PM CEO Joseph Cullman on Face the Nation, January 3, 1971

PM CEO Joseph Cullman on Face the Nation, January 3, 1971

This version was transcribed from BATES #s: 1005081714/1732 (

The version of this broadcast used in the MN trial, MN Trial Exhibit 10,492 ( Bates #1002605545) may be found at TDO Online.

Anne Landman's treatment of this document may be found here

CBS NEWS 2020 M Street, N. W. Washington, D.C. 20036

as broadcast over the CBS Television Network and the CBS Radio Network

Sunday, January 3, 1971 A. M. 12:00 Noon EST

Origination: Washington. D. C.

Chairman of the Board, Philip Morris, Inc.

George Herman, CBS News
Morton Mintz, The Washington Post.
Earl Ubell, Science Editor, WCBS-TV News.


PRODUCERS: Prentiss Childs and Sylvia Westerman
TO EDITORS: Please credit CBS News' "Face the Nation."

GEORGE HEILMAN: Mr. Cullman, some serious charges have been, raised on the floor of the Senate and even in a tobacco publication that the tobacco Companies: are organizing to thwart the ban on broadcast advertising of cigarettes. Now we understand a meeting has been called to discuss this problem. Can. you tell us about it, and whether you plan to attend?

MR. CULLMAN: I can tell you about the meeting. I do not plan to attend. That meeting will be attended by the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, the president of the Tobacco Institute, and the president of the National Association of Broadcasters. And the purpose of the meeting, I gather, is to try to clarify the new law which reflects the fact that cigarette advertising will be off the air. We volunteered to go off the air. We plan to be off the air. We agreed to do this; the law provides it; we plan to adhere to the spirit and the letter of the law. We are not going to advertise cigarettes on the air.

ANNOUNCER: From CBS Washington, in color, FACE THE NATION -- spontaneous and unrehearsed news interview with Joseph Cullman III, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Philip Morris Incorporated and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Tobacco Institute. MR. CULLMAN: will be questioned by Earl Ubell, Science Editor of WCBS-TV News, New York, Morton Mintz of the Washington Post, and CBS News Correspondent George Herman.

HERMAN: Mr. Cullman, as you know, some of these charges that certain cigarette companies plan to try to sneak in some hidden



advertising, so to speak, if there is any such thing, are so serious that, as I gather, the Chairman of, the FCC has called this meeting. Do you think that no one is planning to sneak in a little comercial here and there iin the corner of the camera?

MR. CULLMAN: Well, this question has come up recently. of course, many of these sporting events have been sponsored by cigarette companies for a number of years. This is not a new development and it has been known that they were going to sponsor these events for at least nine months. I would say that I am confident in the integrity of the other presidents and chief executive officers of the other companies I do not feel I am confident they are not going to subvert the law, they are not going to try to circumvent the law -- what we need here is clarification. The law says cigarette advertising will be off the air, and cigarette advertising will be off the air.

What I believe the meeting with Dean Burck will concern itself with is the question of clarification. This is a new law and we need clarification. I think the broadcasters need clarification and apparently the Federal Communications Commission is going to help us in this matter. I'd like to say that many of the articles that have appeared in the press, I feel, are misleading. The companies are very sincere, they are law-abiding, and they are going. to abide by the law.

MINTZ: I have no doubt that you are abiding by the law literally, but say if your company sponsors a Virginia Slim's tennis tournament, an invitational for women tennis players, isn't that really an effort to get around the intent and spirit of the law?



which is to stop, as I understand it, the: spirit is to stop the use of the airwaves to promote cigarette smoking?

MR. CULLMAN: Well, that's a good question, Mr. Mintz. I would say that, no, the purpose for our sponsoring the Virginia Slim's invitational tournaments is to help the ladies in tennis to get a chance to get prize money and to show their prowess before a lot of people in the areas where they are playing the tennis matches There is no plan to telecast these tournaments, and this is on-premise promotion in the areas where they are going to have the tournaments, and we plan to adhere to the spirit and the letter of the law. These tournaments have not been telecast. Now, for example, we have been sponsoring the U.S. Open Tennis Championship at Forest Hills for a number of years. We think that people have appreciated that sponsorship. We won't be able to sponsor it in terms of television commercials in the future, but our sponsorship of sporting events will continue without television exposure.

UBELL: Your company makes a number of other products besides cigarettes. Do you have any plans, for example, to increase the amount of air advertising, broadcast advertising, for these products which may bear, shall we say, a name resemblance or a look resemblance to cigarettes?

