Nicotine and Tobacco: 1994 Testimony

Witnesses: William Campbell, President & CEO, Philip Morris, USA

James W. Johnston, Chairman and CEO, RJR Tobacco Company

Joseph Taddeo, President, U.S. Tobacco Company

Andrew H. Tisch, Chairman and CEO, Lorillard Tobacco Compnany

Edward A. Horrigan, Chairman and CEO, Liggett Group Inc.

Thomas E. Sandefur, Chairman and CEO, Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp.

Donald S. Johnston, President and CEO,

American Tobacco Company

Chaired by: Henry Waxman (D-CA)

 Click here for the section of this hearing where the seven executives testify they 'do not believe nicotine is addictive.'

Rep. Waxman: The meeting of the subcommittee will come to order. I'd like to ask our guests to please take your seats. This is an historic hearing. For the first time ever, the chief executive officers of our nation's tobacco companies are testifying together before the United States Congress. They are here because this subcomittee has legislative jurisdiction over those issues that affect our health. And no health issue is as important as cigarette smoking.

It is sometimes easier to invent fiction than to face the truth. The truth is that cigarettes are the single most dangerous consumer product ever sold. Nearly a half million Americans die every year as a result of tobacco. This is an astounding, almost incomprehensible statistic. Imagine our nation's outrage if two fully loaded jumbo jets crashed each day, killing all aboard. Yet that's the same number of Americans that cigarettes kill every 24 hours. Sadly, this deadly habit begins with our kids. Each day 3,000 children will begin smoking. In many cases, they become hooked quickly and develop a lifelong addiction that is nearly impossible to break. For the past 30 years, a series of surgeons general have issued comprehensive reports outlining the dangers these children will eventually face. Lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, bladder cancer and stroke are only some of the diseases tobacco causes.

And now we know that kids will face a serious health threat even if they don't smoke. Environmental tobacco smoke is a class A carcinogen and it sickens more than a million kids every year. In fact, five former surgeons general of the United States have said before this subcommittee this year that the most important legislation in diseae prevention that we could enact would be restrictions on smoking in public places. This subcommittee will soon act on that legislation and it will consider other measures as well. This hearing will aid our efforts by presenting an important perspective. But these hearings are important for another reason as well. For decades, the tobacco companies have been exempt from the standards of responsibility and accountability that apply to all other American corporations. Companies that sell aspirin, cars and soda are all held to strict standards when they cause harm. We don't allow those companies to sell goods that recklessly endanger consumers. We don't allow them to suppress evidence of dangers when harm occurs. We don't allow them to ignore science and good sense. And we demand that when problems occur, corporations and their senior executives be accountable to Congress and the public.

This hearing marks the beginning of a new relationship between Congress and the tobacco companies. The old rules are out. The standards that apply to every other company is in. We look forward to hearing the testimony this morning and to working with these companies to begin to reduce the extraordinary public health threat that their product poses. An old proverb says that a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. Today is the first step. Many more are to come as we deal with the most serious health problem facing our nation.

Rep. Waxman: Thank you very much, Mr. Kreidler. Gentlemen, we welcome you to our hearing today. There's a blue pamphlet at the witness table that will inform you of the limits on the power of this subcommittee and the extent of your rights during your appearance today. You are I am sure all aware that you are entitled to be represented by counsel or advised by counsel during your appearance here today.

Do you or those who have asked to accompany you object to appearing before this subcommittee under oath? If not, I'd like you to rise, and those who will be testifying as well with you to rise.

Do raise your right hands. Do you swear that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Witnesses: I do.

Rep. Waxman: Please consider yourself to be under oath. And we would like to ask each of you to identify yourself, including those who are accompanying the witnesses, so that we can have that for the record.

Mr. Campbell: My name is William Campbell, I am President and Chief Executive of Phillip Morris USA. I am accompanied by Harold Brinley (sp) our Director of Processing and Dr. Kathy Ellis, our Director of Research.

Mr. Johntson: My name is Jim Johnson, I am Chairman and CEO of RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. I am accompanied by Andy Schlinder, our head of manufacturing and operation; Carl Leeman (sp) our head of R&D; and Richard Cooper, our outside counsel and former general counsel of the FDA.

Mr. Taddeo: My name is Joe Taddeo, I'm President of U.S. Tobacco. I am accompanied by Robert Laurence, he's our Executive Vice President of Manufacturing and R&D.

