Tobacco Industry Cover Up

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Scientists know that secondhand smoke increases risk of heart disease by 30 percent, but cigarette makers are doing their darnedest to make sure we’re kept in the dark.

A report in the current issue of Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, says that the tobacco industry has repeatedly tried to suppress evidence of the detrimental effects of cigarette smoke.

A particularly juicy little nugget from the report: From 1990-1994, the Center for Indoor Air Research (CIAR), a non-profit funded by the tobacco industry, hired NYU scientist Arthur Penn to study the correlation between secondhand smoke and heart disease. Penn found that when cockerels (male chickens) were exposed to smoke from the equivalent of five cigarettes a day, they developed plaque in their arteries. Needless to say, the tobacco industry was not happy with these results, a scuffle ensued, and CIAR ended Penn’s contract. A nice moment:

In a Science news interview about Penn’s findings, [R.J. Reynolds “inhalation toxicologist”] Coggins suggested the cockerels developed the plaques because of the stress of being in a smoky environment. Penn refuted this suggestion by saying the cockerels were docile in the cages like “pet rocks.”

Some poking around led me to the website for Phillip Morris’s vaguely named Center for Research and Technology, a $350 million facility set to open in Richmond, Virginia later this year. According to the site, the center will:

* Nearly double the company’s research space

* Employ 500 highly specialized scientists, engineers and support staff (both Philip Morris USA employees and vendors)

* Create more than 450,000 square feet of commercial space downtown

Yikes.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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