George Seldes on Tobacco

Old Golds (Docket No 4922) boasted that laboratory reports show OG's are "easier on the throat," and that they have less nicotine than any other cigarette. According to the FTC, Old Gold failed to disclose that the laboratory report also stated:

"The differences between brands are, practically speaking, small, and no single brand is so superior to its competitors as to justify its selection on the ground that it is less harmful."

Actually, the report showed, the nicotine content of Old Golds was only 1/28,928 of an ounce less than the brand having the highest nicotine content!

Lucky Strike (Docket No 4827) boasts it has less acid, less nicotine, is less irritating, protects against coughing, is toasted, is used exclusively by independent tobacco experts, buyers, auctioneers, and warehousemen. All of the foregoing is stuff and nonsense, the FTC says, declaring that the "implications and intendments (of the ads) are inaccurate, deceptive, false and misleading."

Philip Morris (Docket No 4794) also boasts it causes no throat or nose irritation and actually clears completely or definitely improves such irritation when smokers switch to Philip Morris. In addition, the ads say, eminent medical authorities have scientifically proved that PM's are "so outstanding as to be without parallel in the history of cigarettes." In truth, andin fact, the FTC says, PM's are no such thing. Moreover, the' "eminent medical authorities" were "without training and experience sufficient to make them accurate and scientific."

22 False Claims Found by FTC in Camel Ads

Camels came in . for the biggest hiding at the, Sept hearing. In a 112-page brief outlining its case against that brand, the FTC listed 22 specific claims it held, to be false. These included representations that Camels aid digestion "no matter where, what or when one eats, at odd hours and in all sorts of places"; that the cigarette gives a "lift" in energy; that it "picks up, perks up, renews and restores bodily energy"; that the quickest way to relieve fatigue is to smoke Camels; that the people with abounding energy smoke Camels; that athletes conditioning themselves for any type of competition will be helped and benefited; that national championships have been won because the winners smoked Camels; that they never irritate the throat, but are, instead, "soothing, positively soothing and comforting to the nerves"; that they contain costlier tobaccos, and that they. are the choice of the men who grow and know tobacco.

All of the foregoing, the FTC alleges, is, untrue.

The government also contends that the testimonials obtained by Camels and the other brands and used in advertising are also, untrue; that the cigarette companies know they are false, and that they are obtained solely as a result of payments to the persons involved.

FTC investigators found 194 persons whose. testimonials were used by Camels. These people received payments ranging from $10 to $1,000 each, and one man received only a carton of cigarettes.

"With few, if any exceptions, each testimonial as published was false in whole or in part," the FTC said.

Grower Signed Camel Blurb, He Can't Read

One of the people questioned by the FTC was Margaret Bourke-White, the photographer, who testified that she was paid $250 for her endorsement, plus a carton of Camels weekly for a year.

"Frankly, I was in business and was very glad to earn the money," she said.

The FTC examiner said that while she was represented in the ads as stating that Camels are different from other cigarettes, as a matter of fact she was not a smoker of Camels exclusively but used different brands and found no difference between them. . .

In virtually all cases, the FTC said, it discovered that the blurbs used in the ads and signed by individuals were actually written by the advertising agencies involved. In the case of Tony Strickland, a tobacco grower, the FTC said, "an examination of the testimony shows the methods employed in securing these testimonials and the lack of truth in them." The brief says (p 15):

"When he ((Strickland) was shown' the testimonial which he signed (FTC exhibit 753), for the signing of which he was promised a carton of Camel cigarettes and a photograph of himself, the latter of which he never received, he was asked these questions and gave these answers:

'IQ How did you happen to sign your name to this document?

"A Well, yes, 1 just did it: The ones that were with me signed it They, said it was all right; there wasn't anything to it. I just signed my name. I can't read.

'IQ You can't read?

"A No, sir."

New Evidence Shows Smoking Harms Teen Agers

One big feature, of the hearing was the FTC's report on the medical _', appraisal of cigarette smoking. Under examination of Smith, Dr Walter L Mendenhall, a professor of pharmacology at the Boston Univ Medical School, who had originally been paid by Reynolds and who testified that smoking of Camels brings physical benefits and no harm, finally admitted that the, opposite was true. The FTC attorney read passages from various books the professor had written on the subject in the. past, Virtually 611 of which contradicted the Camel claims, and In each instance he admitted his original writings were the accurate ones.