Mr. Tisch: Mr. Chairman, I am Andrew H. Tisch, Chairman and Chief Executive Office of Lorillard Tobacco Company. With me is Dr. Alexander W. Spears Lorillard's Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Spears has senior responsibility for Lorelei's research and production operations.

Mr. Horrigan: Mr. Chairman, I'm Ed Horrigan, Chairman and Chief Executive Office of Leggett Group, and accompanying me this morning is Greg Sulan our Vice President of Operations.

Mr. Sandefur: Mr. Chairman, I'm Tommy Sandefur, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company. I'm accompanied by Dr. John Jewel who is charge of our manufacturing and production, operations, as well as Tilford Reel (sp) who is Vice President of R&D.

Mr. Johntson: Mr. Chairman, my name is Donald Johnson, I'm President, Chief Executive Officer of American Tobacco Company, and with me today is Robert S. Sprinkle Executive Vice President Research and Quality Assurance.

Rep. Waxman: I thank you all very much. Without objection your prepared statements will be a part of the record in full. We would ask that you summarize your prepared statement in approximately ten minutes or less. I want to note that at the request Mr. Bliley we've agreed to allow Mr. Campbell of Phillip Morris and Mr. Johnson of RJ Reynolds an additional five minutes to complete their presentations. I want to also note before we begin that our subcommittee received a number of requests from members of the House of Representatives who desire to present oral testimony. Although the hearing scheduled precluded expanding the witness list today, without objection the record will be held open to receive testimony from those of our colleagues who requested to testify.

Mr. Campbell, we would like to start with you. And I guess the best thing to do is to pass the microphone right in front of you.

Mr. Campbell: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the subcommittee. In recent weeks a number of charges have been leveled against the tobacco industry generally, and Phillip Morris specifically. I sincerely hope that you and other members of the subcommittee are today interested in separating the facts from the rhetoric regarding issues raised a few weeks ago in Commissioner Kessler's presentation.

Be that as it may, our consumers are being mislead and when that happens Phillip Morris has and will continue to speak out loudly and clearly. Our consumers deserve to know the truth and I thank you for creating a forum that allows me the opportunity to set the record straight. I have a few charts that I would ask that they be put on the record, if you will. We have copies of them available here.

First of all, Phillip Morris does not add nicotine to our cigarettes. Phillip Morris does not manipulate nor independently control the level of nicotine in our products. There were a number of incorrect statements or assumptions in Commissioner Kessler's presentation. These issues are not new, many require a detailed rebuttal. The claim that cigarette smoking is addictive has been made for many years. The fact that tar and nicotine levels vary among our many products has been publicized for over 20 years. The process by which cigarettes are manufactured, and which at our invitation FDA representatives saw first hand several weeks ago, has been publicly known for over 50 years. And the call for FDA to assert or be given jurisdiction over cigarettes has been made and rejected by the FDA and the courts on several occasions in the past. To the extent possible in the time available today, my colleagues and I will try to answer the subcommittee's questions and will be happy to supplement the points we make in a detailed written submission.

Point one: Phillip Morris does not add nicotine to our cigarettes. The claim that Phillip Morris secretly adds nicotine during the manufacturing process to keep smokers addicted is false. The processes used to manufacture cigarettes have been a matter of public record for years in patent filing and in the public literature. The result of that processing, cigarettes with varying levels of tar and nicotine reflecting a wide variety of consumer preferences, has been closely monitored and reported by the Federal Trade Commission. The manufacturers have published the deliveries in every advertisement for the past 25 years. The fact is that tar and nicotine levels have decreased dramatically over the past 40 years. Today the market is populated with a number of ultra-low brands which deliver less than five percent of the tar and nicotine levels of popular brands just 20 years ago. Phillip Morris and other manufacturers have reduced nicotine deliveries in a number of ways. The most important is through the use of increasingly efficient filters which substantially reduce main smoke components, including both tar and nicotine.

Filtration alone reduces nicotine delivery by 35 to 45 percent, as compared to cigarettes made of simply tobacco and paper. Through a process called ventilation, which allows fresh air to be drawn through the cigarette, nicotine levels are reduced by a further 10 to 50 percent. Through the use of expanded tobacco, a process developed by which Phillip Morris puffed tobacco much like puffed rice cereal, tar and nicotine levels are reduced still further. A fourth manufacturing technique, the reconstituted tobacco process also reduces the nicotine in cigarettes. This process, which has been thoroughly described in the literature for years, does not increase nicotine levels in tobacco or in cigarettes. Through this process, 20 to 25 percent of the nicotine in the tobacco used to make reconstituted leaf is lost and is not replaced.

