Anhörungen der Tabak-Bosse
Hier sind die Originalquellen der Anhörung vom 14. April 1994.
Teil 1 und
Teil 2 zusammengefügt und neu formatiert.
Nicotine and Tobacco: 1994 Testimony
||William Campbell, President & CEO, Philip Morris, USA
James W. Johnston, Chairman and CEO, RJR Tobacco Company
Joseph Taddeo, President, U.S. Tobacco Company
Andrew H. Tisch, Chairman and CEO, Lorillard Tobacco Compnany
Edward A. Horrigan, Chairman and CEO, Liggett Group Inc.
Thomas E. Sandefur, Chairman and CEO, Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp.
Donald S. Johnston, President and CEO, American Tobacco Company
|Chaired by: ||Henry Waxman (D-CA)
Rep. Waxman: The meeting of the subcommittee will come to
order. I'd like to ask our guests to please take your seats. This is
an historic hearing. For the first time ever, the chief executive
officers of our nation's tobacco companies are testifying together
before the United States Congress. They are here because this
subcomittee has legislative jurisdiction over those issues that affect
our health. And no health issue is as important as cigarette
It is sometimes easier to invent fiction than to face the truth. The
truth is that cigarettes are the single most dangerous consumer
product ever sold. Nearly a half million Americans die every year as a
result of tobacco. This is an astounding, almost incomprehensible
statistic. Imagine our nation's outrage if two fully loaded jumbo
jets crashed each day, killing all aboard. Yet that's the same number
of Americans that cigarettes kill every 24 hours. Sadly, this deadly
habit begins with our kids. Each day 3,000 children will begin
smoking. In many cases, they become hooked quickly and develop a
lifelong addiction that is nearly impossible to break. For the past
30 years, a series of surgeons general have issued comprehensive
reports outlining the dangers these children will eventually face.
Lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, bladder cancer and stroke are
only some of the diseases tobacco causes.
And now we know that kids will face a serious health threat even if
they don't smoke. Environmental tobacco smoke is a class A carcinogen
and it sickens more than a million kids every year. In fact, five
former surgeons general of the United States have said before this
subcommittee this year that the most important legislation in diseae
prevention that we could enact would be restrictions on smoking in
public places. This subcommittee will soon act on that legislation and
it will consider other measures as well. This hearing will aid our
efforts by presenting an important perspective. But these hearings are
important for another reason as well. For decades, the tobacco
companies have been exempt from the standards of responsibility and
accountability that apply to all other American corporations.
Companies that sell aspirin, cars and soda are all held to strict
standards when they cause harm. We don't allow those companies to sell
goods that recklessly endanger consumers. We don't allow them to
suppress evidence of dangers when harm occurs. We don't allow them to
ignore science and good sense. And we demand that when problems occur,
corporations and their senior executives be accountable to Congress
and the public.
This hearing marks the beginning of a new relationship between
Congress and the tobacco companies. The old rules are out. The
standards that apply to every other company is in. We look forward to
hearing the testimony this morning and to working with these companies
to begin to reduce the extraordinary public health threat that their
product poses. An old proverb says that a journey of a thousand miles
must begin with a single step. Today is the first step. Many more are
to come as we deal with the most serious health problem facing our
Rep. Waxman: Thank you very much, Mr.
Kreidler. Gentlemen, we welcome you to our hearing today. There's a
blue pamphlet at the witness table that will inform you of the limits
on the power of this subcommittee and the extent of your rights during
your appearance today. You are I am sure all aware that you are
entitled to be represented by counsel or advised by counsel during
your appearance here today.
Do you or those who have asked to accompany you object to appearing
before this subcommittee under oath? If not, I'd like you to rise, and
those who will be testifying as well with you to rise.
Do raise your right hands. Do you swear that the testimony you are
about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
Witnesses: I do.
Rep. Waxman: Please consider yourself to be under oath. And we
would like to ask each of you to identify yourself, including those
who are accompanying the witnesses, so that we can have that for the
Mr. Campbell: My name is William Campbell, I am President and
Chief Executive of Phillip Morris USA. I am accompanied by Harold
Brinley (sp) our Director of Processing and Dr. Kathy Ellis, our
Director of Research.
Mr. Johnston: My name is Jim Johnston, I am Chairman and CEO of
RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. I am accompanied by Andy Schlinder, our
head of manufacturing and operation; Carl Leeman (sp) our head of
R&D; and Richard Cooper, our outside counsel and former general
counsel of the FDA.
Mr. Taddeo: My name is Joe Taddeo, I'm President of U.S.
Tobacco. I am accompanied by Robert Laurence, he's our Executive Vice
President of Manufacturing and R&D.
Mr. Tisch: Mr. Chairman, I am Andrew H. Tisch, Chairman and
Chief Executive Office of Lorillard Tobacco Company. With me is Dr.
Alexander W. Spears Lorillard's Vice Chairman and Chief Operating
Officer. Dr. Spears has senior responsibility for Lorelei's research
and production operations.
Mr. Horrigan: Mr. Chairman, I'm Ed Horrigan, Chairman and Chief
Executive Office of Leggett Group, and accompanying me this morning is
Greg Sulan our Vice President of Operations.
Mr. Sandefur: Mr. Chairman, I'm Tommy Sandefur, Chairman and
Chief Executive Officer of Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company. I'm
accompanied by Dr. John Jewel who is charge of our manufacturing and
production, operations, as well as Tilford Reel (sp) who is Vice
President of R&D.
Mr. Johnston: Mr. Chairman, my name is Donald Johnston, I'm
President, Chief Executive Officer of American Tobacco Company, and
with me today is Robert S. Sprinkle Executive Vice President Research
and Quality Assurance.
Rep. Waxman: I thank you all very much. Without objection your
prepared statements will be a part of the record in full. We would ask
that you summarize your prepared statement in approximately ten
minutes or less. I want to note that at the request Mr. Bliley we've
agreed to allow Mr. Campbell of Phillip Morris and Mr. Johnston of RJ
Reynolds an additional five minutes to complete their presentations. I
want to also note before we begin that our subcommittee received a
number of requests from members of the House of Representatives who
desire to present oral testimony. Although the hearing scheduled
precluded expanding the witness list today, without objection the
record will be held open to receive testimony from those of our
colleagues who requested to testify.
Mr. Campbell, we would like to start with you. And I guess the best
thing to do is to pass the microphone right in front of you.
Mr. Campbell: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of
the subcommittee. In recent weeks a number of charges have been
leveled against the tobacco industry generally, and Phillip Morris
specifically. I sincerely hope that you and other members of the
subcommittee are today interested in separating the facts from the
rhetoric regarding issues raised a few weeks ago in Commissioner
Be that as it may, our consumers are being mislead and when that
happens Phillip Morris has and will continue to speak out loudly and
clearly. Our consumers deserve to know the truth and I thank you for
creating a forum that allows me the opportunity to set the record
straight. I have a few charts that I would ask that they be put on the
record, if you will. We have copies of them available here.
First of all, Phillip Morris does not add nicotine to our cigarettes.
Phillip Morris does not manipulate nor independently control the level
of nicotine in our products. There were a number of incorrect
statements or assumptions in Commissioner Kessler's presentation.
These issues are not new, many require a detailed rebuttal. The claim
that cigarette smoking is addictive has been made for many years. The
fact that tar and nicotine levels vary among our many products has
been publicized for over 20 years. The process by which cigarettes are
manufactured, and which at our invitation FDA representatives saw
first hand several weeks ago, has been publicly known for over 50
years. And the call for FDA to assert or be given jurisdiction over
cigarettes has been made and rejected by the FDA and the courts on
several occasions in the past. To the extent possible in the time
available today, my colleagues and I will try to answer the
subcommittee's questions and will be happy to supplement the points we
make in a detailed written submission.