MR. CULLMAN: Well,. that's been raised too many tines. We don't happen to have any such products. We are also in other businesses, such as chewing gum and beer -- I am not going to. mention the products -- I would say that, no, there is no intention, there will be no intention to subvert the law, to circumvent the law, and I feel absolutely confident that this will not be done by my



company, and I feel just as confident it won't be done by the other companies, but I cannot speak for them today in that particular area.

I'm glad you brought that up, because I think this brings me to another point that I do want to make relate to that question. We have tried to be responsible and responsive. We have been responsible in many ways. Over the years we have discontinued all campus promotional activities when this was brought to our attention as not being appropriate. We have discontinued advertising in college newspapers. We have discontinued the use of celebrities, the use of sporting figures, in our advertising, and the use of testimonials by them. Further than that, we volunteered to go off the air,which was a very big move, to attempt to clear the air. So we have shown, I think, responsibility, and we have been responsive.

We are also very concerned about the charges levelled against our product, and we are very anxious to do whatever we can to clear the air in this matter. We happen to be optimistic about the future, and we happen to feel that this is a great industry, and that this industry can face the future with confidence because when, as, and if any ingredient in cigarette smoke is identified as being injurious to human health, we are confident that we can eliminate that ingredient.

HERMAN: Before we got into the medical aspect, which I think now you are leading us into it, I just want to finish off on the advertising question. Are you not involved in a lawsuit to test the constitutionality of this law banning broadcast advertising -- the Tobacco Institute or your company?

MR. CULLMAN: No, we are not. Mr. Herman. I think you are



referring to the question of the Fairness Doctrine--


MR. CULLMAN: -- of the Federal Communications Commission. That relates to the question -- the Fairness Doctrine was invoked by the Federal Communications commission, and they required that all broadcasters air anti-cigarette messages without charge in approximately a percentage of one to three regular cigarette commercials. Now that we are off the air the Federal Communications Commission has ruled this is no longer a controversy, and hence broadcasters who air anticigarette messages do not have to air the rebuttal by the tobacco industry, but the Federal Communications Commission went on to say that the stations may do this.

The issue here is whether if anti-cigarette messages are aired by stations after the cigarette commercials go off the air don't the tobacco-companies have a right to rebut and answer the questions under the Fairness Doctrine, if it it was a fairness doctrine.

HERMAN: You personally then are satisfied that this ruling of a product advertising, a legal product advertising, off of some media of advertising and not off of others, is a constitutional and fair process within the powers of the Congress?

MR. CULLMAN: Well, we volunteered to do this

HERMAN: I understand. I'm just questioning the legality.

MR. CULLMAN': Well, the legality in something which I don't think I am qualified to pass on here. I will say that the Congress passed the law; it has not been tested yet from a constitutional standpoint. It is being tested. I think you may also be referring to a suit brought by a number of radio companies perhaps. That was



not brought by the cigarette industry.

UBELL: Mr. Cullman, now that you are not advertising on radio and television, you are going to have a little bit of money left over. I think in your company something like $30 million a year perhaps; for the industry as a whole, a quarter of a billion. Are you going to use that money, for example, to do more research to settle the health question?

MR. CULLMAN: Well,, research is, going to. get certainly an expanded amount of money. That matter comes up all the time -- that subject -- what are we going to do with the extra money?

UDELL: Well, what are you going to do with the extra money?

CULLMAN: Well, I can only speak for my company, and what I believe the other companies will do. Of course, this is a very competitive business. We will continue to spend money for promotional purposes, and some of it will go in print, some will go in point of sales,some will go in on-premises promotion. We will be spending it on an expanded sales force, but a lot will go into expanded research in a desire to get the answers to these questions.

HERMAN: What is a lot? What percentage of your advertising budget, for example?

MR. CULLMAN: Well, there is a question that I anticipated. I don't know how to answer that question; they are so different items. When you try to get a message through to 200 million Americans and 65 Million smokers, and you compare that figure to a figure for research, this is a very difficult figure to come up with. I happen to know roughly what our company is going to spend; I think it is a large figure. We are building right now a whole new research center in Richmond. We are expanding. We have been expanding our committment to research, both product research, product improvement, and research in the area of smoking and health.



HERMAN: I'm just trying to to put it in proportion, because the figures, as I've been able to get them--and they're kind of mixed up in the facts, and in different standards--but as I've been--as near as I've been able to figure out, it's about one per cent or less of the advertising budget.