These processes, when combined in the cigarettes Phillip Morris sells today, reduce nicotine deliveries, for example, by 50 percent in the case of Marlboro and 90 percent in the case of Merit Ultima, again, compared to cigarettes made simply of tobacco and paper. Ignoring these reductions, some critics have focused on the minute amount of nicotine which are found in tobacco extracts and denatured alcohol. Even when used together, they have no measurable effect on the nicotine levels of our cigarettes.

Phillip Morris uses small amounts of denatured alcohol. To apply to flavors to the tobacco, the alcohol is denatured, in fact, in order to make it drinkable -- non-drinkable under a formula required by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and found in the federal register. In other words, the outside vendors who supply us with the denatured alcohol, use that tiny amount of nicotine solely to comply with the federal law. All use by Phillip Morris is reported annually to the BATF.

Phillip Morris has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to reduce tar and nicotine levels to provide the product that the marketplace demands. Why, if we were supposedly intent on adding nicotine to cigarettes, why would Phillip Morris have spent over $300 million to develop a process to de-nicotinize tobacco and launch (Next ?), a near zero nicotine brand. I'll tell you why.

Our public opinion research indicated smokers were interested in a no-nicotine cigarette. Our Maxwell House Coffee Company had pioneered processes for decaffination of coffee, and we used that technology as a spring board for de-nicotinization of tobacco. The process worked, the resulting product did not. We gambled $300 million and lost. That's business. If Phillip Morris does not drive constantly to meet consumer demands, we will fail in the American marketplace. Point two, Phillip Morris does not manipulate, nor independently control the level of nicotine in our product. We voluntarily opened our manufacturing operations to the FDA in a good faith effort to resolve the allegation that we add nicotine or control its level in our cigarettes.

As representatives of the FDA learned, nicotine levels in tobacco are measured at only two points in our manufacturing process -- prior to the tobaccos being blended and then 18 months later when those leaves have been manufactured into finished cigarettes. Although Phillip Morris maintains over 400 quality control checkpoints in the manufacturing process that measure things like moisture, weight, etcetera, none -- not one measure, report or analyze nicotine levels in tobacco. Mr. Kessler indicated in his testimony that the nicotine-to-tar ratio increased as tar delivery decreased. The reason for the slight increase in the nicotine ratio in lowered tar and nicotine cigarettes is not the result of intentional manipulation, but the result of the difference between filtering tar and filtering nicotine. Simply put, filters are more efficient in removing tar than nicotine. As tar and nicotine levels fall, proportionally more tar is filtered out than nicotine. This does not mean that consumers of low tar cigarettes get more nicotine, quite the contrary.

On an absolute basis, far less nicotine is delivered per cigarette in lower tar and nicotine deliveries. Commissioner Kessler suggested that during the period 1982 to '91, tar delivery levels have remained flat, while nicotine delivery levels have increased. The fact is, after substantial decreases since the 1950s, tar and nicotine deliveries both have remained relatively flat during the past decade.

Fact three, Phillip Morris has not used patented processes to increase or maintain nicotine levels. Commissioner Kessler spent a great deal of his testimony attempting to support the proposition that Phillip Morris may be using secret, patented processes to increase or maintain nicotine delivery in our cigarettes. We have not; we are not. Phillip Morris, like every other corporation, applies for and obtains patents on virtually every innovation we pioneer. That is critical to ongoing research efforts. Phillip Morris currently holds over 600 patents, only about a quarter describe processes ever used. The processes described in the patent are no more secret than the regulations of the FDA. They are publicly disclosed upon issuance through the U.S. Patent Office. In his testimony, Commissioner Kessler said he had no evidence that Phillip Morris or any of the other companies ever actually used any of these patents to increase or maintain nicotine levels.

As he correctly said, patents do not necessarily tell us what processes are currently being used in manufacturing cigarettes. To make myself perfectly clear, Phillip Morris has never used any of the patents Commissioner Kessler cited, except those to reduce nicotine levels. Fact four, cigarette smoking -- point four, cigarette smoking is not addictive. During the March 25th hearing, Commissioner Kessler and members of the sub-committee contended that nicotine is an addictive drug, and therefore, smokers are drug addicts. I strenuously object to that premise; I strenuously object to that conclusion.