Point one: Phillip Morris does not add nicotine to our cigarettes. The
claim that Phillip Morris secretly adds nicotine during the
manufacturing process to keep smokers addicted is false. The processes
used to manufacture cigarettes have been a matter of public record for
years in patent filing and in the public literature. The result of
that processing, cigarettes with varying levels of tar and nicotine
reflecting a wide variety of consumer preferences, has been closely
monitored and reported by the Federal Trade Commission. The
manufacturers have published the deliveries in every advertisement for
the past 25 years. The fact is that tar and nicotine levels have
decreased dramatically over the past 40 years. Today the market is
populated with a number of ultra-low brands which deliver less than
five percent of the tar and nicotine levels of popular brands just 20
years ago. Phillip Morris and other manufacturers have reduced
nicotine deliveries in a number of ways. The most important is through
the use of increasingly efficient filters which substantially reduce
main smoke components, including both tar and nicotine.
Filtration alone reduces nicotine delivery by 35 to 45 percent, as
compared to cigarettes made of simply tobacco and paper. Through a
process called ventilation, which allows fresh air to be drawn through
the cigarette, nicotine levels are reduced by a further 10 to 50
percent. Through the use of expanded tobacco, a process developed by
which Phillip Morris puffed tobacco much like puffed rice cereal, tar
and nicotine levels are reduced still further. A fourth manufacturing
technique, the reconstituted tobacco process also reduces the nicotine
in cigarettes. This process, which has been thoroughly described in
the literature for years, does not increase nicotine levels in tobacco
or in cigarettes. Through this process, 20 to 25 percent of the
nicotine in the tobacco used to make reconstituted leaf is lost and is
These processes, when combined in the cigarettes Phillip Morris sells
today, reduce nicotine deliveries, for example, by 50 percent in the
case of Marlboro and 90 percent in the case of Merit Ultima, again,
compared to cigarettes made simply of tobacco and paper. Ignoring
these reductions, some critics have focused on the minute amount of
nicotine which are found in tobacco extracts and denatured alcohol.
Even when used together, they have no measurable effect on the
nicotine levels of our cigarettes.
Phillip Morris uses small amounts of denatured alcohol. To apply to
flavors to the tobacco, the alcohol is denatured, in fact, in order to
make it drinkable -non-drinkable under a formula required by the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and found in the federal
register. In other words, the outside vendors who supply us with the
denatured alcohol, use that tiny amount of nicotine solely to comply
with the federal law. All use by Phillip Morris is reported annually
to the BATF.
Phillip Morris has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to reduce tar
and nicotine levels to provide the product that the marketplace
demands. Why, if we were supposedly intent on adding nicotine to
cigarettes, why would Phillip Morris have spent over $300 million to
develop a process to de-nicotinize tobacco and launch (Next ?), a near
zero nicotine brand. I'll tell you why.
Our public opinion research indicated smokers were interested in a
no-nicotine cigarette. Our Maxwell House Coffee Company had pioneered
processes for decaffination of coffee, and we used that technology as
a spring board for de-nicotinization of tobacco. The process worked,
the resulting product did not. We gambled $300 million and lost.
That's business. If Phillip Morris does not drive constantly to meet
consumer demands, we will fail in the American marketplace. Point two,
Phillip Morris does not manipulate, nor independently control the
level of nicotine in our product. We voluntarily opened our
manufacturing operations to the FDA in a good faith effort to resolve
the allegation that we add nicotine or control its level in our
As representatives of the FDA learned, nicotine levels in tobacco are
measured at only two points in our manufacturing process -prior to the
tobaccos being blended and then 18 months later when those leaves have
been manufactured into finished cigarettes. Although Phillip Morris
maintains over 400 quality control checkpoints in the manufacturing
process that measure things like moisture, weight, etcetera, none -not
one measure, report or analyze nicotine levels in tobacco. Mr. Kessler
indicated in his testimony that the nicotine-to-tar ratio increased as
tar delivery decreased. The reason for the slight increase in the
nicotine ratio in lowered tar and nicotine cigarettes is not the
result of intentional manipulation, but the result of the difference
between filtering tar and filtering nicotine. Simply put, filters are
more efficient in removing tar than nicotine. As tar and nicotine
levels fall, proportionally more tar is filtered out than nicotine.
This does not mean that consumers of low tar cigarettes get more
nicotine, quite the contrary.
On an absolute basis, far less nicotine is delivered per cigarette in
lower tar and nicotine deliveries. Commissioner Kessler suggested that
during the period 1982 to '91, tar delivery levels have remained flat,
while nicotine delivery levels have increased. The fact is, after
substantial decreases since the 1950s, tar and nicotine deliveries
both have remained relatively flat during the past decade.
Fact three, Phillip Morris has not used patented processes to increase
or maintain nicotine levels. Commissioner Kessler spent a great deal
of his testimony attempting to support the proposition that Phillip
Morris may be using secret, patented processes to increase or maintain
nicotine delivery in our cigarettes. We have not; we are not. Phillip
Morris, like every other corporation, applies for and obtains patents
on virtually every innovation we pioneer. That is critical to ongoing
research efforts. Phillip Morris currently holds over 600 patents,
only about a quarter describe processes ever used. The processes
described in the patent are no more secret than the regulations of the
FDA. They are publicly disclosed upon issuance through the U.S. Patent
Office. In his testimony, Commissioner Kessler said he had no evidence
that Phillip Morris or any of the other companies ever actually used
any of these patents to increase or maintain nicotine levels.
As he correctly said, patents do not necessarily tell us what
processes are currently being used in manufacturing cigarettes. To
make myself perfectly clear, Phillip Morris has never used any of the
patents Commissioner Kessler cited, except those to reduce nicotine
levels. Fact four, cigarette smoking -- point four, cigarette smoking
is not addictive. During the March 25th hearing, Commissioner Kessler
and members of the sub-committee contended that nicotine is an
addictive drug, and therefore, smokers are drug addicts. I strenuously
object to that premise; I strenuously object to that conclusion.
Cigarettes contain nicotine because it occurs naturally in tobacco.
Nicotine contributes to the taste of cigarettes and the pleasures of
smoking. The presence of nicotine, however, does not make cigarettes a
drug or smoking addiction. Coffee, Mr. Chairman, contains caffeine and
few people seem to enjoy coffee that does not. Does that make coffee a
drug? Are coffee drinkers drug addicts? I think not. People can and do
quit smoking, according to the 1988 Surgeon General's report, there
are more than 40 million former smokers in the United States, and 90
percent of those who quit, did so on their own, without any outside
Smoking is not intoxicating; no one gets drunk from cigarettes and no
one has said that smokers do not function normally. Smoking does not
impair judgment. In short, no one is likely to be arrested for driving
under the influence of cigarettes. Our consumers smoke for many
reasons. Smokers are not drug users or drug addicts, and we do not
appreciate or accept being characterized as such, because yes, Mr.
Chairman, I am one of the 50 million smokers in this country.
