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RJR's Suppot of Biomedical Research International Advisory Board November, 1979

Date: Nov 1979
Length: 8 pages
504697392-504697399
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ness 00029154

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Produced by: RJR

Affected Defendants: RJR

Type
Report
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Bates numbers and watermark are difficult to read
Named Person
Seitz
Frederick
Original File
TobDocs1
Site
Budd Larner
Author
Stokes, Colin
Case
Barnes

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Page 1: 00029154
COLIN STOKES RJR'S SUPPORT OF BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD NOVEMBER, 1979 R.J. Reynolds has been at the forefront of smoking and health and biomedical research for the past quarter century. While we have invested over thirty-three million.dollars in smoking and health studies and biomedical research since the nineteen fifties, we also budgeted another eight million dollars to support this type of independent, scientific inquiry in 1979. As an industry, tobacco companies have invested to date some seventy million dollars for smoking and~health~research -- which is about as much as all the U.S. governmental agencies and far more than private agencies such as the American Cancer Society. There are abundant reasons for R-J-R to~ place a priority on research, particularly on smoking and health research. One is that our sense of integrity dictates that~we respond directly to a fundamental attack on our business. Another is that if we can refute the criticisms against cigarettes, we may remove government's excuse for imposing heavy taxes on the product. Last year, tobacco companies paid out over a billion and half dollars in cigarettes excise taxes in the U.S. and abroad. A third reason is that there are a large number of crucial questions that need scientific answers in the area of smoking and health.
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Finally; important research projects are currently running short of funds due to inflation and government funding cutbacks and misguidance. These projects need the resources industry can provide. The central part of R.J. Reynolds' philosophy regarding the smoking and health question is that the issue should be de~ided impartially and conclusively in the scientific laboratory -- not in the halls of government nor on the front pages of newspapers. We further believe that any proof developed ~hould be presented fully and objectively to the public....and that the~ public should then be allowed to make its own decisions based, on the evidence. Presently, there is a good deal of controversy in the scientific sector on the subject of smoking andheal~, with prominent medical authorities lining up on each side of the .... arguments. Those who are convinced that cigarettes are being unjustly blamed for many infirmities have been willing to attest in court to their beliefs. Due in large part to favorable scientific testimony as well as to the failure of the opponents' assertions to s~and up under rigorous cross-examination, no plaintiff has ever collected a penny from any tobacco company in lawsuits claiming that smoking causes lung cancer or cardiovascular illness. For every charge that has been made against cigarettes, there has emerged a strong body of scientific data or opinion in defense of the product.
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-3- Let me give you some examples. For instance, we often hear the broad claim that the lungs of a smoker are generally impaired. However, a New York pathologist, Doctor Sheldon Sommers, told a House committee that (Quote) It is not possible . . . to distinguish between the lung of a smoker or a nonsmoker. Blackening of the lungs is from carbon particles, and smoking tobacco does not introduce carbon particles to the lung. (Unquote.) Furthermore, science has failed to answer many puzzlingi~!~ questions about lung cancer and cigarettes. For example, wh~ do many nonsmokers fall victim to lung cancer, while the disease is never contracted by ninety-eight percent of those heavy smokers who consume a pack-and-a-half a day or more? There are many missing pieces, too, inthe question 9f whether smoking causes cardiovascular disease. One. study, f~r instance, has indicated that light smokers and ex-smokers are less prone to cardiovascular illness than nonsmokers. And a growing number of medical specialists feel that the causes of both cardiovascular and respiratory ailments are multi-factorial. Their opinion is that such influences as genetics, sex, occupation, physical environment and personality type can act singularly or in combination in leading to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
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Besides lung cancer and heart disease, a third major area of embroilment involving cigarettes is the social acceptability question, which focuses on the alleged effects nonsmokers experience from others' cigarette smoke. Here again, scientists have come forth with data and opinions that would seem to absolve cigarettes from blame. Doctor Reuel Stallones (Rue-el Stuh-lone-s), a consul~ant on the 1964 Surgeon General's report, states that (Quote) There is no medical proof that nonsmokers exposed to cigarette smoke in ordinary relation with smokers suffer hany damage. (bnquote.) Some have claimed that nicotine is an addictive drug, but~ it is generally recognized that nicotine is eliminated from the blood fairly rapidly and has no cumulative effect. TI~e:.:~1964 Surgeon ........ . General's report itself concluded (Quote) Nicotine in quantities ~i~ ...... absorbed from smoking tobacco is very low and p=obablyldoes not represent a significant health problem. (Unquote). Even the concept of so-called cigarette "tar" is a. misleading one. In the popular sense, there really is no "tar" in cigarettes. The substance that you hear about is a particulate matter obtained only under laboratory conditions, by super-cooling and condensing tobacco smoke. Early experiments showed that mice painted with this "tar" could develop skin cancer. These tests have since been censured because the amount of "tar" used was equal to a man's smoking one hundred thousand cigarettes a day.
