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Associates for Research in the Science of Enjoyment

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

Associates for Research In the Science of Enjoyment (ARISE) was an industry-funded front group that was also known until the end of 1993 as "Associates for Research In Substance Enjoyment."

[NOTE: Much of the information in this article is excerpted from "Tobacco Industry Sociological Programs to influence public beliefs about smoking," published in Social Science & Medicine, Volume 66, Issue 4, February 2008, Pages 970-981.]

Origins, formation and objectives

After the U.S. Surgeon General issued his 1988 report that concluded nicotine was addictive, the tobacco industry responded by advancing the group “Associates for Research in the Science of Enjoyment” (circa 1988 to 1999), whose academic and scientific supporters promoted the health benefits of the use of pleasurable legal substances, including chocolate, tea, coffee alcohol and tobacco, for stress relief and relaxation.[1]

ARISE was begun by David Warburton, the director of Human Psychopharmacology Unit at Reading University in the United Kingdom, and funded with the help of a number of large multi-national food, drink and tobacco companies, including, Guinness, Kraft General Foods, Tate & Lyle, Coca Cola, Philip Morris, British American Tobacco Miller, R.J. Reynolds Nabisco and Nestle. The aim of the group was to promote the health benefits of "pleasure and relaxation."[2]

David Warburton served as spokesperson and organizer of ARISE. Warburton had contributed to the U.S. Surgeon General report 1988 reportand was critical of it's conclusions. He had a longstanding relationship with U.K. tobacco companies. Rothmans Tobacco had supported Warburton’s research, which supported the view that nicotine is not addictive and which showed that it enhances performance.1988 report Other ARISE associates included Digby Anderson of the Social Affairs Unit in London, Christie Davies (a sociologist from the University of Reading), Sherwin J. Feinhandler, an anthropologist from Harvard University who was also involved in the industry’s original Social Costs/Social Values Project, John Luik (a philosopher who previously worked as a professor of Ethics at Brock University, Canada), Frank van Dun, a Professor of Philosophy of Law from the Universities of Ghent, Belgium and Linmburg, Maastricht, Netherlands, and a number of other psychologists from the U.K., Switzerland, United States, and Australia.[3]

ARISE's objectives were focused on conducting an "organised and proactive campaign to ensure its views are heard and recognised by international opinion formers." ARISE commissioned surveys, opinion polls and other research to support its views and provide media opportunities through which it could disseminate those views.[4]

Operations and activities

In public proclamations, ARISE promoted the health benefits of the use of legal substances, including alcohol and tobacco use, with safer pleasurable activities like drinking tea, shopping, and eating chocolate. In press releases, ARISE stated that use of these pleasurable substances can enhance the immune system and reduce stress and conversely, guilt can increase stress and undermine the immune system [5] ARISE met at formal conferences and submitted scientific papers about the importance of pleasure. Professor Warburton also gave interviews on the subject[6]

Conferences and meetings

  • 1989 October - Florence Workshop[citation needed]
  • 1990 July - 7 man executive committee meeting in Zurich [7]
  • 1991 February - Executive Committee meeting in Lisbon (cost £5,490)[8]
  • 1991 October - Venice Workshop[citation needed]
  • 1993 September - Brussels Conference [9]
  • 1995 April 23-25 - Amsterdam workshop[citation needed]

The press handout for the Venice conference, quotes three speakers,

In the last half of the 1990s, ARISE conducted polls and surveys, and its members continued to present papers at workshops, conferences and symposia claiming that simple, everyday pleasures like eating chocolate, drinking tea and smoking cigarettes were vital to a healthy populace because they reduced stress. Members of the group were independent, impartial and credible academics, and tobacco funding was made public along with an extensive list of other sponsoring industries like coffee, chocolate (Nestle), and alcohol.

