Killing for profit: where is the outrage?BMJ 1999; 319 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7204.266 (Published 24 July 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:266
- Jonathan Foulds, senior lecturer in clinical psychology
- University of Surrey, Guildford
Tobacco Wars, BBC1, Tuesday at 10 20 pm, 20 July to 3 August
This series, presented by journalist Michael Buerk, claims to “go behind the battle lines in the tobacco war to reveal the secrets of a century of smoking.” The programme style is that of a historical documentary, chequered with interviews with “celebrity smokers” such as comedians Jo Brand and Dave Allen and star of the Eastenders soap June Brown (Dot Cotton), and the personal experiences of Michael Buerk, including undergoing a bronchoscopy for the programme.
The first programme outlined the history of tobacco in Britain and the United States up to 1964. This included some revealing interviews with current and former senior employees of the tobacco industry. For example, Sir Duncan Oppenheim (former chairman of British American Tobacco) expressed his “great shock to find that tobacco caused lung cancer.” This was followed by an industry advertising executive informing viewers (with reference to the popularisation …