Cigarettes contain nicotine because it occurs naturally in tobacco. Nicotine contributes to the taste of cigarettes and the pleasures of smoking. The presence of nicotine, however, does not make cigarettes a drug or smoking addiction. Coffee, Mr. Chairman, contains caffeine and few people seem to enjoy coffee that does not. Does that make coffee a drug? Are coffee drinkers drug addicts? I think not. People can and do quit smoking, according to the 1988 Surgeon General's report, there are more than 40 million former smokers in the United States, and 90 percent of those who quit, did so on their own, without any outside help.

Smoking is not intoxicating; no one gets drunk from cigarettes and no one has said that smokers do not function normally. Smoking does not impair judgment. In short, no one is likely to be arrested for driving under the influence of cigarettes. Our consumers smoke for many reasons. Smokers are not drug users or drug addicts, and we do not appreciate or accept being characterized as such, because yes, Mr. Chairman, I am one of the 50 million smokers in this country.

Point five, Phillip Morris research does not establish that smoking is addictive. At the March 25th hearing, Commissioner Kessler made the statement, supported by Dr. Henningfield, that in 1983, a company later identified as Phillip Morris, suppressed research by one of its own scientists who allegedly concluded that nicotine was an addictive substance; that is false. In fact, that scientist published two full papers and five abstracts related to the working question, including one published in 1982, a year prior to the creation of the manuscript in question.

The manuscript subsequently provided to the committee by Commissioner Kessler, prevented some evidence that rats will self- administer nicotine and that nicotine, there, is a weak reinforcing agent. The researcher later concluded that nicotine is a reinforcer in the class of non-addictive chemical compounds such as saccharin and water. In addition, and Commissioner Kessler failed to note this, the manuscript itself states, and I quote, 'the termination of prolonged access to nicotine under conditions in which it functions as a positive reinforcer, does not result in physiological dependency.' The manuscript did not conclude that nicotine is addictive and both Dr. Kessler and Dr. Henningfield know that.

More importantly, the committee should know that by the time the Phillip Morris researcher was ready to publish his study in 1983, the positive reinforcing nature of nicotine had already been reported in other published literature. Indeed, the 1988 Surgeon General's report, to which Dr. Henningfield was a contributor, stated that such nicotine reinforcement was showing conclusively as early as 1981 based on government supported research.

Last month, Dr. Henningfield testified before this committee that because the manuscript was unpublished, he could not cite it in his literature reviews. In fact, Dr. Henningfield did cite the manuscript in a 1984 literature review. He wrote, finally, in that same review, Dr. Henningfield acknowledged that another abstract by the same researcher actually showed that even, and I quote, 'At high levels of tobacco smoke or nicotine intake maintained for extended periods, abrupt abstinence is not followed by the onset of withdrawal syndrome.' I'm sure Dr. Henningfield simply forgot that publication.

Point six, consumers are not mislead by the published nicotine deliveries as measured by the FTC method.

Contrary to the impression given by Commissioner Kessler that the FTC has somehow adopted a test procedure that can mislead the public as to the true levels of tar and nicotine they are inhaling, the routine analytical smoking methods derived from the FTC methods are nearly identical to those used throughout the world to measure tar and nicotine levels and accurately compare brand deliveries.

All of the tests are conducted on cigarettes obtained from the marketplace.

They are therefore the same cigarettes smoked by consumers.

Commissioner Kessler suggested that the FTC figures were misleading because smokers might compensate for lower tar and lower nicotine brands by smoking those cigarettes differently. If Commissioner Kessler is also claiming that low-yield cigarette smokers smoke more cigarettes, he is simply wrong. The data shows smokers of low-yield brands smoke fewer cigarettes than smokers of high-yield brands.

Mr. Chairman, we at Phillip Morris appreciate the opportunity to respond to some of the claims made against us. We will be pleased to answer any questions you may have about these matters and to provide a more detailed written submission should that be appropriate. Further, I extend to you and the other members of your subcommittee an invitation to come see our manufacturing process first-hand, as the FDA has already done. We're proud of our company, our products and the people at Phillip Morris. Thank you, sir.

Rep. Waxman: Thank you very much, Mr. Campbell. We do have questions, but we're going to hear from all the witnesses before members on the panel ask their questions. Mr. Johnston, if you'll pull the microphone in front of you.

