE MUST GO."
In this 1971 Face the Nation Television interview, Morton Mintz of the Washington Post confronts Joseph Cullman, III (then Chairman of the Board of Philip Morris) with information about a massive study done in the United Kingdom that showed that babies of smoking mothers had a greater incidence of low birth weight than non-smoking mothers, and that babies of smoking mothers had an increased risk of stillbirth and death within 28 days of birth. Cullman acknowledged that he was aware of the study and its results. His response:
"Some women would prefer having smaller babies."
When Mintz asked Cullman "What about the higher rate of death?" Cullman replied, "I'm not familiar with that."
Many of the questions asked of Cullman in this interview are still pertinent today, such as why Philip Morris continues to promote smoking among women, while they are also aware that smoking can hurt fetuses of pregnant women.
The passages of interest are on Pages14-15 of the transcript. Interviewers are: George Herman, CBS News, Morton Mintz, The Washington Post, Earl Ubell, Science Editor, WCBS-TV News.
This paper from British American Tobacco Company discusses the current tobacco marketing scenario, key constraints, challenges, opportunities and pressures on the industry.
Under a section entitled "Future Market Trends, Directions, Constraints and Opportunities"
we find this stunning passage of prediction for future competition for the cigarette market:
"8. Competition with Cannabis, glue sniffing and possibly hard drugs--heroin and cocaine. We must find a way to appeal to the young, who want to protest so that the product
image, and the product will satisfay this part of the market. The Cigar and Pipe market has an 'old' image. Cigarettes will follow as something 'My father and Grandfather did' unless we are careful."
From a section entitled "Current and Future Development of Consumer Needs, Attitudes and Segments," we find a passage that appears to be a warning that putting too little nicotine into a cigarette brand can permit a smoker to cut down ("cut down to a low purchase level) or even quit smoking:
"...4. High on the list of consumer needs is nicotine, which I believe to be the main motivator and sustainer of smoking behavior. Without nicotine in sufficient quantity to satisfy the needs of the smoker, the smoker can (a) give up altogether, (b) cut back to a low purchase level, (c) keep switching brands."
Today's document is the text of a 1988 speech given to the Tobacco Institute's Executive Committee expliaining how the Institute was handling an onslaught of proposals across the country to restrict public smoking. The speaker says that the Institute intends to change from "its current reactive posture to...a new, aggressive stance." He points out that opportunities exist "to put the anti-tobacco groups on the defensive" and an Institute objective is to "make THEM react and respond to OUR issues, to expend THEIR efforts and dollars to try and protect what is already on the books. The strategy includes "new approaches of repealing/modifying/rolling back existing legislation . . . of promoting ventilation . . . or IAQ [Indoor Air Quality] legislation . . . and smokers' rights legislation."
IN disucssing smokers' rights legislation, the speaker points out that smokers, in actuality, have few rights, are not a protected class and are unmotivated themselves to argue for places to smoke:
"As Stan Temko [a company attorney] will tell you later, smokers have few legal 'rights.' Smokers are not a protected class as are the aged, handicapped and minorities...Smokers, up to now, have been less than willing to stand up for themselves and argue for places to smoke..."
He also admits that the tobacco industry, working behind the scenes, formed a front group to protest smoking restrictions enacted by the Massachusetts Transportation Authority. The industry called the group "Commuters for Fair Treatment" and organized it to use to protest the smoking ban "in the media and before the legislature."
The speaker also says that the Tobacco Institute plans to "set the legislative agenda" in states it worked in, and "push public percpetion back" to allowing smoking in public areas.
In this document, an attorney writes to the owner of a theater in the Boston area on behalf of a couple who took their two young children, ages two and four, to a showing of "Snow White." An ad prior to the movie exhorted moviegoers to purchase KOOL cigarettes:
The commercial contained some suggestive materials and exhorted to children in the audience to 'do their own thing.'...
Further, we have been advised by people in the motion pictgure industry, that the manufacturers of 'Kool' cigarettes pay a certain price for each person who views their advertisements in a theater. We question whether you have informed your advertisers that the majority of the audience to which you have directed their ad are minors."