MR. CULLMAN: That is--that is not true, Mr. Herman. I would say that in 1971, something in the area of a half to a third will go into research compared to our advertising.

HERMAN: Is. this for your company, or for the tobacco industry?

HR. CULLMAN: Our company---I can't speak for the industry..

HERMAN: Because the tobacco industry advertising comes to like 250 million a year and you--would you figure half of that?

MR. CULLMAN: Well, that figure has been reduced to 200 million.

HERMAN: All right. Would you think half of that--a hundred million a year-is going into research?

CULLMAN: No, I wouldn't say that. I can't speak for the other companies. I'm talking overall. research, product research, product improvement--

HERMAN: Not health research?

MR. CULLMAN: --And health research. But I want to say this, that I've been advised for a number of years, the problem here is not funds. The problem is direction, competence and trying to find out what do we want to ascertain and how do we want to ascertain it.

HERMAN: Well, I'll--Morton is straining at the bit here, but one question that I would like to ask--one of the most controversial of the recent experiments has been the one of the smoking beagles, who were forced by a hole cut in their throats to smoke cigarette



smoke, and came up with a number of cancers, neoplasms, growths, tumors, all different kinds of words to describe it. The problem that I come up with is this. It was immediately jumped upon by the Tobacco Institute and thoroughly denounced for various reasons, some
of which have since evaporated, I understand, some of which have not.

My question is this--how many dogs or laboratory animals of comparable size has the Tobacco Institute financed experimentation of that kind on? How many beagles have you had smoking?

MR. CULLMAN: Well, we've had animal inhalation tests going on all over the world not sponsored only by the tobacco industry, but sponsored by independent research sectors(?) for over 25 years. And I might say that these tests have always been negative. They have never been. able to induce lung cancer in animals due to inhalation of cigarette Smoke.

And I would like to comment on that Auerbach-Hammond Report. This is a very important development.

MR.- CULLMAN: That was announced, as you may recall, on February 5th at a press conference at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel as a major breakthrough, as the first time that a major animal had been induced to get lung cancer from smoking cigarettes.

UBELL: Outside of man.

MR. CULLMAN: Outside of man--that is correct. Animal, I believe I said. I also want to say that a charge was leveled, not only against our product, but a claim was made that the cigarette industry, as the result of these experiments, should assess its advertising policies and its overall policies. This was a serious



charge against our industry, and we were astounded,frankly, after 25 years of negative results, to find that the American Cancer Society could come up with this result. So we directed a letter to the Cancer Society--we directed four letters to them. And we were also surprised at this procedure, the press conference at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, because normally, on a matter of this consequence, the medical profession goes through the discipline of submitting it to a medical journal. It's then either accepted or rejected by the journal, and this gives it a much more appropriate foundation for accuracy.

We thought in view of these charges made against our product, and the fact that we were asked to reassess our policies, that we were entitled to an independent review of the facts--the slides, methadology, and whether or not this was really good research. The Cancer Society refused to let us do this. Even the New York Times. supported us in this particular endeavor. They said that the Cancer Society should let us do this.

Well finally, we understood that the paper--the Auerbach-Hammond paper--was submitted to the Journal of the American Medical Association. This was after it had been turned down by the New England Medical Journal. We were very interested --

HERMAN: I think we ought to explain why it was turned down by the New England Journal. It was turned down simply because it had been released ahead of time

MR, CULLMAN: That was the policy. That is correct. But I like to indicate this was not proper procedure.

HERMAN: But it in no way reflects an the accuracy or inaccuracy



of the report.

MR. CULLMAN: No, I didn't mean to imply that, Mr. Harman. I'd like to say further that the Journal of the American Medical Association. submitted this paper to 13 reviewers; 17 of 18 reviewers rejected the paper, and it was sent back for major revision. Now on the day of that submission, when we finally found that out, these gentlement appeared in Chicago, and we found their position had been materially changed. And we also found their position had been materially changed when we finally did got hold of the document in its final form as accepted by the Archives of Environmental Health.

UBELL: In what way was it materially changed, sir?

MR. CULLMAN: Well, Mr, UBELL, I will tell you that, but I believe you know that; but I will say that as I see it. Originally, the Auerbach-Hammond Report stated that for the first time in a major experimental animal, lung cancer had indeed been induced by cigarette smoke, and they claimed that 12 dogs got cancerous tumors. In the final paper, it was--appeared in the Archives of Environmental Health--they no longer claimed that the purpose of the experiment was to determine whether cigarette smoke could induce lung cancer in beagles, and they no longer claimed that they did get these results. They no longer claimed that they got lung cancer from smoking cigarettes. Those are two very major changes, and they reduced the number of dogs from 12 dogs to two dogs, and I am still challenging the Cancer Society.

