Philip Morris Accused of Adjusting Nicotine Levels

  • Share
  • Read Later
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Three former Philip Morris employees have accused the tobacco giant of manipulating nicotine in cigarettes, according to government affidavits released today. Ian Uydess, former Philip Morris senior scientist, Philip Morris' former research director William Farone, and a former Richmond., Va. plant manager told the Food and Drug Administration that Philip Morris alters nicotine levels several times in the cigarette making process. Their accusations contradict the firm's sworn testimony before Congress in 1994. Then president William Campbell denied that the company controls nicotine or that the chemical is addictive. He also said that the tobacco is never blended to achieve a certain nicotine level. "The testimony of these scientists is very important," says TIME's Elaine Shannon. "The affidavits corroborate the things whistle blower Jeffrey Wigand and the FDA commissioner have been saying. The scientists describe a range of tests that tobacco companies have performed which prove to the industry that nicotine is addictive and that they need to keep a certain level of nicotine in cigarettes to keep people hooked." Shannon reports that the testimony will help the FDA in its fight to regulate tobacco as a drug delivery device. The FDA will propose a series of rules to sharply limit cigarette advertising and access, particularly to minors. "The FDA will use these new affidavits to support the rules and bolster its case," says Shannon.