Point five, Phillip Morris research does not establish that smoking is
addictive. At the March 25th hearing, Commissioner Kessler made the
statement, supported by Dr. Henningfield, that in 1983, a company
later identified as Phillip Morris, suppressed research by one of its
own scientists who allegedly concluded that nicotine was an addictive
substance; that is false. In fact, that scientist published two full
papers and five abstracts related to the working question, including
one published in 1982, a year prior to the creation of the manuscript
The manuscript subsequently provided to the committee by Commissioner
Kessler, prevented some evidence that rats will selfadminister
nicotine and that nicotine, there, is a weak reinforcing agent. The
researcher later concluded that nicotine is a reinforcer in the class
of non-addictive chemical compounds such as saccharin and water. In
addition, and Commissioner Kessler failed to note this, the manuscript
itself states, and I quote, 'the termination of prolonged access to
nicotine under conditions in which it functions as a positive
reinforcer, does not result in physiological dependency.' The
manuscript did not conclude that nicotine is addictive and both Dr.
Kessler and Dr. Henningfield know that.
More importantly, the committee should know that by the time the
Phillip Morris researcher was ready to publish his study in 1983, the
positive reinforcing nature of nicotine had already been reported in
other published literature. Indeed, the 1988 Surgeon General's report,
to which Dr. Henningfield was a contributor, stated that such nicotine
reinforcement was showing conclusively as early as 1981 based on
government supported research.
Last month, Dr. Henningfield testified before this committee that
because the manuscript was unpublished, he could not cite it in his
literature reviews. In fact, Dr. Henningfield did cite the manuscript
in a 1984 literature review. He wrote, finally, in that same review,
Dr. Henningfield acknowledged that another abstract by the same
researcher actually showed that even, and I quote, 'At high levels of
tobacco smoke or nicotine intake maintained for extended periods,
abrupt abstinence is not followed by the onset of withdrawal
syndrome.' I'm sure Dr. Henningfield simply forgot that
Point six, consumers are not mislead by the published nicotine
deliveries as measured by the FTC method.
Contrary to the impression given by Commissioner Kessler that the FTC
has somehow adopted a test procedure that can mislead the public as to
the true levels of tar and nicotine they are inhaling, the routine
analytical smoking methods derived from the FTC methods are nearly
identical to those used throughout the world to measure tar and
nicotine levels and accurately compare brand deliveries.
All of the tests are conducted on cigarettes obtained from the
marketplace. They are therefore the same cigarettes smoked by
Commissioner Kessler suggested that the FTC figures were
misleading because smokers might compensate for lower tar and lower
nicotine brands by smoking those cigarettes differently. If
Commissioner Kessler is also claiming that low-yield cigarette smokers
smoke more cigarettes, he is simply wrong. The data shows smokers of
low-yield brands smoke fewer cigarettes than smokers of high-yield
Mr. Chairman, we at Phillip Morris appreciate the opportunity to
respond to some of the claims made against us. We will be pleased to
answer any questions you may have about these matters and to provide a
more detailed written submission should that be appropriate. Further,
I extend to you and the other members of your subcommittee an
invitation to come see our manufacturing process first-hand, as the
FDA has already done. We're proud of our company, our products and the
people at Phillip Morris. Thank you, sir.
Rep. Waxman: Thank you very much, Mr. Campbell. We do have
questions, but we're going to hear from all the witnesses before
members on the panel ask their questions. Mr. Johnston, if you'll pull
the microphone in front of you.
Mr. James Johnston: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, members of the
subcommittee. Again, I am Jim Johnston, chairman and chief executive
officer of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
I appreciate this opportunity to discuss a number of important issues
concerning the tobacco industry. I am proud to be here today, to speak
for the 45 million adults who choose to smoke and the growers,
retailers, and the other 2.3 million Americans who are part of the
tobacco industry. I am proud to represent the more than 10,000 people
at Reynolds Tobacco who are dedicated to making the best cigarettes we
can make. My company and I take very seriously the allegations that
have been leveled against us. And I would like the record to clearly
show that Reynolds Tobacco does not spike its products with nicotine.
In fact, our process results in the loss of nicotine. We do not add or
otherwise manipulate nicotine to addict smokers. Finally, there is no
justification for the FDA to regulate cigarettes as a drug. I also
want to talk to you about the real issue before the American people
and this subcommittee. The real issue is, should cigarettes be
outlawed? Let's make no mistake about it. The goal of the anti-smoking
industry is to bring back prohibition. This morning I intend to show
you how they hope to achieve that goal. But first I want to address
the charge that Reynolds Tobacco manipulates the level of nicotine in
its products. The implication is that we're somehow doing something
sinister to addict smokers or to keep them addicted. We do not.
We do reduce the amount of nicotine in our products. We do monitor and
measure tar and nicotine yields because we are required to publish
those figures in our advertising. And we do maintain the consistent
taste and quality of our brands, which our customers expect. But we do
not do anything to hook smokers or to keep them hooked.
Let me repeat: We do not manipulate nicotine to addict smokers. We no
more manipulate nicotine in cigarettes than coffee manufacturers
manipulate caffeine in their products. There is nothing sinister about
it. I think the subcommittee should also be aware that Dr. Kessler's
definition of addiction would classify most coffee, cola and tea
drinkers as addicts, caffeine addicts. Many people experience a strong
urge for a cup of coffee each morning, and there is a welldocumented
physical withdrawal syndrome associated with the consumption of coffee
and caffeinated soft drinks.
Nonetheless, I seriously doubt that the American public would say that
these characteristics put caffeine in the same class as addictive
drugs such as cocaine and heroin. And I don't think anyone would
seriously suggest that the FDA consider regulating coffee, tea or soda
as drugs, even though soft drink manufacturers routinely add caffeine
to their products.
In the same vein, the manufacturers of alcoholic beverages constantly
monitor the alcohol content of their products through the fermentation
process to precisely control the level of alcohol. In addition, some
wines are fortified with added alcohol.
Nonetheless, Reynolds Tobacco is not aware of any efforts to regulate
wine, beer or spirits as a drug. And we certainly don't believe that
efforts of that type are necessary or desirable. Much of the recent
controversy surrounding our products has focused on our use of various
techniques that help us reduce the tar and nicotine yields of our
Let me be clear. We could stop using those techniques. We could chop
up the tobacco and roll it in paper. But the consequence of doing that
would be a return to the 1940s, when the average cigarette yielded 40
milligrams of tar, 2.8 milligrams of nicotine. That would increase the
tar and nicotine in our cigarettes by 300 to 400 percent.
I trust this committee would not endorse such an effort as a matter of
public policy, regardless of your personal views about smoking.
At the last hearing on this subject, some people asked why we don't
simply eliminate nicotine from our products. Nicotine plays an
essential role in the overall smoking experience. It enhances the
taste of the smoke and the way it feels on the smoker's palate, and it
contributes to overall smoking enjoyment. During the past several
years, there have been a wide variety of attempts to convince the
American public that cigarettes are addictive, and some public
officials have even gone so far as to put cigarettes in the same class
as cocaine and heroin. You don't need to be a trained scientist to see
this isn't true. All you need to do is ask and honestly answer two
simple questions. First, would you rather board a plane with a pilot
who just smoked a cigarette or one with a pilot who just had a couple
of beers or snorted cocaine or shot heroin or popped some pills?
Second, if cigarettes were addictive, could almost 43 million
Americans have quit smoking, almost all of them on their own without
any outside help? The answers are obvious, and that is precisely my
point. Cigarettes are clearly not in the same class as addictive,
mindaltering drugs like heroin and cocaine. I agree that for some
people, cigarette smoking is habit-forming, in the same way that other
pleasurable activities, such as watching TV, eating your favorite
foods, sometimes overeating your favorite foods, and drinking coffee
can be habit-forming. And yes, some smokers find it difficult to quit.
But there is nothing about cigarette smoking that prevents a person
from clearly thinking and making reasoned decisions, including the
decision to quit.
