I was recently reading a book about the history of tobacco and found something that people here might find interesting.
In 1954, after a lot of scientific evidence had been mounting about the dangers of cigarette smoke, the major players in the U.S. tobacco industry took out an advertisement in 448 newspapers in 258 cities. The ad consisted of a statement called a “Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers
What is striking about this statement is its strong similarity to the position taken today by those who do not want to accept the scientific evidence for evolution. With that in mind, read this statement and see if it doesn't send a few chills up your spine....
RECENT REPORTS on experiments with mice have given wide publicity to a theory that cigarette smoking is in some way linked with lung cancer in human beings.
Although conducted by doctors of professional standing, these experiments are not regarded as conclusive in the field of cancer research. However, we do not believe that any serious medical research, even though its results are inconclusive should be disregarded or lightly dismissed.
At the same time, we feel it is in the public interest to call attention to the fact that eminent doctors and research scientists have publicly questioned the claimed significance of these experiments.
Distinguished authorities point out:
1. That medical research of recent years indicates many possible causes of lung cancer.
2. That there is no agreement among the authorities regarding what the cause is.
3. That there is no proof that cigarette smoking is one of the causes.
4. That statistics purporting to link cigarette smoking with the disease could apply with equal force to any one of many other aspects of modern life. Indeed the validity of the statistics themselves is questioned by numerous scientists.
We accept an interest in people's heath as a basic responsibility, paramount to every other consideration in our business.
We believe the products we make are not injurious to health.
We always have and always will cooperate closely with those whose task it is to safeguard the public health. For more than 300 years tobacco has given solace, relaxation, and enjoyment to mankind. At one time or another during those years critics have held it responsible for practically every disease of the human body. One by one these charges have been abandoned for lace of evidence.
Regardless for the record of the past, the fact that cigarette smoking today should even be suspected as a cause of a serious disease is a matter of deep concern to us.
Many people have asked us what we are doing too meet the public's concern aroused by the recent reports. Here is the answer:
We are pledging aid and assistance to the research effort into all phases of tobacco use and health. This joint financial aid will of course be in addition to what is already being contributed by individual companies.
For this purpose we are establishing a joint industry group consisting initially of the undersigned. This group will be known as TOBACCO INDUSTRY RESEARCH COMMITTEE.
In charge of the research activities of the Committee will be a scientist of unimpeachable integrity and national repute. IN addition there will be an Advisory Board of scientists disinterested in the cigarette industry. A group of distinguished men from medicine, science, and education will be invited to serve on this Board. These scientists will advise the Committee on its research activities.
This statement is being issued because we believe the people are entitled to know where we stand on this matter and what we intend to do about it.
According to Tobacco, A Cultural History of How an Exotic Plant Seduced Civilization
by Ian Gately, the first director of the committee that was formed “interpreted its aims … as 'research and public relations. Our job is to maintain a balance between the two.'”
Just something to think about.