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Big Tobacco and Bags of Money


You just have to love Big Tobacco.

Produce a product you know kills people; hide or deflect all the information that would alert the public of the totality of the dangers; engineer nicotine delivery in a way that maximizes addiction and write memos talking about the whole scheme as if you are immune from being held responsible. Then, when you get caught, you rewrite history and hide behind “freedom of choice”.

In an undated memo, Colin Greig, a research and development gentleman for Big Tobacco discusses marketing scenarios which, at least in part, involved his unscientific testing of the way in which his mother-in-law smoked and enjoyed cigarettes; together with her level of addiction. Clearly this must have been the classic “hate your in-law” scenario.

Colin Greig Document

Colin Greig Document

Let me hit the high points of good ‘ol Colin’s memo:

  • Cigarettes deliver their drug (think nicotine here) to the brain faster than “other drugs” such as “marijuana, amphetamines, and alcohol”.
  • Nicotine “is about the lowest dose” drug available (that still succeeds with addiction).
  • Cigarettes are a cheap drug.
  • Cigarettes are “a relatively cheap and efficient delivery system…” (think drug delivery here).

Mr. Greig includes in his analysis a quote from Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray”:

“A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure.

It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?”

And, then, Colin concludes with a statement that could not better illustrate Big Tobacco’s methods of operation all along:

“Let us provide the exquisiteness, and hope that they, our consumers, continue to remain unsatisfied. All we would want then is a larger bag to carry the money to the bank.”

Translation: Let’s continue to keep smokers hopelessly addicted and our only problem will be what to do with all that money!

Previous litigation has disclosed other writings by Big Tobacco with which they must now be seen with in the Florida sunshine:

  • “If the use of such drugs [as marijuana] was legalized, one avenue for exploitation would be the augmentation of cigarettes with near subliminal levels of the drug.” (1976)
  • “Nicotine is the addicting agent in cigarettes.” (1982)
  • “Taken together, the evidence suggests that self-administration of nicotine may be the primary motivation for smoking.” (1984)
  • “Very few customers are aware of the effects of nicotine, i.e. its addictive nature and that nicotine is a poison.” (1978)
  • “We now possess a knowledge of the effects of nicotine far more extensive than exists in published scientific literature.” (1962)
  • “Irrespective of the ethics involved, we should develop alternative designs which will allow the smoker to obtain significant enhanced deliveries [of nicotine] should he so wish .” (1984)
  • “It may well be to remind you, however, that we have a research program in progress to obtain, by genetic means, any level of nicotine.” (1963)
  • “The secret of Marlboro is ammonia.” (1989)
  • RJR memo that says “Cigarette concept to assure RJR a larger segment of the youth market” «which states in part or in essence states in part “[A]ny desired additional nicotine ‘kick’ could be easily obtained through pH regulation .” (1973)
  • “The need for nicotine is not a tangible benefit on its own – though it initiates a dependence for the confirmed smoker.”
  • “Sweets or confectioneries containing nicotine carry the danger of over-dosage – nicotine is an acute poison.” (1980’s)
  • “Smoking a cigarette for the beginner is a symbolic act… I am no longer my mother’s child. I’m tough, I am an adventurer. I’m not square… As the force from the psychological symbolism subsides, the pharmacological effect takes over to sustain the habit.” (1969)
  • From one of Big Tobacco’s research directors: “An admission by the industry that excessive cigarette smoking is bad for you is tantamount to an admission of guilt with regard to the lung cancer problem. This could open the door to legal suits to which the industry would have no defense.”
  • “… smoking mothers produce smaller babies” and “the position of the medical people is that smaller babies suffered detrimental effects all through life.” (1969)
  • “We have gone to great pains to eliminate any written contact with INBIFO (Big Tobacco’s testing lab)… If this procedure is unacceptable to you, perhaps we should consider a ‘dummy’ mailing address in Koln for the receipt of samples .” (1977)

Big Tobacco now faces dozens and dozens of trials this year down here in sunny Florida. They have gotten caught in their own web of deception and Florida citizens see through their manipulations and deceit. Floridians are a cross section of pretty smart people and we do not think it is okay to hide for decades the dangers of a product that kills people; collect billions in profits; and then cry foul when you are brought to justice.

Hey, Big Tobacco, maybe you should bring the bags down here and bypass the bank; it will save you time.

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