The allegation that smoking cigarettes is
addictive is part of a growing and disturbing trend that has destroyed
the meaning of the term by characterizing virtually any enjoyable
activity as addictive, whether it's eating sweets, drinking coffee,
playing video games, or watching TV. This defies common sense.
Now let's go to the real issue: prohibition. The anti-smoking industry
is committed to achieving what essentially amounts to prohibition.
When confronted, they'll tell you they don't want prohibition, but
their actions belie those claims. Regardless of what we in the tobacco
industry do, our opponents in the anti-smoking industry cry foul. We
produce high-tar cigarettes, and they say reduce tar and nicotine. We
lower those levels, and they say it doesn't matter, regulate those
products as drugs. Let me cite just two examples. When Phillip Morris
introduced a cigarette that was essentially nicotine-free, the
Coalition on Smoking or Health called it, quote, "the most dangerous
product put on the market in the last 10 years," and they petitioned
the FDA to ban it. Several years ago, our company test-marketed
cigarettes that had virtually no tar and less nicotine than 97 percent
of the cigarettes on the market. It virtually eliminated second-hand
smoke and was essentially fire-safe. The response: the product and our
company were viciously attacked and petitions were filed with the FDA
to ban the product.
The bottom line is, in the eyes of the anti-smoking industry, we can
do nothing right short of firing our employees and going out of
business. A good example is the recent use of scare tactics concerning
the ingredients used by the tobacco industry. Ingredients are added to
our product to enhance the flavor and aroma of our products. And
despite all the claims that have been made about our ingredients, the
fact is more than 99.99 percent of this Winston cigarette and all the
cigarettes we make, 99.99 percent is tobacco and ingredients that can
be lawfully used in foods. The other 1/100 of one percent are
ingredients that have been approved by other governments for use in
In addition, all the ingredients used by the industry have been
thoroughly reviewed by a blue-ribbon panel of experts -scientific
experts, toxicologists -who have concluded that those ingredients are,
and I quote, "not hazardous under the conditions of use."
So let's be clear about the fact that the anti-smoking industries call
for a smoke-free society by the year 2000 is little more than a thinly
veiled attempt to achieve back-door prohibition. If you don't believe
that's the case, just look at how extreme some of these efforts are
-like trying to prohibit people from smoking outdoors, in public
parks, in their cars, or even their own homes.
And consider this: Alcohol prohibition started with the anti-alcohol
movement claiming that their goal was simply temperance.
The American public overwhelmingly opposes prohibition, whether it
comes in through the front door or sneaks in through the back door, so
let's be clear about the fact that back-door prohibition is
prohibition nonetheless. Raising taxes to force smokers to quit is
back-door prohibition. Banning smoking in all public places, indoors
and outdoors, including parks, workplaces, and outdoor stadiums to
further stigmatize smokers is back-door prohibition. Banning
advertising so that new or better products can't be effectively
communicated and introduced is censorship and it is back-door
prohibition. Forcing manufacturers to produce products that smokers
find unsatisfying or unacceptable is back-door prohibition. Attacking
every attempt by the industry to respond to public and smoker concerns
is back-door prohibition. And advocating that the FDA regulate
cigarettes as a drug, which would effectively ban cigarettes from the
market is clearly back-door prohibition.
If any member of this subcommittee truly believes that cigarettes are
too dangerous to be sold, then stand up. Vote for prohibition, and be
prepared for the consequences. But no one should try to use the back
door and force prohibition by saying that cigarettes are a drug
because they contain tobacco, which contains nicotine.
My company and I must speak up for smokers and for the 85 percent of
all Americans who oppose prohibition, so I submit the real question
before the American public and this subcommittee is this: Should
cigarettes be outlawed? Will adults be allowed to choose to smoke, to
afford to smoke, to smoke outside their homes, or is it time to say
no, the government knows better? Thank you.
Rep. Waxman: : Thank you, Mr. Johnston. At the request, I
gather, of the witnesses, we're going to call on our next speaker,
Thomas E. Sandefur, chairman and CEO of Brown and Williamson Tobacco
Company, rather than go down the list. Mr. Sandefur?
Mr. Sandefur: Mr. Chairman, I have a short statement to make.
It's been given to the subcommittee. In the sake of time, I'll be more
than happy to forego reading that, but if it's -it's your pleasure. If
you want me to read my statement to you, I'll be happy to.
Rep. Waxman: If you want. It's going to be in the record, so -
Mr. Sandefur: It's in the record?
Rep. Waxman: So if you want to say something orally, you can
do so. If you don't, we'll move on to the next one.
Mr. Sandefur: Right. Thank you.
Rep. Waxman: We've got a long schedule.
Mr. Sandefur: Thank you.
Rep. Waxman: Okay. Thank you. Next, we'll hear from Andrew
Tisch, chairman and CEO of Lorillard Tobacco Company.
Mr. Tisch: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. At the committee's request,
I have submitted for the record at this hearing a witness statement
that responds to each of the questions set forth in your invitational
In normal circumstances, I would be happy to summarize that statement
orally and then respond to any questions you or members of the
committee might have, but these are not normal circumstances, Mr.
Chairman. You have made a number of very serious claims and assertions
during the press conference that you called yesterday, claims and
assertions that question the integrity of our company and of Dr.
Alexander Speers (ph), who is with me today and testified before this
committee on March 25.
When a representative of our company called your staff yesterday
following the press conference to ask that Dr. Speers (ph) be given a
separate opportunity to respond to the claims and assertions from
yesterday's press conference that related to him, we were told that
this would not be possible. More specifically, we were told that Dr.
Speers's opportunity to respond would be limited to any time that
might be left from the time that has been allotted to my testimony or
to the question-and-answer period that is to follow.
Mr. Chairman, I frankly cannot understand the attitude conveyed by
your staff. Indeed, I am left with no choice but to cede the balance
of my time to Dr. Speers to ensure that he will have the adequate
opportunity to correct the very serious misstatements and
misconceptions that were conveyed in yesterday's press conference. Mr.
Chairman, with your permission, I'd like to ask that Dr. Speers may
respond during the rest of my time period.
Rep. Waxman: Mr. Tisch, we're going to have plenty of
opportunity for Dr. Speers to respond. I do have a number of questions
to ask of him. He will have his chance, but this is our chance to hear
from you, and we want to hear from you at this point.
Mr. Tisch: Okay, fine. I must respectfully disagree with that,
but you're the boss. On behalf of the more than 3,700 employees of
Lorillard Tobacco Company, I am pleased to have this opportunity to
address you about the issues you identified in your letter to
Lorillard of March 31, 1994, announcing this hearing. You will recall
that Dr. Speers testified before this subcommittee on March 25, 1994,
with respect to the same subjects proposed for discussion here today.
Inasmuch as Dr. Speers's and Lorillard's position on the questions
raised has not changed in the past two weeks and for the sake of
brevity, I have attached to my statement a copy of Dr. Speers's
written submission of March 25 and ask your permission that it and his
March 25 oral testimony also be entered into the record of today's
Rep. Waxman: Without objection, that will be the order.
Mr. Tisch: At the outset, I want to reaffirm and emphasize what
Dr. Speers said during his appearance on March 25 and to make
absolutely clear to the Congress and to the public that the level of
nicotine in the products manufactured and sold by Lorillard is solely
determined by the tobacco that we buy and the blending of the
different tobaccos used in our manufacturing.
The tar and nicotine yields of our products are determined by a
combination of the tobacco blends and the physical characteristics
which constitute the construction of the cigarette, namely length,
circumference, paper porosity, filter, tip ventilation, and tobacco
density. Nicotine levels follow tar levels and are not raised or
reduced for particular brands.
