Good old PM is once again providing lots of laffs over its flat footed machinations. More foolishness from the "stupid company?"

The reflexively anti-tobacco San Francisco Chronicle is in high dudgeon over a $6-million grant from America’s largest cigarette manufacturer to the professionally anti-tobacco University of California. What sets off alarm bells for the paper and its anti-tobacco clients is the grant documentation itself, a 200 hundred page proposal that is heavily redacted. Missing information includes the names of the researchers conducting the research, the nature of the research itself and a purpose or goal for the research.

"I am flabbergasted," said Stanton Glantz, a University of California professor (degree in mechanical engineering) and pharmaceutical company shill. "If they are so ashamed of what they are doing that they have to hide it, they shouldn’t be doing it."

Considering his nasty slanders against smokers, propped up by his own shoddy "research", shame is obviously a concept as foreign to Glantz as common sense is to Philip Morris. Glantz’s outrage could be due to chagrin with all that tobacco money flowing into the university some of it should have made its way into his pockets. He, after all, has gotten rich off tobacco money himself.

What’s missing from the story, as always, is any hint that anything improper is going on with this grant to the university. Had there been even a whiff of illegality or unethical conduct California’s attorney general would have been hogging the media circuit vowing a full investigation.

Much of the redaction is due to the sensitivity of using animals in research. It appears that individuals involved in animal research are routinely shielded, a shame, in a way, since discomforting, harming, and killing animals in the name of tobacco research should anger all people. Aside from animal cruelty issues Philip Morris stockholders should be the font of real outrage.

It is clear through the grant proposal and through Philip Morris that the purpose of the grant is to "increase scientific understanding in the field of adolescent tobacco use, addiction and cessation." So there it is again, a cigarette company conducting research on how to get people to stop smoking, concentrating on behavior control and smoking cessation products all wrapped up in the addiction canard. How cooperating in demonizing smoking delivers to the long-time bottom line of a tobacco purveyor can best be answered by the bright boys in the upper echelons of a company that long ago threw in the towel, bent over and whined, do it again to me but this time do it harder.

Since Philip Morris is and will be taking heat for its investment in public relations, feel-good and politically correct research, we ask the company to consider giving Forces the $6-million instead. We will not redact any of our goals to be attained with the money nor will we cower before agenda-driven newspapers like the San Francisco Chronicle. We may not end the persecution of smokers (and tobacco companies) with six million dollars but we will produce far more positive results for smokers and Philip Morris than addiction specialist eggheads working for the University of California.



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