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Hockaday, Thomas

A top tobacco industry lobbyist who specialised in running grass-roots think-tank operations for Philip Morris through its private PR company, APCO & Associates.


Hockaday was the Vice President and chief lobbyist/PR operator for APCO & Associates in the early 1990s when the company was under the direct control of Philip Morris (via the law firm Arnold & Porters). Neal Cohen, his close associate, looked after the product liability scams.

Hockaday was one of the tobacco industry's main strategists, and he worked closely with Steve Parrish and Ellen Merlo at Philip Morris in the establishment of grassroots operations like The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), . He was also closely involved with the strategies of enlisting the support of independent think-tanks such as Reason, Hoover, Heritage Foundation, Claremont Institute, and the Pacific Legal Foundation (& etc.) to write letters-to-the-editor and op-eds in support of the tobacco industry, and to host forums for business leaders and the media to discuss the importance of the cigarette business to the economy.

Hockaday also identified numerous academics and scientific 'surrogates' who would be willing to allow their bylines to be used on articles and editorials written by the PR companies and staffers employed by the tobacco industry.

He is most notorious for developing TASSC from an initial idea proposed by Newman Partners Ltd, into a fully-fledge anti-science force under APCO — which, in turn, spawned the "junk-science.com" web pages associated with Steve Milloy. This whole operation was generously funded by Philip Morris as part of its "junk-science' project, mainly directed against the EPA.

For some time, Hockaday was the spokesman for TASSC with Garrey Curruthers (ex-State Governor of New Mexico) only acting as a front. Later Steve Milloy (Junkman) took over and Hockaday moved out. Then, when the role of Philip Morris in TASSC began to be exposed, the operation was handed over the RJ Reynolds and run for a time by political PR firm Powell & Tate.

Later he was also in charge of extending TASSC's role into Europe following the success of the Heidelberg Appeal project (run by SEPP, which also had APCO help) The creation of the European version of TASSC (later known as ESEF) became tied into a London conference in June 1994 where a set of (so-called) Good Epidemiological Practices (GEP) was promoted as the "London Principles".

These purported to be scientifically-based global guidelines for politicians making laws about health and envionmenal regulation. Thorne Auchter and Jim Tozzi, who ran Multinational Business Services, Federal Focus, the Institute for Regulatory Policy, and a few other faux-think-tanks for Philip Morris, took the front running on GEP, leaving Euro-TASSC to Burson-Marsteller and APCO.