ETS Consultant conferences

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This stub is a work-in-progress by the journalists's group. We are indexing the millions of documents stored at the San Francisco Uni's Legacy Tobacco Archive [1] With some entries you'll need to go to this site and type into the Search panel a (multi-digit) Bates number. You can search on names for other documents also.     Send any corrections or additions to


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


1988 Feb 17: Philip Morris called a special meeting of the UK industry (with BAT, Rothmans, Imperial Gallaher, C&B and Bioassay Ltd.) to explain their determination to implement new activities on behalf of the whole industry They are creating [Whitecoats] or [ETS Consultants] in many parts of the world. [2]

1988 MarchCovington & Burling setting up a London office to coordinate the ETS Consultants/WhiteCoats recruitment needs of Philip Morris. {From deposition]

The countries in Europe where they have already been working are the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Scandinavia (via Sweden). A list of potential scientists who could be contacted in the UK was produced."

"David Remes (of C&B) presented the approach of the US lawyers, and said that he believed their function to be to act as intermediaries between the consultants and the industry and also to indicate 'areas of sensitivity' on ETS research. He was not prepared to elaborate on these areas of sensitivity or on the state at which any filtering process would be carried out.

He noted that in the USA, their strategy at first had been to meet short-term 'emergencies' by presenting teams of witnesses eg Witorsch, Gray Robertson. He did, however, acknowledge that this kind of roadshow would be unlikely to be acceptable in Europe. The Centre for Indoor Air Research that Philip Morris, RJR and Lorillard have set up in the US was mentioned as a further development of this strategy which would not necessarily be practical elsewhere."

"The consultants should, ideally, according to Philip Morris, be European scientists who have had no previous connection with tobacco companies and who have no previous record on the primary issue which might, according to Remes, lead to problems of attribution.

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."[3]

1988 Sept 15 The CIAR Board of Directors meeting. The cabal of corporate conspirators in attendance were: Max Eisenberg (PM), Robert Pages (PM), Charles Green (RJR), John Lyons (TI), Alex Spears (Lorillard), Gary Burger (RJR), John Rupp (C&B), Davis (?), Don Hoel (SH&B), Tom Osdene (PM) and David Remes (C&B).

They had three well-known guests who were there to make presentations about their projects: John Viren (RJR) and Max Laird (ex Biometric Branch of NCI ), and also Delbert Eatough (science consultant from Brigham Young Uni)

There are two different records of this meeting, one in the PM files and the other from the Tobacco Institute (this is a composite). The two presented proposals were:

  • "Personal Exposure to ETS in an commercial airline."A 12 month Canadian airline smoking study of 24 flight attendants to be controlled by Delbert Eatough of Brigham Young University. Individuals will wear personal passive dosimeters to provide comparative exposure data. United Airlines are willing to work with the CIAR, but they don't want ozone measurements.

    Comments 1:

    "Charlie Green believes that results on Airline Study will be believable." The levels may be low ... but it will help establish CIAR and add to Reynolds data"

    Clement Assoc. will make the risk assessment ( and present it as a Department of Transport in response to their normal request for comments procedures. Neil Benowitz will conduct nictotine/cotinine analysis (He was legitimate) | Comments 2: the blood sample provisions are very fragile. The NCI-EPA [study ? is] half way completed: Canadian flights; couple of dozen flight attendants.
        Study Justification: data inconsistent; the industry's data is much lower in the concentration of ETS than NAS; [so this gives us] new comparative data; [which also has value in creating] CIAR and EPA cooperation.

    [The CIAR pretended to be independent from the industry, and it assumed that the EPA could be persuaded to cooperate with them. Del Eatough and Max Eisenberge were to visit the EPA and test the waters of cooperation.]

    Eatough was using Brigham Young Uni students and post-doctorate faculty to collect air measurements during flights. They were smokers. RJR was to do the chemical analysis and could add test for aldehydes for no-extra costs. University of San Francisco work on biomarkers could cost $12,500 more.
        Results: Eatough will be funded by CIAR, He must explore survey with United Airlines, and try to get them to agree to ozone measurements also.


  • Death rates of non-smoking spouses [adverse health effects of passive smoking]
        This is a retesting/re-evaluation of the Hiriyama non-smoking wives study finding made in 1980. It will be done by John Viren (head of the RJ Reynolds Smoking & Health Division) who is working with Max Laird (Viren also worked with S James Kilpatrick) | They will accumulate/access data on an expected 16,200 deaths from married non-smokers. Hirayama's original cohort study begun in 1965 with 265,000 people. The researcher's suspect that the Hirayama conclusions maybe attacked via his claims:
    • to a 100% followup (not plausible)
    • because his death rates were actually lower than that of the overall population.
    • his subject list is under-represented in 70-79 age group
    • only healthy people were included.
    Alvan Feinstein and Peter N Lee (both tobacco touts) have reviewed the proposal for the industry -- and they will also "look for hidden bombs before publication".

    Viren and Laird will have the first draft ready in early October for committee review and a final draft ready by October 15. Their target publication is the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology (co-edited by Walter Spitzer and Alvan Feinbein)

    [It was eventually published in a booklet "Environmental Tobacco Smoke: The Science"with chapters by other tobacco scientists. [4]

    Viren/Laird will do a quick and dirty study (for a conference), then later a good scholarly paper for a Class A journal.. The short version will be published in a Perry Journal.

