The Cigarette Papers

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On May 12, 1994, a package containing 4,000 pages of secret internal tobacco industry documents arrived at the office of Professor Stanton Glantz at the University of California, San Francisco. The anonymous source of these "cigarette papers" was identified in the return address only as "Mr. Butts" - presumably a reference to the Doonesbury cartoon character. These documents provide a shocking inside account of the activities of one tobacco company, Brown & Williamson, and its multinational parent, British ...
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Overview

On May 12, 1994, a package containing 4,000 pages of secret internal tobacco industry documents arrived at the office of Professor Stanton Glantz at the University of California, San Francisco. The anonymous source of these "cigarette papers" was identified in the return address only as "Mr. Butts" - presumably a reference to the Doonesbury cartoon character. These documents provide a shocking inside account of the activities of one tobacco company, Brown & Williamson, and its multinational parent, British American Tobacco, over more than thirty years. The Cigarette Papers provides the definitive examination of these striking documents, combined with other material subpoenaed by Congress and obtained by Professor Glantz. Quoting extensively from the papers and adding needed background and context, this book offers a keyhole view of the tobacco industry, promising to fundamentally change the public's perception of the industry, of tobacco litigation, and of public policy making.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Two recent releases chronicle the history of the current political status of the controversial tobacco industry from different vantage points. Kluger's (The Paper, LJ 10/15/87) Ashes to Ashes is riveting and highly readable despite its length. From the Native American usage of tobacco through the lawsuits of the 1990s, Kluger follows the industry's agricultural and labor practices, technical advances, and marketing campaigns; he also considers research on tobacco's deleterious health effects and the tobacco control movement. Significant personalities and events such as the invention of the cigarette-rolling machine are featured. An extensive bibliography is provided, and a lengthy list of the Phillip Morris executives (and ex-executives!) are interviewed. Suitable for readers of high school age on up, this book belongs in every library. Much more scholarly, The Cigarette Papers focuses more on one companyBrown & Williamsonand one issuehealth effects. In 1994, Glantz received an anonymous package containing thousands of pages of internal documents from Brown & Williamson. The author's analysis of these indicate that, public statements to the contrary, the company did indeed know about the health and safety effects of their products and actively sought to suppress the information. The documents, made available by the University of California via the Internet (http://www.library.ucsf.edu/tobacco), are quoted extensively. Also included is a statement by Brown & Williamson in response to the 1995 publication of some of these data in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This work is extemely thorough and at times makes for tedious reading. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.Eris Weaver, Marin Inst. for the Prevention of Alcohol & Other Drug Problems, Rohnert, Cal.
Booknews
Examines 30 years' worth of secret internal tobacco industry documents from one tobacco company, plus other material subpoenaed by Congress, quoting extensively from the documents and adding background and context to demonstrate that the industry has known for decades that smoking is addictive and causes disease and death. Discusses agricultural chemicals and additives, legal concerns facing the industry, and the nonsmokers' rights movement. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Kirkus Reviews
An eye-opening exposé of the workings of the tobacco industry, based on the leaked internal documents of a leading cigarette company.

The setup is that of a thriller: In the spring of 1994 an express-mail box filled with 4,000 pages of tobacco-company documents turns up on the doorstep of longtime industry critic Glantz (Medicine/Univ. of California, San Francisco); the return address read "Mr. Butts," the name of the fast-talking cigarette from Doonesbury. Glantz assembles a team of medical doctors and policy analysts to comb through the papers, which he lodges in the special collections division of the university library so that Brown & Williamson, the tobacco company in question, cannot block public access to them. The documents are astonishing, describing research projects with codenames like ARIEL (which sought ways to boost the nicotine kick of a cigarette), giving a behind-the-scenes look at the company's maneuverings around various lawsuits and congressional inquiries, and showing beyond any doubt that B&W, at least, was well aware of the cancerous effects of smoking decades ago, although it continues to maintain that "causation has not been proved" and that nicotine is not addictive. (Smokers may also be interested to know of B&W's experiments with various additives, including benzo(a)pyrene, cocoa, and deer tongue, a plant substance known to cause liver damage in test animals.) The editors' commentary helps make sense of the often arcane papers, which are couched in the language of law, chemistry, and medicine; even with their help, however, this makes for tough slogging.

"Stall any disclosure by industry as long as possible," one B&W memo urges. Difficult as it is to work one's way through this book, the labor yields disclosures of the sort that doubtless makes for an industry insider's worst nightmare—revelations that will add new fuel to the widening debate about smoking.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520205727
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1996
  • Pages: 560
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 1.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Stanton A. Glantz, Ph.D., Lisa A. Bero, Ph.D., Peter Hanauer, LL.B., and Deborah E. Barnes, B.A., are affiliated with the Institute for Health Policy Studies, the Department of Medicine, and the Division of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco. John Slade, M.D., is with the Department of Medicine at St. Peter's Medical Center and the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword
Preface
1 Looking through a Keyhole at the Tobacco Industry 1
2 Smoking and Disease: The Tobacco Industry's Earliest Responses 25
3 Addiction and Cigarettes as Nicotine Delivery Devices 58
4 The Search for a "Safe" Cigarette 108
5 Public Relations in the "Safe" Cigarette Era 171
6 Agricultural Chemicals and Cigarette Additives 201
7 Legal Concerns Facing the Industry 235
8 Lawyer Management of Scientific Research 288
9 Stonewalling: Politics and Public Relations 339
10 Environmental Tobacco Smoke and the Nonsmokers' Rights Movement 391
11 Where Do We Go from Here? 436
Statements by Brown and Williamson 443
List of Available Documents 447
About the Authors 495
Document Index 499
Name Index 502
Subject Index 512
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