AuthorJames G. Wigmore
 4
“The cigarette is the deadliest artifact in the history of human civilization.
It is also a defective product. The cigarette is the seatbeltless car, the
lead-painted cribs, the car with faulty brakes, the open unguarded man-
hole, the rickety ladder, the fouled maggoty meat, the Daikon shield, the
smokestack spewing fumes . . .”
—Procter, R.N. “Golden Holocaust, Origins of the
Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition” ()
“In our opinion, it is not sucient for the tobacco industry to merely con-
cede the obvious point that smoking is a cause of disease when it is evident
that decades of misinformation has resulted in a public that is massively
ignorant about the risks of smoking low-tar cigarettes, nicotine addiction,
and second-hand smoke exposure.
—Cummings et al, “The Cigarette Controversy” 
Cigarettes did not become the most addictive and destructive human-
made artifacts by accident, they were created that way in order to make
obscene amounts of money.
“[Smoking is] hatefull to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to
the Lungs.”
—King James I of England, “A Counterblaste to Tobacco” ()
 | Wigmore on Nicotine and Its Drug Delivery Systems
“I’ll tell you why I like the cigarette business. It costs a penny to make. Sell
it for a dollar. It’s addictive. And there’s fantastic brand loyalty”
—Warren Buf‌fett, quoted in Burrough, Bryan, and John Helyar,
Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco ()
On  November , Philip Morris celebrated the th anniversary of
the Marlboro cigarette by having invitation-only parties in  US cities. It
is estimated that Marlboro cigarettes alone have caused the deaths of .
million Americans since  and are expected to kill another . million
over the next  years (–).
This section on the history of cigarettes does not focus on the quaint
stories of the servants who rushed in with a jug of water because they
thought that Walter Raleigh was on f‌ire when he was smoking, or the
invention of the Bonsack machine, which could make the same num-
ber of cigarettes as – workers, or the marketing genius of advertis-
ing agencies. The history of cigarettes especially in the th, th, and
st centuries, is one of lies, deceit, coverups, greed, misinformation,
perversion of science, racism, and fake news by the tobacco industry
to maintain its huge prof‌its, by encouraging the use of one of the most
dangerous products ever invented by humans. This strategy is still being
used by politicians and petroleum companies who deny the science of
climate change. In fact, a recent documentary has shown that some of the
“experts” who testif‌ied for the tobacco industry in court have reappeared
to testify for the petrochemical industry.
Documents have shown that the tobacco industry considers the World
Health Organization (WHO) to be one of its leading enemies (), so
it is not surprising that the tobacco industry showed its political muscle
by getting the US President to withdraw funding from the WHO in May
, which fortunately has been reversed by a newly elected President.
The numerous court cases against the tobacco industry have resulted
in the release of over  million internal documents which show inter alia
that tobacco companies:
Knew in the s that cigarette smoking caused cancer but vigor-
ously denied it ().
Oreskes, Naomi, & Erik M. Conway Oreskes, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of
Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming (Lon-
don: Bloomsbury Press, ).
Cigarettes | 
Altered the pH of the cigarette to allow faster absorption of (and
hence addiction to) nicotine (, , ).
Funded research institutions, scientists, and scientif‌ic journals
to create doubt and controversy about health harms of cigarettes
(, , , , ).
Funded research to show that type A behavior, and not cigarette
smoking, causes cancer and lung disease () and that smoking
prevents Alzheimer’s disease ().
Encouraged the view among smokers that low tar cigarettes were
safer ().
Used movies, and now social media, to glamorize nicotine addiction
and vaping/smoking (, , , ).
Distorted the history of Nazi Germany and tobacco control ()
and promoted the view that smoking is free will (, ).
Encouraged cigarette smoking in the military by giving out free
cigarettes and other promotions ().
Promoted the excuse that air pollution kills more people than ciga-
rettes and that air pollution is more toxic than cigarettes ().
Manipulated research to promote its interests and suppressed
research showing the harms of cigarette smoking ().
The tobacco industry has also continued the creation of doubt and
spread misinformation even to , during the worst pandemic in
 years:
Promoted the studies (later withdrawn) that nicotine and smok-
ing helped prevent COVID-, even though a study of . million
adults in the UK found that smoking increased the risk of COVID-
related death by % (–).
This again shows why my decision of not to include any published
studies with tobacco/nicotine/vaping authors or journals, or those with
a conf‌lict of interest, was appropriate to this industry and the drug they
Although the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between the
United States and tobacco companies on  February  cost the tobacco
industry $ billion over  years, Big Tobacco advertised more after the
MSA and more than made up for loss of money by encouraging smoking
in China and less developed countries ().

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