Daily Doc: TI, Jan 4, 1954: The 'Frank Statement' of 1954

Daily Doc: The "Frank Statement" of 1954

TI, Jan 4, 1954
Bates #:
URL: TIMN0040888 s

September 30, 2000

A FRANK STATEMENT TO CIGARETTE SMOKERS is a much-cited tobacco industry advertisement of which every tobacco control advocate (and smoker, and nonsmoker) should be well aware. The industry published the Frank Statement in magazines and over 50 major newspapers across the United States in 1954 in response to reports of scientific experiments that showed cigarette tar caused cancerous tumors on mouse skin. The publication of the Frank Statement marked the beginning of the industry's long-term plan to disseminate misinformation about the health effects of tobacco to the American public.

In the Frank Statement, the industry announced that,
"We accept an interest in people's health as a basic responsibility, paramount to every other consideration in our business.

"We believe the products we make are not injurious to health,"
..and, incredibly,
"We always have and always will cooperate with those whose task it is to safeguard the public health."
Their statement contradicted what medical consensus had shown by that time, namely that tobacco use caused cancer and other respiratory diseases. Furthermore, the industry had not produced any evidence showing that their product was not injurious to health. Rather than cooperating as they promised with "those whose task it is to safeguard the public health," history reveals that the industry's actions instead have been 1) to criticize studies by independent scientists that reveal the hazards of their products, 2) generate a sense of controversy about the health effects of their products and give the false appearance of a lack of scientific consensus that cigarettes cause disease, 3) misrepresent the safety of its products by continuing to advertise their products as though they were safe (e.g., by promoting "health protection" filters and saying in ads that "More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette"), 4) marketing to children by using cartoon characters and exploiting the adolescent phenomenon of peer pressure, 6) chemically adjusting their products to enhance addiction (increase "impact" and "satisfaction" of nicotine) and mask the warning properties of smoke (adding "smootheners").

Following is the entire text of the tobacco industry's Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers.
Type of Document: Advertisement
Author: Tobacco Industry Research Committee Recipient: over 50 major newspapers across the United States
Date: 19540104
Site: Tobacco Institute document site http://www.tobaccoinstitute.com/
Page Count 1
Bates No. TIMN0040888
URL: http://my.tobaccodocuments.org/tdo/view.cfm?CitID=5603&GetListArrayIdx=17&ShowImages=yes
Litigation Usage: None specified, although it has been much cited.
Found Using Search Criteria: "Frank Statement" (on TDO)

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 indicated 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 anyone 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 health 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 lack of evidence.

Regardless of the record of the past, the fact that cigarette smoking today should even be suspected as a cause of serious disease is a matter of deep concern to us.

Many people have asked us what we are doing to meet the public's concern aroused by the recent reports. Here is the answer:

1. 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.

2. For this purpose we are establishing a joint industry group consisting initially of the undersigned. This groups will be known as TOBACCO INDUSTRY RESEARCH COMMITTEE.

3. 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.

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Anne Landman, Regional Program Coordinator
American Lung Association of Colorado, West Region Office
Grand Junction, CO
(970) 245-2120
This document's URL is: http://www.tobacco.org/Documents/dd/ddfrankstatement.html

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