Samuel D Chilcote

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

Samuel D. Chilcote, Jr. was President of the Tobacco Institute from 1981-1997. Chilcote has knowledge of The Tobacco Institute's and the tobacco industry's participation in public fraud and disinformation relative to health hazards of tobacco use, in the manipulation of nicotine in tobacco products and in marketing of tobacco products to children.[1][2]

Samuel Chilcote wrote a Tobacco Institute strategy document that shows that while the industry promoted voluntary smoking policies above legislated policies for businesses, they disliked the fact that those voluntary policies were becoming more restrictive to smoking. He also noted that such restrictions were overwhelmingly popular and that there was strong public support for measures to protect public health and safety:

Our own research points to overwhelming support for specific types of restrictions. Although pollsters find opposition to government regulation in general, they note strong public support for specific measures aimed at protecting the public health or safety.

Chilcote also noted that even smokers preferred the restrictions:

Smokers, too, seem to support the idea of smoking restrictions, possibly viewing them as a means of retaining their ability to smoke without interference from nonsmokers. Separate sections enable smokers to congregate with other smokers and avoid confrontations with those who dislike cigarette smoke."

The document also reveals that a purpose of the industry's "accommodation" strategy is to "position the anti-smokers as unreasonable in their demands" for public health measures with regard to smoking. [3]

Documents and Timelines

1981/E Gene Ainsworth of RJ Reynolds has prepared a confidential report on the Tobacco Institute and its staff .
He believes the TI has spent the last few years resting on its laurels.

My visceral reaction to the future of the Institute is that we need to have some type of trade association as our "front." Since we are such a concentrated industry and since we are such big fish in this pond, we need to have a front to absorb a lot of the heat that is generated with the Surgeon General's report etc.

He recommends new staff and lists the current staff problems. He praises Bill Prendergast (an economics and legislative advisor) while being viciously critical of others. He believe that the Tobacco Institute needs:

  • a 'top-flight lobbyist, a heavy hitter with 5-7 staff, to replace Jack Mills.
    Jack Mills is too closely associated with "his tenure as the Executive Director of the RNCC/RCCC, and is approaching retirement age.
  • Fred Panzer is limited in effectiveness and is best dealing with the unions and the 'liberal fringe of the Democratic party.'
  • George Yenowine - should be the TI's chief administrator.
  • Sam Chilcote, Jack Kelly, Roger Mozingo, Peter Sparber, Walter Merryman all get the tick of approval.
  • Mike Kerrigan -- "I wouldn't trust him to give me the right time of the day.
  • Bill Kloepfer -- "a goose egg".
  • Bill Prendergast:

    Bill has served in a consultant's role in the past year and to my mind has been worth his weight in gold. He has brought a fresh perspective to the job. His former life at DISCUS [Distilled spirits lobby] has exposed Bill to a number of situations that now threaten the tobacco industry.
    He has been able to make excellent suggestions that, woefully, no one in our industry had thought of. I hope that Bill will want to stay on a while longer at TI.

  • TI has but one full time lobbyist, Jack Mills. The rest, Fred Panzer, Bill Prendergast, Horace Kornegay, and Sam Chilcote are part-time at best. The outside law firm of Cook and Henderson is being utilized as in-house lobbyists and are being paid a very large fee for its services.
  • [T]he federal lobby function should be primarily an "in-house" function of TI. There undoubtedly would be roles for law firms and consultants, but they should not be handled in the currently incestuous manner which TI, at Horace Kornegay's insistence, maintains with Marlow Cook and Dave Henderson.

Marlow Cook and Dave Henderson were also close associates of Sam Chilcote. [1]

1986 Apr 11 Sam Chilcote is advising his Executive Committee on the problems in trying to counter proposed bans on smoking in commercial airlines. He is organising testimony for the Hearing on Airline Cabin Air Quality. The anti-smokers point out that the ventilation and filtration systems are not adequate to maintain air quality -- as evidence of on-board infectious disease transmission. [2] Also at Tufts University: [3]

See Tufts University Index of some key documents: [4]


  1. PMI's Introduction to Privilege Log and Glossary of Names, Estate of Burl Butler v. PMI, et al, April 19, 1996
  2. Source: Multi-State Deposition Team - Identified Individuals May 9, 1997
  3. Samuel D. Chilcote, Tobacco Institute V. SDC WRAP-UP Undated. 5 pp. Bates No.TIMN0014593/4597

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