Table 2.

Selected comments from industry spokespersons about smoking and health

DateSourceStatement
4 Jan 1954A Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers, published in major U.S. newspapers (38)“Distinguished authorities point out that: …there is no proof that cigarette smoking is one of the causes…that statistics purporting that to link cigarette smoking with disease could apply with equal force to any other aspect of modern life. Indeed the validity of the statistics themselves is questioned by numerous scientists.”
30 Mar 1954George Weissman, Philip Morris VP, speech to the National Association of Tobacco Distributors (29)“If we had any thought or knowledge that in any way we were selling a product that was harmful to consumers, we would stop business tomorrow.”
1 Jan 1968The Cigarettes Controversy TI publication (67)Q. Has it been proved that smoking causes premature death?
A. No
Q. Has anyone ever been able to prove that any ingredient as found in cigarette smoke is a cause of lung cancer?
A. No
23 April 1968R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Letter to elementary school teacher (68)“…medical science has been unable to establish that smoking has a direct causal link with any human disease.”
4 Sept 1969American Tobacco advertisement in the New York Times (69)“We believe that the anticigarette theory is a bum rap…each time the Congress of the United States has held hearings on the cigarette controversy; distinguished, independent scientists have gone to Washington to say so.”
3 Jan 1971Joseph Cullman, Philip Morris CEO, Face the Nation (70)INTERVIEWER: “Have they [cigarettes] been proved to be safe Mr. Cullman?”
CULLMAN: “I believe: they have not been proved to be unsafe.”
16 Aug 1976James Bowling, Philip Morris VP, BBC documentary “Death In The West.” (71)“From our standpoint, if anyone ever identified any ingredient in tobacco smoke or smoke as being hazardous to human health or being something that shouldn't be there, we could eliminate it. But no one ever has.”
11 Nov 1977Robert Roach, Manager of PR for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company (72)“We don't think it's a question of safer cigarettes. We think all of our cigarettes are safe because there is no documented evidence whatsoever that indicates a cause and effect relationship between smoking any disease. We are producing low tar, high filtration products along with our competitors to appeal to consumer demand.”
12 Mar 1982Edward Horrigan, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company CEO, Testifying before the U.S. Congress (73)“I am saying that the science to date and over a hundred million dollars of our industry's money indicates that there is no causal link.”
1985Of Cigarettes and Science advert from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (74)“We believe in science. That is why we continue to provide funding for independent research into smoking and health…Science is science. Proof is proof. That is why the controversy over smoking and health remains an open one.”
11 Jan 1989Brennan Dawson, TI, ABC TV, Good Morning America (75)“I think it's worth pointing out that all the links that have been established between smoking and certain diseases are based on statistics. What that means is that the causative relationship has not yet been established.”
11 Jan 1990Letter to elementary school, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (76)“[d]espite all the research going on, the simple and unfortunate fact is that scientists do not know the cause or causes of the chronic diseases reported to be associated with smoking.”