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Smoking Bans: Liabilty Dodge By Big Cig...and Pesticides etc

Watchdog | 20.10.2005 01:19 | Ecology | Health

"Smoking" bans are presented as "wholesome" and "concerned" about health. They are nothing of the sort. They put blame and burdens of law on victims of the broad cigarette cartel...including many pesticide firms etc and all their insurers and investors and gov't allies.

The pending "smoking" bans in N. Ireland offer an ideal bandwagon to leap upon to legitimately discredit not only the pesticide/dioxin industries and radiation interests et ilk, but also the government officials who roll out the carpet for them.
This is an extract from letter to N. Ireland Pub owners association that explains.

The point is that the wording of laws and the
"science" used to justify such laws is routinely
either patently untrue or is based on unsound,
sometimes famously discredited studies. Publicans, and
customers who smoke, are being scapegoated to protect
the interests that made most cigarettes excessively
addictive and excessively, inevitably dangerous.

Please note that this is not a plea for "rights to
smoke". The point is about EVERYONE's right to not be
secretly poisoned by product adulterants. There must be a ban on ANY untested and known harmful non-tobacco substances in cigarettes...and other products as well. Cigarettes are just the most deadly delivery devices.

The bans, ironically, BENEFIT cigarette makers by
casting blame and burdens of law onto OTHERS and onto
a grossly under-studied natural plant. To my
knowledge, no study of plain tobacco or smoke from
plain tobacco has been presented in court or
legislatures or elsewhere. Tobacco is being condemned
and banned without a trial...often for diseases that
are impossible to be caused by tobacco or any plant.
If they say that "tobacco", by itself w/out
adulterants, does this or that harm, simply ask for
the studies that show this. One might point out that
dioxin, in cigarette smoke from the pesticide residues
and bleached paper, is ALREADY known to cause those
diseases. Dioxin cannot suddenly be SAFE in cigarette
smoke. I believe N. Ireland signed the POPs treaty to
phase dioxin off the earth. Officials cannot now say
that dioxin is of no concern.

Cigarettes are not defined for content that may
include some of the most toxic, carcinogenic
NON-Tobacco substances on earth...including dioxins
and radiation.
Tobacco is not defined or described to include,
importantly, all the pesticide residues and hundreds
of other adulterants.
Smoke is not defined or described to differentiate
it from an infinite number of other forms of smoke.
Smoke from a singed marshmallow is quite different
from smoke from a trash incinerator.
Smokers are VICTIMS of what is nothing less than
Secret Poisoning. No Informed Consent is sought or
given so that smokers know what they are actually
using...and it is NOT just tobacco by a long stretch.

Many of those who push for Smoke Bans are part of
the cigarette cartel via pesticides, other chemicals
and cigarette additives...and even insurance of and
investment IN cigarette manufacturing. Their motive
is to save the cigarette manufacturing and supply
firms from indictments and liabilities for what they
DID to the tobacco and the cigarettes...and the Guinea
pigged consumers. If any witnesses are given credence
to speak against "smoking", they MUST be scrutinized
for any links to the so-far unpublicized parts of the
cigarette industry.
They MUST be asked, in public, preferably under oath,
if they are referring to TOBACCO smoke, or to smoke
from multi-ingredient, pesticide-contaminated,
radiation-contaminated tobacco smoke. If they claim
not to know, their expertise is shattered.

In the USA, there are many so-called "tobacco
products" that many contain absolutely NO tobacco, but
instead "tobacco substitute material" made in Patented
processes to "simulate" tobacco. That is...this stuff
is a lie by its camouflaged appearance, smell and
taste. You cannot GET tobacco smoke from such
I don't know if fake tobacco is legal in N. Ireland.

This is to say that Publicans, possibly also victims
of dioxin/radiation contaminated smoke, must NOT be
made to bear burdens of law for something for which
they were not responsible. This is doubly true when
one notices NO bans on untested and known deadly
non-tobacco substances in typical cigarettes.

Please note that the ban promoters want it both ways:
They say that "business improves" one day, then the
next day they want to impose bans in neighboring
jurisdictions so that customers do not flock to the
ban-free locations.

If any official uses the term "tobacco" or "tobacco
smoke" they must be required to DEFINE it for content.

For info, simply Google terms such as "tobacco pesticides", "cigarettes dioxin", "cigarettes radiation", "dioxin tobacco", "cigarette ingredients", "EPA secondhand smoke Osteen", and related terms.

