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WARNING: 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.


Smoking-Gun docs.




Philip S Schaenman    

(misspelled Schaesman (See also TriData))

— Tobacco Institute consultant who lobbies against cigarette-caused fire-safety on behalf of the tobacco industry. He was a former US Fire Administator. —  

The main aim of the tobacco industry's "Fire" projects were to stop the various city and regional fire organisations from joining forces with the anti-tobacco crusaders.

The main 'Fire' projects of the tobacco industry were run through the Tobacco Institute.

  • One aspect was to provide brochures, equipment, services, training materials, awards, etc. to the various fire-stations and fire-safety organisations.
  • Another was to actively support the unions and the annual fire conventions, seminars and training sessions — so as to blunt any anti-smoking message.
  • Outright bribery of many Fire Commissions was also used as a tactic. Junkets were common.
  • Schaenman and his company TriData gave the tobacco industry access to the world of the fire-man.
  • A quite separate tack was with the manufacture of fire-proof furniture, and the use of fire-proofed fabrics.
  • The tobacco industry also tried to develop a fire-safe "Self-Extinguishing" cigarette. But since they also wanted to keep un-smoked cigarettes alight while resting in an ashtray (to increase consumption) they also had problems finding a balance in the amount of potassium nitrate mixed in with the tobacco (to supply oxygen).
This was one area of tobacco regulation which came under the control of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) — a government agency which was otherwise totally ineffective.

Some statistics
  • In 1981 there were approximately 7,600 fire deaths in the United States.
  • There were 200,000 to 300,000 injuries and over $6 billion in property loss.
  • House fires killed about 5,000 Americans annually, at a rate (2 per 100,000) that had remained almost constant for the past 50 years.
  • More than half of the deaths resulted from cigarette-ignited fires.
  • And 39% of the people who died in such fires were not the cigarette smokers themselves.

Some key documents

1982: [The entry of the Wackenhut Corporation into the arena of municipal fire protection sent "future shock" waves throughout the industry.

    Wackenhut, a $200 million public company had adequate capitalization for marketing, advertising and operating municipal fire services. Wackenhut had more than a decade of experience in the provision of private contractors. Later they ran private prisons.]

1982 March 11: Mike Kerrigan alerts the Tobacco Institute to the "Self-Extinguishing Cigarette Issue" and suggests they need an active program which includes:

  • train our legislative counsel to testify and handle this issue...
  • clear additional information for use by our lobbyists and for distribution to legislators...
  • authorize a public-relations line so that inquiries to TI might be responded to...
  • have statements for release to the public that respond to attacks made in press conferences of our adversaries...
  • initiate a program of working with Firefighters in matters of public educations, fire safety, etc...
Document is 147 pages. This includes their response (May 1982) to a bill in Congress.

1982 Mar 24: Schaenman writes to John Rupp with "some preliinary ideas for establishing a tobacco industry program on fire safety. He says "For confideniality, we have referred to your client as "industry" in the enclosed outline" — which is rather strange, if he had considered this a legitimate attempt to improve the safety of cigarettes.

An industry-sponsored program in this area is particularly timely, given the magnitude of the fire problem,. the vacuum in leadership in the safety -community that will result from the Fire Administration's demise, and the general shift toward private sector "solutions."
[Note the focus]
A vacuum in fire safety will be produced by the planned dismantlement of the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). In anticipation of this action, modest investment activity at the $200K-$1M level has been initiated or planned by various contributors vying for recognition in fire safety research and information.

    However, this fractionated, uncoordinated investment activity will not fill the information void left in the wake of the USFA. Thus, this environment creates the potential for a bold investment program to dominate the field, coalesce legislative and executive support, and help "turn a black hat gray."
He suggests $5 million a year for 2 years provided by a [tobacco] industry-led consortium. TriData would manage, and the Foundation for Fire Safety "would be an excellent funnel for some of the research."

1983 Mar: The Tobacco Institute is reporting on Fire-Safe Cigarettes and the TI's fire prevention and fire-department PR program.

Under a grant from TI, Philip S. Schaenman, former associate administrator of the US Fire Administration and now President of TriData Corporation, authored this International Study of successful fire protection practices from Europe that could be adapted and used in this country.

