A year later Horace Kornegay, President of the TI boasted that: “The Surgeon General’s media event was preempted by an Institute first-strike news conference. For the first time in the history of the cigarette controversy, a Secretary of HEW had to share the spotlight. In fact, we won top billing that night on all networks.”
Horace Kornegay 1980 Annual Meeting Speech
Kornegay with JFK 1963
In the early 1980s Philip Morris conducted a very sophisticated and expensive series of experiments designed to (1) synthesize new forms of nicotine with sufficient addictive properties to reinforce cigarette smoking and (2) to use laboratory animal experiments to measure the physiological effects of nicotine. Researchers Victor DeNoble and Paul Mele managed the complex endeavor.
The experiments produced substantial data and answered some questions about nicotine. Synthetic nicotine was developed that fit the desired specification. But, the response of the animals to nicotine was distressing to Philip Morris. The rats had demonstrated ‘tolerance’ to nicotine, an outcome too closely related to the definition of addiction for the comfort of a cigarette company accustomed to denying that nicotine was addictive. The results were so adverse that P.M. was advised by legal counsel to immediately terminate nicotine research on animals.
“Despite the authors’ [DeNoble, Mele] position regarding the apparent lack of physiological dependence, their overall results are extremely unfavorable.” The laboratory was closed within days and Drs. DeNoble and Mele were forbidden to publish findings from their research.
Patrick Sirridge Shook Hardy & Bacon lawyer wrote to his counterpart at Philip Morris on July 27, 1983: “It is obvious that such a report has undesirable implications for smoking and health litigation. Tolerance is frequently cited as one of the hallmarks of addiction.”
“In the final analysis, the performing and publishing of nicotine related research clearly seems ill advised from a litigation point of view.”
R.J. Reynolds Chairman, Edward A Horrigan, Jr.
The TI Cigarette Controversy White Papers end in 1984, so R.J. Reynolds launches its own campaign, called the “Open Debate” that questions the link between smoking and disease.
Once the number one brand nationwide, R.J. Reynolds’ Winston was surpassed by Marlboro in 1975. By 1985, Philip Morris was selling well over twice as many Marlboros as Reynolds was selling Winston.
It occurred to Reynolds management that it would be a good move to reposition Camel against Marlboro and abandon Winston, and it did. February 1, 1985 the R.J.R. marketing department wrote:
“These ads were well received due to the fun/humor aspects of the cartoons. More than any other theme, the “French Camels” appeared to attract the respondents’ attention. The main drawbacks of these executions were that . . . they may be more appealing to an even younger age group . . .”
“I believe the advantages in morning television advertising are threefold. (1) It is noncompetitive or nearly so. (2) It delivers the message to the housewife at the best possible time — and to her children. (3) The morning television pitchman (or woman) would seem to be much more effective from my observations than his (or her) night-time counterpart.”
“There follows a listing of possible ways to counteract the anti-cigarette propaganda among young people who will shortly enter the important 18-25 age group. a) Direct refutation of anti-cigarette claims. b) Affirmative material on the place of tobacco in American life. c) The suitability of tobacco as a ‘case study’ in American history suggests a further exploitation of this means of creating a favorable image of tobacco among the young.”
“They represent tomorrow’s cigarette business. As this 14-24 age group matures, they will account for a key share of the total cigarette volume — for at least the next 25 years.”
Philip Morris paid the producers of Superman 2 43,000 dollars to use the Marlboro logo on billboards and delivery trucks in the movie.