Tobacco Industry Aggression and Retribution

Internal Tobacco Institute Memorandum

TO: Susan M. Stuntz
      Martin J. Gleason
FROM: John Lyons
SUBJECT: Anti-smoking Practices of the Insurance Industry

Summary of Image
Page One
More and more corporations are voluntarily banning smoking in their workplaces
Consider ways THE INSTITUTE might combat them
Program to discourage the anti-smoking practices of the insurance industry
Proposal maps out first six months including specific, measurable goals
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Summary of Image
Page Two
Proposal is expensive, no less than $5,000 per month for six months plus expenses
Launch program now because several significant insurance industry meetings are scheduled
Proposal deserves THE INSTITUTE'S serious consideration
We should aggressively challenge the false premises perpetuated by workplace restiction advocates
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BACKGROUND NOTE: It's little known to the public, but the tobacco industry took aggressive action against other businesses and industries that voluntarily enacted policies to provide clean indoor air, eliminate tobacco ads, offer employees incentives to quit smoking or any one of a number of other steps that contributed to the de-institutionalization of nicotine addiction.

The internal documents contain many examples of this aggression. Today's document is an example of this.

The tobacco industry designed and funded a highly intricate plot that they called "The Insurance Program," to bring public wrath and even a congressional investigation of "discriminatory practices" down upon the insurance industry after they started to offer non-smoker discounts. The program was in its earliest stages when this document was written.


...Attached are two memoranda Peter prepared at my request. The first proposes a program to discourage the anti-smoking practices of the insurance industry by raising insurance industry executives', regulators' and legislators' awareness of the discriminatory nature of nonsmoker discounts. John Ingram, once a key "consumer rights" nemesis of the insurance industry, would be the lynchpin of the program. Ingram would created a consumer rights group on behalf of which he would speak and publish to expose and eliminate the insurance industr's most common discriminatory practices.

...At the same time, the proposal is expensive. Ingram demands no less than $5,000 per month for six months plus expenses...

[Most interesting and revealing is the following note that is handwritten on the front page of the memo:]

Susan --- Interesting. Might work if we could wrap smoker discrimination into a package of other credible forms of discrimination. Industry will not take this attack lightly and will fight back fiercely. We would have to have a strong attack and a good defense. MG 11/27

Anne Landman
American Lung Association of Colorado, West Region Office
Grand Junction

Type of Document: Internal Tobacco Institute Memorandum
From: John Lyons
To: Susan Stuntz and Martin J. Gleason
Title: Anti-Smoking Practices of the Insurance Industry
Date: November 22, 1989
Bates No. TIMN0034730


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