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.
— A tobacco funded study showing that when smokers die young, the society benefits. Of course if the tobacco executives had died young, the society would have benefitted even more. —
This study and others done by Manning were probably quite valid — within the narrow confines of the economic mind. Like all such cost-benefit analyses, the outcome depends on:
Economics is an attempt to measure social conditions in order to guide political and individual activities — but how do you account for the chains of adverse social outcomes from something like premature death of a bread-winner .... or of children brought up without a mother?
- The assumptions made.
- The technical quality of the data used.
- How far, in terms of layers of economic analysis, the reseacher is prepared to go. What are the cost of each layer of consequence flowing from the primary adverse-health actions.
- How many externalities are ignored.
The facts are that this study was done with tobacco industry money. And knowing that it was done by a well-paid academic economist for the simple purpose of protecting the tobacco industry from attack by health activists who were trying to reduce the overall losses of life, well-being etc.makes it very hard to justify on any moral ground.
In the case of this particular study, the repercussion simply amplified its adverse effects a hundred times., mainly because of the way in which it was used by Gravelle's Congressional Research Study — and how this study was used as propaganda by the tobacco industry and its lackey politicians,
Some key documents
• Willard G Manning
1990 Mar: INFOTAB's newsletter Infotopics, edited by Catherine Browne and Carol Stocken. says:
Smoke-free society could put strain on health care system.
It quotes a Kansas City Star article (Mar 4 1990) which discusses two studies :
one carried out by three Stanford University economists for the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Cambridge, Massachusetts think tank, and one by Willard Manning an economist at the University of Michigan.
- The National Bureau of Economic Research study contradicts the widely-reported comments by US Health and Human Services Secretary Louis W. Sullivan, who claims that smoking costs the United States US$52 billion annually. According to the research group, even though smokers are claimed to run up higher medical bills, they die relatively young.
- The Manning study weighed the alleged 'social' and 'health care costs' of smoking against the higher taxes tobacco users pay and their lower costs in retirement pensions and nursing home care. The study reported that the two sides were roughly equal.
1994 March 8: The Manning's studies were the foundation of Jane Gravelle and Dennis Zimmerman's Congressional Research Service (CRS) report on the cost of smoking to the society. See these amazing statements about the 'cost' to the non-smoker of breathing secondhand smoke:
- Finally, even if all costs of passive smoking are considered to be external and existing data are used to measure a per pack amount, the costs probably are small relative to current and proposed taxes.
The Manning, study calculates a total cost of smoking. (both external and internal costs in excess of the price of the product) that includes medical expenditures, lost productivity due to illness, lost productivity due to early death, and costs from fires. This total cost equals $2.53 per pack (recall that these numbers are adjusted to 1995 levels).
- Divide EPA's estimated 3000 deaths from lung cancer due to passive smoking by the lung cancer deaths attributed to active smoking, and multiply this 0.022 result by the per pack total cost." This generates passive-smoking total costs of six cents per pack.
See the CRS Paper and its contents and footnotes.
[The assumption being that you can put a dollar value on the premature death of an innocent bystander...! The mind boggles.
This was nothing more than an exercise in social-welfare economics by second-rate accountants. However it was succesfully touted by the tobacco industry as exonerating cigarettes from having adverse health effects.]