Dr. Speers previously advised you that in the course of manufacturing,
we use denatured alcohol, which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and
Firearms requires be made unpotable by the manufacturer of the alcohol
through the addition of a minuscule amount of nicotine. We also use a
number of flavors which incorporate a tobacco extract that contains
some nicotine. But it's important to understand the combined amount of
nicotine from these sources is too small to be measured in the final
The manufacture of our brands of cigarettes also involves the use of
reconstituted tobacco or tobacco sheaf. One of the processes Lorillard
uses in the production of reconstituted tobacco involves the temporary
separation and subsequent reapplication of water-soluble components of
tobacco, including nicotine. However, and I invite your specific
attention to this important fact, this process and all others, all of
which are well known in published literature, result in a reduction of
nicotine in the finished product.
Dr. Kessler's March 25 testimony referred to a 1980 Lorillard patent
dealing with nicotine in reconstituted tobacco. I am advised that an
early laboratory observation indicated a possible use for this process
and, following our usual business practice and that of virtually every
other company in America, we applied for and obtained the patent.
However, so there is no misunderstanding, the record should reflect
that Lorillard has never practiced the patented process in any
commercial manner. Moreover, even if it was to be used, the process
would not result in any increase or decrease in the nicotine level. In
your March 31 letter, we are asked to address any studies of the
physiological or psychological effects of nicotine and related
compounds which have been undertaken by Lorillard. I can respond
succinctly: Lorillard has not undertaken any such research.
As regards cigarette ingredients, please note the following: The
cigarette manufacturers have provided to the Department of Health and
Human Services each year since 1984 a comprehensive listing of
cigarette ingredients. HHS has never indicated to Lorillard at any
time in response to those submissions that it had a problem with
respect to any individual ingredient or groups of ingredients.
Indeed, when HHS asked the manufacturers for the quantity of each
ingredient being used, the manufacturers promptly provided that
information to HHS on a confidential basis. To my knowledge, HHS has
no outstanding requests to this manufacturer or any others for
additional information. The manufacturers, including Lorillard, have
assured HHS repeatedly that we would be happy to meet with HHS
officials and/or HHS scientific consultants to answer any questions
about ingredients which the HHS or its consultants might have. I
reaffirm that commitment now.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, allow me to sum up and to state Lorillard's
position on the principal issues raised in the statement released by
you when you scheduled today's hearings. In doing so, it is also my
purpose to respond to Dr. Kessler's erroneous assertions, first made
on February 25 and then expanded upon at your March 25 hearing.
Lorillard does not take any steps to assure a minimum level of
nicotine in our products. Lorillard does not add nicotine to cigarette
tobacco for the purpose of manipulating or spiking the amount of
nicotine received by the smoker. Lorillard makes no effort to keep
secret any information about the nicotine content of our products,
and, as you know, since 1971 every cigarette advertisement has carried
a complete disclosure of the tar and nicotine content.
Mr. Chairman, I respectfully suggest to you that Lorillard has acted,
and will continue to act, in a completely responsible manner in this
as well as all our business practices. Furthermore, I state
unequivocally that our manufacturing neither violate the Federal Food,
Drug and Cosmetic Act, nor do they justify placing the manufacture of
cigarettes under the jurisdiction of the FDA.
I thank you for your attention and for this opportunity to state Lorillard's
position. At the appropriate time Dr. Spears and I will take any questions you or
your colleagues might have. Thank you.
Rep. Waxman: Thank you very much, Mr. Tisch.
I want to call next on Donald Johnston, president and CEO of American
Mr. Johnston: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Much of what I have to
say is repetitive from the statements already read. But I believe the
points do bear repetition, as they focus on the facts concerning the
issues you raised in your letter inviting us to this hearing. Aside
from tobacco itself and federally authorized use of alcohol denatured
with minute amounts of nicotine, the American Tobacco Company does not
use nicotine in the manufacture of its cigarette. Contrary to the
implications that have been aired before this subcommittee and
elsewhere, the American Tobacco Company does not spike its cigarettes
with nicotine or does not use any of the patents that have been placed
before this subcommittee on any other like processes or devices.
The only source of nicotine, other than that naturally occurring in
tobacco, is introduced from specially denatured alcohol number four,
which is used as a solvent for flavorings. SDA number four is
authorized for tobacco use in accordance with the 27 code of federal
regulations for alcohol, tobacco products, and firearms, which was
revised as of April 1, 1993. I believe it's Section 21.118 and 21.38,
and it is denatured by the alcohol manufacturer in accordance with the
prescribed formula outlined in the regulations. Now, the quantity
of nicotine indirectly added to tobacco from the use of SDA number
four is on the order of three parts per million to five parts per
million, or three ten-thousandths of a percent to five ten-thousandths
of a percent by weight, which is infinitesimal in comparison to the
naturally occurring nicotine of tobacco blends that generally contain
two to two and a half percent by weight. Further, the American Tobacco
Company does manufacture reconstituted tobacco by the (foredrenia ?)
paper-making process that involves separation of water-soluble
components from tobacco, formation of a tobacco cellulosic sheet, and
reapplication of the water-soluble components to a sheet that is in a
continuous process. American does not add nicotine to this process.
The end product is tobacco material that contains only the quantity of
water-soluble components, including nicotine originally removed from
the tobacco. In practice, as I believe has already been mentioned, the
nicotine content of the finished reconstituted tobacco material is
approximately four percent less, which is owing to the processing
losses, than the nicotine content of the tobacco utilized in the
The American Tobacco Company uses various types of natural tobaccos,
including reconstituted tobacco in the manufacture of its cigarettes.
The percentages of natural tobacco types and reconstituted tobacco
vary by brand. However, after processing of tobacco for cigarette
manufacture, the nicotine content is on the order of five percent less
than that of the various tobaccos entering into the process.
On the matter of patents. The American Tobacco Company has been issued
two patents, U.S. Patent number 3428049 and number 4505282, which
reference the addition of materials which could include tobacco
extract and/or nicotine to cigarette filters and an innerline wrap for
a tobacco -smoking article. As with any patent, the language is
purposely broad in scope, with an objective of covering a wide variety
of conceptual applications which may or may not be reduced to
practice. While American Tobacco has been issued such patents,
addition of tobacco extract, our nicotine to cigarette filters and
wrapper have never been employed in a commercial cigarette produced by
American Tobacco. In summary, nicotine involved in the federally
regulated and authorized use of SDA number four, denatured alcohol, is
negligible. Nothing is done in the tobacco processing or manufacture
of cigarettes or filters by the American Tobacco Company to increase
nicotine beyond that which is naturally occurring in the tobacco. I
would now like to address questions that have also been raised with
respect to the intent of the design of our cigarettes in relation to
nicotine. In 1966, the Federal Trade Commission amended its cigarette
advertising guide to encourage cigarette manufacturers to publish the
tar and nicotine content expressed in milligrams of the mainstream
smoke of a cigarette, declaring that to be information concerning
cigarettes, which may be material and desired by the consuming public.
