TIRC/CTR (Doc Index)

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This stub is a work-in-progress by the ScienceCorruption.com journalists's group. We are indexing the millions of documents stored at the San Francisco Uni's Legacy Tobacco Archive [1] With some entries you'll need to go to this site and type into the Search panel a (multi-digit) Bates number. You can search on names for other documents also.     Send any corrections or additions to editor@sciencecorruption.com

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

The Tobacco Industry Research Committee (TIRC), was later renamed and modified as the Council for Tobacco Research. The TIRC was established by the main public relations firm to the tobacco industry, the global giant, Hill & Knowlton on December 28 1953 with a staff member William Hoyt seconded to the firm as Executive Secretary (later changed to Executive 'Director'). It had offices in the Empire State building in New York.

The main overt function of both TIRC and CTR was to hand out grants to worthy scientists who were supposedly doing research into the possibility that smoking had adverse health effects for the smoker -- mainly emphasma, lung-cancer and heart disease. Later the focus changed to countering the suggestion that Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) -- the technical name for second-hand smoke or passive smoking -- became even more of a threat to the industry. After all it could always be argued that smokers 'choose' to smoke (even knowing the dangers) and therefore smoking was a basic human right. However non-smoker had no such option in home, offices, aircraft and public places where other's smoked -- so the 'choice' argument was no longer valid.

The change from TIRC to CTR, with a restructuring and change of function, was partly in response to this.

Various industry statements about the TIRC/CTR

1963 Jan What is the TIRC? [2]

What was known about smoking and health

1963 June The Consumer's Union report, Smoking and Lung Cancer

Documents & Timeline

1953 Dec 28 Official day on which the TIRC was established by Hill & Knowlton.

1962 Dec 27 Hill & Knowlton have put out a press release for the Tobacco Institute which discusses the TIRC, but doesn't use or mention the new name Council for Tobacco Research.[3]

1963 May 27 The Grocery Manufactures of America (CMA) are attacking the tobacco industry for failing to fight strongly enough for their survival. They are concerned about "grade labeling" which would "mean an end of brand names". [4]

1963 May The Chairman of the Tobacco Institute in the USA wrote to Sir Philip Rogers who had just taken over as Chairman of the Tobacco Research Council (TRC) in the UK. He gave frank advice not to suggest they could solve problems "by finding whether cigarette smoke contained and inurious substances and eliminate it" [5]

1963 May 21 Loet Velmans, the CEO of Hill & Knowlton, advises Drs Weber and Helmut Schenzer, and Mr Harald Koenig of the Verband der Cigarettenindustrie (the German Tobacco Institute) of the need to develop a TIRC-type operation and used H&K services.

1963 June The Consumers Union report on Smoking and Lung Cancer pointed out that American Cancer Socicty, the American Heart Association, the National Cancer Institute, the National Heart Institute, the National Tuberculosis Association, the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Public Health Association, the Health Council of The Netherlands, the Medical Research Council of Great Britain, the World Health Organization, the Research Council of Sweden, and the Royal College of Physicians of London had come out linking lung cancer and cigarettes. Also the Surgeon, General of the U .S . Public Health Service have issued three clear statements on the subject: {Note: not linked to heart disease to the same degree] [6]


1964 Jan The TIRC changes its name to Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) See bylaws. [7]

1964 Oct University of Kentucky initiated its Tobacco & Health research program (two years) [8]

1965 Jan 1 Nominally the start date for the use of the name 'Council for Tobacco Research but no letters, etc. exist about the change.

1965 Apr 6 the name Council for Tobacco Research was used at a Congressional hearing on this date. [The first printed document with this name] [9]

1965 Apr 23 {From later Annual Report] The TIRC/CTR held a one day conference of SAB members and many recipients of grants. [10]

1965 June 8 Confidential report on the CTR It was reported that Dr EB Wilson had just died.
The SAB was dealing out about $2 million each meeting (every 3 months)
Dr Lisanti had just joined as a part-time (60%) assistant to Dr Hocket [11]

1965 Dec 16 The first record in the archives to use the term 'CTR' is in this document by Addison Yeaman which suggests it was typed later and inserted into the files. It outlines research grants given to their favourite scientists (many on the SAB) and discusses CTR Special Projects. [12]

1967 Jan The first Current Digest of this year (Vol. XII No.1) uses the term CTR in its letterhead. [[13]

1973 Feb 13 The lease over the CTR offices is due to expire in a year. The office is leased from a subsidiary of Belco Oil, which subleases it from the PR company Ruder & Finn -- which will take it back if CTR doesn't renew. Ruder & Finn (later just called Ruder Finn) have two additional spaces on the same floor as the CTR. [14]