Tobacco Industry Jargon

"If you let me smoke ... I'll let you breathe the crud I exhale." This was the industry's kneejerk reaction to passive smoking objections; the idea of providing smoking and non-smoking tables or areas in restaurants, public spaces and aircraft. This was a key part of the industry's Social Acceptability program. It was described by one commentator as "like having pissing and non-pissing sides in a swimming pool." Ad Hoc Committees
A legal device to by-pass the creation of a formal committee with identifiable members (who might later be subpoened).The tobacco industry had many of these ad hoc committees (they used the term), These mainly comprised in-house corporate lawyers who didn't want to meet in any formal organization that could be later construed as conspiracy. Addiction
According to the tobacco industry, this term did not apply to its products. Cigarettes may, like chocolate, be habituating but never addictive they maintained, since admission of addiction would contradict the claim that smokers were merely exercising their "choice" to smoke. The words "addictive" and "addiction" were prohibited from use in letters, memos and reports within the industry unless preceded by the terms "claimed" or "alleged". Alleged
Euphemism for not-yet-proved-to-our-satisfaction ... nor ever will be. This term was used to deflect the dangers of "addiction", etc. You'll find it used de rigueur, in the tobacco documents, just in case someone leaked the document to the press. Antibacs
See probacs A term briefly used for those opposed to public smoking on either health or environmental grounds. Assays
(aka bio-assays) experimental methods used to determine potential harm. There are dozens of different ways using special cells, bacteria, plants, or animals exposed to a range of possible carcinogen/mutagens during an experiment can be tested to see if the material is causing damage, and possibly provide an estimate of the level of damage. Astroturfs
Fake-grassroots organisations used for political purposes. APCO, the PR company set up by Arnold & Porter for Philip Morris, specialised in creating organisations that were promoted as having arisen spontaneously by the actions of a small group of concerned citizens (or scientists). Other industries used these techniques also -- especially the drug companies with many different disease-specific astroturfs. Astroturfs would pretend to represent the interests of their citizen/scientist members while actually working to promote the specific propaganda agenda of the corporations. ["Who paid the piper, called the tune"] ACSH and TASSC are good examples of scientific Astroturf operations. Bates Number
Unique legal identity codes. These are the unique numbers which have been overprinted onto every page of every document that has become a court-protected evidence. Bates numbers provide a way to identify each page, but unfortunately if you only record the page-Bates number you will find it difficult to identify the document itself (the search engines will only find the first page of a document)
. So always record the Bates number of the first page of the document for later searching (or use the Legacy library document's "tid/" number in the URL.[Note: In the tobacco archives, any document with a legitimate Bates number is a confirmed legal document released by the MSA for public scrutiny.] Big-Chill
Political campaign tactic used to destroy opponents and worry members of Congress. During an election year the tobacco industry would pick a couple of vulnerable candidates who had taken a strong anti-tobacco stance and then mount an extremely well-funded, well-staffed campaign (with no evidence of tobacco involvement) against them, both in the primaries and in the Congressional elections. The objective was to hit them with 'overwhelming force.' and exhibit the power of anonymous corporations in supporting candidates.
The pay-off for this tactic was through the use of lobbyists to later circulate among moderate members of Congress and let them know in confidence that the tobacco industry was behind the targetted electoral defeats. This would scare the hell out of Congressmen hoping to remain for more than a term. Bio-assays
(aka 'assays') experimental methods used to determine harm There are dozens of different ways cells, bacterial, plants, or animals exposed to a possible carcinogen during an experiment can be tested to see if the material is causing damage, and possibly provide an estimate of the level of damage.
