Smokescreen: The Truth Behind the Tobacco Industry Cover-Up

by Philip J. Hilts (Author)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
Rushed into print because of public interest in the troubles of the tobacco
industry, this is less a single investigation than a fast-paced, rewarding tour
by New York Times reporter Hilts through the recent revelations that have Big
Tobacco on the run. He convincingly sketches an industry conspiracy to minimize
public awareness of the dangers of smoking. As internal corporate documents
leaked to Hilts show, while industry officials claim they don't manipulate
levels of addictive nicotine in cigarettes, they have done so for years and this
makes the firms increasingly vulnerable to lawsuits. Hilts's documents also
reveal, chillingly, how tobacco companies target youths, their most crucial
market. He untangles tobacco industry lies at Congressional hearings, tells the
stories of several crucial whistle-blowers and points out the corruption of a
Congress in thrall to tobacco bucks. In contrast with Richard Kluger, whose
recent cigarette history, Ashes to Ashes (Forecasts, March 11), is more
comprehensive but less up-to-the-minute, Hilts offers no specific plan for
reform. He suggests that the momentum created by a government finally willing to
regulate, revelations about corporate dishonesty and the willingness of tobacco
companies to acknowledge the hazards of smoking and perhaps to develop a less
dangerous cigarette could lead to "a workable social compact on tobacco."
$100,000 ad/promo; author tour.

From Booklist
There are so many aspects to the controversies surrounding cigarettes and
smoking that it will take a number of books to clear the air. Two recent titles
[both reviewed in BKL Ap 1 96] include Richard Kluger's Ashes to Ashes, a survey
of the history of tobacco and the social aspects of smoking from the perspective
of Philip Morris, and Stanton Glantz's The Cigarette Papers, a study of the
incriminating internal documents purloined from the Brown & Williamson (B & W)
Tobacco Company. As a result of these books, Addison-Wesley has moved forward
publication of Hilts' story, which documents decades of corporate deceit. As
science and health writer for the New York Times, Hilts first broke the
incredible story of intrigue behind the B & W papers, and he elaborates on that
here. He begins this account in 1953, when the public first learned of a
possible link between cancer and cigarettes. He shows how tobacco companies
mislead the public, adulterate their product, target the young, and intimidate
critics. The issue of smoking aside, Hilts' is a troubling look at the abuses of
corporate power. David Rouse

Product Details

Hardcover: 253 pages
Publisher: Addison Wesley Publishing Company (May 1996)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0201488361



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