Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home


Chapter 1: Nicotine Addiction 101

Topics:  Aaah | Slavery | Tolerance | Nicotine | Heroin | Industry | Admitting

Addiction Not News to Tobacco Industry

Seven tobacco industry CEO's testifying in 1994 that nicotine is not addictive

Nearly 50 million pages of once secret tobacco industry documents are today freely available and fully searchable online.[52] Collectively, they paint a disturbing picture of an industry fully aware that its business is drug addiction.

The industry cannot ignore that, historically, roughly 27% of new smokers have been age 13 or younger, 60% age 15 or under, 80% age 17 or younger, and 92% under the age of 19.[53]

Contrary to "corporate responsibility" image campaigns, with nearly five million annual tobacco related deaths worldwide,[54] the industry knows that it must either face financial ruin or somehow entice each new generation of youth to experiment and get hooked.

As a Lorillard executive wrote in 1978, "The base of our business is the high-school student."[55]

Philip Morris USA (PM) is America's largest tobacco company, holding a 49% share of the U.S. retail cigarette market in 2011.[56] Based in Richmond, Virginia and founded in 1854, PM brands include Alpine, Basic, Benson & Hedges, Bristol, Cambridge, Chesterfield, Commander, Dave's, English Ovals, L&M, Lark, Merit, Parliament, Players, Saratoga and Virginia Slims.

Today, Philip Morris' website openly proclaims, "PM USA agrees with the overwhelming medical and scientific consensus that cigarette smoking is addictive" and "smokeless tobacco products are addictive."[57]

Remember that fateful "what the heck" moment when you surrendered and gave tobacco that first serious try? What you probably don't recall are the thousands of invitations to surrender and experiment that tobacco industry marketing had by then burned into your subconscious.

As shown by the following quotes from once secret Philip Morris corporate documents, it was fully aware that it was in the drug addiction business while hammering your brain with those invitations:

Based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, R.J. Reynolds' Tobacco Company (RJR) has been around since 1874. Before RJR's 2004 merger with Brown and Williamson, its cigarette brands included Camel, Doral, Eclipse, Monarch, More, Now, Salem, Vantage and Winston.

While RJR cigarette store marketing claims that smokers smoke its brands for a host of reasons (flavor, pleasure, adventure, price, to be true, make new friends, have fun, great menthol or to look more adult), its once secret documents tell a different story.

A nine page 1972 confidential memo by a senior RJR executive is entitled "The Nature of the Tobacco Business and the Crucial Role of Nicotine Therein."[61] The next 11 paragraphs share direct quotes from this now famous and extremely informative memo:

"In a sense, the tobacco industry may be thought of as being a specialized, highly ritualized and stylized segment of the pharmaceutical industry. Tobacco products, uniquely, contain and deliver nicotine, a potent drug with a variety of physiological effects."
"Thus a tobacco product is, in essence, a vehicle for delivery of nicotine, designed to deliver the nicotine in a generally acceptable and attractive form. Our Industry is then based upon design, manufacture and sale of attractive dosage forms of nicotine ..."
"If nicotine is the sine qua non of tobacco products and tobacco products are recognized as being attractive dosage forms of nicotine, then it is logical to design our products -- and where possible, our advertising -- around nicotine delivery ..."
"He does not start smoking to obtain undefined physiological gratifications or reliefs, and certainly he does not start to smoke to satisfy a non-existent craving for nicotine. Rather, he appears to start to smoke for purely psychological reasons -- to emulate a valued image, to conform, to experiment, to defy, to be daring, to have something to do with his hands, and the like."
"Only after experiencing smoking for some period of time do the physiological "satisfactions" and habituation become apparent and needed. Indeed, the first smoking experiences are often unpleasant until a tolerance for nicotine has been developed."
"This leaves us, then, in the position of attempting to design and promote the same product to two different types of markets with two different sets of motivations, needs and expectations."
"If, as proposed above, nicotine is the sine qua non of smoking, and if we meekly accept the allegations of our critics and move toward reduction or elimination of nicotine from our products, then we shall eventually liquidate our business."
"If we intend to remain in business and our business is the manufacture and sale of dosage forms of nicotine, then at some point we must make a stand." "If our business is fundamentally that of supplying nicotine in useful dosage form, why is it really necessary that allegedly harmful 'tar' accompany that nicotine?"
"There should be some simpler, "cleaner", more efficient and direct way to provide the desired nicotine dosage than the present system involving combustion of tobacco or even chewing of tobacco ..."
"It should be possible to obtain pure nicotine by synthesis or from high-nicotine tobacco. It should then be possible, using modifications of techniques developed by the pharmaceutical and other industries, to deliver that nicotine to the user in efficient, effective, attractive dosage form, accompanied by no 'tar', gas phase, or other allegedly harmful substances."
"The dosage form could incorporate various flavorants, enhancers, and like desirable additives, and would be designed to deliver the minimum effective amount of nicotine at the desired release-rate to supply the 'satisfaction' desired by the user."