    Published in December 1982, the study was initially distributed in early 1983 to 184 fire chiefs and 120 fire marshals in cities over 100,000 population. Additional copies have been sent out by request to over 500 individuals from the fire service, and to 200 others from industry, federal and state governments, academia, and associations, both US and international.

    Eleven articles in US and European fire and safety publications based on the international report have been published. These include:
  • Fire Chief Magazine, "America's Burning, Why Isn't Europe?", Philip S Schaenman, May 1983.
  • Fire Chief Magazine, "Why Europe Isn't Burning," Philip S. Schaenman, September 1983.
  • Firehouse Magazine, "Fires and the Careless American," Hal Bruno, September 1983.
  • Fire Engineering Magazine ,"International Concepts in Fire Protection," August 1983.
  • Fire Magazine (British), "America's Burning, Why Isn't Europe?,"
        August 1983.
  • Fire Prevention Magazine (British), "Interesting Ideas from European Countries for Cutting Fire Deaths," Part I, September 1983.
  • Fire Prevention Magazine (British), "Interesting Ideas from European Countries for Cutting Fire Deaths," Part II, October 1983.
  • National Safety Council, School Safety Newsletter , "Successful Fire Prevention Helps More than Fire Fighting," Spring 1983.
  • Product Safety and Reliability Reporter , "Europeans Found Far Ahead of USA - Fire Protection, Loss Control," March 4, 1983.

    Material from the initial study has been used to support three Congressional
    hearings [and] Speeches and seminars based on the study's findings have been given....
The Tobacco Institute also offered to help the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) which protected one-half the US population, with its local fundraising and recruiting campaigns.
TI produced "New Tools for Volunteer Fire Fighters," a kit containing advertisement copy, graphics,' public service radio announcement scripts, and bumper sticker graphics as well as instructions on how to use them [also] a TV public service announcement on recruitment which [] was distributed in 26 states and about 1,000 copies of the printed material had been sent out to 47 states.

1984 Aug 23: Peter Sparber advises an associate, Bill Prendergast (TI's Congressional lobbyist) about the 'federal lobbying effort against exceises.

What we are assembling is a "stable" of economists and tax attorneys who can strategically support you in visits to Members, with documents, testimony, and with the news media.

    They include the six who testified at the Department of Treasury regional
    hearings on tax simplification.
  • You should know that in your absence, we were asked to assign one of the six ( Roger Kormendi of the University of Chicago) to submit a statement for the record of hearings held this month by the Senate Finance Committee on tax simplification. This has been done.
  • Paul Craig Roberts, former under secretary for economic policy of Mr. Regan's Department of Treasury; the author of, the Kemp-Roth bill and much of Reaganomics; a Businessweek columnist and regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and Fortune, Craig agrees with our position against excises and believes that a case could be made to freeze and phase them out as part of the tax reform debate which, is likely to occur. We hope to formalize relations with him [eg contract him] fairly soon.
  • Dean Tipps and the Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ). As the tax plan suggests, CTJ is the tax policy agency of the AFL-CIO and is obviously fairly liberal. It too is antiexcise and is willing to work with us lobbying and otherwise speaking out.
    Unlike the others, Mr. Tipps will not be retained. [They were planning to fund the CTJ seminars via their employee-management committee with the BC&T (tobacco union)] After Labor Day, a meeting between Tipps and Dave Henderson [Congressman/TI lobbyist] is anticipated

    Also mentioned are Phil Schaenman, (fire consultant); Dennis Rhodes (director Association of Vietnam Veterans); National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS)

1985 Feb 1: Report on Tobacco Institute projects: "Media Relations"

Develop plans to use consultants in interviews:
  • Jolly Ann Davidson
  • Philip S Schaenman
  • Robert Klotz

1985 Aug: Project Status Report
    Fire program run by Sparber - grants, etc.
    Using consultants in interviews - Jolly Ann Davidson, Philip S Schaenman

1986: Planning document for the Tobacco Institute says:

