Newman Partners

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

Newman Partners Ltd. (NPL) was a science public relations company formed by the brothers Frederic Newman, the Deputy Legal Counsel at Philip Morris, and Lloyd "Larry" Newman who ran the external science operations for the company. It was based in South Carolina.

Larry Newman seems to have run the Newman Partners Ltd. operations, although in late 1990 Fred either retired from Philip Morris or was pushed out, and took over a greater share of its activities. This has all the external appearances of an inside company rip-off, except that the executives of Philip Morris very obviously knew about NPL and approved the use of the company as a front for many of their operations.

The original function of NPL was simply as a specialist PR company, paid to prepare press-releases, articles, etc. and to advise on how to handle press queries about awkward questions. [2]

NPL also moved into the early on-line database search business, and began preparing summaries of studies for both the company and for its contract IAQ testing companies like Holcomb Environmental Services. It played a major role in the battle to counter the EPA's ETS Risk Assessment [3]

Documents & Timeline

1989 Aug NPL is to bill PM seperately for this (unspecified) work. [4]

1989 Sept 13 The Newman Partnership Ltd had been selected by Philip Morris as its science public relations counsel. This document is a semi-contract. They have a charging limit of $3 million dollars for 16 months. The anticipated average professional fee will be $117,000 per month (with three months up front). This was signed by Lloyd N Newman, and sent to Nelson Beane.

The charge-rate sheet lists them as now having staffers:

  • John Scanlon and Richard Silver at $250 ph
  • Marvin Bienstock, Jeffrey Porter, & Peter Hirsch at $150 ph
  • Kathleen Parker at $115 ph
  • Kathleen Whitten, Anne Creed, Diane Jones at $90 ph


1989 OctThe minutes of Philip Morris's ETS (second-hand smoke) worldwide executive meeting notes that "the Newman partnership has been idenfied as a PR firm that will support PM ETS initiatives (Borelli/Osdene) This has been sent to executive Nelson Beane.

Tom Borelli and Thomas S Osdene are the two senior PM executives concerned with science corruption activities. [6]

1989 Dec 6 Tom Borelli and Amy Millman are still working on ways to counter the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA's) determination that second-hand smoke is injurious to health. They circulate a memo within Philip Morris: the EPA's Risk Assessment has been delayed and they have time for a new day-by-day strategy.

  • Dec 11 - Lobbyists Mannett Phelps will have an EPA action plan ready
  • Dec 15 - The McGill University ETS Symposium proceedings will be available for review.(The McGill Conference report must be distributed to scientists and policy makers.)
    [ Paul Dietrich who ran the Institute for International Health & Development (IIHD) for the tobacco industry has the job of publishing and distributing the proceedings.]
  • Jan 10 - is their first opportunity to leak the EPA document to the press.
    [They already have a confidential copy, but they need to have some cover for the leak. Lisa Barrera has an inside contact at the EPA.]
  • Feb 15 - The EPA's Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) will begin its review of the EPA's Risk Assessment.
    [The SAB is reasonably independent -- although the industry managed to get a couple of their tame scientists on it.]
  • Feb 19 - 21 The Toxicology Forum (can be used). Another strategy we should pursue is to try and get a sympathetic scientist appointed to the health effects panel. New scientists are chosen each time an SAB panel is convened.[The Toxicology Forum is run by Coca-Cola executive Alex Malspina who also runs the ILSI. They believe that he is subject to PM/Kraft 'influence' if it comes in cash form. This forum gives them an opportunity to release scientific denial documents which Amy has already prepared.]
    "We can use the McGill findings, and the information we have received that the group preparing the risk assessment was unable to establish a synergistic relationship between radon and ETS, nor were they able to prove a significant dose response. The Tobacco Institute will undoubtedly respond to media inquiries, but we should consider using the Newman Partnership creatively.
    We need evidence that the scientists conducting research into, or reviewing the science of ETS, are less objective than they would be if they were dealing with another substance. [This was a clear reference to a number of "Bias studies" they had done. See the main one by George L Carlo.] [7]

1990 Jan 10 Planning meeting between NPL and Philip Morris USA staff. They are creating a database(calendar and dissertation abstracts,etc) for the company and are dividing up the input work between PM Richmond, PM New York, PM Washington and NPL . Amy Millman and Mayada Logue are the two principle contacts at PM. [8]

1990 Mar 23 The NPL has now joined forces with PR firm Edelman to devise a plan to communicate the Varela Study to the public, media and politicians in order to counter the EPA's ETS Risk Assessment. This spells out an elaborate plan in 11 pages. [9]

1990 Apr 4 NPL are working on developing a 'tracking system for ETS research'. This is in the very early days of on-line searching using Printer-terminals, and a pre-Internet communications protocol called X-25 which requires 300 bit/sec modems. There are a half-dozen database consolidators around the world that can be accessed on-line using these terminals, and the most popular one is DIALOG run by Lockheed and ORBIT run by SBC. [10]

1990 Apr 23 Amy Millman is distributing a Philip Morris memo on EPA Strategy re Risk Assessment.

  • The EPA was about to release its draft Risk Assessment "Lung Cancer and Other Respiratory Effects of ETS" which will include an estimated death toll from lung-cancer of 3-5000. The heart disease estimate is 10 times that of lung cancer. This is a multi-point plan to handle the release.
  • Philip Morris has submitted names of scientists as candidates for a Science Advisory Board (SAB) to review the EPA document (before the final document is released).
  • The final date for full release is 'late summer'
* The fake 'Varela Study' has not been included. (They will circulate it via Newman Partnership. [11]
* Tom Borelli, Jim W Dyer, and Amy Millman will produce a one page synopsis and objections for members of Congress. [12]

1990 Sep 5 JJ Ware of Philip Morris has visited NPL to check on the development of the ETS tracking system (they want a daily updated list of any new research on second-hand smoke dangers). This is pre-internet, X-25 access to the Lockheed DIALOG database which covers a range of scientific and engineering papers in very abstract form. NPL have been developing a very basic ETS tracking system with limited usefulness.

He recommends that they do the accessing and searching themselves.[13]

1990 Sep 26 Robert Pages is telexing Steve Parrish, now at the head of Philip Morris Corporate Affairs. He points out that until now they have had the Newman Partnership on the list for receiving monthly Meetings calendar and ETS papers. "Based on what we've heard from you recently our inclination is not to continue to do this" Clearly they are being dumped, but not being told that. Steve Parrish says send them the meeting calendar "FYI" but not the ETS Papers. [14]

1990 Nov 2 The lawyers Shook Hardy & Bacon were looking into the Newman Partners Ltd operations. Loreen McAlpin at Philip Morris is learning to use the on-line database systems herself. She has the help of Nancy Balter of Georgetown University and the IAPAG group. [15]

1990 Nov 5 Philip Morris's Tom Osdene maintained a diary which provides plenty of uncensored information about his activities as a main disinformation executive.

Charlie Green returned my call -- talked about

  1. Fred Newman leaving.
  2. Tom Griscom - frequent contacts with Steve Parrish
  3. Chris Proctor
  4. Wally Hayes - was in Capri last week giving a risk assessment presentation
  5. Re CIAR - need of credibility role for Max Eisenberg (the Director)
  6. Promised Charlie copy of Ragnar Rylander (paper)
  7. Too many proposals on ozone.


Tom Griscom was a public relations man from Ogilvy & Mather; then ran Public Affairs for RJR; then joined Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd.
Arthur D ('Max') Eisenberg had been the Associate Research Director of the Council of Tobacco Research. It is not obvious why he needed a credibility role.]