As shown, more than 40 years ago, RJR's 1972 memo accurately predicted both the arrival of nicotine replacement products (NRT) and the combustion-free electronic or e-cigarette.

The lines between the tobacco and pharmaceutical industry nicotine are now blurring horribly. A 2003 nicotine gum study found that 37% of gum users were hooked on the cure, each being chronic long-term gum users of at least 6 months.[62] It's a trend that will continue.

Brown&Williamson (B&W) was a cigarette company that merged with RJR in 2004. B&W brands - now owned by RJR - include Barclay, Belair, Capri, Carlton, GPC, Kool, Laredo, Lucky Strike, Misty, North State, Pall Mall, Private Stock, Raleigh, Tareyton and Viceroy. Here are a few quotes from once secret B&W corporate documents:

Founded in 1760, Lorillard Tobacco Company is the oldest U.S. tobacco company. Its brands include Kent, Maverick, Max, Newport, Old Gold, Satin, Triumph and True. The following telling quotes are from once secret Lorillard documents:

Last but not least is British American Tobacco (BAT), which dates to 1902 and sells more than 300 brands worldwide. BAT's international brands include Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Vogue, Rothmans, Peter Stuyvesant, Benson & Hedges, Winfield, John Player, State Express 555, Kool and Viceroy. It does not own all these brands but is licensed by other companies to distribute them. Here are a few BAT admissions.

In light of the above tiny sampling of tobacco industry admissions, should there be any doubt in our minds as to who was slave and who was master, who profited and who lost?

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52. Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, University of California, San Francisco,; also see
53. Polito, JR, WhyQuit's Smoking Initiation Survey, June 3, 2005,
54. World Health Organization. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2008, Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2008.
55. Lorillard, Memo, August 30, 1978, Bates Number: 94671153;
56. Philip Morris USA, Market Information, July 2012,
57. Philip Morris USA, Products, June 2008,
58. Philip Morris Research Center, William L. Dunn, Jr., Confidential: Motives and Incentives in Cigarette Smoking, 1972, Bates Number: 2024273959;
59. Philip Morris U.S.A. memo: The Decline in the Rate of Growth of Marlboro Red, May 21, 1975, Bates Number: 2077864755;
60. Philip Morris U.S.A. Inter-Office Correspondence, Seligman to Osdene, November 29, 1977, Bates Number: 207799380;
61. RJR Confidential Research Planning Memorandum, The Nature of the Tobacco Business and the Crucial Role of Nicotine Therein, Claude E. Teague, Jr., RJR Assistant Director of Research, April 14, 1972, Bates Number: 501877121,
62. Shiffman S, Hughes JR, et al, Persistent use of nicotine replacement therapy: an analysis of actual purchase patterns in a population based sample, Tobacco Control, November 2003, Volume 12, Pages 310-316.
63. Brown&Williamson Advertising Conference Report: Synectics Problem Laboratory, July 18, 1977, Bates Number: 770101768;
64. Brown&Williamson, Memorandum: Future Consumer Reaction to Nicotine, June 24, 1978, Bates Number: 665043966;
65. Brown&Williamson, Internal Correspondence, Project Recommendations, March 25, 1983, Bates Number: 670508492;
66. Lorillard, Present Status of the Nicotine Enrichment Project, April 13, 1977, Bates Number: 83251103;
67. Lorillard, Letter, November 3, 1977, Bates Number: 03365541;
68. Lorillard, Memorandum Secret, RT Information Task Force, February 13, 1980, Bates Number: 94672618;
69. Honorable Gladys Kessler, Final Opinion, U.S. District Court, U.S. vs. Phillip Morris USA, Page 416, August 17, 2006.
70. British American Tobacco Memo, 1967, as stated in Federal Court of Australia, New South Wales, N-1089 of 1999, Statement of Claim, Page 370.
71. British American Tobacco, Memo, Key Areas - Product Innovation Over Next 10 Years for Long Term Development, August 28, 1979, Bates Number: 321469581;
72. British American Tobacco, Brainstorming II, April 11, 1980, Bates Number: 109884190,

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