Anne Landman's Collection
Face the Nation, as broadcast over the CBS Television Network and the CBS Radio Network, Saunday, January 3, 1971 -- 11:30 AM - 12:00 Noon EST
Length: 19 pages
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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 document was first posted on Doc-Alert on January 5, 2000.
Mr. Mintz: Do you believe that cigarettes are safe? Have they been proved to be safe, Mr. Cullman?
MR. Cullman: I believe they have not been proved to be unsafe.
Mr. Mintz: Well, in view of the fact that they haven't been proved to be safe, what is the justification that you would offer for spending -- according to one estimate I've seen -- $3 billion in the last 20 years-- to promote their use where there is that uncertainty, when we have an excess deaths of 200,000 to 300,000 a year, when there is all this evidence, which you don't feel is conclusive--what is the reason for promoting its use when it might cause cancer, heart disease and so forth?
Mr. Cullman: Well, I'd have to answer that in this way, Mr. Mintz. There are a great many people in the United States and all over the world who enjoy smoking, who find it satisfies a very important human need. We think those people are entited to the best possible product we can produce. That is essentially our job.
Mr. Mintz: Now embryos don't have much choice, fetuses don't. They don't like to smoke. The British Medical Research Council did a study of all the 17,000 babies born in a single week in the United Kingdon, as you doubtless know. The Council found that those babies born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy were in significantly higher proportion small, weighing under five and a half pounds approximately, than the babies born to mothers who did not smoke, and there was a higher rate of stillbirths and of deaths within 28 days of birth. My question is, in view of this study, which is the largest and most elaborate of its kind ever made, is it right to promote smoking among women with Virginia Slims and other brands especially marketed for them wiht no warning as to the danger to the embryo that may exist?
Mr. Cullman: Well, you are reading that question because it is a complicated question.
Mr. Mintz: Yes, it is.
Mr. Cullman: I would say that I did read that report, and I concluded from that report that it's true that babies born from women who smoke are smaller, but they are just as healthy as the babies born to women who do not smoke. Some women would prefer having smaller babies.
Mr. Mintz: What about the higher rate of death?
Mr. Cullman: I'm not familiar with that.
- Philip Morris
- CBS Television
- N/A - Television and radio audiences