Publicans ought be outraged at being cast as villains
for tolerating smoking (as if they are complicit in mass poisoning), and for having to adjust any
business policies for the benefit of those who've made
most cigarettes so dangerous. It may be that Publicans
have been on the receiving end of libelous statements.

The officials who now don the halo of
"wholesomeness" and "health" are the very ones who've
allowed the toxic/carcinogenic adulterants to be in
the products and who've never once warned consumers
about the non-tobacco dangers.

This halo can be removed by simply making
it clear what typical cigarettes actually are...and
they are not just tobacco. This will put the ban
promoters on the ropes, deservedly so.



Hide the following 5 comments

your choice

20.10.2005 09:50

I look forward to the end of smoking anywhere I may want to go.

I have been prevented from going places for too many years by people practicing their personal habits at my expense.

Smoke makes me ill. It also makes my hair, skin and clothes smell very nasty.

I should have the same rights to go out about as others.

Yes, companies shouldn't add nasty substances to the first nasty substance without telling you but everyone knows and has known since the second world war about the additives.

We are each responsible for what we put into our bodies.

If in doubt, don't.

Poisen yourself if you must, but think of all the other people you take with you; those who have to pick the crop(they get numerous cancers), those who make the cigarettes and pack them and the tobacco. You are kidding yourselves if you think that going fairtrade is more than a hairsbreadth better. Then when you get one or more of the many cancers available, and hardening of the arteries giving excruciating pain, making you unable to walk or breath, your heart unable to cope with the strain you have imposed on it, go to your doctor and let the NHS pay for your care, after all you have paid for it with your taxes have'nt you? I don't think so. Tho care costs are astronomical, and it won't manage your pain or dissability. The pickers and packers in the tobacco growing countries dont even have our limited NHS support. You work for human rights do you?



What a terrible attempt at argument

20.10.2005 10:04

This has to be one of the poorest argued cases I've seen in a while (Twilight excluded).

Yes, cigarettes are harmful and should be banned. But unfortunately that's politically unacceptable, especially to smokers. So the next step is to begin protecting those at risk from passive smoking; smoking is now extremely limited in the workplace, banned in schools, and now (in Scotland and NI) about to be banned in public places (including licenced premises).

That seems perfectly sensible to me.


project whitecoat

20.10.2005 11:46

it's not as cut and dried [sorry!] as one might think:



The International Tobacco-Control Network - Whitecoat
Tobacco Industry Documents in the Minnesota Depository:
Implications for Global Tobacco Control
by Norbert Hirschhorn

Briefing Paper No. 3 (February 1999)

"Industry Recuritment of Scientific Experts"

Frank G. Colby was R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company's manager/director of scientific information (1951- 1979), and associate director of scientific issues -- industry jargon for smoking and health -- (1979-1983).1 His position description with RJR states required as his first responsibility to "Efficiently provide the technical expertise necessary for the Company to combat anti-tobacco claims,"2 and so his "scientific" orientation was all in one direction. Colby seems to have been the first to set out the tobacco industry strategy for finding just the right sort of consultants to defend the industry on scientific grounds. In 1974 he proposed a rating system for scientists based on their writings:

RATING DEFINITIONS: 1 = Means the more or less unequivocally on our side. 2 = Means that preponderance is given to etiological factors other than smoking but that cigarettes smoking is mentioned as one among many other etiological factors. In some cases it may mean that the author is on our side for one group of diseases such as, for example, cardiovascular diseases, even though he may be against us in other areas such as, for example, respiratory cancers. 3 = Means that the author is more or less against us -- i.e., he considers smoking the or a major etiological factor, but that there are other factors which more or less mitigate this correlation.