  • Strategy I: Work with fire officials and, when possible, other public officials primarily at the state and/or local level to improve the quality and increase the availability of fire education and prevention programs for fire departments.
    Goal: To have working relationships in 200 localities by January 1, 1987. A working relationship signifies
    • a TI-sponsored project in place
    • TI staff contact with local fire service and
    • awareness or involvement of public officials.
  • Strategy II: Maintain and increase awareness of the tobacco industry's contribution to fire prevention.
    Goals :
    • Encourage placement of at least five articles by fire service personnel in fire trade publications, each describing program supported by industry.
    • Obtain at least five mentions per quarter in state and regional fire service publications.
    • Appear on the programs of at least two national and five regional fire service conferences in 1986.
    • Conduct briefings with fire service officials to describe industry's continuing commitment to fire service.
  • Strategy III: Continue to encourage discussion among fire service leaders and concerned public officials about the overall accidental fire problem.
    • Develop plan for fire safety expert symposium, supported by Institute grant, assuring publication of proceedings, in format similar to 1984 Geneva conference on environmental tobacco smoke. [A totally controlled Philip Morris conference of scientists]
In the budget section he is listed as a general consulting on fire problems at $15,000 per month. He is also to study fire prevention practices in 4 cities, and prepare a report which can be circulated to fire chiefs and legislatos. He has earned 72,000, $293,000 and $180,000 in three years.

1986 Jan: TI PR resources - Fire/Witness Schaenman is the President. TriData Corp., Rosslyn VA

  • Former associate administrator of the US Fire Administration/Federal Emergency Management Agency and author of numerous international studies on fire prevention
  • Considered an expert among peers; has established extensive contacts in the fire service
  • Promotes and explains various means of fire prevention and fire safety
  • Promotes goodwill fire programs

1988 Oct: Report on primary activites of the Tobacco Institute lists under the heading "Fire Safety Issues" [Page 19]

As part of a TI grant, TriData's Phil Schaenman keynoted north-central New York State's first annual Fire Prevention Conference. Presenters included several nationally known public educators with whom we have worked, and Tl's fire program was prominently noted throughout the conference — remarkable, considering that upstate New York was once hostile to our efforts with the fire service.

    Schaenman will be the final speaker at the Minnesota Fire Safety Education Conference, Feb. 24-26. He will discuss "Future Challenges of Fire Safety Education." Tl's fire program materials will be on display during the conference.

1989: Public Smoking Hearing Readiness document of the Tobacco Institute. (prepared for the 101st Congress)

What TI and its Allies Must Cover
On public smoking legislation generally, and on airline legislation in many instances, Tobacco Institute testimony and that of its allies and interested parties should emphasize :
  • The continued lack of scientific evidence that environmental tobacco smoke is a cause of disease in healthy nonsmokers.
    • With respect to airliners, experts must refute the interpretation of the report published in the February 10, 1989 Journal of the American Medical Association. [which] suggests that passengers in the non-smoking section of airliners are harmed by exposure to tobacco smoke.
  • Evidence that smoking is a minor aspect of a serious indoor air quality problem — a problem that can and should be addressed not by restricting smoking, but by providing adequate ventilation via properly maintained ventilation systems.
  • Evidence that Americans believe in accommodation [simple courtesy] and that existing public smoking provisions are more than sufficient.
  • Evidence that employers are dealing with smoking problems in the workplace as they occur. [They don't need laws]
  • The lack of evidence that smokers are any more costly or less productive than nonsmokers.
  • Discriminatory effects of workplace smoking restrictions. [They tried to promote this as a 'White collar v Blue collar issue."]
  • Potential collective bargaining problems for organized labor.
  • Aboard airliners, the threat to fire safety posed by surreptitious smoking in lavatories.
The list of witnesses includes Phil Schaenman, Tridata Corp (analysis of in-flight fires)

1990 Aug 13: Philip Schaenman of Tridata [a fire disinformation consultant to the Tobacco Institute] writes to Dr Mark Rosenberg. Director, Division of Injury Epidemiology and Control Center for Environmental Health and Injury Control, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia.

I wish to commend you for undertaking the ambitious report, "Cost of Injury in the United States, A Report to Congress 1989." I also would like to point out a number of significant errors related to fire data in that report.
He then goes on to credential himself without mentioning the tobacco industry connection. Then launches into an attack on the fires-by-smoking statistics.

This is ccd to Peter Brigham of the Burns Foundation, with an additional blind ccd to Karen Fernicola at the Tobacco Institute.



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