In 1953 the tobacco companies, tired of being at war with each other, met to form a common front. Although they knew then that 94 percent of lung cancer deaths were among smokers they issued “The Frank Statement” in which they denied that smoking causes cancer. This is described as the biggest public relations campaign in all history. They promised that if cigarettes proved dangerous they would be pulled off the market. While this was a clear lie there was no political opposition until the 1990s. At a hearing organized by 46 American states in 1998 each of the seven tobacco company executives who were called to testify deny that nicotine is addictive. The resolution was that they would pay 201 billion dollars to avoid a verdict. They were also forbidden to market to children (in the United States) and to make available to the public all of their documents. No documents could be destroyed until 2008. While they released millions of pages of useless information dogged research unearthed some interesting admissions: “Nicotine is addictive. We are in the business of selling an addictive drug.”
A history of the tobacco industry’s lies and scams. From the US in 1953 to Africa today, the controversy between individual responsibility and corporate greed is portrayed in a lucid, undaunted manner.
"From scientific frauds to working with organized crime", tobacco companies show their hidden agenda more clearly than ever in this theatrically released documentary.