FTC counsel also introduced into evidence a chart taken from a book, "Harvard Health Talks,", being the substance of public lectures delivered at Harvard Univ Medical School, which contained some heretofore unpublicized data on the effects of smoking on boys of high school age. (Tobacco companies are now slanting part of their advertising to attract "teen agers," sponsoring radio jive shows, etc. Details in IN FACT July 28.) This showed that of 400 high school boys examined the picture is decidedly against the smokers. The chart, from page 24 of the FTC brief, follows:

Data Concerning 400 High School Boys (200 smokers; 200 non-smokers)

Smokers Nonsmokers

Nervous 14 1

Impaired hearing 13 1

Poor memory 12 1

Bad manners 16 2

Low deportment 13 1

Poor physical condition 12 2

Bad moral condition 14 6

Bad mental condition 18 1

Street loafers 16 0

Out nights 15 0

Careless in dress 12 4

Not neat or clean 12 1

Truants 10 0

Low grades 18 3

No promotion 79 2

Over-age 19 2

Untruthful 9 0

Slow thinkers 19 3

Poor workers 17 0


EXCEPT for the table of the standing of the baseball clubs, the stock .market report, and similar items, no department of the daily newspaper (with the usual 1% exception) is free from corrupting influences'

There is nothing too big and nothing too small. News is biased, faked, suppressed. It may concern the Dept of Justice case against the House of Morgan, controlling 30 billion dollars, or a Fed Trade Comm fraud order against a patent medicine.

Moreover, there is almost no department of a paper which is free. The owner may or may not tell even the book reviewer that the paper's policy (usually reactionary on all subjects) must be followed. The facts are that, in most papers book reviews follow the owners' line and -- worse yet -- that books on the liberal and democratic side are often either badly reviewed or mention of them is suppressed.

Unreviewed Book Attacks the Ads of Tobacco Men

Here is a documented example: In 1943, Dr Jesse Mercer Gehman (P 0 Box 1725, Paterson, NJ) published a book called "Smoke over America." It is a handsome $5. volume, bearing the imprint of The Roycrofters. It is a most thorough investigation, from a medical, scientific and journalistic standpoint, of the use of tobacco in the U S. Its concluding lines are: "The greatest friends of tobacco are advertising, ignorance and lies. The greatest and ablest enemies of tobacco are education, knowledge and truth." That is Dr Gehman's editorial opinion. Most of the book is sound and undisputed medical evidence, written for the general public. Since nothing of this type exists, the book was not only important, it was something of a good news item -- for an honest press.

Fortunately, Dr Gehman kept a record of what the newspaper and magazine press which reviews books did With "Smoke Over America." It is too long to be printed here, but the most important newspapers ewspapers and magazines will be listed:

Book Unopened By N Y Times, Unread by Most

NYTimes. When no review appeared, Dr Gehman .wrote asking about it. The. Times; replied that "a review may not be expected." When the book was returned to the author he found that not one of its 573 pages has been cut. The Times, apparently, never looked at the contents when it decided it would not review a book on tobacco.

Newsweek. Receiving no reply or review, the doctor wrote and received a letter saying Newsweek was "unable to review." He asked why. Newsweek replied that only books of news value or literary significance were reviewed.

Time. This weekly replied: "Sorry, unable to review." To a second letter, Time said it was due to "lack of space." Time has to "bypass many worthy volumes."

NYHerald Tribune. Book was listed and described, but paper wrote it was "afraid not able to do anything else." When book was returned author found exactly 29 pages had been cut.

Washington Post. Refused to reply; didn't review.

Chicago Tribune. Three months after book was sent, the Trib replied it could not review for lack of space "at this late date."

Boston Post. Book returned, 121 pages cut.

Los Angeles Times. "Due to curtailment of space, impossible to review all books sent us."

Reader's Digest. Since this magazine once did publish an exposé of smoking, Dr Gehman hoped it would be unique and break the conspiracy of silence about his book. The magazine replied it was "not at present planning to publish an article on the use of tobacco."

