Wharton Conference (Tobacco)

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

The American tobacco industry, supported by the International Conference on Smoking Issues (ICOSI) organised, funded and ran a number of pseudo-conferences (and maybe some legitimate ones) using the facilities of the Wharton Center at the Pennsulvania State University. The Business Center was also contracted to do economic studies. They appear to have regularly funded and then used the Wharton School of Business, and Wharton Applied Research Center, as organisers and venues.

They also funded the Wharton Economic Forecasting Analysts (WEFA) to the tune of $18,175 per year (in the early-to-mid 1990s). And they certainly used Wharton facilities for entirely sham conferences with compliant scientists such as ARISE (Associates for Research into the Science of Enjoyment).

We have grouped these all together. It is not always easy to identify which Wharton conference or other project was being discussed, except by the timeline.

==Documents & Timelines

(Could be 1991) The scientists working for the tobacco industry are planning to run an ARISE-type conference at Wharton with two most notorious of the early compliant scientists: Sherwin J Feinhandler (of Harvard) and David M Warburton (of Reading University UK), etc. ARISE normally operated in Europe, and David Warburton was its main organiser (who also controlled the tobacco industry funds) (Type-in Bates Number) 202029022_9023 See also planning document (Type-in Bates Number) 300561977

Note: ARISE and ADDICTION: One of the main jobs of Professor David M Warburton and his ARISE group (Associates for Research into the Science of Enjoyment) was to prepare arguments which contradicted claims that cigarettes were addictive ... since any admission of addiction contradicted the industry's claims that smokers 'chose' to smoke. They enlisted 'pleasure psychologists' and 'psychopharmacology' into ARISE and ran conferences on the enjoyment of pleasure in exotic locations, all on tobacco industry money. The ARISE book, Pleasure: The Politics and the Reality, emphasises this message and links smoking to the innocent enjoyment of coffee and chocolate. They strongly differentiate it from the hard-drug addictions of heroin and cocaine.

1980 The Wharton School, Department of Statistics, had Richard J Hickey, Richard C Clelland, Anne B Clelland - are all attacking a study by Yano, Rhoads, and Kagan on CHD and Alcohol. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/lno07c00/pdf

1980 Mar 31 The Director of Wharton's Applied Reserch Center is interested in conducting an international conference on cost/benefit analysis. "Cost/Benefit Issues and Consumer Products"

The Social Action Working Party (SAWP of iCOSI) has a meeting in Washingthon DC where the chief lobbyist and organiser, George Berman advised the industry that the Director of the Wharton School of Business Applied Research Center is interested in the concept of doing a conference on costs/benefit analysis.

However, it was felt that the topic was too broad and it would be best to narrow the subject to "consumer products," thereby attracting other industries and also giving us the opportunity of getting papers submitted. A possible new title for the conference would be "Costs/Benefit Issues and Consumer Products." It was also felt that there should be international input to the conference so that it is not totally US oriented .


1980 Jun Wharton are doing an update on their Economic Contributions study

1980 Jun 20 Kenneth L McDonnell (editor) of Wharton Applied Research Center has written to Kelly Matthews at the Tobacco Institute. They are preparing 11 volumes of a study into the value of the tobacco industry to the economy in 9 states and two on the industry's effect on the national economy.

1980 Jul 1 William Kloepfer writes to TI boss Kornegay:

"We recognize the Wharton study as a major tool in execution of elements of the Institute's communications plan adopted July 1 1980."

The Tobacco Institute staff has meet to discuss the industry's plan to use the Wharton School material: Wharton are doing a national economic study on the tobacco industry to the economy in 9 states. This, of course, could be a quite legitimate and honest study since tobacco as an industry was important to these States.

"Our use plan is based on expected delivery from Wharton on August 8 of internal copies of an executive summary; on August 15 of the full national study, and; beginning on August 22, separate reports on nine states. We also expect the national report to include projections of some data for each state, and the separate state reports to include projections for counties; however, our suggestions are not based on advance knowledge of the data themselves ."

