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Day 22 - Second verse, same as the first.... 

Jump to full article: Eye on the Trials (ASPQ) (ca), 2012-05-03

Intro:

Today's hearing entertained two returning witnesses. In the morning Michel Descoteaux (spokesperson for Imperial Tobacco during the 1980s and 1990s) continued his testimony. In the afternoon Jean-Louis Mercier (president of Imperial Tobacco during the 1980s) returned to continue the testimony he started over April 18th and 19th.

Both men settled into a grove of short answers (often a simple "no," or "I don't remember") and offered few new insights into how the company managed its affairs during their time as senior managers. The documents that were introduced during their testimony, however, shed more light into some of the "sub-plots" of the story of Big Tobacco in Canada.

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Day 21 - A tale of two testimonies: Bédard and Descoteaux 

Jump to full article: Eye on the Trials (ASPQ) (ca), 2012-05-01

Intro:

Today two witnesses appeared before the Montreal tobacco trials -- Michel Bédard (former head of the industry-funded Smokers Freedom Society) in the morning and Michel Descôteaux (former VP of public affairs for Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd.) in the afternoon.

It would be an exaggeration to say that the two Michels gave us an experience of "the best of times and the worst of times," but there were marked contrasts in the testimony of these two friends and former spokepeople on tobacco issues.

The morning was marked by (my opinion) tortuous exchanges between Bruce Johnston, who gave example after example of the Smokers' Freedom Society acting as a provisional army for the Canadian tobacco companies, and Mr. Bédard, who gave example after example of how to avoid answering questions.

The afternoon, on the other hand, was (my opinion) a tightly focused interview between Bruce Johnston and Michel Descoteaux, who provided mostly clear answers about his role in explaining away Imperial Tobacco's decision to destroy scientific documents.

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Day 20 - Mr Bédard and Canadian Astroturf 

Jump to full article: Eye on the Trials (ASPQ) (ca), 2012-04-30
Author: Posted by Cynthia Callard at 22:30

Intro:

After an week's break, the trial of the two Quebec class actions against tobacco companies resumed this morning without missing a beat. Lawyers for all 3 sides (the two plaintiffs, the three defendant tobacco companies and the federal government as defendant in warranty) were at the ready when Justice Riordan entered the room at 9:30.

The lawyers took up where they had left off eleven days ago: squabbling about witness scheduling and document exchange.

After listening to complaints from both sides - "mish mash!" "pell mell!" "midnight e-mails!" - Justice Riordan underscored his strong preference to have witnesses from each company scheduled following one another, and not interspersed with witnesses from other companies. In doing so, he dropped another hint about his approach to the case, saying that he would not be writing his judgement by theme, but would do so by company. "The policies were not the same for each company," he said. . . .

Mr. Bédard traced his involvement in the Smokers' Freedom Society to a suggestion from Pierre Lemieux, whom he described as a 'somewhat notorious' libertarian. After reflecting on the proposal and his feelings as a smoker of being under seige, he met with Mr. Lemieux and with Mr. Descoteaux, who was acting on behalf of the CTMC to discuss how this might be done.

Before long, an understanding had been reached and a formal approach was made to meet with the senior management of the then four member companies of the CTMC (Exhibit 197). Chief among Mr. Bédard's concerns at the time, the letter would suggest, was the issue of money. Of the seven items identified for discussion, five involve the need for financial guarantees. Eventually, Mr. Bédard reached an agreement with the companies that included financial protection for 5 years. (Exhibit 198A).

The Society's dependence on the industry, and Mr. Bédard's attempts to match the work of the Society to the interests of the industry were shown in semi-annual and annual reports. In the 56 pages of the first half-year report in March 1987 (Exhibit 202), Mr. Bédard warns that the organization faces and uphill battle and recommends expanding its work. He notes that the only members of the organization are "associated, in one way or another, with the tobacco industry."

His second annual report, made in November 1988, (Exhibit 203), after federal legislation to curb tobacco advertising and smoking in public places had passed, reports on the work of the Society during these eventful times to slow down these events.

The Society was active in virtually all of the challenges the industry was facing: it appeared before parliament to speak against legislation, (Exhibit 206, Exhibit 204) recruited test cases to challenge smoke-free laws, commissioned studies to dispute claims about second hand smoke, and helped "spontaneously-formed groups of smokers" push back local bylaws.