Colby then reviewed the writings of numerous Belgian and Dutch authors and refined his ratings from a plus-1 ("all favorable") to a minus- 3 ("foaming at the mouth"). Most authors ended up as plus-3 ("on the fence"). "There is hardly a single author where I can make a no-reservation recommendation for a useful contact, but there are several potentials which are described in alphabetical order by country."3

In 1979 Colby proposed a more indirect method of recruitment. In trying to neutralize an anti-smoking trend in Brazil because of concern about health he suggested that:

RJR-Brazil personnel [should] try to find among their personal acquaintances, one or more Brazilian physicians who had an open mind on the smoking and health controversy. This (or these) physician (s) in turn would try to find one or more Brazilian medical University professors who had a similar attitude. Other things being equal, it would be desirable to select the most prominent of those professors.4

Colby would then speak to these professors and turn them to the industry position. In 1982, Colby urged the industry to make their own connections to the Brazilian medical establishment, and perhaps then fund some of the physicians to do research, "at least on a modest scale."5 In a follow up letter to Carlos Jardim of RJR Tabacos do Brasil, Ltd. Colby presented a list of twenty Brazilian authors and what they had been working on (using NIH databases), suggesting which ones might be suitable to approach. In one case, a Dr. A.P.M____ "seems to have a very strong anti-smoking position and should, in my judgment, not be approached unless there is a good 'pipeline' to him, so that one might try to convince him that his current stance is quite unreasonable."6

In 1988 Herman Gaisch of Philip Morris and David Remes of the law firm Covington Burling gave full details of how to recruit and turn scientists to industry use in a remarkable presentation to their colleagues from Rothmans, Imperial, Gallaher and British American Tobacco.

Sharon Boyse of BAT authored the meeting memo:

Philip Morris presented to the UK industry their global strategy on environmental tobacco smoke. In every major international area (USA, Europe, Australia, Far East, South America, Central America & Spain) they are proposing, in key countries, to set up a team of scientists organized by one national coordinating scientist and American lawyers, to review scientific literature or carry out work on ETS to keep the controversy alive.

[NB. "Keep the controversy alive" is industry jargon for casting doubt on any evidence indicating that passive smoking -- environmental tobacco smoke or ETS in industry jargon -- is in any way harmful.]

They are spending vast sums of money.... A list of potential scientists who could be contacted in the UK was produced. Because of the heavy financial burden, Philip Morris are inviting other companies to join them in these activities.... The Philip Morris philosophy of ETS was presented. This appeared to revolve around the selection, in all possible countries, of a group of scientists either to critically review the scientific literature on ETS to maintain controversy, or to carry out research on ETS.... The mechanism by which they identify their consultants is as follows: - they ask a couple of scientists in each country (Francis Roe and George Leslie in the UK) to produce a list of potential consultants. The scientists are then contacted by these coordinators or by the lawyers and asked if they are interested in problems of Indoor Air Quality: tobacco is not mentioned at this stage. CVs are obtained and obvious 'anti-smokers' or those with 'unsuitable backgrounds' are filtered out. The remaining scientists are sent a literature pack containing approximately 10 hours reading matter and including 'anti-ETS' articles. They are asked for a genuine opinion as independent consultants, and if they indicate an interest in proceeding further a Philip Morris scientist makes contact. Philip Morris then expect the group of scientists to operate within the confines of decisions taken by PM scientists to determine the general direction of research, which apparently would then be 'filtered' by lawyers to eliminate areas of sensitivity. Their idea is that the groups of scientists should be able to produce research or stimulate controversy in such a way that public affairs people in the relevant countries would be able to make use of, or market, the information. The scientists would not necessarily be expected to act as spokesmen for the industry, but could be if they were prepared to do so.7

Remes and Gaisch had already practiced their method the year before, and exactly in the area of ETS, in West Germany and the Nordic region, using prominent scientists to recruit others, developing what was called a "personal relationship." ("We had already recruited Dr. George Neurath [who] has been to the United States for training...and should be of great help to us in identifying other candidates.").8 The "training" at PM headquarters was intended to make the recruited scientists (called "whitecoats") become "completely cognizant concerning the science of environmental tobacco smoke and prepared to share that knowledge with others at the industry's promoting an objective understanding of the issue among members of the scientific community, government officials and members of the public."9

Some of the Nordic scientists "sought assurances that their work would be used for constructive purposes and not simply to block smoking restrictions or to disparage the work of their peers," not realizing that Philip Morris and its law firm were calling the recruitment programs the "Witness Project."10

Sharon Boyse had been careful in her memo to distance BAT from the Philip Morris approach: "The excessive involvement of external lawyers at this very basic scientific level is questionable...likely to frighten off a number of scientists who might otherwise be prepared to talk to the industry." Nonetheless, BAT has now followed the method exactly in recruiting Chinese medical scientists. An advertisement in the South China Morning Post, 2 November 1996, placed by an international personnel search firm (Morgan and Banks), announced a "Unique commercial opportunity for a medical professional [in a] fast moving consumer goods industry...[for] conducting market research and performing collateral analysis with a view to meeting the company's commercial and marketing objectives." The source of the notice was revealed in a "strictly confidential ad search assignment specification [for a] scientific advisor" to be BAT. 11 The actual job description was to "place...emphasis on supporting the rights of an adult who chooses to smoke," and for "portraying the company view on smoking and health to key audiences in China." The scientist would speak about "information acquired other scientists, and interpret the information for lay persons," as well as journalists and "regulators." Echoing the technique suggested by RJR's Colby and made corporate policy by Philip Morris, the scientist would also develop "contacts within the Chinese academic community open to debate on smoking issues."