I have a letter on the record asking them to demonstrate to us whether or not those two dogs did indeed get lung cancer.

UDELL: On that point--I happen to have the paper here.



MR: CULLMAN: Which paper?

UBELL: The one that finally appeared in the Archives of Environmental Health. And they refer to twelve dogs who had invasive lung tumors, two of which were identified as carcinoma. The rest were invasive lung tumors.

MR: CULLMAN: Invasive lung tumors does not mean lung cancers.

UBELL. It is a matter of small comfort to that difference.

MR. CULLMAN: Well, there are many tumors that can be developed in many people --

UBELL: Which are invasive?

MR. CULLMAN: That I wouldn't be in a position to say-.

UBELL: Would you like to have an invasive lung tumor?

MR. CULLMAN: I don't believe so.

UBELL: I don't think you would.

MR. CULLMAN: But that does not mean it's lung cancer.

UBELL: No, that's not what they said--

MR. CULLMAN: And there were many--there were tumors developed in the dogs that didn't smoke. That's in that report, too.

HERMAN: Non-invasive tumors. Two non-invasive tumors.

UBELL: Non-invasive tumors.

MR. CULLMAN: That's a technicality I don't really feel competent to--

UBELL: An invasive tumor is one which leaves the site at. which it originates and goes to other tissues adjoining that site--now these were invasive lung tumors.

MR. CULLUM We think the important thing here is they did change. They did not claim, as they originally claimed, that they



got any lung cancers from smoking cigarettes. You'll note if you read that carefully, it does not claim that even if they were invasive lung tumors, and even if that is an undesirable thing, which apparently It sounds like to me, this was--this is not claimed to be the result of cigarette smoking. That's clearly omitted from their final report.

HERMAN: I disagree with that. It seems to me that the statement says that not only is it associated with smoking, but that it is less in dogs who smoked filter cigarettes. It's related to the --

MR. CULLMAN: Associated with smoking, Mr, Herman, does not mean caused by smoking. There are a lot of things that may be associated with a lot of things.

UBELL: Well, I've been reporting science for a long time, and it takes a great deal of information to establish what a layman would consider to be a cause and effect relationship. But I would say this, that a scientist in his care generally says associated with, and if you feel that cigarette smoking being associated with invasive lung tumors is not: a cause, well, that's your opinion. (MORE)



MINTZ: Mr. Cullman, I'd like to exhale us all from the lungs for a couple of minutes, and I have one quick one and then want to go to an area involving the promotion of cigarettes to women. In an ad that you ran in newspapers on December 1, I believe, you said that you had spent $35 million to support independent research. I'd like to know whether you have ever spent anything -- the industry, when I say you I mean the industry -- to help those millions of people -- I believe there are millions, I can't prove it -- who would like to quit smoking and who may be told by their doctors that they had better quit smoking. What are you spending on finding ways to make tobacco, cigarette smoking, less addictive?

MR. CULLMAN: Well, those are really two questions, aren't they, Mr. Mintz?

MINTZ: As you please.

MR. CULLMAN: We have no program that I know of to try to help people to stop smoking. We do talk to the question of whether or not cigarettes are hazardous. We do not believe that cigarettes are hazardous; we don't accept that. But we are working with the government, working very hard with the government, on various methods of ascertaining whether or not cigarettes can be found to be hazardous.

HINTZ: Do you believe that cigarettes are safe:? Have they been proved to be safe, Mr. Cullman?

MR. CULLMAN: I believe they have not been proved to be unsafe.

MINTZ: Well, in view. of the fact that they haven't been proved to be safe, what is the justification that you would offer for spending -- according to one estimate I've seen -- $3 billion in the last 20 years to promote their use when there is that uncertainty,



When we have an excess deaths of 200,000 to 300,000 a year, when there is all this evidence, which you don't feel is conclusive--what is the reason for promoting its use when it might cause cancer, heart disease and so forth?

MR. CULLMAN: I'd have to answer that in this way, Mr. Mintz : There are a great many people in the United States and all over the world who enjoy smoking, who find it satisfies a very important human need. We think these people are entitled to the best possible product we can produce. That is essentially our job.