Out of this rich document, Mr. Lespérance drew Mr. Bédard's particular attention to what he had written about the relationship between the activities of the Smokers Freedom Society and the tobacco companies:

One element which frequently crops up in contacts between the SFS and the industry and which was publicly referred to at the last Infotab Workshop is the fact that organizations such as the SFS, FOREST, etc. can say or do things which the industry, for various reasons, cannot allow itself to do.

Mr. Lespérance questioned Mr. Bédard about ways in which activities of the Smokers Freedom Society had been aligned to the interests of the tobacco companies. These included the commissioning of a report (by Dr. Dollard Cormier) to counter conclusions of the Surgeon General and the Royal Society of Canada that nicotine is addictive, and an economic analysis (by André Raynauld) of the net economic benefit from smoking. (Exhibit 209)

To each example, Mr. Bédard provided a similar reply: he had wanted to study these issues in order to find out for himself whether the claims tobacco use faced were justified. "If your acts have consequences on third parties, you have to take them into consideration," he said.

It was in order to protect the Society's integrity that these actions were taken, he suggested.

If nicotine truly were addictive, then the concept of the freedom to smoke would be called into question. Similarly, if second hand smoke truly were unhealthy, then the right of smokers would have to be balanced against the impact on others. If smokers truly were a drain on the economy, then the freedom to smoke woul be weighed against the externalized costs.

As it turned out, all of the studies that Mr. Bédard commissioned came to the conclusions that supported the continuation of his work: the conclusions were that cigarettes were not addictive, second hand smoke was not harmful, smoking did not harm the economy.

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Tobacco ads 'target young children'  

Jump to full article: Newcastle upon Tyne Sunday Sun (uk), 2012-04-26

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non-USA, by Country
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· UK-Scotland

Tobacco packaging is designed to attract teenagers, says new study by Scottish experts  

Jump to full article: Daily Record and Sunday Mail (uk), 2012-04-26

Intro:

Cancer Research UK said its study reviewed industry documents from the last 50 years and claimed that some described how packaging had been developed to appeal to new smokers, notably teenagers, through its size, colour and design.

The Packaging of Tobacco Products report will be considered as part of a UK-wide consultation on whether cigarettes should be stripped of their branding and sold in plain, standardised packets.

The report was published today by the charity and the University of Stirling's Centre for Tobacco Control Research.

Cancer Research UK launched its The Answer is Plain campaign today, asking people to sign a petition to remove all branding from tobacco packaging.

It has released a video which shows a group of 10-year-old children discussing cigarette boxes, to illustrate how young people are affected by the different colours and designs.

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· Altria/Philip Morris

GLANTZ: Prop 29 opponents California Taxpayers Assn and California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce have financial ties to Philip Morris  

Jump to full article: Stanton Glantz blog (UCSF), 2012-04-22
Author: Submitted by sglantz on Sun, 2012-04-22 19:00

Intro:

The California Taxpayers Association (CalTax) and the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, which signed the "No on 29" ballot arguments have long histories of working with the cigarette companies, including "donations" from Philip Morris over the years.

You can see the documents in the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library on them by clicking on these links for CalTax and California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.

Without much looking, I found payments totaling $30,000 to CalTax from Philip Morris in 2000 and 2001 and totaling $35,000 to the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce in 1998 and 1999. My guess is with a little more looking one could find lots more.

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Tobacco chief admitted smoking is harmful in an internal memo 

Lamented future 'smokeless society'
Jump to full article: Montreal Gazette (ca), 2012-04-20
Author: SUE MONTGOMERY, The Gazette

Intro:

The former president of Imperial Tobacco Limited admitted in a confidential internal document that it is an unrefuted and accepted fact that smoking is a serious health issue - but a few months later told a federal legislative committee that there is not proof that tobacco causes disease.

In a 1987 memo, Jean-Louis Mercier, along with Wilmat Tennyson, Imperial's marketing man at the time, conceded that the tobacco industry had lost the battle "on four critical fronts": health, social cost, social acceptance and secondhand smoke. The memo concluded the industry should shift the blame to the federal government.

Testifying Thursday at the trial in which Quebec smokers are claiming $27 billion in damages from Canada's big three tobacco companies, Mercier repeated that the government, not the tobacco companies, was at fault.

"Personally, I said that if it's true that it kills 32,000 people a year, I don't understand why we sell cigarettes," Mercier said in a large courtroom filled with lawyers on the top floor of Montreal's courthouse. "Why does the government permit it?

"It should have taken the leadership."

Mercier also noted that the government, which has made billions of dollars over the years from tobacco sales tax, should have put some of that money into researching how the negative effects of smoking could be reduced.