Time has proven the FTC has been right, and that consumers have shown
an interest in and differing preferences for differing levels of tar
Moreover, since 1971, American has been governed by, and has adhered
to, an FTC consent order requiring American to publish in its
advertisements of low-tar cigarettes tar and nicotine data as
determined by the testing method employed by the FTC in the testing of
the smoke of its domestic cigarettes. Through tobacco blends,
filtration, ventilation, American Tobacco has, on a sales-weighted
average, reduced tar and consequently nicotine levels as determined by
the FTC method. The tar and nicotine data for each of American's
products are published. American carefully monitors its finished
cigarettes in the published data to assure that the tar and nicotine
figures are accurate. Thus American Tobacco manufactures and sells
cigarettes with different tar and nicotine content in response to the
consumer demand for different types of cigarettes, and provides
correct information to consumers about those amounts. American has no
desire or intent to manipulate nicotine. At no time has the American
Tobacco Company attempted to market a cigarette based on nicotine
content; or, more generally, has it ever designed or marketed a
cigarette with the purpose or intent of selling nicotine. Rather,
American has always considered that it sells cigarettes, and that
nicotine is one of the several intrinsic properties characteristic of
the tobacco itself.
Thank you for your attention, Mr. Chairman.
Rep. Waxman: Thank you very much, Mr. Johnston. We next want
to hear from Mr. Horrigan.
Mr. Horrigan: Good morning, Mr. Chairman and --
Rep. Waxman: Be sure to pull the microphone up, and --
Mr. Horrigan: Thank you. Good morning, Mr. Chairman, and
fellow members of the committee. My name is Ed Horrigan, Jr., and I am
chairman and chief executive officer of the Liggett Group. Although
I've only somewhat recently joined Liggett, I have had the pleasure of
addressing this subcommittee on a prior occasion. And for having
served in the military and then in companies in other industries in
this country for over 20 years, I joined the tobacco industry 16 years
ago. And then, in 1989, I retired as chairman and CEO of Reynolds
Tobacco, as well as vice chairman of RJR Nabisco.
I came out of retirement to rejoin the tobacco industry, mindful of
the challenges presented to it at this time, and also with the
knowledge borne of my experience that the tobacco industry is one of
the respectable industries that make up American commerce. It acts
responsibly in its business practices, and it produces a product
recognized worldwide for its quality. And therefore I am pleased to
have this opportunity to address the subcommittee on behalf of Liggett
on the matters that were discussed during your meeting earlier on
March 25th. While remarks will be somewhat redundant, repetitive from
the other companies, I will highlight them to show the uniform sense
of responsibility and accountability that exists in this industry, and
to add our sense to the absurdity of the allegations that people
continue to place against this industry.
At the outset, I would like to make it clear that Liggett does not
increase the nicotine level of our cigarettes beyond the level of
nicotine found naturally in the unprocessed tobacco that we use to
make our cigarettes. Secondly, Liggett does not manipulate the level
of nicotine in our cigarettes to hook or addict smokers. Third,
Liggett does not use any of the patented technology that was referred
to by Dr. Kessler before this committee last month. And, finally, I
want to emphasize that we at Liggett are proud of the quality of the
cigarettes that we produce, we are proud of the people who grow our
tobacco that goes into our product, we are proud of the people who
manufacture them for us, as well as those people who distribute and
sell our product legitimately around this country.
Now, with regard to the manufacture of cigarettes, I would like to
emphasize that the manufacturing process results in a reduction in the
amount of nicotine in cigarettes when compared to the nicotine in the
unprocessed tobacco. Secondly, the essential components of cigarette
manufacturing, and specifically the use of reconstituted tobacco, has
been publicly documented for decades -- so none of this this morning
is new. Reconstituted tobacco is used to reduce waste and to achieve
the most efficient use of the natural tobacco that we purchase for our
product. Tobacco is the most expensive component of the cigarette, and
therefore any loss of that tobacco would make the production of
cigarettes more costly.
In brief, the reconstitution process involves the addition of water to
the tobacco to separate water-soluble substances, including some
nicotine, from the tobacco. The remaining tobacco cellulose can then
be formed into sheets. Water-soluble substances, originally removed
from the tobacco, are then once again returned to that tobacco sheet.
No nicotine not found naturally in the tobacco is added in the
production of the reconstituted tobacco. In fact, the reconstituted
tobacco contains less nicotine than raw tobacco from which it was made
because a certain amount of the natural nicotine is inevitably lost in
Denatured alcohol and tobacco flavorants are the only other sources of
nicotine in our cigarettes. Nicotine occurs naturally in the
water-soluble extracts of tobacco used in miniscule amounts as
flavorants. The use of tobacco flavorants has been a matter of public
record, again, for decades. The specially denatured alcohol number
4 which is used as a carrier for flavorants is the only denatured
alcohol that's approved by BATF for the manufacturing process in
cigarettes. The BATF requires that that alcohol be denatured by the
addition of a miniscule amount of nicotine to make it undrinkable, and
it is denatured in accordance with the prescribed formulas outlined by
BATF. The amount of nicotine contributed to tobacco smoke by way of
tobacco flavorants and denatured alcohol is so miniscule that it
cannot be measured in tobacco smoke using the FTC's standard
Moreover, as I noted, the nicotine content of cigarettes manufactured
by Liggett is lower than the nicotine in the unprocessed tobacco that
we use to make our product. Therefore, Liggett, like the rest of us,
does not manipulate or spike the amount of nicotine during the
manufacture of its cigarettes to achieve an alleged addicting level of
nicotine. Specifically, Liggett does not and has not used any of the
patented processes described in those patents referred to in Dr.
Kessler's earlier testimony.
Liggett does not believe there is any such thing as an addicting level
of nicotine in cigarettes or that cigarettes are addictive like heroin
or cocaine, as has been alleged. In fact, to equate cigarette smoking
with actual hard drug addiction ignores the significant differences
between them. It also blinks at reality.
As has been mentioned, there have been over 40 million Americans who
have chosen to quit smoking and more than half of all adult smokers
have quit, 90 percent of them quitting without the aid of the Betty
Ford Clinic or the Hazelton Clinic or any such clinic. It's thus
apparent that irrespective of the nicotine in cigarettes, consumers
can and do choose to quit. In conclusion, let me say that nicotine is
a naturally occurring substance in tobacco which is obviously an
intrinsic characteristic of our product. Liggett does not design or
manufacture its cigarettes with the intent to spike the amount of
nicotine in cigarettes. There's no secret about the nicotine yields of
Liggett's cigarettes, which I reiterate has been publicly disclosed
In closing, I'd like to add a personal observation. Some antitobacco
zealots would have the American people believe that in our
manufacturing process there's a gentleman at the end of each line with
a pot of nicotine making sure that we sprinkle the product as it goes
out the door to be sure that there's enough nicotine to hook or addict
smokers. We don't do that, and I've never heard of it being done. In
all of my years in this business worldwide, I have never known of a
product design objective or goal that included even the notion of
spiking the amount of nicotine in a cigarette to achieve a level that
would hook or addict smokers. I am pleased to be back before your
committee, Mr. Chairman. We look forward to answering your
Rep. Waxman: Thank you very much, Mr. Horrigan. And last, Mr.
-is it Taddeo?
Mr. Taddeo: Taddeo.
Rep. Waxman: Taddeo.
Mr. Taddeo: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. U.S. Tobacco is a leading
manufacturer and producer of smokeless tobacco products, including
moist snuff. U.S. Tobacco does not manufacture cigarettes. U.S.
Tobacco's smokeless tobacco brands include Copenhagen, which is one of
America's oldest registered brand names. It was introduced in 1822.
Skoal, our second-largest selling brand, was introduced in 1934.
Clearly smokeless tobacco is not a new product. The use of
smokeless tobacco has been a tradition in the United States since the
18th century, predating branded cigarettes by over 100 years. In fact,
smokeless tobacco products dominated the American tobacco market until
the early 20th century when cigarettes began to win wide public
acceptance. While today smokeless tobacco products are consumed
throughout the United States, per capita consumption of smokeless
tobacco in the 1990s is less than 25 percent of what it was at the
turn of the century.