MINTZ: Now embryos don't have much choice; fetuses don't. They don't like to smoke. The British Medical Research Council did a study of all the 17,000 babies born in a single week in the United Kingdom, as you doubtless know. The Council found that those babies born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy were in significantly higher proportion small, weighing under five and a half pounds approximately than the babies born to mothers who did not smoke, and there was a higher rate of stillbirths and of deaths within 25 days of birth. My question is, in view of this study, which is the largest and the most elaborate of its kind ever made, is it right to promote smoking among women with Virginia Slims and the other brands especially marketed for them with no warning as to the danger to the embryo that may exist?

MR. CULLMAN: Well, you are reading that question because it is a complicated question

MINTZ: Yes it is.

MR. CULLMAN: I would say that I did read that report, and I concluded from that report that it's true that babies born from women



who smoke are smaller, but they are just as healthy as the babies born to women who do not smoke. Some women would prefer having smaller babies.

MINTZ: What about the higher rate of death?

MR. CULLMAN: I'm not familiar with that.

UBELL: Mr. Cullman, every book on pharmacology identifies if nicotine as a drug, and with regard to the use of any drug it makes little difference, as far as its pharmacological definition is concerned, whether you inject it, inhale it, sniff its or take it by mouth. Now, under the laws of this country, a manufacturer of a drug has the duty and obligation to prove that it is safe, not only to prove that it's safe, but to prove that it's efficacious, namely, that it does, what It is supposed to do. If indeed cigarettes are drugs, within the meaning of the pharmacological terms, if not the legal terms, isn't it incumbent upon the cigarette companies to prove without exception that cigarettes are safe, and not to simply say--prove that it's dangerous?

MR. CULLMAN: Well, I think, Mr. Ubell, in this case your premise is wrong. I merely have to refer to the Surgeon General's Advisory Committee report; that report stated categorically that cigarettes are not addictive.

UBELL: I didn't say that they were addictive. I said that nicotine is a drug, within the meaning of a term of drug, meaning a chemical --

MR. CULLMAN: It's more important for the industry to take the word of the Surgeon General's committee; they said that cigarettes are not addictive.



UBELL: I didn't talk about addiction. I said that nicotine is a drug; that means that it is a chemical which, when taken into the body, produces physiological changes. Whether it is addictive or not is another property. I'm talking about its being a drug.

MR. CULLMAN: Well, here again, the Surgeon General's committee largely exonerated nicotine as a health hazard of any consequence to the public. I have to lean on that. After all, the Surgeon General's committee met for nine months or longer, and they concluded that nicotine is not a hazard to health.

HERMAN: Do you have any problem in leaning on the Surgeon General's report in some directions and denying it in other directions?

MR. CULLMAN: No, I don't frankly.

HERMAN: We have about two minutes left.

MR. CULLMAN: The Surgeon General's report concluded that smoking is a health hazard of sufficient consequence to take appropriate remedial action, and the Congress has responded to that. But I want to remind you that the Congress, in its premise and preamble to the law that bans cigarette advertising, stated that in order to inform the public that cigarette smoking may be hazardous to health, the following law is enacted. I also want to say in answer to Mr. Ubell and Mr. Mintz -- they have asked me some very searching. questions --

HERMAN: I'm left out.


MR. CULLMAN: You've asked me some very intelligent and searching questions. I just want to say that the Surgeon General's



report made a -- came to certain conclusions, that is true, but there are many other developments subsequent to that, and we had these hearings for almost two weeks before the Congressional Committee of the House for 14 days; eminent scientists appeared on both sides. That committee of the Congress decided that there is nothing new in the smoking and health relationship since the hearings of '65, except that both sides are supported by a larger statistical base, and that's our opinion.

HERMAN: We have about 20 seconds left. You have two grandsons, two grandchildren. At what age will you encourage them to start smoking cigarettes?

MR. CULLMAN: I wouldn't encourage them to, start smoking cigarettes. It's up to them.

HERMAN: Okay. Thank you very much for being with us here today on Face the Nation.

MR. CULLMAN: Thank you, Mr. Herman, I've enjoyed it very much. I really did.

ANNOUNCER: Today on FACE THE NATION, Joseph Cullman III, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Philip Morris Incorporated and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Tobacco Institute, was interviewed by Earl Ubell, Science Editor of WCBS-TV News, New York, Morton Mintz of the Washington Post, and CBS News Correspondent George Herman. Next week another prominent figure in the news will FACE THE NATION.


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