American Medical Association Promoted Cigarette, Cigarettes in its Medical Record
This article originally ran on NaturalNews in 2007, but given the recent passage of a ‘tobacco control bill’ from the U.S. Senate, it deserves repeating. Read this short article to understand some rather alarming information about the history of collaboration between the American Medical Association and Big Tobacco.
Despite its stated goal, ‘To advertise the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health,’ the American Medical Association (AMA) has brought many missteps in protecting the health of the American people. Among the most striking examples is the AMA’s long-term connection with the tobacco industry.
Following the deleterious effects of smoking were confirmed both the AMA and individual medical practioners sided with big tobacco for many years. Medical historians have tracked this connection in great detail, evaluating internal documents from tobacco organizations and their legal counsel and public relations experts. The over-arching theme of big tobacco’s efforts was to keep alive the looks of a ‘debate’ or ‘controversy’ of the effects of smoking cigarettes.
The initial research to make a statistical relationship between smoking and cancer was published in 1930 in Cologne, Germany. In 1938, Dr. The tobacco industry ignored these early studies as historical — but at the same time recruited medical practioners to endorse cigarettes.
JAMA kicks off 20 years of cigarette advertising
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed its first cigarette ad in 1933, declaring that it’d done so only ‘after careful consideration of the extent to which cigarettes were employed by doctors in practice.’ These commercials continued for twenty years. and almost untouched by human hands.’
In medical journals and in the popular press, among the most notorious cigarette marketing slogans was from the Camel brand: ‘More health practitioners smoke Camels than any cigarette.’ The campaign began in 1946 and ran for eight years in journals and on the radio. The advertisements included this message:
‘Family doctors, specialists, diagnosticians, nose and throat specialists, health practitioners in most branch of medicine. A complete of 113,597 doctors. And more of these called Camel as their smoking than any smoke! Three separate research groups found this to be described as a fact. You see, doctors also smoke for pleasure. That total Camel quality is equally as appealing to a doctor’s style concerning yours. that marvelous Camel mildness means as much to his throat as to yours.’
Major Tobacco’s suppression of clinical research
In the same time that JAMA ran smoke advertisements, the first major study was published in 1950 by it to causally link smoking to lung cancer.
Cigarette companies might have hoped the community would remain unaware of studies published in medical journals. Inside a year cigarette income dropped for the very first time in more than 2 decades.
The tobacco industry responded rapidly, participating the medical community in its efforts. The Tobacco Industry Investigation Committee (TIRC) was created by U.S. Cigarette organizations in 1954. By sponsoring ‘independent’ scientific investigation, the TIRC attemptedto keep alive a question about whether cigarettes were harmful.
For over 300 years tobacco has given solace, relaxation, and enjoyment to mankind. Previously or still another throughout these years critics have held it responsible for practically every disease of the body. 1 by 1 these charges have now been abandoned for lack of data.
Regardless of the record of the past, the fact using tobacco today should also be assumed as a cause of a serious disease is really a matter of deep concern to us.
Many individuals have asked us what we’re doing to meet the public’s concern aroused by the current reports. Here is the answer:
1. We are pledging aid and assistance to the research effort into all phases of tobacco use and health. This mutual school funding will of course take addition to what is already being contributed by individual companies.
2. For this specific purpose we are establishing a joint industry group consisting originally of the undersigned. This group will soon be called TOBACCO INDUSTRY RESEARCH COMMITTEE.
A group of distinguished men from medicine, research, and knowledge will soon be invited to serve with this Board. These researchers will advise the Committee on its research activities.
This statement is being given because we think individuals are entitled to know where we stand on this issue and what we intend to do about any of it.’
Doctors’ involvement in the tobacco fraud
The statement — signed by presidents of major tobacco interests including Phillip Morris, Brown & Williamson, and R.J. Reynolds — was built to start the ‘conflict’ that we mentioned earlier. The truth is, there is no controversy. The study results were clear: smoking had been proven harmful — not just to mice, but to people who had for years been recommended that smoking offered health benefits.
The TIRC offered to meet ‘a group of distinguished men from medicine, research, and knowledge’ and it did therefore. Early members of the TIRC’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) included: McKeen Cattell, PhD, MD, professor of pharmacology from Cornell University Medical College; Julius H. Wilson, PhD, LLD, professor of vital data, Harvard University.
In line with the New York State Archives, the TIRC’s functions ‘involved both funding of research and carrying out public relations activities relating to tobacco and health.’ Faced with growing evidence that smoking was dangerous, ‘it became obvious that this wasn’t a short-term endeavor, and that it was difficult to manage both medical research and public relations in one company.
If individual doctors supported smoking, lending their names for the TIRC gave it credibility. According to the center’s website: ‘In 1987, Dr. Kenneth Warner asked the SAB’s 13 current members, asking, ‘Would you think that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer’? Eight of the SAB members refused to answer the question, even with Warner stated individual privacy. ‘I do not think there’s a guy about the [Board] who does not believe that cigarette smoking contributes to a heightened risk of lung cancer,’ one said, adding that the SAB’s members were ‘terrified’ to mention therefore publicly out of concern with involvement in tobacco product-liability lawsuits.’