He has a timeline for the project:

  • Aug 15 Federal Activites begin briefings of Presidential candidate staffs, incumbent Members of Congress and other federal officials
  • Aug 18 Public Relations to announce availability of national study with Burson-Marsteller PR to prepare mailgrams to be sent to leading media
  • Aug 25 The Wharton staff were to brief TI staff. Material needs to be cleared by legal
  • Sep 2 Burson-Marsteller to produce video/radio releases and distribute with Sept 8 embargo.
  • Sep 8 Wharton to announce national study results
  • Sep 22 National Summary Leaflet to be distributed to lobbyists, media, tobacco and related organsisations, special redistribution plans to members of congress, governorms etc.
  • Oct 15 Project to be completed. Mailing copies of the study to selected economists.
  • Oct 30 Advertising plan - in up to 16 tobacco growing states (billboards, city magazines, Sunday supplements)

There are a further six pages here detailing the actions to be taken -- video clips made, billboards, etc. The works!! http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/dkl70e00/pdf

1980 Jul 1 Kornegay reports to his Executive Committee: The 'updated' Wharton Study will soon be available . We are providing for its maximum exploitation by means of a use plan. That plan will ensure that the study will be distributed via Federal, State and PR channels . The plan also envisions a series of top-level media events in the four leading tobacco states. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/wvx82f00/pdf

1980 Jul 3 Note to Anne Duffin of TI shows they already know the details of the Wharton Study (2 million jobs, almost 4% of GNP, almost 4% of employent) http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/csm92f00/pdf They are also getting quotes for the printing of the reports http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/voj09a00/pdf

1980 Jul 11 Kenneth L McDonnell at the Wharton School, Uni of Pennsylvania The Tobacco Institute dealing with him on first name terms "Ken" http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/xnj09a00/pdf

1981 Jan 7 The international (ICOSI) tobacco industry lobby has published: Social Costs/Social Values: Progress Report. [Note: "Social Cost", in economic terms, refers to the monetary cost to the community (externalities like cleaning and air-conditioning) over and above the actual monetary cost to individuals. "Social Values" implies that the community benefits when people are allowed to smoke without harrasment; they are assumed to be more calm and thoughtful, and experiencing enjoyment from their addiction.] This is important in the timeline of Paul Dietrich because this was one of his long-term projects to discredit the World Health Organisation (WHO) ICOSI are now focussing on a new program to discredit the World Health Organisation (WHO). Their report says:

"We have observed the WHO program to control smoking gaining strength rapidly. Not only has its budget increased sharpiy, but also its ability to influence other transnational agencies has developed apace. A brief study of the WHO program found that it is funded almost entirely by specially donated funds dedicated to anti-smoking objectives.
Thus, the program is not in contention with other WHO programs for internal funds.

[Note: this didn't stop the main attack on the WHO, via Professor Robert Tollison', Paul Dietrich and David Morse's 'Institute for International Health & Developments (IIHD). The were funded to concentrate on WHO's priorities and attack the so-called 'wastage' of its limited budget on smoking prevention programs, rather than AIDS, malaria, etc] The tobacco industry saw WHO's anti-smoking measures as the tip-of-the-iceberg of governments limiting smoking.

The more effective the program is, the more rapidly it will grow. And WHO has made clear that it plans to involve not only the FAO (Food & Agricultural Organisation), but the ILO (International Labor Organisation - which had been run by Morse) and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) as well.

They saw a main threat to their business as coming from the global influence of WHO and asked for decisions on:

  1. Through what organisation/s will ICOSI sponsor the Wharton Conference? (a set-up public confererence of its own scientists)
  2. Approval to support Tollison and Wagner in publishing their text. (Note: Prof. Robert Tollison and Richard Wagner were paid to publish a range of articles and books)
  3. Strategy for countering the WHO program on the Social Cost of Smoking.
* (Decision headings): Surveillance, Communications, Preparation, and Action.


1994 July "Set SWOT Analysis -- 1995" (probably Tim Beane) This is a single-line analysis of about 2 dozen of the main 501(c)(3) organisations who receive contributions. [ See long list] |

Also the Vendors and their Projects.

The WEFA Group ($18,175/year) Regional Economic Data Contract expires in May. Meeting on 4/11 to discuss extension.