American Mercury. Refuses to reply to all letters concerning disposition of book. No review.

Christian Science Monitor. Replied it would review as soon as space was available. Wrote for documentation on one point. The book was well reviewed and the editor wrote the author saying he would be glad to have any other publications from him for review.

The Christian Science Monitor, of course, is one of the live or six big city newspapers worthy of an honor roll. It is one of the few papers which also publishes USGovt fraud orders.

The foregoing list Is not complete. Dr Gehman also sent the book to leading columnists and others who write or comment, and not one of them mentioned it. The total mentions in 4 years (outside the Paterson Call, to which the doctor contributes) is 1.

Dr Gehman writes IN FACT:

"With few exceptions the socalled free press of America refuses to publish the facts about the harm of tobacco. Their biggest advertisers are cigaret manufacturers."

Times censor Gannon has told this weekly the paper will never carry any ad for IN FACT or any book by its editor. It has, however, carried inflammatory anti-union ads, as well as ads from anti-Semitic organizations.

Tobacco and Cancer

November 17, 1947 P. 3

IN addition to Dayton News and Louisville Courier-Journal, which have published news items concerning the spread of cancer, caused by smoking, the name of the Daily Oklahoman must be added. It recently published a half-column item beginning:

"Excessive smoking causes cancer of the mouth. That's what Dr Fred A Henny, dentist with Henry Ford hospital, Detroit, told about 100 doctors and medical students in the U of Okla medical school auditorium."

The paper added: "Then he sat down and lit a cigaret."

During hearings of tobacco firms charged with false advertising, NYTimes reported once on Old Gold case, once on Lucky Strike case. This fails to change the estimate that about 98% of the press suppresses news unfavorable to tobacco interests.

A Bruxelles, Belgium, correspondent sends a clipping of an article dealing with prolonging human life. Last paragraph states, "Analyzing the causes of premature death, the Prof Ylyn (of the biology laboratory of the First Medical Institute, Mos. cow) declares that tobacco is absolutely harmful (nuisible) and that all excess is pernicious."

Radio Exposes Tobacco, Sacred Cow of the Press

In fact


(No. 382) Vol. XVI. No. 18

February 2, 1948

(Editorial note: Tobacco, autos and drugs (cosmetics) are the three largest advertisers in America, and three of the most sacred cows of press and radio. News of fraud orders, indictments, trials, medical exposés, are generally suppressed. Congratulations are due Quincy Howe, and Columbia Broadcasting and thanks for permission to reprint.)

by Quincy Howe

CBS-Frontiers of Science.

THE AMERICAN people ... are smoking more cigarettes than ever before. The figure for 1947 runs 1% ahead of 1946. The grand total comes to 327 billion cigarettes. That's more than 100 packages of 20 cigarettes for every man, woman, and child in the country -- it's about 6 cigarettes -- more than quarter of a pack a day.

What Tobacco Does

Doctors disagree on just how much harm we do our bodies when we smoke. There is no doubt that the smoke itself irritates some people's sinuses, as well as the membranes of the nose, mouth, throat and lungs. Other people are allergic to tobacco in any form.

Smoking contracts the blood vessels.

It reduces our ability to see far and clearly.

It introduces carbon monoxide to the bloodstream.

It has bad effects on diabetics and sufferers from certain heart ailments.

Alcohol, on the other hand, makes the blood vessels expand.

Tobacco and Alcohol

But this does not mean -- as some optimists have asserted -- that the bad effects of alcohol and tobacco cancel each other off. It takes alcohol an hour or an hour and a half to affect the blood vessels--so unless you are going to smoke a lot longer and drink a lot more than is good for you anyway, you won't repair the bad effects of smoking by having a drink and you won't repair the bad effects of having a drink by smoking....

Tobacco and Cancer

Most of the serious damage that tobacco can do comes from the nicotine it contains. As you probably know, nicotine has no color. That yellow stain that appears on the fingers of inveterate cigarette smokers is not nicotine but tar. It may produce irritation but nothing worse. Just how much nicotine does the doctors themselves do not know. Men, generally speaking, still smoke more than women--especially older men. And Dr William H Rienhoff, Jr of Johns Hopkins has recently compiled figures showing that cancer of the lungs kills six times as many men as it kills women. This may not be the nicotine. It may not even be the smoking. We shall know more in another generation now that younger women are smoking about as much as men.