In 1995, ARISE held a workshop in Amsterdam called "Living is More Than Surviving." Key ideas expressed at this workshop were that,

  • substances of enjoyment help relieve workplace stress,
  • people need to learn to enjoy substances of pleasure, since some are not initially pleasurable,
  • much of the enjoyment of alcohol and tobacco are due to the traditional social aspects associated with the products, and
  • abstinence from substances of enjoyment does not keep one from dying. [11]


Funding and public relations assistance

Rothmans and PM funded ARISE from its inception in 1988 until its broader public debut in Europe in 1991, when British American Tobacco (BAT), Gallaher and R.J. Reynolds joined the enterprise. ARISE’s expenses were $773,750 for fiscal year 1994-1995. Industry money initially flowed to ARISE through the University of Reading in the U.K., then through a full-time ARISE secretariat that PM, RJR, Rothmans, BAT and Gallaher established the U.K. in 1994. The public relations firm Fishburn Hedges coordinated additional PR firms around Europe that managed ARISE affairs after July 1994.

The public relations firms helped insulate ARISE from being connected to the tobacco industry. A 1993 memo from PM Corporate Services in Brussels reported that press kits from an ARISE workshop in Brussels had been sent to 200 European food/gastronomy/lifestyle publications, lifestyle writers and the business press, and stated, ‘‘As the credibility of ARISE is of critical importance, we recommend strongly that [ARISE] press kits be sent only by the ARISE PR agency in Brussels.’’

ARISE members also worked to influence legislatures. A flier that described an ARISE workshop titled ‘‘Pleasure and the Quality of Life’’ held in Brussels in 1993 states,

‘‘ARISE associates are in no sense a lobby group. However, associates are called on to advise on legislative reports and have the expertise to make constructive statements on legislative proposals.’’ [12]

In February, 1994, Rothmans Public Affairs Department persuaded Warburton to drop the word "substance" from the group’s name and change it to "Associates for Research in the Science of Enjoyment," nominally because "the new version of the name emphasizes the importance of the science that lies behind the research." [13][14]

Conferences provided springboards for publication of books

At a 1989 ARISE conference in Florence, Italy ARISE members attacked the U.S. Surgeon General’s conclusion that nicotine is similar to heroin or cocaine, and emphasized that nicotine enhances performance. This conference led to a book, Addiction Controversies, published in 1990 by Harwood Academic Publishers in Switzerland,[15]that criticized established views on substance use. The structure of Addiction Controversies was similar to a prior industry-funded book titled Smoking and Society, which was a compilation of articles on legal and illegal drugs and addiction, written in an academic tone and aimed at a scholarly audience. At the 1991 ARISE conference in Venice, Italy ARISE associates aligned tobacco with innocuous, pleasure-causing items like food and drink and advanced the idea that "smoking is a controlled pleasure -- it does not take control." Another book with the same structure resulted from these proceedings, Pleasure: The Politics and the Reality, edited by Warburton and published in March, 1994 by John Wiley and Sons. The book emphasized the social functions of pleasurable substances and strove to differentiate cocaine and heroin from nicotine and caffeine.[16] The book was funded at least in part by BAT, which sent £1,200 toward publishing costs to Warburton. The ARISE conference held in Brussels, Belgium in 1993 explored how "the science of pleasure leads to positive health and feeling good.’’ ARISE representatives spoke against "forcing a uniform healthy society" (ARISE, 1993). This conference yielded yet another book, Pleasure and the Quality of Life, published in 1996 by John Wiley and Sons, that described the positive contribution of pleasure –- including smoking –- to everyday life and railed against "health scares." Warburton edited all three books. A chapter in Pleasure and the Quality of Life frames public health efforts to reduce smoking as ‘‘the New Puritanism,’’ a framing that tracks closely with a 1993 Philip Morris Corporate Affairs plan that desccribed how the company would fight smoking restrictions in Europe during the period 1994-1999. PM’s plan included using ARISE to help cast public health efforts as "extremist," "indicative of intolerance" and "health fascism."[17]