The tobacco industry was very keen to promote the Ames bacterial test as the regulatory standard test, since this was quick and easy and didn't point the finger at smoking. Other researchers used mouse-painting of tobacco tars. All assay techniques have their advantages and their limitations.. Blue-Dog Democrats
A caucus of Southern tobacco-state Democrat Congressmen. They generally vote with the Republicans in support of the tobacco companies in questions like the right-to-advertise and promote cigarettes, and they help block the regulators actions against passive smoking. They were not necessarily from the conservative arm of the Democratic Party, but they often received campaign funding, junkets and other support from the tobacco companies. Case-control studies
This is a form of retrospective epidemiology Those who have been diagnosed with some disease condition are 'matched' (age, sex, background,etc) to control subjects who don't have the condition (perhaps are in hospital for a broken leg, etc). Life histories are then taken from both -- then statistical methods are used to identify the obvious life-style or exposure differences, which, in many cases, can reasonably be identified as the likely 'cause'. Chill
A tactic used to stop magazines imposing their own cigarette advertising bans. From the mid-1950s to the '70s, some of the major American magazines refused to carry cigarette advertising for ethical reasons. There was a danger that this trend would spread. But the ethical editors discovered that, along with the cigarette advertising, other forms of advertising revenues also dried up. This tactic was possible because: 1. the tobacco companies had diversified into food, insurance, entertainment, media and other industries - and 2. they had formed coalitions with other industry groups to provide mutual support, and sometimes mutual boycotting. These were 'chill' tactics. CLIP strategy
Conservative Leadership Initiative Program run by Philip Morris c 1990 Closed conferences
Scientific seminars and conferences which are entirely controlled by the companies. This happened in the tobacco industry to the point where only tame scientists were listed as conferences speakers and only trusted 'friendly' scientists were invited as participants. These closed seminars acted partly as tutorials and partly as network builders. They also provided feedback to the companies, and, by publishing and widely distributing the conference proceedings, they often gave the speakers a degree of scientific legitimacy they would not have otherwise enjoyed. Later such one-sided conferences became too obvious and the tobacco industry then began to organise and manipulate scientific conferences in more balanced and sophisticated ways. To control the output of a conference, you don't need to control every speaker -- only those keynote speakers who will be reported in the media, and perhaps the 'expert' who sums up the 'consensus' and drafts the press-releases. Coalitions
The ability to muster support and hide behind umbrella organisations. In the 1950s and '60s asbestos and tobacco were pariah industries. The food processing, chemical, energy and pharmaceutical industries kept them at arms length and tried to blame them for the rising rates of cancer and heart disease. In the tobacco jargon during this phase, 'coalition' generally refered to joint actions by a number of tobacco companies.
Later, agreements were reached between all of these poisoning & polluting industries not to blame each other, but rather to join forces to counter the growth of health and environmental activism -- and especially to attack product liability laws (tort-reform). These were the later coalitions. Commercial Free Speech
The right to advertise Implicit in the dubious use of this term is that, since the US Constitution guaranteed its human citizens the right to speak out politicially, it must also guarantee poisoning and polluting companies the right to promote their harmful products. The tobacco industry had strong allies in this aspect in the publishing, newspaper, media and advertising industries, and their catch cry was: "If it can be sold, it also can be advertised." [It must either be black or white -- there is no such thing as a shade of grey.] Committee of Counsel
A regular meeting of in-house tobacco company lawyers who made key research decisions. They effectively took control of the TIRC, CTR, CIAR and other research programs, grants, special projects funding, etc, since they had 'attorney-client privilege' which blocked attempts to have them give evidence in a court case. No research projects were ever funded without their express approval.They also directed Special Projects. Confidence Level
The calculated probability that the risk figures derived from the data will be 'robust', and are not just arising from chance factors. A confidence of 0.95 or 95% is said to be at the 5% level - such a finding will only arise once-in-twenty times by chance. A higher level of confidence at 0.99 or 99% is at the 1% level and will only arise by chance once in a hundred similar experiments. This takes into account both the sheer numbers of subjects in the study, and the strength of the relationships found. Confounders
Alternate explanations for some factors; possible interferers with a finding In all forms of statistical research (epidemiology is the most obvious one) there will always be 'confounding' variables -- those that offer an alternate explanation. These are other agents in the environment that could contribute to and influence the outcome. In smoking and lung-cancer, for instance, radon gas, general air polution, etc. may also contribute to the local lung-cancer rate. The real professional skill of an epidemiologist is in devising studies that limit (or isolate) the effects of these confounders. Consultants
A loose term with a wide range of meanings. It is not always apparent what arrangement consultants have with the companies - and the use of the term changed over time.
  • Legitimate consultants were outside experts who supplied essential business/industrial services to the tobacco companies.
  • More dubious advice-givers were hired to provide their expertise and services to the companies (PR, lobbyists, etc) and many of these were at the fringes of propriety.
