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The Truth Squad was a subsection of the Tobacco Institute's Scientific Witness Team (SWT) of technicians, scientists, academics and lawyers who were paid to travel around the country and spread tobacco industry propaganda. They were the 'fire fighters' who were available to be sent quickly to a region where smoking restrictions or bans were being considered.
This group varied depending on the problem. but the core participants were:
- David A Weeks a Boise, Idaho physician who ran a medical lobby shop known as Per-Med Corporation with an associate S James Kilpatrick.
- Jack E Peterson an Industrial hygienist with his own company Peterson Associates. He also worked for Dow Chemical on dioxin and general chemical toxic spill problems.
Also included in the Truth Squad list were two IAQ testing executives who generally did media tours, speaking on the radio and talking to journalists. Since they ran air-testing companies they could maintain that second-hand smoke was rarely a problem, and that the real danger with indoor air came from Sick Building Syndrome.
- Gray Robertson of Healthy Buildings International
- Lawrence Holcomb of Holcomb Environmental Services
Truth Squads needed to be accomplished liars, able to answer questions, and appeal to their authority as experts. So to preserve the appearance of "Truth" the "Truth Squad" members were not to be accompanied by Tobacco Institute staff, nor did they admit to being in the location on tobacco industry business.