1962 Analysis of the Smoking and Health Problem -- A Critical and Objective Appraisal

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

This document it exposes the fact that prior to 1962 the Tobacco Industry Research Council (TIRC) produced studies clearly demonstrating tobacco's harms (studies that isolated carcinogenic compounds in cigarette smoke, demonstrated paralysis of cilia due to smoke components, produced tumors with cigarette smoke, and more.) Second, the writer, F. Alan Rodgman (who was then the head of R.J. Reynolds Chemical Research Department) seems to be arguing that the industry should become more informed internally about its own products, in case the government tries to regulate them. He also points out that the industry was treading on thin ice (even way back then, in 1962), by bringing up the poignant question: What position is the industry putting itself in when it pleads "not guilty" to the charge that its products cause harm, when at the same time it has covered up research that reveals harmful constituents in tobacco smoke in order to protect its economic status?

Key quotes

To investigate the cigarette smoke-health situation the Tobacco Industry (except for Liggett and Myers Tobacco Company) has given about five million dollars to TIRC [Tobacco Industry Research Council] since 1954 for research...I believe that much of this research, particularly on the chemical, biochemical, and biological study of tobacco and its smoke, could have and should have been carried out in the research departments of the tobacco companies... If a coordinated...biological research program on the tobacco-health problem were undertaken by the members of this Company's Research Department, the findings made could not have any more adverse effect on the Tobacco Industry in general or on this Company in particular than those reported by the TIRC grantees or associates, Kotin and Falk (paralysis of cilia with cigarette smoke and components), Leuchtenberger (cellular changes produced in the lung of mice exposed to cigarette smoke), Bock, Moore, and Homburger (tumor production with cigarette smoke), Kosak (isolation of carcinogenic compounds from cigarette smoke), etc. It may be advantageous in the future for our Research Department personnel to have experience in studies involving test animals, particularly if governmental restrictions are imposed because of conclusions reached by the recently appointed Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health. ....Members of this Research Department have studied in detail cigarette smoke composition...Some of the findings have been published. However, much data remain unpublished because they are concerned with carcinogenic or cocarcinogenic compounds... This raises an interesting question about the former compounds. If a tobacco company plead "Not guilty" or "Not proven" to the charge that cigarette smoke (or one of its constituents) is an etiological factor in the causation of lung cancer or some other disease, can the company justifiably assume the position that publication of data pertaining to cigarette smoke composition or physiological properties should be withheld because such data might affect adversely the company's economic status when the company has already implied in its plea that no such etiologic effect exists?

Title 1962 Analysis of the Smoking and Health Problem -- A Critical and Objective Appraisal.
Author Alan Rodgman, R.J. Reynolds
Date 19620912;19861029 (September 12, 1962)
Type Scientific research
Bates 504822823/2846
Collection RJ Reynolds
URL: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/yhm55d00

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