  • There were also lawyers and science-recruiters who often referred to the WhiteCoats and witnesses as 'consultants.' No one consulted them about anything useful; they were subterranean lackeys hired to parade their credentials while promoting propaganda. Cotinine
    The breakdown product of nicotine in the atmosphere. In aerosol, nicotine rapidly becomes cotinine, and so it is important to measure the cotinine, rather than the nicotine, in room air if you wish to establish the effects of passive smoking. D-day
    This was the code name for the EPA's 1993 Risk Assessment Release Tom Humber of Burson Marsteller was in charge of organising pre-emptive actions and counter measures D-day
    This was the day of the expected release of the IARC report (of WHO's research arm) in late 1995. They had task forces working for over two years, meeting quarterly, to prepare for this major event. [which they managed exceptionally well, convincing most commentators that black was white, and that round was square.] Deliveries
    Tobacco term for the load of nicotine and tars in a cigarette This was determined by the techniques of manufacture. They had to balance between keeping their cigarettes "full flavoured" and addictive, and being able to promote as 'safe' or 'safer' with the low tar claims. Discovery
    A pre-trial interview and document-exchange process that occurs before a legal dispute reaches the courts. This stage makes up about 80% of the time and costs of a typical lawsuit. Both parties to the dispute have the right to 'depose' (interview under oath) potential witnesses (who are accompanied by their own lawyer) and sometimes they can demand copies of certain documents. Lawyers working for the other side are generally immune from the discovery-processes under 'attorney-client privilege' rules, which is how lawyers came to control tobacco industry research (or lack thereof)). Extramural
    The FTR division of Philip Morris in Switzerland used this term to mean social-type activities: (networking with scientists and public officials, joumalists briefings, monitoring projects, attending symposia, assisting Corporate Affairs initiatives) Grassroots
    The organisation of citizens to unwittingly support an activity It is the generation (or appearance of generation) of a groundswell of public opinion. When PR people talk about 'grassroots' organisations, they are making a distinction between those established by lobbyists which appear to be 'elite organisations' (pseudo-academic 'think-tanks', 'legal institutes', 'policy institutes' etc.), and those that are designed as, or to appear to be, real membership organisation. APCO specialised in setting up this type of fake organisation for Philip Morris, and their TASSC is a good an example: It claimed to be a 'grassroots scientific organisation' but it was run by APCO staff with occasional assistance from an 'Advisory Board' of science-for-sale entrepreneurs and a few sold-out academics. However it had a real list of signed-up 'members' (they signed a statement in support of 'sound science'), and these names were then used to bolster support for the tobacco industry propaganda (without the scientist's knowledge). The trick was to create the appearance of a problem; then generate simple slogans like 'junk-science' vs 'sound science'; then claim to be solving the problems with a grassoots association which was actually under corporate control. Grasstops
    A technique of contacting political power-brokers by bribing friends and relatives. The idea was simple; the chairmen of most Congressional committees are long-serving home-town boys who like to play golf with their old buddies. So the tobacco lobbyist would find some down-on-his-luck old-town golfing buddy and hire him as a secret agent to promote their position on the golf-course. Guildford
    This was a document storage site used by British-American Tobacco. Since it was in the UK it was not able to be bought under the control of the US Master Settlement Agreement in the same way. Habituation
    The tobacco industry's term for addiction. The only way the industry could escape the regulation of addictive substances through an agency (such as the FDA), was to deny the obvious; tobacco smoke wasn't 'addictive', it was simply 'habituating' like chocolate. An enormous amount of money was spent in developing scientists who would provide public witness to this effect ... and also in buying compliant politicians who would pretend to believe it. Harvard Project
    this usually refers to the $3 million. support being offered by the tobacco companies (outside the purview of the CTR) to Gary Huber and his group Heidelberg
    Probably refers to the Heidelberg Appeal However the tobacco industry also had a couple of consultants and WhiteCoats at the University of Heidelberg. The Heidelberg Appeal presented at the Rio Earth Summit, supposedly as an attack on climate change activism, was the work of the SEPP group funded by the tobacco and asbestos industries. Hirayama
    A Japanese study into passive smoking which threw the tobacco industry into turmoil in 1981. The non-smoking wives of Japanese smokers was found to have higher lung-cancer rates than they should by chance. The Tobacco Institute hired statisticians to try to find faults in Hirayama's methodology, and when they couldn't ... they found them anyway. Hockett's Dictum
    Essentially, this it is the claim that "mice aren't men" -- and therefore animal experiments, no matter how scientifically significant, don't prove anything. This is a PR attempt to treat each finding in isolation from all others -- as if each finding must either be the 'smoking gun' or be discarded. In fact research findings are like jig-saws with each element only providing one part of the picture. The relationships between mouse biology and human are well understood which is why millions of mice are used in laboratories every year. Imperial
    Means either Imperial Tobacco or Imperial College London. Professor Roger Perry, for many years, ran a tobacco scientific scam out of the Imperial College of the University of London for the tobacco companies. The companies he worked for included Imperial Tobacco -- so it can get confusing. In Vitro
    Research looking at the survival and development of cells in culture. The main distinction is with In Vivo (live animal) research. In Vivo
    Laboratory experiments involving live animals. The distinction is being made with population research (epidemiology), human research (such as with EEGs), and cell-culture research (in Vitro). JD (Juris Doctorate)
    A common low-level award issued by many US law schools. This qualification is extremely popular among those planning a career in lobbying and science-for-sale entrepreneurship ... to the point where you can almost use it as an identifier of someone whose career sights are on political lobbying. The JD's real value to the holder is that it:
  • can be gained part-time with a minimum of attendance at formal university courses.
