Smoking Gun (Doc Index)

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This stub is a work-in-progress by the 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


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

Smoking-Gun documents are those that, on their own, illustrate some aspect of the way in which the tobacco industry was organised on a global scale to subvert the public interest, and to corrupt scientists and politicians, and fool the media.


  • How ICOSI and SAWP worked with Social Cost

1980 Nov (CONTEXT) Ronald Reagan as been elected as President with George HW Bush as his Vice President.
1981 Jan 7 (At time of Reagan's inauguration) The document "Social Costs/Social Values (Progress Report)" has been prepared (probably by George Berman to give the dissembler-executives in the various cigarette companies around the world an overview of the activities of the relatively new international lobby operation called ICOSI (International Committee on Smoking Issues). ICOSI was located in Brussels with Mary Covington as director and its most active subcommittee was known as SAWP.

These conferences were focussed on countering the "Social Cost" argument which blamed tobacco smoke for both health and environmental costs (both with smokers and non-smokers) Smokers were less productive, had greater absentee rates, offices required more air-conditioning and cleaning, etc.
  • A.T. Kearney, a contract company was engaged in some surreptitious activity and was expanding its workforce, and devising a work plan to attack the workplace smoking ban movement.
  • Matrix Corporate Affairs in London was developing a project on smoking as a civil liberty right.
  • ICOSI's main focus was on the World Health Organisation, trying to block it from running an anti-smoking program by questioning its budget priorities. The tobacco industry turned its enormous financial resources onto attacking the WHO for wasting money on smoking, that should (in their opinion) be spent on third-world diseases, research on drugs, fighting malaria, etc.
* ICOSI was having problems with some members of National Manufacturer Associations (NMAs)(some from developing countries) who didn't see anti-WHO activity as a priority. The donations which funded WHO's anti-smoking programs had been 'earmarked' for this; and therefore unlikely to be abandoned.
There is a long analysis piece here about WHO and the anti-smoking movement.

This 9-page document gives a good outline of the activities that the tobacco industry had going worldwide in 1981. [2]

1992 March 26 Report by Covington & Burling about the first training sessions of their Latin American ETS Consultants. (see Latin American (Doc Index) This document has clear admission that the recruitment of so-called 'Consultants' has no consulting value whatsoever. They need to be trained to have any sort of useful expertise. The document leaves no doubt about this. Nor is there any doubt that these were trial subjects to teach the recruits how to present.

1997 Nov The Institute of Public Affairs proposal to the Tobacco Information Centre to bring Steve Milloy to Australia. Shows how the IPA must have been given a brief by Bob Deards at the TDC -- they wouldn't have known Milloy or Luik otherwise. Also shows that even after signing the MSA - with promise not to engage in this activity in the USA, they continued to do this in Australia.

1997 Nov Mike Nahan writing to Bob Deards of Tobacco Information Centre spelling out their current services to the tobacco industry.

  • We are in the process of publishing a monograph by Peter Finch with a working title of "The Smoking Epidemic: Death and Sickness Among Australian Smokers". The monograph uses the anti-smoking lobby's own research to attack the conclusions they draw from the research.
  • We will be publishing an Australian version of a book by Steven Milloy entitled "Science Without Sense: The Risky Business of Public Health Research". We will organise a national lecture tour to accompany the release of the book (March 1998)
  • Alan Moran is writing a feature article for the Dec 1997 edition of IPA Review [using] the revamped 'blue book' prepared by ACIL on the costs & benefits of smoking [and other material]
  • Next year we plan to prepare a Special Lift-out in the IPA Review on the nanny state [8,000 copies]
  • Staff of the IPA Review write a large number of op-ed pieces (over 200 last year) and are otherwise active in the media. [3]