Tore Dalhamn

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

Tore Dalhamn was Professor at the Statens Institute for Folkhalsan, Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm who did extensive research for Lorillard Tobacco company -- mainly legitimate investigations into the way in which tobacco smoke killed off the cilia in respiratory tracts. However his partner in these early research programs was the notoriously corrupt scientist Ragnar Rylander, then at an early stage where he was just beginning his career working covertly for the tobacco industry.

Dalhamn also had a part-time second job as a medical writer for a Stockholm newspaper. In 1965 he made a move to head the Hygienic Institution at Upsala [University]".

There is nothing in the documents below to indicate that Dalhamn was cooking his research, or deliberately corrupting the data. However, the suspicion must remain that he was possibly selectively publishing data in the interests of Lorillard.

Documents & Timeline

Ragnar Rylander
Ragnar Rylander (Doc Index)
Harris B Parmele

1962 Nov 6: Tore Dalhamn was a Professor at the Statens Institute for Folkhalsan, Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm. This is a letter in reply to Harris B Parmele (VP and Director of Research) at Lorillard. Dalhamn has built a smoking machine for inhalation research on cats and rabbits and is offering to do some tests for Lorillard. He writes:

As far as I understand it should be very interesting and certainly of considerable value to examine your three types of cigarettes with the method described above, and I am willing to do this.

I must, however, point out that it will involve a considerable extra work for me personally and therefore I suggest that one of my assistants, since many years, Dr Ragnar Rylander , should help me with this work.

Regarding the economical side, I am very thankful for your generosity. I am, however, willing to bear the cost for the smoke apparatus as well as the apparatus for registering the ciliary activiity; but I think you will understand that nevertheless an investigation of this kind will be quite expensive as it entails a lot of work (preparing animals, filming, filming counting,etc.),which has to be done by the laboratory staff beside their ordinary work. [2]

1962 Nov 30: Dalhamn responds to Parmele again saying that his smoking machines are working, and a trial run with three cats showed the animals have reacted with a considerable decrease of the ciliary activity after having smoked 3-5 cigarettes. This decrease in activity has been about 20%.

As to the organizing side I have talked with Dr Rylander and a laboratory assistant, and they are willing to devote themselves to this investigation during January, February and March.

It is probable that we can force the work during these three months so that the results can be available at the end of April or the beginning of May, provided that no unforeseen things will happen as epizootic diseases amongst the animals, trouble with the apparatus etc., which can delay the work.

The cost for carrying through an investigation of this type I estimate to ¢10.000 -- $15.000 dollars. [with 100 cats]

He wants to know who will control the publication of results. Dalhamn seems genuinely interested in knowing whether filters remove the ciliary-killer components in cigarettes smoke. [The ciliary function moves mucus in the throat and lungs, and is therefore important for 'lung clearance' (coughing, etc.) Coughing to clear the lungs is good for smokers, but a bad mark for cigarette company sales. [3]

1963 Jan 13: Ragnar Rylander begins writing directly to Parmele (VP and Director of Research at Lorillard). He appears to be helping them plan a symposium [which became his forte later] and organising the making of a film about their research processes, He writes:

Enclosed please find a copy of the agreement I have signed with SF-Sandrews concerning our movie about the smoke dosage apparatus. It is for your knowledge only as I already have the letter in which you state that Lorillard is going to pay the film. (sic)

As you see in the sixth paragraph they want part of their payment in advance so would you please forward them 4,833 dolllars according to § 6 a.[the contract clause]

The actual shooting of the film will start January 17th and all scenes taken in connection with the apparatus will probably be completed January 22nd.

Concerning the cilia symposium I enclose the names of a few people who might be of value for different papers and also for the discussion : I think Jose A Rivera would prove an excellent chairman. [4]

1963 Feb 1: Parmele is arranging to visit Dalhamn and Rylander in Stockholm on Feb 13th. This is the beginning of their personal relationship. [5]

1963 Feb 6: Lorillard's Swedish representative advises the US company that the tobacco smoking and lung cancer issues are heating up; antismoking organisations are trying to get warning labels on packets. and they have tape-recorded ...

... a program in the Swedish television, where Mr O Sonderstorm, the general manager of the Swedish Tobacco Company and Professor Ringertz were questioned [by] a panel. In all, this program was not at all so negative for the Swedish Tobacco Company. We have the whole program recorded and are enclosing just a little part of it, since this [the call for labeling] was one of the most interesting points. [6]

1963 Mar 21: Tore Dalhamn writes to Parmele. [The meeting in Stockholm appears never to have taken place.]

In the beginning of the next week Dr Rylander and I together with a representative for the Swedish film corporation will discuss the possibilities and the costs for having a moving picture. We will bring them with us when we come over.

