Tobacco Institute Committee of Counsel

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The Tobacco Institute Committee of Counsel was a Tobacco Institute committee consisting of the chief counsels (attorneys) of the member companies together with the key lawyers from the three major lawfirms which ran most of the underhand projects for the industry:

  • Arnold & Porter (aka Arnold Fortas & Porter) was the board-room level law firm that advised Philip Morris. Philip Morris was seen by the other tobacco companies as a New York left-wing firm, with Democrat connections and Arnold, Porter and Fortas were all very close personal friends of President Lyndon Johnson. Arnold & Porter created A&PCo, later APCo as a real estate company, which then became APCO, a public relations company which Philip Morris largely controlled.
  • Covington & Burling (C&B) was based in Washington DC (and later London) where it did the major Republican political work during the Reagan and Nixon years. Thomas H Austern ('Tommie) and John Rupp were tireless workers for the tobacco industry, later with associate David Remes
  • Shook Hardy & Bacon (SH&B) kept out of the limelight and did all the dirty-work (not done by C&B) from its base in Kansas City. There was no project too-unethical for SH&B. It mainly operated on the borderline of illegality in the USA running scams, corrupt scientists, and paying politicians. David Hardy and William Shinn were its main operators.

Each of the main six tobacco companies also had at least one in-house lawyer on the Committee who also specialised in corrupting the science of tobacco and health, and of buttering up the politicians.

Documents and Timeline

1969 June 4 The Minutes of the Committee of Counsel (Lawyers servicing the tobacco companies + top legal executives). This regular meeting is to allow the companies to share knowledge, coordinate activites and joinly run programs (CTR, etc) without being charged with conspiracy. The lawyers in attendance are

Arnold & Porter -- Abe Krash, Jerome I Chapman, ? Schneiderman
Covington & Burling -- Tommie Austern, T Oghol
Phillip Morris -- Shepard P Pollack, Paul D Smith
American Tobacco Co - Cyril F Hetsko
RJ Reynolds -- Henry Ramm
B&W/BAT -- H DeBaun Bryant, Addison Yeamans,
Shook Hardy & Bacon -- Bill Shinn
Tobacco Institute -- William Kloepfer, ex-Senator Earle Clements
Liggett & Myers -- Frederick P Haas
Lorrilard -- Arthur J Stevens

1. First item discussed by Abe Krash is the FCC's rule-making plans to kick cigarette advertising off the TV.

  • RJ Reynolds has been served with 3 subpoenas (re:) the development of advertising themes.
  • Clements says he understands that Harley O Staggers (D-WV) has written a letter to both the FTC and FCC to hold up action until the Congressional proceedings are completed.

2. Kurt Enslein has a proposed a project to analyse the Doll data. Henry Ramm handed out a memo entitled "Proposal for Analysis of Doll Data"

Richard S Doll was the famed British scientist who identified the link between smoking and ill-health with satistician Austin Bradford Hill. They were planning to get access to his original data and have computer scientist Enslein 'mine' it for defects (real, or imagined).

3. Tommie Austern [C&B] reported on:

  • Chemsol development (A tobacco modification claimed to reduce the carcinogenicity of smoke.)
  • FTC trade regulation and rules
  • 3i information retrieval.

4. Bill Shinn [SH&B] reported on Theodor D Sterling's air pollution project. They had previously assumed the cost would be $3,000, whereas it will now be about $10,000. Approved. (It may have a bearing on the Hammond data).

5. Paul Smith (PM) reported that:

"Rune Cederlof who testified at the Commerce Committee hearings here also testified in Canada where he did an excellent job. He will read a paper in Rome in September on his twin studies that indicates that mortality of smoking and non-smoking identical twins does not show any correlation related to smoking.
The Karolinska Institute of Stockolm Sweden with which he is affiliated intends to have a symposium in Virgin Islands (Henry] Ramm says that the CTR turned down a request on this."

[The SAB had rejected Lars Friberg's $20,000 proposal (temporarily) -- Friberg and Cederlof worked together and Cederlof would give airing to their views there. Carl Seltzer (of Harvard) also favoured this project and Shinn recommended it.

Addison Yeamans and Bill Kloepfer point out that the Karolinska Institute is a highly prestige organisation that also has financial support from Swedish government. So they approved funding of $20,000. [They turned this into a Special Project #4 grant]

6. Leonard Zahn (science/media lobbyist) has made a request ...

... in connection with possible employment or retainer of him by CTR. Zahn says he thinks it would be prefereable for him to be 'retained' rather than 'employed' by CTR (He could get other clients). He says he has excellent relations with the science writers and has good contacts inside and outside of government. [He received a two-year contract at $4,000 a month + travel, entertainment.]


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