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Anne Landman's Collection

Motives and Incentives in Cigarette Smoking

Date: 1972 (est.)
Length: 17 pages
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This is the famous Philip Morris (PM) document wherein William L. Dunn, principal scientist and leader of "smoker psychology" programs at PM, exhorts his colleagues to "Think of the cigarette pack as a storage container for a day's supply of nicotine...Think of the cigarette as a dispenser for a dose unit of nicotine...Think of a puff of smoke as the vehicle of nicotine..."

Dunn also summarizes the individual personality traits that distinguish smokers from nonsmokers, saying studies show that smokers have "greater anti-social tendencies, poorer mental health, greater reliance on 'external' than 'internal' controls, [are] more emotional, less agreeable, [have] poorer academic performance, higher incidence of prior hospitalizations...more auto accidents."

In perhaps the oddest part of the paper, Dunn cites psychoanalytic theory that refers to smoking as "pulmonary eroticism," saying in smoking "the lungs have become sexualized and smoking is but another form of the sexual act...."



This document was selected as a Trial Exhibit in Minnesota.


You've heard many explanations for cigarette smoking...I think it appropriate that we list the more commonly proposed explanations here:

1) For social acceptance or ego-enhancement 2) For pleasure of the senses (taste, smell) 3) For oral gratification in the psychoanalytic sense 4) A psychomotor habit for the release of body tension 5) For the pharmacological effect of smoke constituents.

I might mention one other explanation, not because anybody believes it but as an example of how distorted one's reasoning can become when under the influence of psychoanalytic theory. Smoking according to this argument, is the consequence of pulmonary eroticism. Translated, this means the lungs have become sexualized and smoking is but another form of the sexual act.

If one asks the smoker himself why he smokes, he is most likely to say, "It's a habit." If he is intelligent enough, he might be more to the point and say either one of two things: "Its stimulates me," or "It relaxes me." And now we are already deep into our topic....

Most of the conferees would agree...the primary incentive to cigarette smoking is the immediate salutory effect of inhaled smoke upon body function. This is not to suggest that this effect is the only incentive. Cigarette smoking is so pervasive of life style that it is inevitable that other secondary incentives should become operative. The conference summarizer, Prof. Seymour Kety of Harvard, used eating as an analogy. Elaborate behavior rituals, taste preferences, and social institutes have been built around the elemental act of eating, to such an extent that we find pleasure in eating even when not hungry.

It would be difficult for any of us to imagine the fate of eating, were there not ever any nutritive gain involved. It would be even more provocative to speculate about the fate of sex without orgasm. I'd rather not think about it.

As it is with eating a copulating, so it is with smoking. The physiological effect serves as the primary incentive; all other incentives are secondary.

The majority of conferees would go even further and accept the proposition that nicotine is the active constituent of cigarette smoke. Without nicotine, the argument goes, there would be no smoking. Some strong evidence can be marshaled to support this argument:

1) No one has ever become a cigarette smoker by smoking cigarettes without nicotine. 2) Most of the physiological responses to inhaled smoke have been shown to be nicotine-related. 3) Despite many low nicotine brand entries into the marketplace, none of them have captured a substantial segment of the market. In fact, critics of the industry would do well to reflect upon the indifference of the consumer to the industry's efforts to sell low-delivery brands...The physiological response to nicotine can readily be elicited by cigarettes delivering in the range of 1 mg. of nicotine. I hope our English friends who are developing the synthetic nicotineless cigarettes are not going to be too disturbed by all this.

Why then is there not a market for nicotine per se, to be eaten, sucked, drunk, injected, inserted or inhaled as a pure aerosol? The answer, and I feel quite strongly about this, is that the cigarette is in fact among the most awe-inspiring examples of the ingenuity of man. Let me explain my conviction.

The cigarette should be conceived not as a product but as a package. The product is nicotine. The cigarette is but one of many package layers. There is the carton, which contains the pack, which contains the cigarette, which contains the smoke. The smoke is the final package. The smokers must strip off all these package layers to get to that which he seeks...

Think of the cigarette pack as a storage container for a day's supply of nicotine:

1) It is unobtrusively portable. 2) Its contents are instantly accessible.

