The Tobacco Observer - New Health Warnings Unneeded

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

This is a copy of the April 1982 edition of a free public newsletter published by the Tobacco Institute called "The Tobacco Observer." The issue reports on hearings before the U.S. Congress about a bill to require new, rotating health warnings on cigarette packages. It quotes extensively from the testimony of Edward A. Horrigan, Jr., Chairman of theR.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. A caption below a photo of Horrigan on the first page says,

"Edward A. Horrigan, Jr., chairman of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., spoke for the cigarette industry in calling unnecessary and ill-conceived a bill to substitute health warning on cigarette packages with a rotational system involving up to seven different warnings. Horrigan termed the legislation an 'unwarranted intervention into the private lives of citizens,' "

Later in the article, Horrigan says the health warning labels were unneeded because "90 percent of the population agrees that cigarette smoking is harmful." Yet in a seeming contradiction he also states that the "scientific controversy" about smoking and disease is "still evolving," and added that "no causal link between smoking and disease has been established."

Another article in the newsletter discusses the Congressional testimony of an "international economics expert" who told Congress that estimates of the costs of smoking to society were wrong, and that the lifetime cost of treating smokers were in fact LESS than the lifetime costs of treating nonsmokers because "nonsmokers who live longer tend to generate very substantial medical costs in old age."

Other articles in the newsletter bear titles like,

  • "Biological Link Said Lacking in Smoking-Cancer Controversy,"
  • "Smoking/Pregnancy Charges Unproven,"
  • "New Warnings 'Flawed,' Scientists tell Congress,"


  • "Emphysema Research Ignored" (which reports that animal experiments have failed to show that cigarette smoking is a cause of emphysema).

The newsletter was free, and was sent to approximately 17,000 members of the Tobacco Action Network, plus industry allies around the U.S. like advertisers, retailers, etc.

Title The Tobacco Observer - New Health Warnings Unneeded
Org. Author Tobacco Observer (Tobacco Institute)
Date 19820400/P
Type Newsletter
Bates 2015018284/8295
Collection Philip Morris
Pages 12