Tobacco: Issues Answers Actions

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

Tobacco: Issues Answers Actions

This Brown & Williamson employee manual from 1979, Tobacco: Issues, Answers, Actions, is a primer for their employees on how to answer questions from the public like "How can you deny the overwhelming statistical evidence that smoking causes disease?" and "Does it bother your conscience to sell cigarettes?" It also instructs tobacco industry employees on how to participate in the industry's "grass roots" lobbying structure, Tobacco Action Network or TAN.

The Question & Answer portion of the manual seems out of touch, and even absurd, by today's standards. It repeats over and over that the case against smoking isn't proven, that scientific reports linking smoking and disease have been based on flawed statistics, unreliable data, etc. It even trivializes the importance of the link, pointing out that there is also a statistical link between lung cancer and use of electric razors.

Most telling is a line that highlights the tobacco industry's decades of deceit of the American people. In describing the function of the Tobacco Institute (the tobacco industry's public relations and lobbying association) William Kloepfer, Jr., Director of Public Relations at the Institute says,

"Our objective is to bring a seemingly closed subject back to the level of controversy in the public's mind."

Date 19790900
Bates 670591534/1579
Pages 46