Think of the cigarette as a dispenser for a dose unit of nicotine:

1) It is readily prepped for dispensing nicotine, 2) Its rate of combustion meters the dispensing rate, setting an upper safe limit for a substance that can be toxic in large doses. 3) Dispensing is unobtrusive to most ongoing behavior.

Think of a puff of smoke as the vehicle of nicotine:

1) A convenient 35 cc mouthful contains approximately the right amount of nicotine. 2) The smoker has wide latitude in further calibration: puff volume, puff interval, depth and duration of inhalation... 3) Highly absorbable: 97% nicotine retention. 4) Rapid transfer: nicotine delivered to blood stream in 1 to 3 minutes. 5) Non-noxious administration.

Smoke is beyond question the most optimized vehicle of nicotine and the cigarette the most optimized dispenser of smoke. Lest anyone be made unduly apprehensive about this drug-like conceptualization of the cigarette, let me hasten to point out that there are many other vehicles of sought-after agents which dispense in dose units: wine is the vehicle and dispenser of alcohol, tea and coffee are the vehicles and dispensers of caffeine, matches dispense dose units of heat, and money is the storage container, vehicle and dose-dispenser of many things.

So much for extolling the virtues of the rod...

Philip Morris
Dunn, William L., Jr., Ph.D. (PM Smoker Psychology Principal Scientist 1970s-80s)
Principal scientist at PM during the 1970s and 1980s, nicknamed the "Nicotine Kid." Supervised Victor DeNoble, Paul Mele, Carolyn Levy and others. Led "smoker psychology" programs for PM.
Corporate recipient, Philip Morris
United States
Stmn/Trial Exhibit P-18089
Stmn/Trial Exhibit P-2788
Named Person
Eysenck, Hans Jurgen, Ph.D., Sc.D. (Psychologist, U of London; worked with RJR)
Hull, C.L.
Kety, Seymour S. , Dr. (Harvard Medical School & Mass. Gen. Hospital (Boston))
Ryan, F.
Schachter, Stanley, Dr. (Columbia University, NY NY)
Participated in PM's 1972 conference on Motivations and Incentives for Smoking
Tomkins, S.
Named Organization
Columbia University
*Council for Tobacco Research-- U.S.A. Inc. CTR (Formerly Tobacco Industry Research Committee (TIRC))
Created and funded by the tobacco industry to award grants to study of the link between smoking and disease. Part of a four decade effort to cast doubt on the links between smoking and disease.
*United States Public Health Service (use United States Public Health Service)
St .Martin Conference
American Tobacco
Effects—Smoking Behavior (Effects)
smoking benefits (benefits to smoking as a subject for research)
research linking smoking to improving symptoms of Parkinson's and Alzheimers
smoking initiation

