How Big Tobacco Used Bad Science to Avoid Accountability – and Design for Big Oil

In October, the CEOs of four of the world’s most powerful Big Oil companies testified before Congress about climate change – a scene reminiscent of what happened in the spring of 1994. Then seven giant industries appeared before the House of Representatives – but not so much tobacco, not so much oil. Americans have seen the story of how tobacco companies knowingly connected their customers to an addictive and deadly product when Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, was asked a series of questions. To alleviate the situation, many of the prosecutors lied about their actions, and the prosecutors later charged them with perjury. (There is no doubt as to why the energy industry figures were carefully prepared before the 2021 hearing.)

It is no coincidence that when Big Oil tried to wash its hands of climate change, their opposition was similar to when Big Tobacco lied about the dangers of nicotine. At both hearings, spectators were able to see the darkness of capitalism from the bottom of their hearts. To deceive the public into helping them – even in the process, when these same members of the public are hurting themselves – is to lie about science.

To do this, they engage in a process known as “productivity suspicion”. Chemicals have the same tactics that have been used to confuse honest politicians and misrepresent politicians about pollution, diabetes, heart disease, energy companies, and climate change, and so on. According to the publishers of the Environmental Health Magazine in 2021, Big Tobacco “is widely believed to have ‘written the toy book’ in the wake of the controversy and ‘has been able to keep its customers for decades due to scientific controversy.’

The biggest tobacco story is straightforward and complex at the same time. A.D. During the Big Tobacco Advertising in the 1950s and 1960s, cigarettes were associated with family-friendly tariffs; Game shows, citcoms and billboard ads link beautiful animals to nicotine products.

In the mid-1960s, scientists realized that cigarette use was associated with lung cancer and heart disease, and surgeon General Luther Terry called the product dangerous; A year later, the 1965 Federal Cigarette Identification and Advertising Act ordered that labels be affixed to cigarette boxes. The industry is becoming increasingly concerned about public health advocates’ success in raising awareness about tobacco products.

A.D. In the 1970s, tobacco industry executives developed a method known as Operation Berkshire to undermine control efforts by raising doubts about the legality of medical research into tobacco products. This tactic not only makes it easier for ordinary people to evaluate the situation but also appeals to those who are financially interested in the tobacco industry and who have made personal, tobacco or anti-smoking choices. In principle. The most famous of these efforts was the International Committee of Cigarettes (later known as the International Tobacco Information Center).

Appealing to these sentiments and desires – and keeping compassionate politicians and officials in their pockets – has spent decades creating a false “controversy” over the issue of big tobacco for the scientific community. Australian researchers wrote to BMJ magazine in 2000, “Without question, the creation and promotion of this controversy and the conspiracy behind the Berkshire operation have greatly delayed tobacco control worldwide.”

Fortunately, the turning point in the 1990s was when the congressional committee decided to hold Big Tobacco accountable in a way that no one else did.

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The real date was April 14, 1994. Wakman cleverly “invited” the seven executives and made it clear that the event would take place with or without them. It presented with a ray-winner: either they had to come up with answers to unpleasant and unpleasant questions, or they seemed to have something duck outside and something to hide. After their arrival, Wakman and other members of the House Energy and Trade Health and Environment subcommittee mercilessly fried them. Probably a factor as to why they’re doing so poorly – for marketing campaigns for children, addictive prescriptions, how smoking affects their health and lifestyle, and whether companies are using nicotine. Instead of engaging in a lengthy legal battle to obtain key organizational documents, lawmakers have demanded that executives be forced to participate voluntarily.

And, of course, it was a wonderful decision for those executives to swear an oath that nicotine was addictive. False testimonies soon followed; The troubled executives left the industry within two years.

Probably the most frustrating of the industry is the ensuing controversy, in which they were fined $ 206 billion – a staggering 1994 2.8% of GDP in 1994. And while he spoke about the horrific consequences of the tobacco industry, as a result of tobacco laws, none of them were fulfilled. One in particular, James W. Johnston, a former RJ Reynolds executive, said the demands should be investigated, citing a mere ban on tobacco products.

“We hear about addiction and the threat. If it is too dangerous to sell cigarettes, then the ban. Some smokers obey the law, but most do not. People sell cigarettes from cars, cigarettes, cigarettes. Who knows who, who knows who.”

This feeling of persecution, which is never restricted in any connection with reality, speaks volumes about the intense pressure that is chasing the big tobacco. It has already been concluded that cigarette products may not pose a significant public health risk; From then on, the facts needed to be re-adjusted to support the necessary evidence. This model was used not only for the great political science of tobacco but also for the promotion of false science.

In the aforementioned environmental article, researchers examined not only tobacco but also its successors and various controversies, including the coal industry and black lung disease, the sugar industry and both cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, the agricultural chemical trade, and chemical pollution. , And the fossil fuel industry and climate change. All industries have found that they have the support of well-known individuals, such as misinformation, attack on research designs, use of hyperbolic and absolute language, and (of course) tactics to influence legislation. Other popular strategies include producing misleading material, cracking down on criminal information, hosting bad faith conferences and seminars, pretending to be a health care professional, misusing testimonies, and using scientific illiteracy.

Big tobacco tactics have become more and more difficult to implement in recent years. “The digital age has provided additional opportunities for disseminating false information. Suspicious producers have used new media platforms such as blogs and social networks to unite journalists, industry representatives and ‘civic scientists’ by recruiting these individuals to perpetuate fraudulent information,” the researchers said.

Even the cigarette industry is copying itself. E-cigarette companies have been embroiled in controversy over their use of advertising methods similar to those banned when employed by Big Tobacco. The North Carolina Attorney General said last month that he was investigating whether Puff Barz and others in the distribution chain were not targeted. When they defend themselves against that accusation, the pro-vaping community often makes similar claims.

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