Note that both Rylander and Dalhamn are going to New York. [7] Confirmed [8]

1963 Apr 3: Rylander writes to Parmele [Dalhemn is attending a conference in Paris] putting back the dates of their New York visit to May. He also adds:

The work with the film script is also progressing and I will discuss the general outlay with the producer-to-be early next week." [9]

1963 Apr 8: Parmele to Rylander confirming visit times:

Naturally we will be very much interested in learning of the progress which you are able to make with respect to a film script covering your technique. [10]

1963 May 8: Dalhamn is back in Sweden after the New York trip, but Rylander hasn't returned with him. [11]

1963 June 18: Parmele is commissioning more research from Dalhamn, and reminding him to publish his material (hopefully in Nature). [Note how easily the dates are mistyped on page 2!]

In order to arrive at an estimate of the cost of such a movie you and Dr Rylander will write a script which will enable the movie people to more accurately evaluate the problems involved. [12]

1963 Jul 17: Parmele is anxious to know about the progress with publishing in Nature and about the film. [13] Rylander replies a few days later [Dalhamn is on holidays]. He has managed to get some of their results which were discussed on French radio and the 'first layout of the [film] script' is in hand. [14]

1963 Sep 12: Rylander to Parmele: He is giving a paper at the Madrid International Conference on Occupational Health in September and sends them a copy. The film script is progressing well -- now in rewrite stages for filming in September.

Dr Ernst Wynder has been in touch with Dalhamn asking for early access to experimental results for a review of the 'carcinogenic effect of tobacco smoke". Dalhamn has sloughed off the request politely. [Parmele says this reply was 'appropriate'] [15]
Dalhamn's reply to Wynder [16]
At this time Wynder's dealings with the tobacco industry were kept at arm's length by both sides. Later he became dependent on the industry funding, and was willing to compromise.

1963 Sept 18 /E: Both Rylander and his wife Emma (also working at the Karolinska Institute) have been asked to visit the USA at Lorillard's expense circa September 30. [17]

1963 Nov 13: Dalhamn to Parmele. They are expecting Parmele and his wife to visit Stockholm in December, and have invited them to the Nobel Prize Awards ceremony and dinner. The film script and costs will be discussed then. Estimated costs were 75.000 Swedish Kroners plus additional fees to Rylander and Dalhamn.

Their Cilia paper has been accepted by Nature. [18]
Parmele's reply [19]

1963 Dec 20: Parmele to Dalham.

  • The Movie will be funded by Lorillard and extra payments will be made to Rylander who is currently teaching in Northern Sweden. ($500)
  • They want 1000 reprints of the Nature article.
  • They are hoping he will get an article based on Dalhamn's Colorado speech in the American Review of Respiratory diseases.
  • They want to piggy-back on phenol research he is doing for the Swedish Tobacco Company.
  • They want further research inhalation studies on cats and rabbits. [20]

1964 Jan 11: The release of the first Surgeon General's Report: Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service. It has taken a year of research by a ten-man committee. Their various subcommittees have studied 7,100 research reports. Tobacco stocks went into free-fall. Smokers cut back for two years following this (the second) scare.

The Surgeon-General's report appears to have created a subtle diversion in the paths of Dalhamn and Rylander. Both have become addicted to the tobacco dollar, but while Dalhamn had his doubts about being involved with the companies, he remained substantially devoted to research which was trying to make cigarettes safer.

Rylander, by comparison, became increasingly involved with the tobacco industry's disinformation and science-corruption projects.

Whereas Dalhamn had clearly been 'team leader' in the past, they now began to act independently (although remaining closely associated for a few more years).

1964 Jan 14 /E: Both Dalhamn and Rylander were flown to Lorillard in New York for a short discussion on the implications of the US Surgeon General's Report on Cigarette Smoking and Health. [21]

1964 Feb 20: Rylander suggest to Parmele that, with the film, since there is a dearth of research data on some of the Kent filters, they should just leave out the graphs so the evidence isn't so obvious -- or alternately wait for more research to fill in the gaps. [22]

1964 Feb 27: Parmele now wants more research work done on the Kent filters, which he knows will delay the film. He points out that:

The purpose of the movie is twofold --

  1. To visually describe the technique involved and
  2. To show the dramatic difference between filtered and non-filtered smoke with respect to ciliary inhibition.

[Note he is appears to be asking for genuine research, although Rylander has suggested just cutting out some of the graphs to avoid some of the problems in reporting the studies.] [23]

1964 Feb 28: A followup letter the next day from Parmele chastises Rylander for suggesting the ploy of omitting data.

We regret very much that we must disagree with you completely on the matter of omitting any and all experimental results from the film.

From our standpoint this will weaken the value of the film very materially since we feel that it is imperative that an example be given in the film of how the technique works on cigarette smoke and such an example should indicate the marked difference between filtered and non-filtered smoke.

