B&W Problem Lab

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

B&W Problem Lab

This 1967 document appears to be notes taken during a brainstorming session at the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company about how the company could market a new low tar, high nicotine product. The list of "GOALS/WISHES" reads like a wish list for cigarette makers in general. Some of the ideas listed reveal Brown & Williamson's regard for the cigarette as a drug delivery device:

6. How can [w]e blend in [to the cigarette] a satisfier like cocaine.

7. How multiply nicotine rush...
...21. How show value of nicotine (giving you a lift) (starter in A.M.) (calm down).
23. How avoid vulnerability issue we may face by promoting nicotine.

...33. Wish we would realize that nicotine is one of primary reasons people smoke and we should capitalize on that.

Some of the ideas belie a sincere desire to market more openly to youth:

43. Wish I could market a product that was clean and wholesome enough for young people suggested enjoyment and was upbeat...

52. Wish we could market a product which would broaden cigarette market by allowing us to advertize [sic] to young people.
53. How market a product with taste satisfaction without health social concerns we could go after new youth market.

54. Wish without product like this we could appeal to influences or trend setters among young people.

Some of the ideas confirm that tobacco company employees know they market a dangerous product that has no particularly redeeming social benefits and that they wish they could market a safer, more ethical and acceptable product:

12. How to get across to consumer that what he likes (nicotine) is not what hurts (tar)...

..20. Wish we could make nicotine a positive factor.
22. How to market an addictive product in an ethical manner.
25. Wish we had another name for nicotine. Get away from negative association.
26. Wish we had another element which would give us positives...

..29. Wish we had a cigarette so safe we could appeal to non-smokers...

Some of ideas reveal the value of "free nicotine" (freebased nicotine created by adding ammonia to cigarettes that gets to the brain and central nervous system faster than other forms):

16. Wish we could address ourselves to free nicotine as opposed to nicotine as we know it.

17. How have free nicotine as opposed to bound...
34. How generate "all free nicotine."

One idea reveals a desire to promote smoking by getting popular television characters to smoke in TV shows. The following items refer to a very popular 1970's American television show called "Happy Days." One of the main characters in "Happy Days" was a leather-jacketed motorcycle rebel named "Fonzi" who, despite being a rebel, did not smoke:

55. How get Fonzi to endorse product.
56. How inject nicotine into Fonzie.

Some of the ideas are just plain weird:

68. How to make a smoking respirator.

69. Wish we had something for flavor, breath, stimulant no tar in an aerosol atomizer.
70. Same as #69 and gives something to do.
71. How to get smoker to suck on an aerosol container.

73. How to remove guilt from smoking

Date 19770509
Bates 670167971/7998
Pages 28
URL: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/vde14f00