This much, however, we do know. The infertility of rats inoculated with nicotine goes up from 17%--the normal figure -- to 33%, and human beings are one or two hundred times more sensitive to nicotine than rats.

Everyone Inhales

But the effect of tobacco on' different individuals varies enormously. If you cut your cigarette consumption in two but inhale twice as much, you are no better off. Some people can get nicotine poisoning by smoking only one cigarette a day. Pipe smokers swallow a lot of nicotine, but smoking does not affect them in so many ways--or so seriously--as It affects cigarette smokers. Cigarette smoke may Irritate the ends of the nerves in the upperwind pipe. Pipe smokers often do not breathe their smoke deeply enough to have it reach any part of their breathing equipinent--and that's all to the good. But there is no such thing as a cigarette smoker who doesn't inhale some.

The Pearl Report

Dr Grace Roth and Charles Sheard Of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester have some negative consolation for cigarette smokers.

They cannot prove that cigarette smoking causes dyspeptic ulcers. But the late Dr Raymond Pearl, of Johns Hopkins [whose report was exclusively published in IN FACT] showed that heavy smokers have a shorter life-span than moderate smokers or non-smokers. He could find no great difference between the life-spans of moderate smokers and non-smokers. In one field of research into the effects of tobacco on the human system, doctors have shown a timidity, a caution unworthy of the best traditions of their profession.

Never has any medical journal carried any comparative data on various brands of cigarette by name.

For instance, three researchers of the Medical College of Virginia tried blowing the smoke of different kinds of tobacco, different blends, and different brands into the eyes of rabbits to find out which caused the most irritation. They found that they produced a wide variety of effects. But when it came to revealing what blends of tobacco went into various brands of cigarettes and when it came to comparing which brand of cigarette smoke produced the most--and the least--irritation--the researchers said nothing. They mentioned no brand names at any point.

Don't Give Soldier Smoke

Another warning in the Mayo Clinic report was unqualified: don't give the wounded man -- soldier or sailor or aviator -- or even an injured civilian--a cigarette. Unless you want to harm him. Said the Mayo report:

The havit of giving an injured soldier a cigarette is not advisable if arterial injury has occurred, as segmental spasm of the artery is common in such trauma and the vasoconstriction in a person sensitive to tobacco may cause Irreparable damage."

The Newspaper Doctors

JOHNS HOPKINS, Mayo Clinic, many of the greatest scientists and doctors of the world are on record that tobacco is a poison, undermines healthy bodies go that they are more open to disease, has a mathematical relation to death. But newspaper doctors who write for publications taking tobacco ads defend tobacco. The syndicated column of Dr Logan Clendenning is a sample. There can be no question but that Dr Clendenning would be thrown out by the papers which publish him if he reported the Mayo and similar scientific findings.

Another type of pandering to advertisers is shown by the NYTimes which ran a big cigarette shortage story in its magazine section Dec 3. No mention of John Hopkins, Mayo, etc. The Times man refers to medical testimony tobacco shortens life, and adds:

"This view is not unanimously held by the medical profession. . . . In specific cases they find cigarettes harmful in connection with certain physical conditions like hardening of the arteries and some form of angina, but for the general population their case against the cigarette is no more documented than the case against turkish baths."

This is a false statement. No one can question the documentation which has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Assn and the Pearl findings the Mayo report, etc.

But the Times makes a fortune in cigarette ads and permits its writers to fool Its readers with such buncombe as this: 'For every person who lives to be 100 by never touching cigarettes there seems to be another who smokes them incessantly and attributes his longevity to that habit." In the face of scientific research such reporting as this is reprehensible.

