News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Tobacco industry knowingly duped public with “low tar” brands

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7338.633 (Published 16 March 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:633
  1. Caroline White
  1. London

    US tobacco companies deliberately marketed low tar and “light” cigarettes as healthy alternatives to regular brands in the knowledge that they were just as dangerous, an analysis of internal industry documents has shown.

    Research published in a supplement to Tobacco Control (2002;11(suppl 1):i18-31) on the disclosures in corporate documents shows that the industry devised “low tar” brands to reassure smokers about mounting evidence linking smoking to lung cancer and to persuade them to switch rather than give up the habit.

    In 1976 Philip Morris spent $45m (£32m; €51m) promoting its “low tar” Merit brand and almost …

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