We are very sorry that we must adopt an attitude a little different from yours but again we repeat, that it is our firm and honest opinion that the film would be very incomplete without an example of what can be learned through the technique described with respect to different kind's of cigarette smoke.


1964 March /E: Rylander has been to the UK with a crew to film the worst city air pollution (Leeds) for the Lorillard film. [25]

1964 Mar 11: Rylander sends Lorillard the latest film script. He will be passing though New York on his way to Los Angeles and return for a meeting on March 16. [26]

1964 Mar 23: Parmele's internal Monthly report records that:

Dr. Rylander paid us a brief visit on Monday, March 16th, during which visit the script for the movie was agreed upon, current experimental work was discussed, the status of Dr Dalhamn's three publications was reviewed and we learned that Drs. Rylander and Dalhamn will pay us a visit for several days some time after April 14th.

[They also have similar work being carried on by Wynder and Hoffman looking at charcoal filters, and by Freddy Homberger and Bernfeld at Bio-Research Labs.] [27]

1964 Apr 29: Rylander and Dalhamn have been in the USA and visited Lorillard in Durham and also the Duke University (Dr Tosteson)
[This is the campus of the university which is closely associated with RJ Reynolds - it is named after Buchanan Duke, the founder of the company].

  • Parmele has given the OK on the final cut of the film (with some minor script changes).
  • The Swedes have a cilia article about to appear in the American Review of Respiratory Disease and Lorillard wants a thousand reprints. [Later they order 1300 direct from the magazine]
  • Dr Morris Fishbein [a long-term scientific consultant with Lorillard] is promoting a longer version of their paper on filters and cilia to the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
  • They have not heard back from Dr Tosteson about the cilia symposum.[28]

1964 May 5: Morris Fishbein [a tobacco scientific consultant] and his wife Anne are staying at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm and are expecting "Bud" [Schultz] (one of Parmele's laboratory associates) to arrive shortly. He has been visiting Dalhamn's laboratory and highly praises his techniques. He writes:

I have also seen some of his results which are highly favorable to Kent as compared with several other types of cigarets.

Fishbein is also receiving the celebrity treatment by the Swedish media, and expects to receive an award from the Swedish Medical Association.
[This can only have been engineered through the Swedish tobacco industry - there's no other justification for such an award.]

Note that Lorillard scientists and the Karolinska group are virtually on weekly commutes between the two countries, and each side is glad-handing the other.

1964 May 5: Parmele to Dalhamn: Professor Tosteson at the Duke University will sponsor a symposium on the physiology of cilia. He has selected a Chairman, and is running the symposium About thirty scientists will be invited to a Durham conference in the fall. Clearly Lorillard's name is being kept out of this operation.

Rylander is now being ccd on letters to Tore Dalhamn, which suggests they are not working closely together now. [Rylander has also been doing pollution work for an oil refinery.] [30]

1964 May 13: Rylander to Parmele at Lorillard. He accepts the invitation to the symposium, gives details of who is to be paid for work on the film, and details for ordering reprints on the American Review of Respiratory Diseases article. [which was essentially Dalhamn's Colorado University Medical School speech]. [31]

1964 May 22: Dalhemn to Parmele. He has been offered a job as a physician with a newspaper company, and has clearly considered taking it -- and discussed this with Parmele in New York. Parmele has made him some sort of counter-offer to keep him working.

I hope we can discuss these details in June or July when Dr. Rylander and I are coming over to present the results of our experiments and to participate in the preliminaries for the conference on "ciliology", which will take place in the autumn. Once again, please, accept my sincere thanks for your grand generosity and I want to stress that our cooperation hitherto for me has been very pleasant and I hope we will find a way to cooperate also in the future.

[Dalhamn's job at the newspaper seems to have not lasted more than a few weeks, and he returned to research at the Karolinska Institute] [32]

1965 April 2: Rylander is to make a visit to work in the laboratory of Dr L Reid in London, and wants an advance from Lorillard on his "honorarium" and the $250 needed for his air-fare. [33]

1965 April 15: Rylander to Parmele thanking him for the check. Lorillard is reviewing and sub-editing an article which will be submitted to the American Journal of Respiratory Diseases.
[They only appear to improve the English and comment on factors which are missing]

Spears cannot come to Sweden, so Rylander suggests that he does some research in Greensboro. [34]
Review of the article [35]

1965 Aug 11: Rylander is testing new Lorillard cigarettes which have been "constructed to give a low hydrogen cyanide delivery" (which was thought to be one of the components which paralysed the cilia). [36]

1965 Sep 1: This is the last signed-and-dated letter written by Harris B Parmele in the Lorillard files. By the 15th his name has disappeared from the cc lists for internal memos, so he is almost certainly dead. He becomes one of the tobacco industry's executives who "Disappears without trace" usually due to a heart attack -- and who are never mentioned again in the files. There are no letters of condolences; no discussions between associates, no obituaries in the files. [37]

1965 Sep 17: Dalhamn to Parmele. He would like Lorillard to train two of his staff at the Greensboro laboratories for a week. He is still planning on shifting out from the Karolinska Institute: "Things are beginning to happen with the Hygienic Institution at Upsala [University]" he says. [38]

1965 Oct 15: Spears has assumed the old Parmele role of dealing with research contractors, although his title is still only Director Basic Research. He writes to the company President.

