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Smokescreen: The Truth Behind the Tobacco Industry Cover-Up

Addison-Wesley, 1996

 

This book is an investigation of the tobacco industry's forty-year disinformation campaign on cigarette smoking, from Hilts, who was the reporter who broke the story of the tobacco companies' thousands of pages of secret documents. His reports were among those that started the "tobacco wars" in the United States, which continue today in the courts.

 

The book includes:
--A detailed picture of how one company markets cigarettes to children as young as twelve years old, along with the surveys it uses with these youngsters to determine what they want.
--Material never before published on R.J. Reynolds' marketing to what they euphemistically call "young adults."
--Fresh documents not found in any other book, including the deposition of Brown & Williamson researcher Jeffry Wigand, the statements of three Philip Morris executives who broke ranks, and details from inside the ABC-Philip Morris lawsuit that had not been published elsewhere.
--A description of the fakery used to make modern cigarettes. Only about half of a modern cigarette is tobacco leaf; the rest includes everything from scraps off the floor to ammonia.

 

Smokescreen was selected as one of the "ten best books of the year" by Business Week, and was a finalist in the London Financial Times global business book awards.

 

"A penetrating look behind the facade of Big Tobacco." New York Review of Books

 

"A vivid and compelling job of investigative reporting...A wonderful crime tale." San Francisco Chronicle

 

"Accessible and exciting...The book unwinds almost like a Greek tragedy." Business Week