Tobacco and Venality

THE venality and corruption of the press is further illustrated when there are labor troubles, strikes, frame-ups at the big tobacco plants. When the RJ Reynolds Co is mentioned the newspapers suppress the story entirely; they know who pays for the Camel ads.


in fact

(No. 389) Vol. XVI. No. 25

March 22. 1948

HEADLINES of March 8 included: "Senate Foes of ERP (the European Recovery Program or Marshall Plan) Put at 34 at Most." The Associated Press reported that this number thought the U S was giving or wasting too much.

However, one of the most amazing features of this great undertaking which has received no press publicity whatever, is the success of the tobacco lobby in getting the U S to force no less than $911,100,000 worth of tobacco on starving Europe.

According to a statement of Senator Wherry (Congressional Record March 2) "Two billion of the total amount will be used to purchase food." ..

The hungry people of Europe, whether they like it or not, will have to take almost half as much in tobacco as in bread and other foodstuffs, because there is an unsaleable surplus of tobacco in the U S.

Several Papers Report Tobacco Causes Cancer

Before presenting the documentary facts of this amazing situation, it should be pointed out that the evidence that tobacco is one of the great causes of disease and death, first published in this newsletter 8 years ago, is getting some publicity in a small percentage of honest newspapers, most of which have been named in these columns.

Latest newspaper worthy of the honor roll is the Chicago Daily News which on Feb 26 published the following important news item:



The growing number of lung cancer cases was attributed Wednesday to increased cigarette smoking.

Dr Jerome Head of Northwestern U told a conference sponsored by the Illinois division of the American Cancer Society that the once rare type of cancer is now the second frequent in men.

The rise, he says, has come since the first World War and parallels the upward curve of cigarette sales.

With women smoking more, doctors can expect more lung cancer in that sex, Dr Head said.

While the incidence of lung cancer has increased, treatment has improved too, according to Dr Head. ... Detection of lung cancer is difficult because its symptoms are similar to many other chest diseases.


The tobacco industry ranks with the auto industry and the soap industry, these being the three leaders in U S advertising, each spending more than $50,000,000 a year, and obtaining the good will of newspapers and magazines, which join in suppressing all facts unfavorable to these industries, ranging all the way from U S fraud orders against certain soaps to scores of the most Important reports from Johns Hopkins, the Mayo clinic, the Journal of the American Medical Society, etc, regarding tobacco as a killer.

In this, as in all other matters in which profits from ads conflicts with the general welfare of the American people, the U S press (with about 1% exception) is on the side of the free enterprise, proflts-at-public-expense policy.

One exception in the present tobacco story is the Christian Science Monitor, whose story of the tobacco lobby's putting almost a billion into the Marshall Plan was told by Senator Willis Robertson of Virginia in the Congressional Record Feb 2.

Sen Robertson pointed out that in normal times 40% of the U S tobacco crop has been exported. The British austerity program calls for high taxes on tobacco and restrictions on imports from the U S because of a lack of dollars--this was the first heavy blow the tobacco growers suffered. Robertson placed the number of pounds to be exported in the future Marshall plan as two billions in four years. The Senator stated:

Tobacco Men Hope to Seize Europe Trade

"To further emphasize the part which tobacco is scheduled to play in the recovery program, both in preventing surpluses disastrous to our farmers and in providing the type of incentive needed to spur production in western Europe, I ask unanimous consent to have inserted in the appendix of the Record an article from the Christian Science Monitor entitled 'ERP Tobacco Program Linked to World Trade."'

The Monitor item states that "there have been reports that Europe would prefer to have more food and other goods, than to receive quantities of tobacco. There also have been rumors that American tobacco interests were pressing their product on the European recovery program to establish themselves on the European market."

Secy of State Marshall told an Atlanta audience that "Tobacco. is anotherer staple that will be shipped to Europe in considerable volume. It is not as essential as food and clothing of course it is found advisable to make some concessions to human nature."

The Monitor concludes: "From the U S standpoint ERP imports of American tobacco are 'of vital importance' if the U S is to 'maintain' its customary outlets." The U S also anticipates that Europeans will get used to the U S blends and will continue to use them when they have to begin buying in a free market.

On Feb 9 Senator John S Cooper (Ky) placed in the Congressional Record the concurrent resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky which confirms the report that U S tobacco interests hope to take possession of the European market by getting the inhabitants of the 16 Western European countries accustomed to the American blend.

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