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I think it is apparent that there have been some irresponsible statements made by scientists regarding smoking and health. Such terms as ~cause," "risk," "factor" have been used loosely and interchangeably. There is a great need to clarify these relationships and to look into the scientifically stated possibility that ninety percent of cancer is caused by the environment. In addition, much more work needs to be done in finding the causes of cancer. By contrast, the American Cancer Society has concentrated its efforts on developing a cancer cure and on claiming that lung cancer would be virtually eliminated by the elimination of smoking~ We firmly believe that their claims are a disws~ice to society in that they discourage people from seeking o~5~the true cause~Of Traditionally, the federal government, h~S~~i~supported much of the cancer research that is done, 5ut many both inside and outside of the scientific community feel government, has proven itself a biased, restrictive sponsor. And recently, talk of tax cuts and budget trimming has tended to threaten many federally sponsored research projects. Lately, the government has received the added charge .that its research is misguided. H-E-W directs study under the preconceived idea that smoking causes cancer, emphysema and cardiovascular disease, and therefore is spending the majority of its annual twenty___ million dollars in smoking-and-health research money for finding methods of smoking prevention.
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On the other hand, we believe that Reynolds and the other tobacco makers have established a good track record in funding a large portion'of the more constructive, unbiased research that has been accomplished in the smoking and health area. Back in 1954, Reynolds joined to help form the Tobacco Industry Research Committee -- a group made up of tobacco manufacturers, growers and warehousemen to look into questions of tobacco use and health. The organization's name was changed in the early sixties to the Council for Tobacco Research -- U-S-A. Du~ing its twenty- five year existence, the Council has made awards of fifty-one, million dollars to six hundred and forty original ~antees in nearly two hundred and fifty medical schools, hospitals?and research . institutions. Of that total, R.J. Reynolds~has paid more than twenty million dollars. ~ i.~i The Council makes all of its grants through a scientific advisory board of physicians and medical researchers who meet regulary to weigh proposals solely on the basisilof scientific merit and relevance. Complete scientific freedom is given to award recipients, and they alone are responsible for reporting or publishing their findings through scientific journals, societies or conventiuns. The Council for Tobacco Research is one of three primary avenues used by Reynolds Industriesin fundihg biomedical research. During the past decade, our company also has become associated with several major research studies on either a joint- sponsorship or sole-sponsorship basis.
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-7- In evaluating and monitoring the special projects that we fund -- particularly the sole-sponsorship programs -- R.J. Reynolds Industries has secured the services of a permanent consultant -- Dr. Frederick Seitz, former president of Rockefeller University. Dr. Seitz is with us today and has agreed to describe these various R-J-R sponsored programs for you. To assist Dr. Seitz in his work, the company has also sought. the advice of Dr. James A. Shannon, former head of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Maclyn McCarty, a former vice --president at Rockefeller University. The purpose of the R.J. Reynolds Industries"~"ilbiomedical research program is to focus on the support of.basic and applied~ scientific research regarding human, degenerativ~diseases. I want to emphasize t_hat during the process~I of selection and funding, R.J. Reynolds Industries~itakes no part~ in the creation or performance of any research..~ Dr. Seitz has a distinguished backgroundland is well-suited to his vital role as our consultant. He is current.ly a member of the National Cancer Advisory Board, the governing board of the ~merican Institute of Physics and the Council on Foreign Relations, among others. He is also director and chairman of the Citizens' Commission on Science, Law and Food Supply and a trustee of Lehigh University, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Research Corporation.
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Dr. Seitz is a former chairman of the governing boards of the American Institute of Physics, the Naval Research Advisory Committee and the Defense Science Board. He also has served as president of the American Physical Society and as a member of the President's Science Advisory Board. ~ ~ ~ ~-He is a director of Texas Instruments and Akzona corporations. Dr. Seitz's major scientific research has been in the theory of solid state and nuclear physics and he is the author or co-editor of several volumes on those subjects. It is my pleasure to present to you at this.time, Dr. Frederick Seitz, who will furnish you with more detail on our company-supported biomedical research efforts. Dr. Seitz .... ###

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