Mr. James Johnston: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee. Again, I am Jim Johnston, chairman and chief executive officer of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

I appreciate this opportunity to discuss a number of important issues concerning the tobacco industry. I am proud to be here today, to speak for the 45 million adults who choose to smoke and the growers, retailers, and the other 2.3 million Americans who are part of the tobacco industry. I am proud to represent the more than 10,000 people at Reynolds Tobacco who are dedicated to making the best cigarettes we can make. My company and I take very seriously the allegations that have been leveled against us. And I would like the record to clearly show that Reynolds Tobacco does not spike its products with nicotine. In fact, our process results in the loss of nicotine. We do not add or otherwise manipulate nicotine to addict smokers. Finally, there is no justification for the FDA to regulate cigarettes as a drug. I also want to talk to you about the real issue before the American people and this subcommittee. The real issue is, should cigarettes be outlawed? Let's make no mistake about it. The goal of the anti-smoking industry is to bring back prohibition. This morning I intend to show you how they hope to achieve that goal. But first I want to address the charge that Reynolds Tobacco manipulates the level of nicotine in its products. The implication is that we're somehow doing something sinister to addict smokers or to keep them addicted. We do not.

We do reduce the amount of nicotine in our products. We do monitor and measure tar and nicotine yields because we are required to publish those figures in our advertising. And we do maintain the consistent taste and quality of our brands, which our customers expect. But we do not do anything to hook smokers or to keep them hooked.

Let me repeat: We do not manipulate nicotine to addict smokers. We no more manipulate nicotine in cigarettes than coffee manufacturers manipulate caffeine in their products. There is nothing sinister about it. I think the subcommittee should also be aware that Dr. Kessler's definition of addiction would classify most coffee, cola and tea drinkers as addicts, caffeine addicts. Many people experience a strong urge for a cup of coffee each morning, and there is a well- documented physical withdrawal syndrome associated with the consumption of coffee and caffeinated soft drinks.

Nonetheless, I seriously doubt that the American public would say that these characteristics put caffeine in the same class as addictive drugs such as cocaine and heroin. And I don't think anyone would seriously suggest that the FDA consider regulating coffee, tea or soda as drugs, even though soft drink manufacturers routinely add caffeine to their products.

In the same vein, the manufacturers of alcoholic beverages constantly monitor the alcohol content of their products through the fermentation process to precisely control the level of alcohol. In addition, some wines are fortified with added alcohol.

Nonetheless, Reynolds Tobacco is not aware of any efforts to regulate wine, beer or spirits as a drug. And we certainly don't believe that efforts of that type are necessary or desirable. Much of the recent controversy surrounding our products has focused on our use of various techniques that help us reduce the tar and nicotine yields of our products.

Let me be clear. We could stop using those techniques. We could chop up the tobacco and roll it in paper. But the consequence of doing that would be a return to the 1940s, when the average cigarette yielded 40 milligrams of tar, 2.8 milligrams of nicotine. That would increase the tar and nicotine in our cigarettes by 300 to 400 percent.

I trust this committee would not endorse such an effort as a matter of public policy, regardless of your personal views about smoking.

At the last hearing on this subject, some people asked why we don't simply eliminate nicotine from our products. Nicotine plays an essential role in the overall smoking experience. It enhances the taste of the smoke and the way it feels on the smoker's palate, and it contributes to overall smoking enjoyment. During the past several years, there have been a wide variety of attempts to convince the American public that cigarettes are addictive, and some public officials have even gone so far as to put cigarettes in the same class as cocaine and heroin. You don't need to be a trained scientist to see this isn't true. All you need to do is ask and honestly answer two simple questions. First, would you rather board a plane with a pilot who just smoked a cigarette or one with a pilot who just had a couple of beers or snorted cocaine or shot heroin or popped some pills?

Second, if cigarettes were addictive, could almost 43 million Americans have quit smoking, almost all of them on their own without any outside help? The answers are obvious, and that is precisely my point. Cigarettes are clearly not in the same class as addictive, mind- altering drugs like heroin and cocaine. I agree that for some people, cigarette smoking is habit-forming, in the same way that other pleasurable activities, such as watching TV, eating your favorite foods, sometimes overeating your favorite foods, and drinking coffee can be habit-forming. And yes, some smokers find it difficult to quit. But there is nothing about cigarette smoking that prevents a person from clearly thinking and making reasoned decisions, including the decision to quit.

The allegation that smoking cigarettes is addictive is part of a growing and disturbing trend that has destroyed the meaning of the term by characterizing virtually any enjoyable activity as addictive, whether it's eating sweets, drinking coffee, playing video games, or watching TV. This defies common sense.

