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Benowitz, Neal Leon, M.D.

(Prof. of Med., UC, San Francisco, Anti-Tobacco Expert) UCSF Professor of Medicine, nicotine expert, has testified for plaintiffs.

Neal L. Benowitz is a physician. His address in 1994 was San Francisco General Hospital, Dept. of Medicine, Pharmacy and Psychiatry. Benowitz is a Professor of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco (1994) (DJ 6/23/94). He is a nicotine expert. (Science 5/6/94). He testified for Don Barrett. He was a paid consultant to nicotine patch manufacturers? A scientific editor of the 1988 Surgeon General's report on smoking. He is also an expert on the effects of nicotine. He testified for the Plaintiffs in Kotler (NY) suit in 1990 (Boston Globe 2/21/90). Benowitz testified that: "a smoker's addiction to nicotine resembles some characteristics found in cocaine and heroin users". "Virtually all" people who smoke a pack-a-day over a period of a year or two, develop a dependency to nicotine. When smokers try to quit, they experience "acute withdrawal symptoms". Benowitz acknowledged that millions of people have quit smoking and the vast majority have stopped on their own. Benowitz also said that nicotine doesn't impair smokers cognitive abilities to understand the effects of smoking or impair their ability to make decisions. While people insist they smoke because they enjoy it, they wouldn't like it if they weren't dependent on it. You need nicotine to feel normal . . . This is drug-driven behavior. Like heroin and cocaine, nicotine prompts psychoactive changes in the brain. It is difficult to stop using and provokes a high relapse rate among those who try to quit. Benowitz also said that in its pure form, nicotine is poisonous and has been used as an insecticide. For smokers, nicotine can act as a stimulant, to help concentrate, and as a tranquilizer, to help relieve stress, per Benowitz (Boston Glove 2/21/90). Dr. Neal Benowitz did a study in the early 1980s published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study showed that "some smokers using 'light cigarettes' [low tar and low nicotine?] wind up with more nicotine (and nicotine metabolites) in their blood plasma," per David Kessler (Barron's 5/16/94). Benowitz says reducing the level of nicotine in cigarettes to 0.6 mg a piece and curtailing total nicotine consumption to four to six mg per person per day would help smokers cut back and stop teenagers from becoming addicted (DJ 8/2/94). Benowitz says "nicotine is what makes people smoke" and its delivery through cigarettes should be regulated by the federal government (DJ 8/2/94). Benowitz proposes that the nicotine in cigarettes be decreased gradually for the next 10 to 20 years to reduce the number of Americans who smoke. He admitted that his theory that lower nicotine levels would make cigarettes less addictive hadn't been tested and was based on his research on smoking, nicotine and addiction (DJ 8/2/94). Benowitz testified before FDA Drug Abuse Advisory Committee (8/2/94?) (DJ 8/2/94). Dr. Benowitz can be located at San Francisco General Hospital Building 30, Room 3316, 1001 Potrero Avenue San Francisco, CA 94110, Phone: (415) 206-3125. Dr. Benowitz is board certified in internal medicine, medical toxicology, and clinical pharmacology. (State of Florida's Proposed Plaintiff's Disclosure of Expert Witnesses, 2/5/97)


   Benowitz, Neil