The tobacco industry lost the health debate, the memo says, because it was "clearly constrained by the basic flaw that it could not argue smoking is good for you."

It was also hamstrung by the fear of liability and handcuffed by its own lawyers.

"Smoking is a serious health hazard; it is an accepted fact and there is no longer any possibility of refutation," the memo says.

But according to the transcripts from the legislative committee on Bill C-204 to regulate smoking in the federal workplace and common carriers, Mercier, just months after writing his internal memo, denied smoking caused disease.

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Week 5 - Documents of the week 

Jump to full article: Eye on the Trials (ASPQ) (ca), 2012-04-20
Author: Posted by Cynthia Callard at 09:02

Intro:

About 50 new exhibits were produced during the 5th week of the trial (witnesses were heard on April 17, 18 and 19th), of which only a few were "on reserve" (i.e. not available to the public).

The Plaintiff's document web-site has an excellent a word-search function on its search page, and is a good source for any specific document needs.

The list below groups some of the more substantive exhibits introduced this week by topic, and presents them in chronological order.

Short on time? Some really juicy documents are marked with an asterix (**)

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Day 16 - Expertise not wanted 

Jump to full article: Eye on the Trials (ASPQ) (ca), 2012-04-16
Author: Posted by Cynthia Callard at 20:30

Intro:

As spectator sports go, trial watching does not have the adrenalin rush of the Stanley Cup playoffs (Go! Senators! Go!), although it often calls to mind other sporting matches.

Today's proceedings seemed to have much in common with that sedate summer sport, croquet. In croquet the object is to be the first to get your ball through the hoops, but the real fun of the sport is in viciously knocking your opponents' balls out of the croquet court, all the while maintaining the appearance of polite gentility.

The first sitting this week was spent discussing the tobacco companies' request to knock three of the federal government's balls out of the trial court. The industry wants to throw out the expert testimony offered by epidemiologist David Burns, toxicologist Len Ritter and chemist William Farone.

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Day 17 - Questions, Answers, Pleadings, Decisions 

Jump to full article: Eye on the Trials (ASPQ) (ca), 2012-04-17
Author: mid afternoon, the plaintiff's wound up their examination of

Intro:

The one-time vice president of marketing for Imperial Tobacco, Anthony Kalhok, was again on the stand when the trial of the Montreal tobacco class actions resumed this Tuesday morning.

In answer to Justice Riordan's jovial "how are you, sir?" as the session began, Mr. Kalhok allowed that he felt "perked up" by a weekend of physical exercise.

It would have taken a stalwart temperament to maintain any feeling of perkiness over the next few hours, as plaintiff lawyer Bruce Johnston took the witness through a series of focused and relentless questions about the marketing strategies of Imperial Tobacco during his tenure there.

Young smokers - a major opportunity group

Of the day's rich testimony, some of the most memorable sections involved the company's approach to young smokers.

Mr. Johnston pushed Mr. Kalhok to explain the constraints under which his department operated with respect to advertising that reached young people. As happened last week, responses were usually framed around a business analysis.

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TOBACCO EXHIBITS 

Jump to full article: Visard Solutions (ca), 2012-04-19

Categories
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Organizations
· Legacy

VIDEO: Legacy Tobacco Documents Library 

Jump to full article: American Legacy Foundation, 2012-04-18

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Week 4: Documents of the Week 

Jump to full article: Eye on the Trials (ASPQ) (ca), 2012-04-13

Intro:

During the examination of Anthony Kalhok, who was vice-president of marketing for Imperial Tobacco in the 1970s, the following sets of documents were introduced as evidence.

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Transcript: THE ANSWERS WE SEEK (roh74e00) 

Jump to full article: Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, 1975-09-01
Author: Organization Author TI, TOBACCO INST

Intro:

NARRATOR One controversial aspect of the stressful lives we lead is tobacco and its use-particularly in cigarettes. For the next few minutes we will be looking into this. And we will call on world-renowned scientists and experts from several disciplines to help us. . . .

DR. OBER Lung cancer is predominantly a disease of people who live in large cities or in industrial areas, whereas people who live in rural communities have a much lower incidence of lung cancer.

DR LEVINE There are substances in the air in every city in the United States-and I suspect in every city in the world--which are known to produce cancer.

NARRATOR Lung cancer has been found to be increasing among ducks at the Philadelphia Zoo-located in a typical city air pollution area. . . .