I have been reviewing our association with Doctors Dalhamn and Rylander and thought that you would appreciate knowing of the details.

There is a corporate letter of agreement which indicates that Doctor Dalhamn has been retained for a period of five years, commencing January 1, 1965 at a fee of $7,500 per annum. This agreement can be terminated by either party upon 90 days' notice.

For the year 1965, Doctor Parmele budgeted $58,800 for the retainer fee, services and traveling expenses, but as of September 30 only $16,055 had been spent. Considering the retainer fee for the balance of the year and expenses to be incurred on their coming trip to the United States, the total expenditure for the year can be projected to a value of about $21,000.

However, there must have been some verbal agreement on services, and it would not be surprising to the writer to find that Doctors Dalhamn and Rylander are expecting further remunerations on their forthcoming visit. Most of the remunerations in the past have been made as deposits to a New York bank account which may lead to tax difficulty for Doctor Dalhamn, but Mr GO Davies assured me that this does not present a problem to Lorillard.

1966 Jan 12: Alexander W Spears (Director of Science/Research) at Lorillard is sending two first class airfares to Dalhamn and Rylander for a trip to America for a meeting April 1. He also independently writes to Rylander giving the OK for the publication of the results in Science.

Both men are now at the Institute of Hygiene, Karolinska Institute. They are doing mouth absorption experiments and testing the use of anti-inflamatory/anti-cough ingredients in the tobacco. [39] [40]

1966 April: Dalhamn has applied for a patent on the anti-cough ingredient. [41]

1966 Apr 6: Dalhamn has now joined Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's largest daily newspaper as a medical writer in their Stockholm office. However he is still continuing his research program.

First 1 want to thank you for the great hospitality Dr Rylander and I enjoyed at our stay in New York. On behalf of Dr Rylander and myself I can assure you that the past four years collaboration between us and Lorillard on our account has been very pleasant and stimulating.

Their "research program for the coming hear is completely filled" and at Lorillard's request, Dalhamn has been invited to attend the November 2-3 1966 AMA-ERF conference in Colorado Springs. It appears as if Rylander has not been included in the patent application. [42]

Making contact with Philip Morris

1966 Aug 31: Max Hausermann at FTR's Neuchatel Laboratories (then called "United Tobacco Factories SA") is writing to Robert Carpenter, Senior Scientist at Philip Morris's Richmond Research laboratories.

Enclosed are reports on my visits to Drs. Harris and Negroni (a more complete report will be given by Dr. Luchsinger) and to Professor Dalhamn and Dr Rylander. A report on the visit to INBIFO will follow soon. [43]

1967 July 20: Peter Luchsinger's memo to Robert Carpenter at Philip Morris Richmond, reviewing decisions taken at a meeting two days before:

"We have heard from Dick Goldhammer [of FDRL] that [Ragnar] Rylander will attend the New York meeting as well as [Freddy] Homburger.
(Frederick Homburger was a Swiss physician/researcher who owned Bio-Research Institute, Inc, at Cambridge Mass and remained independent of most (but not all) tobacco influences.) Rylander will present data indicating that the gas phase is just as important as particulate matter. He will make this presentation on behalf of Lorillard."

[This shows that Rylander was well-known to Philip Morris, and appears to have been working for companies other than Lorillard by 1967] [44]

1967 Nov 8: Tore Dalhamn is in London with Rylander (courtesy of Lorillard). They both travel on to New York for a week in December. Dalhamn writes to Spears:

Dealing with my own future, I would like to mention that I will most likely be offered the chair as the first Professor of Hygiene at Upsala University from July 1, 1968. From the research point of view it will mean that eventually I will be able to spend more time on research work than at present and that I will have my own institution. It may mean that I will have to give up my present laboratory and the loose connections that I have with the Swedish Tobacco Company. When we meet I should like to take up some budget plans for the coming year especially dealing, with Dr. Rylander and his association with Lorillard. From my point of view it is highly important to be sure of his further cooperation.

He is clearly still acting as mentor for Rylander! [45]

1968: Rylander publishes "Pulmonary Defence Mechanisms to Airborne Bacteria" as a supplement to Acta Physiologica Scandinavia. Rylander is now publishing without the coauthorship of Tore Dalhamn.