Media influence

Through ARISE, the sponsoring tobacco and other companies generated news articles around the world that ridiculed and derided public health goals around smoking and reassured people about the relative safety and benefits of smoking. A media progress report on ARISE activities covering September 1993 to March 1994 contains 292 pages of press clippings, transcripts, articles, tapes and other media coverage ARISE generated in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Spain, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, South Africa and the United States. A 1996 presentation prepared by the ARISE secretariat for the tobacco companies reported that from 1994 to 1995 ARISE generated 646 press articles, 178 radio reports and 72 TV broadcasts in 17 countries, reporting that the coverage contained "minimal criticism of ARISE." At a 1989 ARISE conference in Florence, Italy ARISE members attacked the U.S. Surgeon General’s conclusion that nicotine is similar to heroin or cocaine, and emphasized that nicotine enhances performance. [18]

Fate of ARISE

After its 1999 conference in Kyoto, Japan, ARISE seems to have disappeared. It could not be determined why the group was disbanded after its service to the industry, or whether was reconstituted in another form. An inquiry on this issue, sent via email to Warburton on November 25, 2005, went unanswered, and Warburton refused to be interviewed for a published study about ARISE. [19]

Related SourceWatch resources

External links

References

  1. Landman, A. et al., Tobacco industry sociological programs to influence public beliefs about smoking, Social Science & Medicine (2008), doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.007
  2. ARISE Associates for Research into the Science of Enjoyment Report. 1993. 24 pp. Bates No. 2045655007/5030
  3. Landman, A. et al., Tobacco industry sociological programs to influence public beliefs about smoking, Social Science & Medicine (2007), doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.007
  4. Fishburn Hedges Associates for Research Into the Science of Enjoyment Overseas Agency Brief Report. August, 1994. 11 pp. Philip Morris Bates No. 2504092395/2405
  5. ARISE/PR Newswire '90s Guilt-Trap Could Threaten UK Health, Say Scientists Press release. Undated]
  6. No author. Interview on Arise [Sue McGregor Interviewing David Warburton Transcript. September 25, 1993. British American Tobacco Bates No. 500906549/6550
  7. No author. Associates for Research in Substances of Enjoyment July 12, 1990. 2 pp. British American Tobacco Bates No. 300527077-300527078
  8. David M. Warburton, University of Reading Letter from David M Warburton to R Thornton regarding Arise meeting in Lisbon February 26, 1991. Bates No. 300527008
  9. ARISE [Associates for Research into the Science of Enjoyment Report. 24 pp. 1993. Philip Morris Bates No. 2045655007/5030
  10. No author Information on Associates for Research in Substance Enjoyment Meeting in Venice Report. Undated. 4 pp. British American tobacco Bates No. 300561820/1823
  11. Landman, A. et al., Tobacco industry sociological programs to influence public beliefs about smoking, Social Science & Medicine (2007), doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.007
  12. Philip Morris Workshop on Pleasure and Quality of Life Report. 9 pp. October 8, 1993. Bates No. 2025496543/6551
  13. Associates for Research in the Science of Enjoyment ARISE Issue No. 1, Autumn 940000 Newsletter. 9 pp. December, 1994. Philip Morris Bates No. 2045655073/5088
  14. Landman, A. et al., Tobacco industry sociological programs to influence public beliefs about smoking, Social Science & Medicine (2007), doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.007
  15. David M. Warburton Addiction Controversies CRC. Paperback. 399 pp. January 28, 1992
  16. David M. Warburton Pleasure: The Politics and the Reality April, 1994. John Wiley & Sons. 180 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0471942290
  17. Landman, A. et al., Tobacco industry sociological programs to influence public beliefs about smoking, Social Science & Medicine (2007), doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.007
  18. Landman, A. et al., Tobacco industry sociological programs to influence public beliefs about smoking, Social Science & Medicine (2007), doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.007
  19. Landman, A. et al., Tobacco industry sociological programs to influence public beliefs about smoking, Social Science & Medicine (2007), doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.007

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