As for U.S. Tobacco's products specifically, the makeup and
manufacturing process for smokeless tobacco brands is very similar to
what it was at the turn of the century, regardless of flavor, cut of
the tobacco, form or packaging. I welcome, Mr. Chairman, this
opportunity to set the record straight with regard to the baseless
claims made before this subcommittee on March 25th concerning U.S.
Tobacco's marketing practices. Before turning to those matters,
however, I will comment on allegations of manipulation or control of
nicotine in tobacco products. U.S. Tobacco does not in any way
manipulate the nicotine level in its tobacco products, nor does U.S.
Tobacco take any action to control the nicotine content of its tobacco
products before, during or after the manufacturing process. In fact,
an incidental effect of our manufacturing process is that the nicotine
content of our smokeless tobacco products is less than that which
occurs naturally in the tobacco. Other than tobacco itself, the only
material used in the manufacture of U.S. Tobacco's smokeless tobacco
products which contains nicotine is denatured alcohol, which is
purchased from the supplier as a carrying agent for the application of
certain flavorings that do not dissolve in water. The denatured
alcohol used by U.S. Tobacco has been denatured by its manufacturer
with small amounts of nicotine.
The use of nicotine as a denaturer for alcohol which is to be used in
the processing and manufacturing of tobacco products is specifically
approved by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms. The amount
of nicotine that might be contributed to our smokeless tobacco
products through the use of this denatured alcohol in the
manufacturing process is so miniscule as to be unmeasurable by
standard laboratory methodologies. Mr. Chairman, there were three
serious allegations made before this subcommittee on March 25th
regarding U.S. Tobacco's marketing practices; first, the allegation
that U.S. Tobacco markets its smokeless tobacco products to persons
under the age of 18. The second allegation was that U.S.
Tobacco has conducted scientific research for the purpose of, quote,
"creating and maintaining dependence among smokeless tobacco
consumers." And third, the allegation that U.S. Tobacco's products are
developed on the basis of some sort of graduating levels of nicotine.
As to the allegation that U.S. Tobacco markets its products to persons
under the age of 18, that allegation is absolutely false. We strongly
believe at U.S. Tobacco that those who enjoy our products should be
adults. That is why U.S. Tobacco and other smokeless tobacco
manufacturers have devoted substantial efforts and resources to
discourage the sale of their products to minors. Those efforts include
support of state laws mandating 18 as a minimum purchase age for
smokeless tobacco products; a program to remind parents, retailers and
other adults that smokeless tobacco is an adult custom not intended
for use; and a national campaign in publications such as USA Today and
U.S. News & World Report to communicate our adults-only policy.
I, too, am concerned about reports indicating that some individuals
have tried tobacco products, including smokeless, before they are
adults. Research conducted by others indicates that advertising plays
little if any role in the decision to begin using smokeless tobacco.
That research indicates that a variety of factors, including family
and friends, appear to influence the decision to begin using various
products, including smokeless tobacco. It's noteworthy that according
to a recent Department of Health & Human Services report, use of
smokeless tobacco by males under 18 years of age is low, decreasing
and very close to HHS's target or goal for the year 2000. The 1992
healthy people review states that the reported use of smokeless
tobacco, which is defined as use on at least one occasion in the last
30 days, by 12to 17-year-old males, decreased by 20 percent from 6.6
percent in '88 to 5.3 percent in '91.
Moreover, a survey published in October 1993 by the Substance Abuse
& Mental Health Services Administration reported that the use of
smokeless tobacco by 12to 17-year-old males had further declined in
1992 to 4.8 percent, which is very close to the 4 percent target for
the year 2000 and Healthy People 2000 review. Even though these trends
are encouraging, they're not good enough.
We're not going to rest until that figure is zero. U.S. Tobacco will
continue its efforts with other members of the industry to discourage
the sale of smokeless tobacco products to minors. As for the
allegation that U.S. Tobacco has conducted scientific research for the
purpose of, quote, "creating and maintaining dependence among
consumers," that allegation is also false. The research in question
was funded by U.S.
Tobacco and other tobacco manufacturers. However, it was neither
intended nor used by U.S. Tobacco to develop or manufacture smokeless
tobacco products. The research was conducted 15 years ago by a group
of independent researchers in the department of pharmacology at
Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. For a number of
years, the Pennsylvania State researchers have been interested in
measuring extremely low levels of nicotine in tobacco consumers. And
later they became interested in studying the absorption by humans of
nicotine from snuffing chewing tobacco. The Pennsylvania State
researchers submitted a research proposal for a three-year study to
pursue this matter. Several tobacco companies, including U.S. Tobacco,
funded this research during the period 1978 to 1981. The documents
relied upon to support this allegation in testimony relates to the
research conducted at Pennsylvania State and was prepared by those
researchers. The results of that research are reflected in a 1983
publication by the Pennsylvania State researchers in the Journal of
Pharmacology, therefore available in the public domain. Now this
project, the funding of this research, was part of the smokeless
tobacco industry's ongoing funding of research by independent
investigators into questions relating to smokeless tobacco and health.
Over the years such funding has totaled more than $25 million and has
been acknowledged in nearly 800 scholarly articles in abstract in a
wide spectrum of scientific publications.
As to the allegation that U.S. Tobacco products are developed based on
graduating levels of nicotine, that allegation is false. As indicated
in my written statement, the assertion that U.S. Tobacco manipulates
its consumers and dictates which of its smokeless tobacco products
those consumers ultimately choose to use are totally false. The key to
our product development process is developing products which appeal to
the taste preferences of our consumers. The taste characteristics of
our smokeless tobacco products, as with all tobacco products, are
inherently complex. A number of factors interacting with each other
affect the ultimate taste, including leaf blend, cut of tobacco,
moisture, ph, flavors, and undoubtedly, nicotine in the tobacco leaf.
U.S. Tobacco's success is based on its unique ability to develop a
wide selection of flavor products incorporating blends of tobacco that
have been developed over hundreds of years ago. What would I tell
somebody who said you are using a graduating strategy to entice
consumers to begin using low nicotine starter products, either through
advertising or through nicotine dependence, to graduate them to
products with higher levels of nicotine? I would tell them that our
consumers do not conform to any so-called graduation theory. The oral
tobacco market does not work that way. There is no set pattern of
brand switching among smokeless tobacco consumers. Smokeless tobacco
consumers remain loyal to a single brand or switch among a variety of
brands according to their taste preferences, cut of tobacco, form and
packaging. U.S. Tobacco's line of smokeless tobacco is based on the
appreciation that we cannot make any part of the public like and use
any one of our products if it does not appeal to their taste
Finally, Mr. Chairman, let me address the general concerns which have
been raised about the ingredient standards of tobacco products. The
identity of the ingredient in U.S. Tobacco's smokeless tobacco
products is proprietary information. I can assure you, however, that
U.S. Tobacco has a procedure in place for the evaluation of all
available scientific information regarding the ingredients added to
the tobacco in the manufacturing of our products. As a result of these
evaluations, U.S. Tobacco believes that no ingredient which it adds to
tobacco in the manufacture of its products would result in adverse
health consequences to a consumer of our products. Without
revealing proprietary information, I can tell you that every
ingredient which U.S. Tobacco adds to tobacco in the manufacture of
our products is a common food item or approved for use in food, with
the one single exception of denatured alcohol, which you've heard a
lot about today, which is the only substance approved by the DHEF for
use in the manufacture of tobacco products.