  • allows the recipient to call him/herself a lawyer, and
  • (most importantly) gives the lobbyist's client the confidence of knowing that any dealings come under the category of 'attorney-client privilege' and are therefore immune from possible discovery. Kentucky
    Kentucky Tobacco Research Institute This was the tobacco-funded and controlled institute at the Kentuck University. Laundry
    Three possible meanings
    1. Like a cigar, it might just mean laundry.
    2. laundering funds or connections means that some third-party is interposed between the giver and the receiver to confuse the trail and make it difficult to follow.
    3. In Philip Morris jargon, a $100 cash reimbursement claim made for "laundry" by executives/lobbyists returning from a politician/journalist junket to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Manilla, etc. was a request for the refund of brothel expenses. Linearity
    A statistical assumption often challenged by the tobacco industry The idea is that potential damage to health is roughly proportional to the dose. The polluting industries all clung to the idea that a 'threshold' existed, below which there was no damage at all -- therefore until direct causal connections were established between the low-dose exposures and death or disease (virtually impossible except statistically over many years) then their products should be considered as safe. A related idea used in the cellphone disputes is that low doses, like innoculations, actually provide a protective effect. Countering this, is an amplification hypothesis, which suggests that the low-doses of ETS attack non-smokers to a far greater degree than one could assume from the calculations of smoke-exposure, because ETS makes non-smokers hypersensitive. Lobbyist
    The term can have a strict and narrow, or a wider meaning. Some US journalists only use the term for those registered as professional political influence providers, while others apply the term to anyone paid to influence politicians or the public, via the media. LTE's
    Letters-to-the-Editor A favourite lobbying technique where dozens, or even thousands of well-written, sometimes humorous, letters would be generated and sent to a major newspaper or magazine on a topic. It was a useful technique both for getting some arguable point on the political agenda, and also a way of making it appear to be something with widespread concern. Certain lobby-shops were set up specifically to generate these and the related flood of letters-to-Congressmen. Meta-analysis
    A technique of combining numerous similar studies using statistical techniques to provide a combined estimate of risk. Meta-analysis is not an exact science, because it rests on a number of different assumption. But it is useful to regulatory agencies seeking to make rules about exposure when their data consists only of many small studies (perhaps with marginally-significant results), but where each is pointing in the same direction.
      It's use was opposed by the tobacco industry because they funded and controlled the large sponsored studies done through the TIRC, CTR, etc. The regulators put more weight on independent research (usually done with sparce funding) and meta-analysis gave smany smaller studies almost equal standing to a few larger ones. Minnesota
    This will usually refer to the court case run by the State's Attorney-General, or to the storage site for tobacco documents released to the public under the Master Settlement Agreement Misclassification
    This is an old chestnut claim used in attacking virtually any epidemiological study. It rests on the fact that you can't always totally trust original data derived from interviews, questionairres, etc. because people don't always tell the truth. For instance (so the chestnut explains) sometimes people claim to be 'non-smokers', when they are secret smokers, or perhaps 'ex-smokers'. It is possible to mount a reasonable misclassification claim against almost any epidemiological study that turns up results you don't like. Mutagen
    A substance which causes mutations As distinct from one that causes cancers. Op-eds
    irregular articles in newspapers This type of article has traditionally appeared in the section devoted to 'opinion' rather than news, and usually on the page opposite to the major editorial (hense the name). Many of these are unsolicited, so a large corporation (able to pay top-writers and get celebrity names on the article's by-line), has a good chance of planting numerous articles every year on compliant newspapers. The only real requirement is that they don't look like they are selling a message. Many PR agencies and lobby-shop specialise in this sort of misuse of the media. P&P industries
    Poisoning and Polluting industries Tobacco was a pariah industry in the 1970 and 80ss -- no other companies wanted to associate with it. The chemical and mining (asbestos) industries generally blamed tobacco for the growing cancer and CHD rates, and they returned the favor. Each concentrated on pointing at the other. However the need for product-liability legal reform ('tort-reform') and the rise of environmentalism brought them together into a number of well-funded P&P coalitions, since they now had common enemies to attack. Parcelsus Defence
    Everything is toxic in the body when taken to excess [a tautology], therefore smoking is not much worse that other substances -- you just need to keep the amount you absorb under control [neglecting addiction]. Particulates
    The solid parts of tobacco smoke, as distinct from the gaseous vapors (vapor phase) Peer-review journals
    Scientific journals who's articles are checked by small expert committees. Like the demand for 'sound-science', the emphasis only only paying attention to scientific studies 'published in peer-reviewed journals' has immediate popular appeal and acceptance. The problem with 'peer-review' is 1. who are the peers? 2. who is the editor who decides on the peers? 3. who controls or funds the journal, and therefore selects the editor who selects the peers?