"Open to debate" for the tobacco industry means one direction only: According to the BAT job advertisement, "data related to smoking and health [in China] is quite different to that acquired, for example [,] in the United States," blatantly ignoring the gathering evidence that "cigarette smoking is already a major cause of death in China," principally from lung cancer, coronary heart disease, and chronic obstructive lung disease, just as elsewhere.12

The USA Tobacco Institute adopted the name "Witness Project" to recruit experts who would testify that cigarette advertising was simply to attract smokers to one brand or another while "a young person's decision to smoke" was influenced by peers, parents and sibling; that women smoked because of the changes in gender roles to which advertising was merely reacting; and that industry sponsorship of athletic and cultural events was better than "dependence on public funding."13 The Tobacco Institute memo describes the same familiar technique of recruiting potential witnesses and their vetting by an industry law firm (here, Covington & Burling). The memo makes clear that the recruits are brought to an acceptable state: "The witnesses developed through this project could serve one or more functions." [Emphasis added.] Only one or two would be entrusted to testify before Congress, while others would speak to journalists or prepare essays.

The industry's alarm over passive smoking is manifested by the serious attention given to recruiting witnesses and consultant researchers to counteract the growing evidence of harm. In 1989 lawyer John Rupp of Covington & Burling established the "Asia ETS Consultant Project." A 14 February 1990 memo reports extensively on the status of the project to Philip Morris and other "supporting companies" (RJR and BAT/ Brown and Williamson).14 Recruitment and orientation in the first year covered China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines and Korea. Recruitment in Japan was underway in cooperation with the Japan Tobacco Industry. Thirteen consultants are named: Drs. Reverente, Roa, Ferrer and Somera in the Philippines; Drs. Liao and Bacon-Shone in Hong Kong; Drs. He and Liu from China; Drs. Kim and Roh in Korea; Dr. Rampal in Malaysia; Dr. Ong in Singapore; and Dr. Wongphanich in Thailand. Dr. Wongphanich was important to recruit "because of her position as president of the Asian Association of Occupational Health; Dr. Reverente was a past president and Dr. He was due to succeed to the presidency in 1991.

Among other activities of the Asia ETS Consultant Project, "approximately 80 of our consulting scientists from more than 20 countries participated in a major international ETS symposium that was hosted by McGill University in Montreal." The consultants -- among them Kim, Liao and Bacon-Shone -- agreed to distribute copies of the proceedings within their countries. This is a prime example of industry "junk science" as the "symposium" was funded by the industry and McGill merely rented out some space for the meeting!15 To lend a further air of scientific legitimacy, an industry-funded organization created in the same year, Indoor Air International, planned a monthly journal to begin in 1991 in which a number of the Asian consultants could publish their articles, based in part on the "McGill" symposium. Drs. Bacon-Shone, Ferrer, He, Kim, Liao, Liu and Reverente were recruited to serve on the editorial board.

Bacon-Shone went on to present a paper at The Lisbon conference on "Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation in Warm Climates," critiquing "the unsophisticated statistical analysis appearing in Dr. Hirayama's paper on ETS and nonsmoker lung cancer in Japan, the cornerstone of the scientific literature relied upon by industry critics."

Finally, in addition to country-specific activities, the report mentions a proposal brought to the "supporting companies" to create an Asian Cities Monitoring Project, by which it was hoped to show that indoor air pollution was mainly due to outdoor pollutants, vehicle emissions principally. Drs. Liao, Bacon-Shone and Linda Koo agreed to consult on the project. "Because the Hong Kong study will be conducted and reported by independent [sic!] scientists, we expect the results will carry (however inappropriately) more weight...than have the results of previous studies conducted and reported by industry scientists."

