Tobacco Wars: Results of Study Differ from Phillip Morris

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Adverse effects of tobacco smoking: Photo by Mikael Häggström

In January of 1954, United States tobacco manufactures banned together to sponsor an advertisement called, “A Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers.” This advertisement questioned researchers findings regarding the link between cigarette use and cancer. The advertisement promised Americans that cigarettes were safe, and promised to conduct impartial research into this matter. This advertisement reached 43,245,000 Americans.

Toxic Cigarette Additives

Despite these claims made by the tobacco manufacturers, most Americans are now aware of the health risks associated with the use of tobacco. A new study, “The Toxic Effects of Cigarette Additives. Philip Morris’ Project Mix Reconsidered: An Analysis of Documents Released through Litigation” released December 20, 2011 in the Public Library of Science, analyzed the safety of additives in cigarettes. This study was lead by Professor Stanton Glantz from the Center of Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California in San Francisco.

Testing Philip Morris’ Studies

Dr. Glantz and his colleagues analyzed previously confidential documents from the tobacco industry to determine the strategies used by the tobacco industry to conduct studies on the safety of 333 additives in cigarettes. Researchers focused on a group of studies called “Project MIX” by Philip Morris and discovered that the internal documents showed post hoc changes in protocols after their research showed that the additives in cigarettes caused an increase in toxicity and total particulate matter (TPM).  The published papers from Philip Morris obscured the increase in toxicity and total particulate matter.

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