Rep. Waxman: Thank you very much, Mr. Taddeo. The rest of that
statement is going to be in the record. Well I want you to know that
all my colleagues on this subcommittee appreciate your being here.
Your participation in the subcommittee's ongoing investigation into
tobacco is essential. This is not going to be, however, an easy day.
We have a lot of substantive issues that we want to go into.
When we hear about scientific disputes we have to listen to one expert
versus another. But let me tell you there are some things that we know
about from our own personal experience. I was a smoker and I know how
addicted I was to smoking. I know how hard it was quit, each and every
time I did try to quit.
And I had to do it a number of times before I was successful. So from
my own personal experience, and from people I've known and talked to,
your universal comment that cigarette smoking is not addictive just
doesn't ring true. Mr. Johnston, I want to start with your testimony.
You and your colleagues seem to have almost a fanatical insistence
that your products are the same as all these other products. This
morning, in your written statement and your oral statement, you
compared cigarettes to coffee, tea, sweets, sugar, warm milk, cheese,
chocolate and Twinkies. That's quite a list. I'm struck by what I
think is a calculated attempt to trivialize the devastating health
impact of your product. You and I both know that Twinkies don't kill a
single American a year. They may not add to a healthy diet, but they
don't kill. The difference between cigarettes and Twinkies and the
other products you mentioned is death. And I am sure you are aware
that the Surgeon General and the American Medical Association estimate
that cigarettes kill over 400,000 smokers every year. Putting aside
your assertion that people accept this risk willingly, do you agree
with this estimate?
Mr. Johnston: Do I agree with the estimate of 435,000 people?
I've heard from this committee this morning three or four different
numbers. My understanding of how that number is --
Rep. Waxman: If you don't agree with the number, then give us
your number. How many smokers die each year from smoking?
Mr. Johnston: I will explain.
Rep. Waxman: No, I want your answer. We have a limited time.
Mr. Johnston: I do not know how many.
Rep. Waxman: You disagree with the Surgeon General's opinion?
Mr. Johnston: It is a computer generated number that makes --
Rep. Waxman: Mr. Johntson, I am going to have to ask you to
respond to my question. Do you or do you not agree with the Surgeon
General's estimate of over 400,000 smokers dying each year.
Mr. Johnston: I do not agree.
Rep. Waxman: Okay. Do you know how many die each year?
Mr. Johnston: I do not know.
Rep. Waxman: How can you as a chief executive officer of a
company manufacturing a product that's been accused of killing so many
people not know this information? How is it?
Mr. Johnston: I'm telling you that number is generated by a
computer and it makes two important assumptions. The first that
virtually everyone who smokes and dies, dies because they smoked,
unless they got run over by a bus. And second, that model allows
people to die one, two, three, four times. I don't know how that can
happen, but that's what that model does.
Rep. Waxman: Well, I'm struck by the overwhelming scientific
agreement on the dangers of smoking. The U.S. Public Health Service,
the Surgeon General, the Food and Drug Administration, the World
Health Organization, the National Cancer Institute, the American
Medical Association, I guess all these groups you would call the
anti- tobacco industry. But they all say it is hazardous. The
experts also agree that smoking causes heart disease. Do you agree
that smoking causes heart disease?
Mr. Johnston: It may.
Rep. Waxman: Okay. They agree that smoking causes lung
cancer. Do you agree?
Mr. Johnston: It may.
Rep. Waxman: Do you know whether it does?
Mr. Johnston: I do not know.
Rep. Waxman: Why not?
Mr. Johnston: Because all of that is --
Rep. Waxman: Proprietary?
Mr. Johnston: -- statistically generated data. It is
epidemiological as opposed to empirical. There have been no
laboratory studies which have been able to confirm any statistics.
Rep. Waxman: grandfather who smoked all of his life died of
lung cancer. Do you think that lung cancer was caused by smoking?
MR. Johnston: I don't know, Mr. Chairman.
Rep. Waxman: The medical experts agree that smoking causes
emphysema. Do you agree?
Mr. Johnston: It may.
Rep. Waxman: They agree that smoking causes bladder cancer,
stroke and low birth rate? Do you agree?
MR. Johnston: It may.
Rep. Waxman: Mr. Tisch, I want to move to you for a moment.
In a deposition last year you were asked whether cigarette smoking
causes cancer. Your answer was "I don't believe so." Do you stand by
that answer today?
Mr. Tisch: I do, sir.
Rep. Waxman: Do you understand how isolated you are in the
belief from the entire scientific community?
Mr. Tisch: I do, sir.
Rep. Waxman: You're the head of manufacturer of a product
that's been accused by the overwhelming scientific community to cause
cancer. You don't know? Do you have an interest in finding out?
Mr. Tisch: I do, sir, yes.
Rep. Waxman: And what have you done to pursue that interest?
Mr. Tisch: We have looked at the data and the data that we
have been able to see has all been statistical data that has not
convinced me that smoking causes death.
Rep. Waxman: Mr. Campbell, you were also deposed and you said
"To my knowledge it has not been proven that cigarette smoking causes
cancer." This is a rather passive and puzzling approach, especially in
light of the consensus. Not by some, but all of the scientific
community. Will you ever be convinced, and what evidence are you
waiting for? And let's have the microphone passed over.
Mr. Campbell: Yes, I may be convinced. We don't know what
causes cancer in general right now, so I think that we may find out
what causes cancer and we may find out some relationship, which has
yet to be proven.
Rep. Waxman: Well you know I must say this is rather a passive
approach. Don't you feel that you have an obligation, the same
obligation that every other consumer company has, to determine whether
you are causing harm and to take steps to minimize that harm? You're
not meeting that responsibility, and it is clear your views on the
health impacts of cigarettes are out of step with an overwhelming
scientific evidence. If all the medical people who don't work for you
say it causes cancer, what more do you need to understand that that's
the case and to accept this, and then try to work constructively to
try to see if we can avoid that terrible tragedy to so many people?
Mr. Campbell: Is there a question, sir?
Rep. Waxman: That's a question.
Mr. Campbell: I'm sorry, it was too long for me to --
Rep. Waxman: Well, I think that the point I am making is that
all of you have some responsibility, not simply to say you don't know,
even when this overwhelming weight of scientific evidence is against
you. I think you have an obligation to know.
Rep. Ron Wyden (D-OR): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just before we
go to my questioning, I know that the witnesses want to turn this into
the battle of the charts, I guess, with respect to Dr. Kessler and the
FDA. We're going to get into it later, but we believe that the chart
in question with respect to the FDA is an accurate one, and we'll get
into it a little bit later. Let me begin my questioning on the matter
of whether or not nicotine is addictive. Let me ask you first, and I'd
like to just go down the row, whether each of you believes that
nicotine is not addictive. I heard virtually all of you touch on it.
Just yes or no. Do you believe nicotine is not addictive?
Mr. Campbell: I believe nicotine is not addictive, yes.
Rep. Wyden: Mr. Johnston?
Mr. Johnston: Congressman, cigarettes and nicotine clearly do
not meet the classic definitions of addiction. There is no
Rep. Wyden: We'll take that as a no and, again, time is short.
If you can just -- I think each of you believe nicotine is not
addictive. We just would like to have this for the record.
Mr. Taddeo: I don't believe that nicotine or our products
Mr. Tisch: I believe that nicotine is not addictive.
Mr. Horrigan I believe nicotine is not addictive.
Mr. Sandefur: I believe that nicotine is not addictive.
Mr. Donald Johnston: And I, too, believe that nicotine is