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Philip Morris Ads Rebut ‘Nicotine Manipulation’ Accusations

March 21, 1996

RICHMOND (AP) _ Philip Morris Cos. Inc. plans to run advertisements in national newspapers Friday that challenges claims the company manipulates nicotine levels in its cigarettes to keep smokers ``hooked.″

``What does Philip Morris have to say about the allegation of `nicotine manipulation?′ ... Plenty, ″ the ad says in bold letters.

It says the company works hard to maintain the consistency and quality of its products but ``quality control ... does not constitute `manipulation.′ ″

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday released affidavits in which three former research and production employees from Philip Morris’ Richmond operations alleged the company systematically adjusts and tests nicotine levels to keep smokers ``hooked.″

The new disclosures prompted the FDA to reopen a public comment period for 30 days on its proposal to regulate nicotine as a drug.

In an interview to be broadcast on CBS News’ ``60 Minutes″ Sunday, Ian Uydess, who resigned as Philip Morris senior scientist in 1989 said the company resisted making a safer cigarette because of worries about lawsuits and losing market share.

CBS released an excerpt from the interview Thursday.

In the affidavits released Monday, Uydess said Philip Morris used nicotine to keep smokers buying its products.

Friday’s newspaper ads invite customers to call the company or look at the World Wide Web for information on how cigarettes are made.

``After reading this information, you will understand why we deny the allegation that we `manipulate’ nicotine,″ the ad says.

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