Peter N. Lee

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.

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

Peter N. Lee is a biostatistician who was frequently funded by the tobacco industry to criticize and discount published and epidemiological studies that linked between tobacco smoking and health damage. He has worked for the industry for many years. In 1988, he was a statistical consultant to British American Tobacco.[1] In the first six months of 1997, Philip Morris paid him $20,000, laundered through their law firm Covington & Burling.[2] Payments to Lee from Philip Morris were routed through a Swiss bank account held by Covington & Burling, the law firm that coordinated PM's scientific consultant and scientific witness programs.[3]

Lee also served as a consultant circa 1987 to the Tobacco Advisory Council, the British equivalent of the U.S. Tobacco Institute. [4]

By 1994, Peter Lee was being used by the industry as a scientific consultant for secondhand smoke issues.[5]

A report to Philip Morris, Lee, then a tobacco company consultant, suggested that it would be useful to publish papers that emphasize the role of factors other than secondhand tobacco smoke in the development of cancer. He cited two published papers on the relationship of dietary fat and vegetable consumption to cancer, which Lee acknowledged were flawed. Nevertheless, Lee suggested using them to create the appearance that ETS was at best only a minor cause of cancer:

"Though both studies may show atypically high relationships, due to sampling error and possible biases of various sorts, it certainly suggests that one could produce a paper which makes "environmental tobacco smoke" (ETS) seem, at least, only a relatively minor cause."

The tobacco company-funded studies were to be published and "marketed" through third parties. The plans to promote these studies were designed to ensure that they would be highly visible to governments, to the scientific community, and-to the media.[6]


Peter Lee was a consultant to the Tobacco Advisory Council (TAC, the UK equivalent of the Tobacco Institute) [2015017930 & 2028376175]. From 1966-1979, he worked as a statistician for the Tobacco Research Council laboratories in Harrogate & London. From 1979-1984 he was an independent statistical consultant and advisor to tobacco, pharmaceutical and chemical companies. [7]

Related SourceWatch resources


  1. Sharon Boyse, British American Tobacco Letter from Sharon Boyse to G Symmes enclosing some comments by Peter Lee on "The Big Kill"Letter. 1 page. July 15, 1988. Bates No. 300539164
  2. John Rupp INVOICE NO. 9004 PHILIP MORRIS USA Invoice/pay request. June 30, 1997. Philip Morris Bates No. 2063610081
  3. Jennifer Green, Covington & Burling Statement 040 Invoice/pay request to Steve Parrish. January, 1993. Bates No. 2023591631/1634
  4. R.E. Thornton Note from RE Thornton to JR Clamp regarding document received from Peter Lee Note. July 15, 1987. British American Tobacco Bates No. 400115142-400115143
  5. Chris Proctor, British American Tobacco Note from Chris Proctor to Martin Riordan informing about intension of Peter Lee to Visit Sydney January 6, 1994. Bates No. 500833871
  6. Kessler, David A; Martiny, Anke; Zeltner, Thomas; Randera, Fazel Tobacco Company Strategies to Undermine Tobacco Control Activities at the World Health Organization Report. 2000. 256 pp, at page 197. British American Tobacco Bates No. 325117729-325117984
  7. Peter N. Lee Untitled Resume' of Peter N. Lee, 1989. Bates NO. 2028376139

<tdo>resource_id=16641 resource_code=lee_peter_n search_term=Peter N. Lee</tdo>