Now let's go to the real issue: prohibition. The anti-smoking industry is committed to achieving what essentially amounts to prohibition. When confronted, they'll tell you they don't want prohibition, but their actions belie those claims. Regardless of what we in the tobacco industry do, our opponents in the anti-smoking industry cry foul. We produce high-tar cigarettes, and they say reduce tar and nicotine. We lower those levels, and they say it doesn't matter, regulate those products as drugs. Let me cite just two examples. When Phillip Morris introduced a cigarette that was essentially nicotine-free, the Coalition on Smoking or Health called it, quote, "the most dangerous product put on the market in the last 10 years," and they petitioned the FDA to ban it. Several years ago, our company test-marketed cigarettes that had virtually no tar and less nicotine than 97 percent of the cigarettes on the market. It virtually eliminated second-hand smoke and was essentially fire-safe. The response: the product and our company were viciously attacked and petitions were filed with the FDA to ban the product.

The bottom line is, in the eyes of the anti-smoking industry, we can do nothing right short of firing our employees and going out of business. A good example is the recent use of scare tactics concerning the ingredients used by the tobacco industry. Ingredients are added to our product to enhance the flavor and aroma of our products. And despite all the claims that have been made about our ingredients, the fact is more than 99.99 percent of this Winston cigarette and all the cigarettes we make, 99.99 percent is tobacco and ingredients that can be lawfully used in foods. The other 1/100 of one percent are ingredients that have been approved by other governments for use in tobacco products.

In addition, all the ingredients used by the industry have been thoroughly reviewed by a blue-ribbon panel of experts -- scientific experts, toxicologists -- who have concluded that those ingredients are, and I quote, "not hazardous under the conditions of use." So let's be clear about the fact that the anti-smoking industries call for a smoke-free society by the year 2000 is little more than a thinly veiled attempt to achieve back-door prohibition. If you don't believe that's the case, just look at how extreme some of these efforts are -- like trying to prohibit people from smoking outdoors, in public parks, in their cars, or even their own homes. And consider this: Alcohol prohibition started with the anti-alcohol movement claiming that their goal was simply temperance.

The American public overwhelmingly opposes prohibition, whether it comes in through the front door or sneaks in through the back door, so let's be clear about the fact that back-door prohibition is prohibition nonetheless. Raising taxes to force smokers to quit is back-door prohibition. Banning smoking in all public places, indoors and outdoors, including parks, workplaces, and outdoor stadiums to further stigmatize smokers is back-door prohibition. Banning advertising so that new or better products can't be effectively communicated and introduced is censorship and it is back-door prohibition. Forcing manufacturers to produce products that smokers find unsatisfying or unacceptable is back-door prohibition. Attacking every attempt by the industry to respond to public and smoker concerns is back-door prohibition. And advocating that the FDA regulate cigarettes as a drug, which would effectively ban cigarettes from the market is clearly back-door prohibition.

If any member of this subcommittee truly believes that cigarettes are too dangerous to be sold, then stand up. Vote for prohibition, and be prepared for the consequences. But no one should try to use the back door and force prohibition by saying that cigarettes are a drug because they contain tobacco, which contains nicotine.

My company and I must speak up for smokers and for the 85 percent of all Americans who oppose prohibition, so I submit the real question before the American public and this subcommittee is this: Should cigarettes be outlawed? Will adults be allowed to choose to smoke, to afford to smoke, to smoke outside their homes, or is it time to say no, the government knows better? Thank you.

Rep. Waxman: : Thank you, Mr. Johnston.

At the request, I gather, of the witnesses, we're going to call on our next speaker, Thomas E. Sandefur, chairman and CEO of Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company, rather than go down the list. Mr. Sandefur?

Mr. Sandefur: Mr. Chairman, I have a short statement to make. It's been given to the subcommittee. In the sake of time, I'll be more than happy to forego reading that, but if it's -- it's your pleasure. If you want me to read my statement to you, I'll be happy to.

Rep. Waxman: If you want. It's going to be in the record, so --

Mr. Sandefur: It's in the record?

Rep. Waxman: So if you want to say something orally, you can do so. If you don't, we'll move on to the next one.

Mr. Sandefur: Right. Thank you.

Rep. Waxman: We've got a long schedule.

Mr. Sandefur: Thank you.

Rep. Waxman: Okay. Thank you. Next, we'll hear from Andrew Tisch, chairman and CEO of Lorillard Tobacco Company.

Mr. Tisch: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. At the committee's request, I have submitted for the record at this hearing a witness statement that responds to each of the questions set forth in your invitational letter.



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