Friday, August 31, 2012

Making Cigarettes Super Addictive

Whistle Blower Tells How Phillip Morris Built Secret 'Addiction' Lab

LABELLE, FL. --  A documentary film about the guest speaker for the next Hendry-Glades Tobacco Free Partnership meeting features a cigarette company's research psychologist's attempt to find an "safe" addictive chemical to place in tobacco products.

Dr. Victor J. DeNoble, a Ph.D. in psychology was recruited in 1980 by the Phillip Morris Research Center to build a secret research lab and to develop a cigarette with reduced heart risk but still with addictive qualities.

After successfully identifying a nicotine substitute that did not elevate the heart rate in animal models, his attempts to publish his work were suppressed by Philip Morris and he was eventually fired and his laboratory and data were seized.

(Video: clip from 2011 documentary Addiction, Inc.)

In 1994, after a decade of being silenced by a secrecy agreement, Dr. DeNoble became the first whistle-blower to testify before Congress about his research conducted within the tobacco industry. His research showed that nicotine has addictive properties similar to other drugs of addiction.

His congressional testimony was the cornerstone for sweeping changes in public policy regarding tobacco use, the national tobacco settlement and the events leading up to President Obama’s signing into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in 2009.

Since his congressional testimony, Dr. DeNoble has been speaking to a wide range of audiences about his experience in the tobacco industry and providing education about the science of drug addiction.

DeNoble will be speaking at the Moore Haven (Florida) High School auditorium on Wednesday, September 12 at 6:00 pm. to detail his work with cigarette maker Phillip Morris to find an addictive substance to add to tobacco. He will also be speaking at the LaBelle High School auditorium at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11th and at the Clewiston High auditorium at 6 p.m. Thursday, September 12th.

Dr. DeNoble will explain how the developing teen brain is susceptible to addiction and how exposure to tobacco and other drugs can affect the brains of users for a life time.

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