Ray H Rosenman

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

Raymond H Rosenman (known universally as 'Ray') was a San Francisco cardiologist on the staff of a medical center. He was also the partner of Dr Meyer Friedman of Mount Zion Hospital in promoting the idea that lung cancer is linked to Type A personalities.

Throughout the 1970s he was also secretly a tobacco industry lobbyist who was paid by the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) (the successor to the TIRC ), not in the normal way -- which would have involved scrutiny by the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) -- but through the tobacco industry's secret Special Account #4 which was handled by the Ad Hoc Committee of company lawyers. This was to ensure that the scientist/academic remained 'untainted' and could be used as a witness in court cases, or present himself at Congressional or local ordinance hearings as an authority who was 'independent' of tobacco industry influences.

Documents & Timeline

1970 Mar 3 The general counsel for Philip Morris in New York, Alex Holtzman, is corresponding with Andrew Whist, the key disinformation expert with Philip Morris Australia. Holtzman has been sending out corrupt scientists (Rune Cederlof and Lars Friberg, etc) to conduct media tours in Australia, where they claim that there is no justification for anyone having concern about the health effects of tobacco smoke.

Holtzman has just learned that Sheldon ('Charlie') Sommers, the Acting Research Director at the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) is planning to visit Australia in June -- and he has agreed to ...

"... devote part of his time to participating in whatever activities you might arrange."
Lauren V Ackerman, Professor of Pathology at Washington University, St Louis and a good friend of ours [who] has an international reputation in the cancer field" [might also join Sommers.] "He has a wider reputation than Sommers, and is the associate editor of the ACS's journal, Cancer -- so his objectivity could not be questioned."

Ackerman, unfortunately, believes that smoking ...

"might be implicated in some cases of lung cancer, but that its contribution to lung cancer overall is fairly small.
I hesitate to make a strong recommendation on Ackerman since as you and I know from the Cederlof/Friberg situation, it can be difficult to handle two scientists who have somewhat divergent views.
Ackerman is entirely willing to, leave the discussion of smoking and health questions in Sommers hands and to make only such remarks on this subject as might be considered helpful. Also, he is very critical of the Auerbach [smoking beagle] study and will be in a very good position to discuss its shortcomings.
Sommers' visit, incidentally, would be entirely under his own auspices without any support from the industry. As to Ackerman, we would have to arrange to pay his expenses, but I am certain that many academics in Australial would be anxious to arrange speaking dates for him.

He also suggests John P Wyatt and Ray Rosenman [both fully in the industry pay]

Finally, I am enclosing a very recent article by Dr Carl C Seltzer of Harvard University which represents an excellent criticism of the scientific information in relation to cigarette smoking and heart disease.

[This triggered Seltzer's later career as the main international travelling salesman for doubt about smoking and heart attacks.] [2]

1971 Feb 28 The audit for the CTR's secret Special Account #4 (six months only) shows: Disbursements :-
Consultants' Fees and Expenses :-

Auditing ...................$ 225.00 ........... $17,257.29
Cash in Bank - Feb 28 1971 ........ $54,674.64
[Note: there was also a $500 reimbursement to the Canadian Tobacco Industry for a sum advanced to Dr Rene Cederlof [3]

1975 Sep The Tobacco Institute is making a film "The Answers We Seek". The draft script lists the scientific touts for the industry who will be used to represent various scientific disciplines in the film:

[With the exception of Hammond, every one of these medical 'scientists' received substantial and often regular payments through the tobacco industry and its secret Special Project #4 accounts.] [4] Final script [5]

1975 Dec 10 Bernard Dreyer of Medex International has sent clippings and medical articles to George Weissman, Vice Chairman of Philip Morris. He is introducing him to the Type A arguments of Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman. [6]

1985 Oct 12 Friedman replies to Carl Seltzer at Harvard University agreeing with him and suggesting he read the Friedman/Rosenman book "Treating Type A Behaviour -- And Your Heart." They appear to believe that smoking is a health outlet for Type A personalities:

These views made it impossible for us to even consider participating in the MRFIT [The 'stop-smoking intervention trial'] program because anyone who smokes excessively, has a high serum cholesterol, and has high blood pressure, without doubt is a Type A individual.

And when they [the MRFIT team] employed a questionnaire, or unprofessional people, to present a list of stereotyped questions and found that 35 percent of their participants exhibited Type B behavior, I knew that the results of this study would be ridiculous, as they were. [Since this largely overturned the Friedman/Rosenman results] It is too bad that $115 million dollars had to be spent on this program which the Wall Street Journal perhaps aptly described as a debacle.

I have been following your work for decades now and as one pioneer to another, carry on.

My chief objection to cigarette smoking is the occurence of pulmonary cancer in so many of these individuals. Rightly or wrongly, I am pretty much convinced of the retationship. Certainly when I was in private practice most of my coronary patients died not of coronary heart disease but of pulmonary cancer due to their previous smoking. But here again, maybe I am biased.


[This ready acceptance of the causal link between smoking and lung cancer might have surprised Philip Morris. But even these scientist who were willing to deny the link was proven in public, knew that it existed.]