Former Vice President, Brown & Williamson Tobacco

See also: Tobacco Deal Timeline | Michael Moore Interview | David Kessler Interview

Wigand on why he decided to become a Whistle blower: "I had what I would consider some moral compass issues that I was dealing with in terms of what principle do I my guiding principle here? And I wanted to get the truth out. I wanted to make sure it got out. I felt that the industry as a whole had defrauded the American public. And there were things that I felt needed to be said."


Wigand talked to the media about the tobacco industry but also became a critically important source for the attorneys general Medicaid cases, the FDA and the Justice Department. He was able to bring industry documents to life and provide an insider's perspective on manipulation of nicotine and other complicated issues.

Contribution to the Deal

Wigand met secretly with Dr. David Kessler of the FDA and explained to him how nicotine was chemically altered to make it stronger. His deposition for the attorneys general Medicaid cases was the single most important evidence that would emerge from within the industry.


Wigand was freed from tobacco industry lawsuits when the June 20,1997 agreement was reached. He has maintained that his primary goal has been to get to the truth and to share with the American public evidence about the tobacco industry's past lies.

Personal Information:

Jeffrey Wigand, a Ph.D. in Biochemestry, was a Vice President of Research for Brown & Williamson Tobacco. After being fired from the company, he began talking to CBS News "60 Minutes." He was sued by Brown & Williamson, and his personal life fell apart. Wigand became a high school science teacher, and he stands as the highest level whistleblower ever to emerge from within the tobacco industry.

Affiliations: Tobacco industry

Cards they hold (issues):

Cards: Internal information from the Industry | Support of Dick Scruggs and Mike Moore Tobacco Whistleblower, Brown & Williamson Tobacco

Return to top of page

home .  discussion .  quiz .  the criminal probe .  will there be a deal? .  a look at the depositions .  big tobacco - what's at stake .  interviews

timelines .  faqs .  links & readings .  synopsis .  tapes & transcripts .  press reaction

frontline online .  wgbh .  pbs online

web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation