Anne Landman's Collection
[Scientists in ETS Program]
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This internal memorandum from the Tobacco Institute reveals the increasing difficulty the tobacco industry has had in recruiting and retaining credible medical and scientific professionals to publish papers and testify on their behalf to help "maintain the controversy" on secondhand smoke. Scientific and medical professionals who testify publicly on behalf of the tobacco industry risk losing their own credibility. This memo discusses the problem of attrition among medical, statistical, toxicological and epidemiological "experts" that the Tobacco Institute lined up to publish papers and testify at public hearings in its "Scientific Witness Program."
When our academic scientist recruitment effort was first completed in 1989, 20 scientists had agreed to participate in the program. We now have approximately 12 active members. There are two reasons for the attrition: 1) several scientists have proved to be too difficult to work with...and 2) others decided at various stages that they were no longer interested in taking the ETS issue on... Several other scientists... contribute little to the program for other reasons. We are now in at least some danger of losing three of the most productive members of our remaining group: Dr. Gary Flamm, one of our best toxicologists, Dr. Maurice LeVois, our only U.S. epidemiologist, and Dr. Max Layard, a good statistician and one of the best all-around consultants.
Only Levois has approached me directly to express his reservations about continuing to work on the ETS issue. Over the past couple of years, he has begun working on a number of other issues with a group headed by Renata Kimbrough, former science advisor to EPA administrator William Reilly. My opinion is that Maurice is still involved only because of his sense of loyalty, and that he is likely to become less and less available to us over the next year, eventually declining to work on the ETS issue at all.
Gary Flamm has indicated to Clausen Ely on a number of occasions that he is uncomfortable with the visibility of his work on ETS and has had some negative reaction from other of his clients. I think there is a possibility that Gary will decline active participation as early as next year.
Max Layard is probably less likely to leave the program in the near term than either LeVois or Flamm, but began expressing some concern following the SAB [Scientific Advisory Board] hearing earlier this year. His participation in the California hearing, where he was treated rather worse than other participants, probably did not help. My opinion is that Max will likely continue working for publication for some time, but may eventually decline public activity.
- Tobacco Institute
- Packett, Kay [Thomas] (TI Public Affairs Issues Manager, c.1992-93)1993
- Stuntz, Susan M. (TI Issues Management Director, VP)Helped organize a program to create a backlash against the insurance industry after they instituted non-smoker discounts for policy holders.