This site deals only with the corporate corruption of science, and makes no inference about the motives or activities of individuals involved.
There are many reasons why individuals become embroiled in corporate corruption activities - from political zealotry to over-enthusiastic activism; from gullibility to greed.
Please read the OVERVIEW carefully, and make up your own mind.
Lester B Breslow
— A Californian health researcher who was one of the early scientific crusaders and researchers into the links between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. —
Some key documents
• He is "board certified in preventative medicine" but not in "internal medicine". Fellow of the American College of Physicians.
|Both smoking and smog implicated in lung cancer |
1950s Early In his disposition he says he formed the view at this time that both smoking and air pollution caused lung-cancer.
1950 /E: Deposition: Lester Breslow assisted Ernst Wynder [when he was a medical student in St Louis and associated with Evert Graham] in his earliest case-control study. Wynder wanted to have a variety of hospitals involved.
"He wanted access to interview patients in the hospital, patients who were there because they had been diagnosed as having lung cancer, and also other patients of whom he took his controls to those who did not have lung cancer.
[They were concerned about 'selection bias'.]
"Not satisfied with Wynder's work and to ensure proper study of the matter, Dr. Breslow's group in the Department's Bureau of Chronic Diseases repeated what Wynder did with carefully standardized interview technique."
Q. Why were you dissatisfied with Wynder's work?
A. Because a colleague of mine who accompanied Dr Wynder in his visits to these hospitals came back to me and reported to me that Dr Wynder did not seem to be following a strict protocol asking questions in a certain way and doing the controls in a certain way, but was doing it in what seemed to this young man too casual a way for what we had been training people to do in our group, which was to be extremely rigorous in such matters.
Q. In other words, Dr. Wynder's rigor was not satisfactory to this young man.
A. I don't recall exactly what the allegations were about the controls, but he didn't seem to get a whole list of all of the patients in the hospitals and do it in a systematic way, but that he would find a patient who was of the same age and gender and accept that as a control.
1950 March: In 1950, scientists and doctors in Southern California had been "astonished to learn that lung cancer was killing 400% more people than it did in 1930. Teams of research experts quietly went to work in Los Angeles area hospitals and laboratories.
1951: Published his first smoking & health epidemiological study paper
1953–54: Chronology of Events Hanmer reports "Dr Lester Breslow of California has presented the results of another statistical survey, forging what Dr Breslow calls "still another link in the chain of evidence between lung cancer and cigarette smoking"
1954: Published his second smoking & health study paper
1954 March: after exhaustive investigations these doctors and scientists [in California] were convinced that smog and cigarets are the prime causes of lung cancer:
Dr Paul Kotin, assistant professor of pathology at the USC School of Medicine, reports that air pollution (smog) is a major cause of lung cancer.
Also a team of four scientists from Californian Department of Health — Lester Breslow, La Mar Hoaglin, Gladys Rasmussen (all of the Bureu of Chronic Diseases, and Herbert Abrams (ex Chief of Adult Health, Califonian State Department of Public Health [now Medical Director Health and Welfare Fund, Chicago]) — implicated cigarets.)
We are creating a marked cancer hazard in the air over our big cities," Dr. Kotin says, "by pumping all manner of fumes and gases into the atmosphere."
"Our data," they say, "parallel that of other recent well controlled studies: all indicate a positive correlation between cigaret smoking and lung cancer." And," they emphasize, "the correlation increases steadily with the amount of cigaret smoking."
They also found correlations with certain occupations
"Their reports, based on a survey including interviews with 518 Californian lung cancer victims reveal some amazing facts.
In conclusion, this team, of medical research experts say: "The data in our study constitutes still another link in the chain of evidence connecting lung cancer with cigaret smoking, evidence which the New England Journal of Medicine notes to be "so strong as to be considered proof within the everyday meaning of the word!"
- Seventy-four per cent of all lung cancer patients reported smoking one or more packs of cigarets a day for the past 20 years, compared with only 42 per cent of their healthy control group:
- Among men aged 50 to 59 the prevelance of lung cancer is four to eleven times greater among smokers than among non smokers.
- And among the same age group, prevelance of lung cancer is anywhere from 7 to, 27 times greater among heavy smokers as among non-smokers.
- Approximately two-fifths of all lung cancer patients stated they had a "cigaret cough" which usually started many years before the onset of the illness.
1967 Oct 17 - 21: Leonard Zahn's report to the tobacco industry on the American Public Health Association (APHA) conference in Miami.
Lester Breslow of Los Angeles was impassioned in his remarks: Medical diagnosis and treatment are not very effective in lung cancer, heart diserse, cirrhosis of the liver, and other fatal and disabling ailments. These diseases are largely the result of lifestyles based on inexpensive alcohol and cigarettes, too much food and other features of affluence.
"What would happen in ths US this year if several hundred thousand deaths resultod from influenza? Just imaginel Yet we know that several hundred thousand deaths will occur this year just because of one preventable cause — cigarette smoking. We've achieved a social ethic of protecting ourselves against communicable disease. We have not yet achieved the social ethic of protecting ourselves against other causes of disease and death, causes which are themselves protected by a contrary ethic — the marketplace ethic."
Breslow called for Congress and Administration action to counter the economic forces supporting cigarette smoking — the powerful lobbies of the tobacco manufacturers, the newspaper and magazine publishers (sic), the tobacco farmers.
"Let us make a test of a Congressman's and a President's commitment to the public health ethic, a willingness to attack those economic forces in the country that are still supporting the major preventable causes of death in the nation today."
1979: Working with Wynder's American Health Foundation. He was then the Dean of the UCLA School of Public Health and seen as a pioneer in community health trials,
1996: He is listed as "someone who may have information", by the Texas government in its (Judge Folsom) $15 billion action against the tobacco industry to recover Medicaid costs. The State of Texas (plaintiffs) vs. the combined tobacco industry.
1996 Oct 17: Subpoena served on him at UCLA School of Public Health [Page 32]
1996 Nov 4: Deposition of Lester B Breslow for Mississippi vs Tobacco litigation.
The plaintiffs' expert witness, former California Director of Public Health, was deposed by the defense. He described his expertise as being the evolution of the public health field and the history of medicine. He commented on what constitutes proper historical and epidemiological methodology. He dismissed the notion that it is necessary to delineate the total mechanism of a disease in order to show causation.