William H Butler

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

Bill Butler was a professional witness for the tobacco industry in the quality of indoor air.

1989 Dec /E The Tobacco Institute has circulated this list of available 'consultants' who are willing to give testimony at ordinance hearings, or appear before State Assemblies to promote the tobacco industry's line. Essentially they will say that ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke) is not a significant pollutant of normal office IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) and so there are no substantial health effects. Also that any cub on smoking is a human rights issue.

The ETS consultants disputed the science behind passive-smoking and the potential adverse-health claims. The IAQ consultants had the job of shifting the blame for poor indoor air quality to a) outside pollution being drawn into an office, or b) photocopier chemical vapours (early models gave off fumes), or c) exudates from synthetic carpets, d) etc. etc...). They claimed that even if there was substantial second-hand smoke in the office atmosphere, it carries no significant level of harmful components anyway.

There were four basic categories of 'witnesses' with lists of names. Every one of them is a well known long-term tobacco industry friend and "smoke-health denier". The document boasts that the ...

Tobacco Institute consults with 37 ETS and IAQ scientists: 14 are members of university or medical school faculties; 23 are professional consultants; 11 are exclusively expert on IAQ.
Scientific disciplines include chemistry, toxicology, biochemistry, statistics, medicine, environmental science, biostatistics and industrial hygiene.

It the gives the breakdown of the consultant list as being:

  • Academics:
14 academic scientists from institutions including the University of California; New York University Medical Center; Columbia University; University of South Carolina; University of Alabama; University of Maryland; Medical College of Virginia; Pace University; West Virginia University; Stillman College; New York Medical College; and George Washington University.
  • ETS Consultants:
George L. Carlo;   Walter J Decker;   Thomas Golojuch;   Gio Gori;   Larry Halfen;   Larry Holcomb;   Alan W. Katzenstein;   Maurice E LeVois;   Joe Pedelty;   Jack E PetersonBarry Seabrook and David Weeks.
  • IAQ Consultants:
Peter Binnie;   Bill Butler;   John W Drake;   Jolanda Janczewski,   D. Johnson;   Gray Robertson;   Jeff Seckler;   Elia M Sterling;   Nancy Stone;   Simon Turner; and Jon Yereb.

The document also provides details such as "Length of relationship," "How we use them," and ... the "Kinds of things they do"

  • Testify on federal, state and local smoking restriction and indoor air quality bills and regulations -- explaining complex scientific information in straightforward lay terms.
  • Appear on television and radio talk shows -- often in debate formats -- in areas where smoking restriction activity is underway.
  • Assist the industry in responding to media reports by preparing critiques of adverse research.
  • Help reassure allies that they are on solid scientific ground

It then lists "What Have They Done lately", "Strengths", and "Limitations",
Another section deals with special consultants suited for discussions with corporate executives to persuade them not to implement smoking bans in offices and workplaces:

[Note: the full document has much more information. It is worth reading.) [2]