      We know that the tobacco industry controlled at least a half-dozen 'peer-reviewed' scientific journals, and it is highly likely that other similar consortiums or coalitions control more. Probacs
    the defenders of smoking It's a term briefly used by Newsweek to denote tobacco industry 'friends' and 'supporters' (without giving any legal basis for a defamation suit). It's the equivalent of 'climate denier' and the term deserves to be revivied. Anti-smoking activist were called antibacs. Product placement
    This is the contracted use of a product in a TV program, film, radio play, etc. At one level it is a form of brand-name promotion, and at another it is an extension of the Social Acceptability concept. Companies paid very generously to have the lead characters in popular movies smoke brand-name cigarettes -- and this also promoted the idea that this was 'cool' normal behaviour among teenagers. Publication bias
    a form of scientific bias in the evidence for and against some possible harm. The claim is that many studies don't find their way into the corpus of accepted scientific literature because they fail to achieve the expected result. No one publishes the failure to find anything significant. There is some legitimacy to this claim, HOWEVER, a zero- or null-finding (no evidence of harm) is not the same as "evidence of safety". Many studies are badly designed, insufficient if scope/size, or just looking at the wrong factors -- so when these turn up zero evidence of harm, they are meaningless. Relative-risk
    The calculated likelihood of an individual getting a disease or condition when compared to the 'normal' population. Relative risk is usually expressed as a decimal fraction (RR=1.37 is one-third more likely; RR=0.97 means slightly less likely). The figure tells you nothing about the reliability of the calculation (see confidence level). The tobacco industry tried for many years to get epidemiologists to accept a GEP-standard of RR equal to 1.5 or 2.0 as the minimum required for regulatory action. Risk Assessment/Analysis
    The idea that risk could or should be assessed and/or analysed It is difficult to object to this popular insurance-based idea -- it appears entirely logical. However, it came from economists, not from the biomedical side of science. This is why the concept developed from simple 'cost-benefit' analysis of accidents in the 1970s into a fully-fledged academic discipline a few decades later which ended up as a central overriding policy of the White House, operated through the Office of Management and budget.
      Risk-science societies, risk-chairs, and risk-foundations/institutions were all heavily funded and promoted by large corporations in an attempt to control the regulatory/political agenda.
      The poisoning and polluting companies loved these ideas since they elevated accountants and actuaries (with all their economic assumptions) to a position where they became the final arbitrators over agency rule-making. This downgraded the role of the environmental and health scientists and provided P&P industries with an avenue for endless rounds of legal objections (since the financial projections were always dubious). Roswell Park
    An upper-New York State research institute and hospital which generally did good work on the tobacco-and-health problem. t was housed at Buffalo. Rye Brook
    This was the New York office of Philip Morris International. It was in a separate building from the domestic company in Park Avenue. Scientific Advisory Boards
    Supposedly independent scientists providing advise in their field of expertise. Virtually every regulatory or grant-making organisation has a system of SABs supposedly comprise of 'independent' experts who receive a small honorarium for reviewing the actions/decisions. Experience has shown that there are a number of problems with SABs:
  • They are often easily loaded with 'scientific friends' of the industry which selects them.
  • They tend to be made up of superannuated experts and administrators rather than active researchers.
  • The members often see themselves as representing their own university on grant-making bodies, and this makes them an even easier targets for wealthy corporations to influence.
  • They often collect into informal cabals with a tacit agreements to provide mutual support (or more likely, agreement to support their institutions).
  • Even totally-above-board SABs can easily be manipulated by the permanent staff who set the meeting agendas and prepare the material under consideration.
