Provides suggestions on presenting the industry's point of view on smoking and health. Cautions that the speaker should keep an affirmative tone, avoid claiming that smoking is not dangerous, maintain that smoking has not been shown to cause disease. States that reference to safer or less hazardous cigarettes should not be made, nor should smoking be called addictive or comparable with alcohol. Advises that all references to scientists or researchers emphasize their independent nature and not identify them as industry experts.
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SUGGESTIONS AND AFFIRMATIVE POINTS
i. Your approach with respect to the industry's smoking and
health position should be affirmative, keeping in mind (I) the
fact that there are outstanding scientists who do not accept a
causal relationship between smoking and disease and who believe
the question of smoking and health is an open one; (2) that mil-
lions of Americans choose to smoke, and they are likely to con-
tinue because it gives them pleasure; and (3) that the decision
to smoke represents an informed choice on the individual's part,
and more governmental and legislative regulation of smoking is
unwarranted and improper. The diseases now attributed to ciga-
rette smoking have existed for centuries, long before there was
any cigarette smoking, and there are significant gaps in knowl-
edge in the area of smoking and health. For example, n_~o ingredi-
ent as found in smoke has been shown to cause lung cancer, or as
a matter of fact, other diseases.
2. Your responses to the various questions will have heightened
credibility if you avoid overstating the industry's position. At
the same time, you should not accept phraseology which "loads the
dice" against you.
Avoid flat assertions that "smoking is not dangerous."
Our position is that smoking has not been established
to cause disease We do not claim to have all the
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answers and do not believe that the anti-cigarette
crusaders have them either.
Do not refer to "safer" or less hazardous" cigarettes.
It is acceptable to mention the substantial reduction
of "tar" and nicotine content over the past 25 years.
Do not accept language referring to smoking as "addic-
tive." It is preferable that you also avoid calling it
"habituating," or "dependence-producing" since these
carry prejudicial overtones. Smoking is a practice --
a custom. Many people, obviously, can and do give up
Do not state that smoking is only one of many "causes"
of cancer, heart disease, etc. It is better (and more
accurate) to refer to it as one of many "suspects." ~
Industry-supported research has the goal of helping to
determine and explain the gaps in knowledge which exist.
Its purpose is not to support only "our side" of a
Analogies between cigarettes and
avoided, since it is accepted
alcohol should be
that alcohol is
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detrimental to health in many cases.
coffee are acceptable for comparison.
Fats, sugar or
When discussing the scientific controversy regarding
smoking and health, do not refer to the views of "our
doctors" or "~our experts." There are highly qualified
doctors and ~cientists who believe that a causal con-
nection has not been established between smoking and
ill health -- but they are independent researchers and
are not "in the pocket" of the cigarette
Current efforts by nonsmokers to regulate smoking in
public are, a:t least in part, really an attempt to make
smoking socially unacceptable. Claims that nonsmokers
develop disease because of others' smoking remain sci-
3. The tobacco industry is very conscious of and deeply con-
cerned by questions raised about smoking and health. Since 1954,
the industry has paid or pledged over $i00 million to completely
independent research scientists -- no strings attached. For many
years the industry has spent more money on research on this matter
than any single government agency, and more than all the volun-
tary health associations combined.
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4. Certain questions may be so technical that you should re-
treat to a position of (i) not being able to answer the question
but being willing to furnish the information; or (2) saying that
had you known questions of such a technical nature were going to
be asked you would have asked scientists to be present.
5. It is important to emphasize that the tobacco industry is a
highly responsible industry, not only in its extensive funding of
research projects, but in other regards. On their own initiative,
the cigarette manufacturers have taken many affirmative steps to
meet the criticisms of cigarette advertising which have been ex-
pressed by various persons.
The cigarette companies voluntarily discontinued adver-
tising in school and college publications, and the
companies voluntarily discontinued the distribution of
sample cigarettes and other promotional efforts on
The cigarette companies voluntarily discontinued the
use of testimonials of athletes and other celebrities
who might have special appeal to young people.
It was the cigarette companies themselves who offered
to withdraw from -broadcast advertising, primarily
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because of the contention that broadcast advertising
has a special appeal for young people.
Cigarette companies submitted a voluntary proposal to
the Federal Trade Commission for the disclosure of
"tar" and nicotine statements in cigarette advertising.
The Federal Trade Commission itself recognized that
this action spared the government years of litigation.
All advertising carries the Congressionally prescribed
warning by virtue of a consent decree.
In short, the cigarette manufacturers have already made many
changes in their advertising and promotional practices.
6. The industry has voluntarily prepared, a list of "ingredi-
ents" currently in use, and has made that list available for
review by HHS.
7. Finally, this entire controversy should be put into perspec-
tive. Tens of millions of people in this country derive pleasure
from smoking. No responsible person or government agency favors
prohibition of smoking. The one experience we had with that
approach in this country was a disaster. Adults should be free
to decide whether to smoke or not. What is ultimately involved
here is a question of consumer freedom -- of the right of people
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to make up their own minds. The public is already sufficiently
aware of the alleged health hazards to make an informed decision.