NARRATOR Some headlines reflect the smoking adversary view that there is a cause and effect relationship between smoking and health. But conclusions based on simple statistics do not satisfy many. They feel that more meaningful research should focus on the smoker rather than the smoke. Do smokers differ from nonsmokers?

DR SELTZER Smokers tend to be more aggressive, out-going, extroverted people: hard-driving, full of tension. They tend to marry more often, divorce more often, move their homes more often, change their occupations more often than do nonsmokers.

DR SELYE The human being smokes only because he likes to smoke. Nobody smokes because he has to smoke. Nobody can command you to smoke. . . .

DR OBER I think we have a great deal to learn and I think far too many people have rushed to a premature judgment based upon; very inadequate evidence, chiefly because of the tremendouseniotional need to oversimplify and make things easy and palatable for the public, for medical students as well as for legislators.

NARRATOR The tobacco industry is concerned about the implication for its products. It believes informed discussion is essential to the public interest.

Its dollar commitment to independent scientific research in the area of smoking and health exceeds the combined support of the cancer society and the heart and lung associations and is growing yearly as we seek the answers that we need.

DR FURST The biggest thing we need is a good idea. We need more good ideas and we need more good quality research.

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SUBJECT "Project 16" English Youth -- CPY5 (PDF) 

REPORT FOR: Imperial Tobacco Limited
Jump to full article: Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, 1977-10-18
Author: KWECHANSKY MARKETING RESEARCH INC.

Intro:

HOW SMOKING BEINGS (sic)

1) Peer Influence Is Everything 9

2) C'Mon, You Chicken 12

3) I Want To Be Like You 14

WHAT STARTING IS LIKE

4) 1 Wonder What It's All About 17

5) Forbidden Fruit 17

6) How It Tasted 19

7) Being Away From Home 21

8) Starting Age 24

THE ROLE OF THE FAMILY

9) The Fear Of Being Found Out 27

10) Accidental Discovery 25

11) The Big Announcement 32

12) Continuing Concealment 35

HOSTILITY AND THE FAMILY

13) Parental Reactions 36

14) Hassling Breeds Hostility 39

15) The Influence of Siblings 42

16) Oh Sweet Daughter, How Could You? 43

17) The Sounds of Hostility 44

SMOKING AND THE SCHOOL

15) With Or Without Permission 48

19) Smoking Behavior During School 49

20) Attitudes Towards Teachers 51

21) Stop Hassling Me! 53

SOCIAL FACTORS

22) Favorite Times For Smoking 55

23) Consumption And Stress 58

24) Smoking AsAPasstime 59

25) Smoking As A Social Crutch 60

26) Smoking, Dating and Double Standards 61

27) The Role Of Price 63

SMOKING TODAY AND THE FUTURE

28) Feelings Of Regret 65

29) Peer Pressure at 16 66

30) Views About Quitting 69

31) Quitting Is Not Easy 71

32) Fatalists 72

33) The Health Warning Clause 76

34) The View of Non Smokers 78

35) The View Down The Road 80

BRAND SELECTION

36) Choosing That First Brand . . . . 83

37) What The Boys Prefer 83

38) What The Girls Prefer 85

39) T & N Awareness , , 8$

ADVERTISING

40 General Attitudes . 87

41 Perception Of Test Ads • 88

42 Players (horses) 89

43 Export A And Winston • 90

44 Other Tobacco Ads 93

45 Wrigley Doublemlnt Gum 94

46 Hires Root Beer 94

47 Wella Balsam 95

48 Other Ads 96

49 The Vantage Ad 96

50 General Principles 97

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

•• There is no doubt that peer group influence is the single most important factor in the decision by an adolescent to smoke.

•• Around the age of 11 to 13, there is peer pressure exerted by smokers on non smokers that amounts to taunting and goading of the latter to get them to smoke.

•• In some cases, the beginning smoker is not just emulating the peer group in general, but copying a specific member of it that is respected and admired. This can, on occasion, be an older sibling.

•• One of the reasons for adolescent attraction to smoking is curiosity about the physical sensations of it.

•• More important reasons for this attraction are the 'forbidden fruits' aspect of cigarettes. The adolescent seeks 'to display his new urge for independence with a symbol, and cigarettes are such a symbol since they are associated with adulthood and at the same time adults seek to deny them to the young. By deliberately flaunting out this denial, the adolescent proclaims his break with childhood, at least to his peers.