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1 These facts are co;,s:~''eri5ly more relevant to ttie ,o2tva;ion questi,on than are the facts atout smoker-nonsmoker diifferences. ?n psychology, when~--We tialk about motivation we refer to a force whic5 impels one t!D act, and the action, ts goal-oriented. Hunger, . 1•• for example, is a motive which impels one to the action of ingesting food. The goal is a state of sa*.i'ety. Reaching the goal is the reward, and the behavior which is iins.rumental In reaching thie .:.'goal is reinforced. With t,ylis in mind, we can now ask several questions "Are any of the iisted physiological reactions sought after by ttie• . smoker?", "Are these physiological reactions synptomatic of a body ~ state whichiis the goal of smoking behavior? One feature of the list which has tmpressed many investigators is its close resemblance to the physiological response pattc-n • accompanying e:notional arousal, such as fear, anger, even joy. - thts per5aps the goal of the smoker, to achi'eve a body state i which mimics emotional arousal? - In the context of this question, 1et us now turn body of fact, the situational variables related to .'r to~ the th~i rd~~ smokiing behavior. , 4 So as not to bore you with references and the recitation of ali t"e evidence, permit me to present this body of fact i'n the form of a summary statement: The rate and incidence of smoking variles ~ .. ~• ~ as a function of external conditions which influence the emotional r state of the smoker.. The evidence at hand permits step further; the rate and i'neidence of extremes of the arousal continuum. r., --. . . ~• :.. . . .~ •: smoking is us to go one . highest at the
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-1'2'- If one were to plot s.-oK 'ng ra .e aya i'ns t some measure of the smoker's level of bodily arou,sal, one wov;d observe a nice U-shaped dis:riScation. This o5servation br',mgs us fuJ l circle, for you ~ will recalT that at the outset of this presentation I quoted the i smoker as explaining his smoking in paraQoxical terms: It me, it stt:nuTates me. ca1rss You may also recall that I stated that the chal.ienge to any explana_ory theory of smoking is to resolve t!iis parad'oxical duali:y of effect. At the St. Martin con6erence,Arofessor Stanley Scha chter, a psychologist at Colu^rb~ia University, labeled this as the Nesbitt paradox;, NesSitt betng a stu,dent of Schachter's who cailed the' paradox to his attention. Let me state this paradox as clearly and succimctly as i can: The known physiological effects of smoking are those that we consider as ind;.at'.nS body actSvatton or arousal. Th;s fits in nicely with the s.moker's state.ment "It stimulates me". But it is ?iigmy discordant with the polar explanation which the smoker provides Qerhaps even more often - "It calms me".. How can an agent whichh is physiologicatly arousing be cal;ning? And why should an already aroused,, exClted'person seek further ahysioiogi'cal arousal, Sumnarizing the known facts pertinant to the question o,f motiuation: ~1) Smoking is relateable to personality variables. 2} Smoke inhalation induces documented physiologi,cal res;o^s2s similar to those induced by emoticnai l arousal< - .,[.( .- . : ...
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3; S:noking rate varies as a parabolic furcti'oa of body activation level. I will end' this presentation by summarizing the two major theoretical explanations proposed at the 5'. Martin conference. I- 'ae shal l see how each attempts to cope wi th the .Yesbi tt paradox.~' :' The first is that of Hans Eysenck. To appreciate his ex- planation of smoking,, you must sit stil!1 for me to give you a skeletal outline 01, his theory of personality. Eysenck contends •that there are two ma,jor dimensions of personality. He uses the polies of the dimensions to label, the:n,:: extraversion-introversionn and neuroticisr-stability. He states that the evidence shows no relationship between smoking and the neuroticism-stability `, dimension. There is, however, abundant evidence of a relationship between smoking and the extroversion-introversion dimension. His ..xplanation for smoking proceeds as follows: Under identical external I` conditions of low-sensory input, extroverts will have a low level . . , . . . .. . ,•. , . of eorttcal arousdl and introverts a high level of cortical arousal. For every individual there is an optimum level of arousal. Since arousal varies with the level of sensory input, one can visuallize ": as in Figure 1 the relationship of sensory input and hedonic tone,• much stimulation is to be avoid'ed, and also too little. Introverts •. • _.. . _ • . , .•,. . or sense of well-being. It can, be seen, that, in these terms, too and extroverts require 0 fferenit levels of input for optimum arousal:; the extrovert needs more, the i'ntrovert less. Extroverts wi1i1 become stimulus seekers, introverts stimulus avoiders.~ Drugs are used to alter the level of sensory input. `iicotine Is also -..... . ...:..•-- •....~, 1 e . Y.,, . % . . . .: ~ ., .__ - - _ . . . , . C C r.: r.: A ~ . '.. . ... 2024273971