  • A few dominant members usually set the direction and get to run special panels or sub-committees,. This may be where the real decisions are made. Slippery-slope
    The claim that "If they ban tobacco advertising -- your business will be next." This argument was widely and effectively used by the tobacco industry to create coalitions of companies and industries to oppose all forms of marketing restrictions and health and environmental regulations. This was a "thin-edge-of-the-wedge" argument. Social Acceptability
    Teaching the non-smoking community to tolerate passive smoke. This became a key-term used in a plan known as the Accommodation project. It promoted 'fairness' and 'toleration' in both smokers and non-smokers. One outcome was the development of smoking and non-smoking sections in restaurants and aircraft, which one non-smoker later said was "like having pissing and non-pissing ends of a swimming pool." The cigarette companies all used sporting stars to endorse their products which also had some social acceptability value. Social Cost
    The economic cost of smoking to the community. The concept that smoking costs the society millions of dollars each year in terms of:
  • hospital, medical and funeral services for the smoker and passive-smokers (perhaps by way of health insurance premiums);
  • SIDS, premature births, childhood diseases related to smoking (asthma)
  • welfare and supporting services for dependents after premature smoking-related deaths;
  • office heating and ventillation costs
  • workplace and public venue architecture/building costs.
  • fires in furniture, house and bush caused by cigarettes;
  • injuries and deaths related to fires + fire mitigation and prevention costs.
  • street and venue cleaning of butts, etc.
    The industry countered this argument by saying that the excise on cigarettes exceeded all of these cost, and that the premature death of smokers actually reduced the medical costs associated with smoking . Stingers
    RJ Reynold's name for initial Smokers Rights meetings. Sur-Gen
    Surgeon-General's Advisory Board produced an anual report on the scientific concerns about smoking and health. Threshold
    The idea that humans can tolerate up to a certain level of poisons of pollutions without any harm This idea was widely promoted as a counter to the idea of linearity. See linearity. Tort Reform
    Short-hand for an emasculation of product-liability laws. The idea was to use urban myths and exaggerated stories to convince Americans that their law courts had gone mad. This was relatively easy because the American elected-judicial system virtually guarantees insanity and dementia on the bench. The tort-reform lobbyists therefore made up, exaggerated and widely distributed faux-news stories about crazy claims for damages and excessive payouts to people injured in all sorts of exotic ways -- the crazier, the better.
      Tort reform lobbying was extraordinarily successful (the Internet was a favoured distribution medium). The coalition of poisoning and polluting industries behind this effort had lobbyists paid to persuade politicians at state and federal level (all around the world) that they urgently needed to rewrite product-liability laws to stop 'run-away' punitive damages awards, and limit the possiblity of joint-action claims, otherwise the insurance industry would be destroyed. It was 98% pure bullshit. See ATRA. Transit Trade
    A tobacco industry terms for smuggling This term was used for the transport of cigarettes from one country to another without the payment of duty. Smuggling increases sales volumes, and the threat of smuggling provides the companies with a weapon to use against politicians wishing to raise duties or excise taxes. Vapor-phase
    Many of the chemical constituents of smoke emerge as a gas, but then cool and condense into a liquid, solid or 'tar'. Some, such as nicotine, also break-down into different chemicals. White-Froeb
    A major independent ETS study that unexpectedly scared the industry. These two relatively unknown researchers from outside the normal health-research ranks found evidence of nicotine-derivative chemicals in the urine of non-smokers. This showed that passive smoking wasn't as innocuous as the industry-funded scientists had maintained. The publicity occured in 1981 just as the full impact of the Hirayama 'spousal' study hit, so the companies tried everything they could to destroy the credibility of the researchers and the study. WhiteCoats
    Undercover 'Sleeper-Scientists'. These are academics, economists and scientists who signed up for regular paid work for the tobacco, pharmaceutical and chemical industries on the basis of payment-for-work. It was an incentive scheme: the scientists had to develop their own projects.
      This was not the more-normal commisioned research work, nor payment for witnesses to appear in court cases. Whitecoats generally were not given grants or consultancy payments, and they were expected to remain undercover. Their task was to keep watch over their own disciplines, take the initiative and generate activity within their own scientific area when the opportunity arose.
      A WhiteCoat who made a speech at a scientific conference, appeared on a medical advisory board, wrote a letter to the editor of a scientific magazine (etc.) would send details of his achievements to his 'controller' and expect to receive a payment varying from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars -- often paid into a Swiss or offshore bank account. Zephyr
    British-American Tobacco Code for lung cancer