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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Evolution of the Tobacco Industry Positions on Addiction to Nicotine: A report prepared for the Tobacco Free Initiative, World Health Organization


Over many decades the global tobacco industry has denied in public, in the courts, and before legislatures that smoking was harmful and nicotine was addictive. Internal industry documents show a radically different reality of what the companies knew, and when. Over the past decade the industry has slowly adapted its public stance to meet the overwhelming evidence of the harm smoking causes, as well as public demand for accountability. This report, based on internal industry documents and the companies' public pronouncements, describes how the social, scientific and judicial climate forced the change. It shows as well that the industry still puts the responsibility of addiction and harm on the smoker.

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