•• While some enjoy their first cigarette (both taste and self-image). many are rewarded for their daring with nausea. This perceived failure spurs them on to try again, and not fail.

•• First cigarette experiences often took place either actually or perceptually some distance removed from the nearness of parental authority.

•• Serious efforts to learn to smoke occur between ages 12 and 13 in most case. Playful experimentations, especially by children from smoking homes, can take place as early as 5 years of age, but most often around 7 or 8.

•• Part of the thrill of adolescent smoking is the thrill of hiding it from parental wrath.

•• Sometimes, the inevitable efforts to conceal adolescent smoking fail, and the smoker is discovered. Often, the risk of this happening is made greater by secret smoking in the home itself.

•• If successfully hidden, the young smoker will announce his smoking around the age of 15 or 16. This can either be done all at once, or gradually, dropping hints over a period of time. Smoking parents sometimes take this initiative when they have known the truth for some time.

•• In cases where young smokers feel the confrontation with parents will be overpowering, there are efforts to continue the concealment.

•• There is a greater tendency among smoking parents to accept the use of cigarettes by their child than among non smoking ones. More often, there is continuing parental nagging about it.

•• Although adolescent smoking begins largely without intent to spite parents, parental nagging can give rise to spiteful feelings where none existed before.

•• The role of siblings is not usually important. Somewhat rarely, an older smoking sibling may be an emulated figure.

•• Girls are less accepted by their parents as smokers than boys are.

•• Young smokers nagged by parents about their use of cigarettes can, and do, harbour considerable hostility that they normally do not give voice to in order to prevent internecine battles.

•• Whether schools do or do not officially tolerate smoking, it occurs in any case, but consumption is probably greater in school where smelting is officially allowed.

•• During school hours, smoking is a social activity and a way to pass time.

•• Teachers who admonish students about smoking are not listened to, especially when such warnings as perceived as hypocritical when the teacher is a smoker.

•• Reactions to formal school lectures and films about smoking are mainly anger over a perceived intrusion on the right of the smoker to do as he wishes without unsought advice intruding on his liberty. -

•• However, while the informing methods are disliked, there is no question that the respondents behaved that smoking is a hazard to health.

•• Smoking by teens is heavier during leisure time than during school time.

•• Stress causes consumption to increase, much as is true for adults.

•• Many smoke cigarettes simply to help pass the time.

•• In strange social situations, smoking is sometimes perceived as a prop that eases such social discomfort.

•• Smokers sometimes date other smokers to avoid the 'hassling' that non smokers sometimes do about smoking. Girls are more vulnerable than bays to such 'hassling'.

•• The respondents, largely from comfortable if not affluent homes, were not significantly affected by the price of cigarettes.

•• However intriguing smoking was at 11, 12 or 13. by the age of 16 or 17 many regretted their use of cigarettes for health reasons and because they feel unable to stop smoking when they want to.

•• By the age of 16. any peer pressure to initiate others to smoking is gone. In fact, smokers openly bemoan the sight of 11 or 12 year olds that they see smoking, and in effect, the 16 year olds now act towards their juniors as their own parents act towards them.

•• Still, smoking provides a reason for socializing with other smokers, and to some this is reason enough to continue.

•• Many claim they wish to quit, but it is doubtful if many will take action on their desire.

•• Those who had tried quitting were not successful, though any that had been would not have been part of this study.

•• Though they accept health warnings as true, the threat is perceived as so far in the future as to be scarcely related to actions taken now.

•• The health warning clause is perceived as an intrusion by government on individual rights', and a sham since governments make vast sums on tobacco tax, and alcohol, also perceived as dangerous, bears no warning clause.

•• The 'avoid inhaling' words are singled out for the strongest derision since smoking a cigarette in this way is seen as a waste and, in their word, 'goofy'.

•• Non smoking peers, especially those who have quit, are respected and admired.

•• Smokers tend to feel non smokers are more sure of themselves, less nervous, but perhaps less sociable and outgoing.

•• There is little reason to believe that, barring a drastic shift in social or governmental attitudes, smoking among the adolescents will lose its appeal, or that teenage smokers will turn their lip service to quitting into real action.

•• The first brand chosen by the beginning smoker is usually the first brand tried. This was DuMaurier in more instances than any other brand. As smoking proficiency grows, brand experimentation takes place.

•• The boys tended towards higher tar regular length brands such as Export A, Players and DuMaurier. Low tar brands were much disliked.

•• The girls, on average preferred higher tar King Size brands, but especially in Toronto, some smoked lower tar brands.

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