Hedley Thomas and Jason Gagliardi have recently published on the Internet a follow up to the Asia ETS Consultants Project.16 In it they cite Dr. John Bacon-Shone ("one of a handful of key advisors to the highest levels of the Hong Kong Government") as denying any knowledge that it was tobacco industry money that sponsored his attendance at ETS symposiums in Montreal, Lisbon and Thailand in 1990; he also vigorously denied John Rupp's assertion that of course Bacon-Shone knew. "My position is clear," Bacon-Shone is quoted as saying, "the evidence that tobacco is a health hazard is overwhelming, but the work by Professor Hirayama and others overstated the risk of ETS." "ETS is a health hazard," he said, but mainly "obnoxious."

The Kansas City law firm of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, long serving to the tobacco industry, also reported in 1990 on its ETS witness program.17 Under a "three-company authorization" the law firm contacted over 35 consultants to see who would write a critical response to the US EPA report on second-hand smoke, yielding over 20 written statements. Many of the witnesses were already known to the law firm. Twenty-five names are supplied; details are given as to their work experience, their views on ETS if known, and comments made on their suitability. (Because it is not clear which of these persons actually became industry witnesses or what kind of statements were provided on the EPA document, their names will not be given here; readers may consult the original document.)

"Whose bread I eat, his song I sing." Let the reader or listener beware, and insist on knowing who is paying for the witnesses' time and message.

[1] Who's Who in America, 1996, p. 816.

[2] RJR 500887734, 1 December 1982.

[3] Colby memo, 16 September 1974, RJR 500949355 - 57. All Bates numbers from attorney-client privileged documents found on unless otherwise noted.

[4] Colby memo to S.B. Witt, 19 October 1979, RJR 502856892.

[5] RJR privileged 501636597-604, "Trip Report on the Fifth International Symposium on the Prevention and Detection of Cancer, San Paulo/Brazil, May 16-22, 1982. Colby to S.B. Witt, 10 June 1982.

[6]RJR privileged 500534310-13, Colby to Jardim, 3 August 1982.

[7] 17 February 1988, "Note on a special meeting of the UK Industry on Environmental Tobacco Smoke," BAT 301150179 - 184.

[8] John Rupp (Covington & Burling) letter to Gunter Wills (Philip Morris-Germany), 31 December 1987, PM 2501474303 - 04.

[9] Rupp letter to Bradley Brooke (Philip Morris EEC Region), 25 January 1988, PM 2501474296 - 301.

[10] David Remes letter to Lee Pollak (Vice President and General Counsel Philip Morris International), 8 February 1988, PM 2501474294 - 95.

[11] Press Release, 19 November 1998, Action on Smoking and Health -- UK. The advertisement and job description may be found at .

[12] Zheng-Ming Chen, et al. "Early health effects of the emerging tobacco epidemic in China . A 16-year prospective study." JAMA 1997; 278: 1500-1504.

[13] Anonymous memorandum, 16 August 1989, TI 00002764 - 67 (also TI 319911 - 14), "Re: Advertising Issues Activities."

[14] John Rupp and David Billings, PM 2500048976 - 98.

[15] Rob Cunningham, Smoke and Mirrors: The Canadian Tobacco War (Ottowa: IDRC, 1996), 152.

[16] Hedley Thomas and Jason Gagliardi, The Cigarette Papers Smoking Guns,

21 January 1999.

[17] Shook, Hardy & Bacon report to D. Harris, 1 December 1990, PM 2023590213 - 38, "Philip Morris ETS Billing Categories - Summary."


Altria Corp Services is a lobbyist for the Altria Group which owns Philip Morris, Kraft Foods and a host of other companies. According to political contributor lists Altria Corp Services is a lobbyist for Philip Morris and Kraft Foods, and aheavy contributor to Republican election campaigns. Altria Group is fighting a US Justice Department lawsuit to recover medical costs due to tobacco-caused illnesses. The trial began September 21, 2004 in DC District Court. Through 22 September 2004 there have been 3711 case filings.

much more


Get some proportionality

20.10.2005 14:07

All this victimization of smokers when we can't breathe for vehicle exhaust fumes. Get a grip!



20.10.2005 19:32

Surely that's an argument to cut down vehicle pollution, rather than against a smoking ban? Otherwise the logical conclusion is that no pollution should ever be banned, because there'slways more of it anyway, and I might as well go an pour these old cans of paint into your local river?


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