• Mon, Feb 5 2007

10 Things Big Tobacco Wishes They’d Never Said


As more and more smoking bans loom across the globe, let’s take a moment and reflect on some of the things Big Tobacco has had the hubris to put on record. Here’s a list of just a few choice phrases (out of hundreds) from various court documents over the years…

  1. “We have, then, as our first premise, that the primary motivation for smoking is to obtain the pharmacological effect of nicotine.” (Philip Morris, 1969)
  2. “Different people smoke for different reasons. But the primary reason is to deliver nicotine into their bodies. Nicotine is an alkaloid derived from the tobacco plant. It is a physiologically active, nitrogen-containing substance. Similar organic chemicals include nicotine, quinine, cocaine, atropine and morphine.” (Philip Morris, undated)
  3. “Let’s face facts: Cigarette smoke is biologically active. Nicotine is a potent pharmacological agent. Every toxicologist, physiologist, medical doctor and most chemists know that. It’s not a secret.” (Philip Morris, 1982)
  4. Nicotine is addictive. We are, then, in the business of selling nicotine—an addictive drug effective in the release of stress mechanisms.” (Brown & Williamson, 1963)
  5. “In a sense, the tobacco industry may be thought of as being a specialized, highly ritualized, and stylized segment of the pharmaceutical industry. Tobacco products uniquely contain and deliver nicotine, a potent drug with a variety of physiological effects.” (RJ Reynolds, 1972)
  6. “It may be useful, therefore, to look at the tobacco industry as if for a large part its business is the administration of nicotine (in the clinical sense).” (*BAT, 1967)
  7. “…BAT should learn to look at itself as a drug company rather than as a tobacco company.” (BAT, 1980)
  8. “The cigarette should be conceived not as a product but as a package. The product is nicotine.…Think of the cigarette pack as a storage container for a day’s supply of nicotine.…Think of a cigarette as a dispenser for a dose unit of nicotine. Think of a puff of smoke as the vehicle of nicotine.…Smoke is beyond question the most optimised vehicle of nicotine and the cigarette the most optimised dispenser of smoke.” (Philip Morris, 1972)
  9. “…[T]he primary motivation for smoking is to obtain the pharmacological effect of nicotine. In the past, we at R&D have said that we’re not in the cigarette business, we’re in the smoke business. It might be more pointed to observe that the cigarette is the vehicle of smoke, smoke is the vehicle of nicotine, and nicotine is the agent of a pleasurable body response.” (Philip Morris, 1969)
  10. “A cigarette as a ‘drug’ administration system for public use has very, very significant advantages: Speed. Within 10 seconds of starting to smoke, nicotine is available in the brain. Before this, impact is available, giving an instantaneous catch or hit, signifying to the user that the cigarette is ‘active.’ Flavour, also, is immediately perceivable to add to the sensation. Other ‘drugs’ such as marijuana, amphetamines, and alcohol are slower and may be mood dependent.” (BAT, undated)

*British American Tobacco (BAT) Self-described as, “the world’s most international tobacco group, operating in more countries than any other.”

All quotes obtained from the document:
TRUST US – We are Big Tobacco

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  • miss kitty

    I quit smoking with the drug Chantix. I’m commenting here because even as a professional in the medical industry, I only heard about this by word-of-mouth. It has a 44% quit rate at 12 weeks. It is prescription and costs about $100 cash (cost will vary depending on your insurance.) Ask your doctor about it if you want to quit and haven’t been able to with patches, gum, inhalers or Zyban.