Why One Smokes

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

Why One Smokes

This 1969 Philip Morris scientific report about why people smoke was used as a Trial Exhibit in Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry. It reveals Philip Morris's understanding that to lure beginning smokers to take up the addiction, they must employ the appropriate "psychosocial symbolism," which must be powerful enough to keep a child enduring the noxious experience of smoking until he finds himself addicted to product:

To account for the fact that the beginning smoker will tolerate the unpleasantness we must invoke a psychosocial motive. Smoking a cigarette for the beginner is a symbolic act. The smoker is telling his world, 'This is the kind of person I am.' Surely there are variants of this theme, 'I am no longer my mother's child,' 'I am tough,' 'I am not a square.' Whatever the individual intent, the act of smoking remains a symbolic declaration of personal identity... ...As the force from the psychosocial symbolism subsides, the pharmacological effect takes over to sustain the habit...

The report also discusses in detail the effects of, and importance of nicotine to maintenance of smoking behavior:

We have, then, as our first premise, that the primary motivation for smoking is to obtain the pharmacological effect of nicotine...We share the conviction with others that it is the pharmacological effect of inhaled smoke which mediaites the smoking habit...

Bates 1003287836/7848
Collection Philip Morris
Pages 13
URL: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/pds74e00

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