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The following electronic only article is published in conjunction with this issue of Tobacco Control.
Philip Morris's website and television commercials use new language to mislead the public into believing it has changed its stance on smoking and disease
Lissy C Friedman
Objectives: This paper analyses Philip Morris's evolving website and the legal strategies employed in its creation and dissemination.
Methods: Internal tobacco documents were searched and examined and their substance verified and triangulated using media accounts, legal and public health research papers, and visits to Philip Morris's website. Various drafts of website language, as well as informal discussion of the website's creation, were located in internal Philip Morris documents. I compared website statements pertaining to Philip Morris's stance on cigarette smoking and disease with statements made in tobacco trials.
Results: Philip Morris created and disseminated its website's message that it agreed that smoking causes disease and is addictive in an effort to sway public opinion, while maintaining in a litigation setting its former position that it cannot be proved that smoking causes disease or is addictive.
Conclusions: Philip Morris has not changed its position on smoking and health or addiction in the one arena where it has the most to lose—in the courtroom, under oath.
(Tobacco Control 2007;16:e9) http://tc.bmj.com/cgi/reprint/16/6/e9