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u1sed to a1=er the 1eveT of sensory input. Now we shaiT see ho:ri he resolves the parad:x: He ackrowledges that nicotine has an I arousaT, activating effect, and re3sons that extroverts therefore should smoke more than introverts. And happily this is true. But what now does he do with his smoking i'ntroverts? Surprisingly, he does not attempt to resolve the Nesbitt paradox. He invokes it, pointing out that nicotine can have both arousing and sedating depresses neura' function. effects. He cites the weT1-known biahasic action of nicotine as documented by neurophar-nacological research. At low concentrations, nicotine activates neural' function, at high concentrations, it - Two serious flaws in Eysenck's reasoning must be pointed ,out: 1) The neuropharmacological evid'ence for the biphasic action of ni'eotine is based upon observations of neural tissue response to the local application of nicotine in animal studies. Stimulation occurred at low concentrations of nicotine„ depression at hiyh concentration levels.*'It is absolutely impossible for the concentration level required to induce neural depression to be attained by means of smoke inhalation. ~ To postulate both activating and sedating effects is to defy the docunentedi universality of the activating physioiogiea7' effect of smoke inhalation. . Eysenck, then, has not dealt effectivelly with the Nesbitt paradox. And I would rerr.ark in passiinig that the theory of Sylvan Tomkins, widely acalaimed in some circl'es, suffers from thn ~
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same cri:icism. Tomkins has prorosed that t!:ere are dl fferent types of smokers each t};.e seeking different effects from smoking, ., The bodily arousal accompanying emotion is the same for all 14 Tomkins, too, has chosen to overlook the u1niversality of smoke- ind'uced physiological arousal, agreeing with Eysenc+t that smoking can be either arousing or sedattng, depending upon the person and the situation. . • mentioned for coining the phrase "the 4esbiltt paradox'. Schachter ' The second theoretical explanation from the St Martin c nf o eren . c i's that propcsed ay Professor Schachter, whom I have already . offers an ingenious resolution of the paradox, and an explanation • of smoking which you will most certainly find novel and possibly '• noncredi'b1e. •Again you must first be briefed on Schachter's thtory covering all kinds of affective or •-notional-experi'enCe. emotions: fear, anoer, Joy,-etc. The person lnterprets the ..These can be dramatically demonstrated in a laboratory setting. the emotion is experilenced. Sometimes there are faulty interpretatioi bodily e;notional state tn terms of the circumstances under which . . : - . . - .. . • •, , An example: A male college student is given, adrenaline without hi's knowledge and under pretext that makes him unsuspecting. A11 this takes place in the presence of a very attractive female iab assiistant. At about the time that the adrenaline beglins to take effect the young woman crosses her legs provocatively and lets her hand linger a bit too long on his arm. The subject invari'ab1y Interprets the ad'renal ine-induced' arousal as an . • .,~. erotic arousal and behaves accordingly. The lab assistant threatened to quit if , •, -. . 'ls+a. ~.ar. w...r_~t:e.:.•ib-..~......~~..:_. ~.w.• ..-- ~._ _. .:: ~. .. . .~ i . .R: :. ~• 1 .. ..
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,No,r how does SOachter ao;.l; t,tiils theory to resolviag~ the . Nesbitt paradox? There is no paradox, of course, in the ssoker seeki'ng arousal when at the low end of the arousal continuun , but why seek arousal throuy;11 s-o:ki'ng when exci ted, as i's so often the case? I quote him:~ "As we all know, disturbing and frightening events are presu,~ed to throw the autonomic nervous system into action, epinephrine is released, heart rate goes up, blood pressure goes up, bllood sugar increases, and so on. Now notice that many of these physiological changes are precisely those changes that we're told are produced'by smoking a cigarette. What happens, then, to the smoking smoker in a frightentng situatton? He feels the way he usually does when he's frightened but he also feels the way he usually does when he's smoking a cigarette. Does he label his feelings as fright or as smraking a cigarette? I would suggest, of course, that to the extent that he attributes these physiological changes to smoking, he will not be frightened. And this, I propose, is a possible explanation for the strikingly calming effect that smoking a cigarette had on•the chronic smokers in Nesbitt's ex- ' -periments." There Is a variant properly be ascribe&to on the Schachter hypothesis that should Frank Ryan, one of my psychologist coileagues at the Phil!i'p Morris Research Center. Ryan suggests that arousal by smokiing is perhaps a means -Q of muting or damping an arousal responise to excitiing or d'isturbing circumstances. There are limits withi'n wh,'ch a person will operate ...~. .. ,.-. • _ .. . . . : ~ "rS L- L c- _ . ~y.. .. ~ : W ~rz . ., ~ 17"~
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on the arcusal cor t'.ru:::n. If pushed up toward~ the upper 1 i;ji t by smoke inhalation, t.~ere is 1it:le roca left for further arousal by external events, Thus the s;:oker can prep himself against the distur5ing efject of anxiety or fear, or anger or whetever. ". This is the end of my presentation. If you have been . intrigued by any of these ideas, I recommend~ the recently published voiume entitled "Srtoking Behavior: Ftotives and Incentlves", a corr.plenidium of paaers presented at the St. MArtin Gonference, "published by V. H. Winston & Sons of Washington, O.C. 0

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