    [Professor Roger Perry edited and controlled Environmental Technology Letters]

    Comments 1: Charlie Green asks "Do they have something worth doing? We could do the same with US data (ACS - Garfinkle study)"

    [The Hirayama's study was done in Japan (which allowed them to blame indoor cooking stoves, etc.), and the first major US passive smoking study by Garfinkle for the American Cancer Society was inconclusive.]
    Comments 2: "Do not present the quick/dirty until the scholarly article is in hand"
        "Concerns were expressed by Osdeen, Eisenberg and others regarding the strength of the Viren-Laird analysis. It doesn't explain the defects and discrepencies (in Hirayama), but only points out inconsistencies in the data, and that the data doesn't support certain conclusions. IT MUST BE STRONGER!!!
  • Rockefeller University Seitz.... McGill/Spitzer study. The money went to Spitzer to evaluate the studies which went into the NAS and Surgeon General's reports. RJR and PM fund Spitzer to the tune of $200,000 through Rockefeller University. The panel Spitzer put together has been meeting and reading papers (the scientific literature on passive smoking) - and rating these studies.
    [The panel members were drawn from McGill university and most had had no previous experience with tobacco research or with similar biomedical research.]

    Comments: Karl Uberla and Viren-Laird will try and persuade the panel that Hirayama is poor science. No one is going to rate Hirayama as an acceptable study.

    [The whole purpose of the Spitzer/McGill/Rockefeller study was to counter the excellent lung-cancer incidence research done by Hirayama on non-smoking wives of smoking husbands, in Japan]

    Results will be published in the first quarter of 1989 and it will be a semi-official Canadian report.

    [They managed through tobacco consultant Ian Munro and others, to get this treated as a quasi-government report.

    Bieva Conference

  • Conferences [& publications]:
    • Claude Bieva's Brussels ETS Conference (in early planning stages). Good response from scientists to discuss indoor air quality.

      James Kilpatrick (IAPAG) wants another $25,000 for a paper he would give at the Bieva conference: "Health Risk of ETS: Recent Interpretations of the Literature". The CIAR rejected this proposal - but Hoel was to encourage him to apply for CIAR research funds at a later date.
    • Perry [Imperial College Ambient Air] Conference [run June 1988] proceedings to be published in Environmental Technology Letters. [Prof. Roger Perry of Imperial College London had done a large ambient air quality study across the UK, and with Philip Morris, set up a large scientific conference at Imperial College. Perry also owned a couple of publishing companies (Selper, etc) and also edited the Environmental Technology Letters scientific journal.]
          The UK Tobacco Advisory Committee (TAC) has ordered 200 copies. The CIAR board should distribute to colleagues,
    • Argentina IAQ conference Sponsored by the National Academy of Science of Buenos Aires, Argentina, but financed by PM and BAT. It ran for two days in Dec 6 & 7 1988 [correct date]. The primary organiser was Dr Osvaldo Fusinoni but they managed to persuade Ascender, a volunteer health group, to help with organisation.
          Nine international tobacco lackeys would make presentations (proposed): Ragnar Rylander, Gray Robertson, Franz Adlkofer, Karl Ubela, Heinz Letzel, Gerhard Lehnert, Theodor and Elia Sterling, Philip Witorsch, Domingo Aviado, and W Allen Crawford -- plus -- Latin Americans: Osvaldo Fustinoni; Amicar Arguelles; Lorenzo Fiallo Espinal; Rodrigo Quintero Molina.
          The CIAR will publish the procedings in English (100-150 copies) and Spanish (2,000 copies). They planned for a total of 25 attendees and other Latin American health officials, but no industry/company scientists. <img SRC="../library/space.gif" width=200 height=1> [This pseudo-conference was held at San Carlos de Bariloche]
    • Tokyo conference (held in 1987) Re-presentation of papers -- not in print -- not been published
    [All these conferences were financed and controlled by the tobacco industry]

<img SRC="../library/space.gif" width=260 height=1> • Hand note by one PM member <img SRC="../library/space.gif" width=254 height=1> • Handnote by John Lyons (TI)

McGill Uni - Nov 1989

McGill University ETS Symposium 1989 Nov Held over x days

1991 Feb 14 [How it was reported] Article in The Australian newspaper by Peter Finch, Professor of Statisties at Monash University and a Research Associate of the Centre for Independent Studies (A libertarian think-tank funded by $10,00 pa by tobacco).

A more recent (1990) study. Environmental Tobacco Smoke, based on the proceedings of an international symposium at McGill University, Montreal. similarly stresses the difficulty of coming to any clear conclusion about the effect of passive smoking.

One of the main problems is the methodological one of finding a way to measure environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). ETS is only one of many air pollutants; many other environmental sources also produce the chemicals in tobacco smoke: measurement of ETS is very variable and sensitive to changes in the type of tobacco used, the way it is stnoked the volume in question, and ventilation; and so on. The study concluded that no known marker existed that could be used as a reliable measure of ETS.


Lisbon - Hot environments conference

Bieva Conference

The McGill study reports only a weak association between parental smoking and health effects in older children, For younger children the association diminished as the child approached school age, and may even disappear by puberty. But the measurements were complicated by the use of questionnaires, known to be unreliable. and by a lack of adequate correction for possible confounding factors, such as child neglect. [5]

Biolouche ??? Latin America ???