When the dangers of smoking first became widely known, cigarette companies secretly hired biomedical scientists to create confusion. A new study co-authored by TobaccoWiki editor Anne Landman shows that cigarette makers also used sociology to try to shift public opinion. The Social Costs/Social Values Project of the late 1970s and early 1980s paid respected philosophers, political scientists, psychologists and sociologists to develop pro-smoking arguments that avoided any mention of health or medicine. The resulting arguments included that smoking has positive social benefits, that cigarette taxes are regressive, that anti-tobacco advocates act out of self-interest, and that applying a cost-benefit analysis to smoking is inappropriate. Another project, the Associates for Research into the Science of Enjoyment or ARISE, recruited academics in the 1990s to counteract the information that cigarettes were addictive. ARISE "experts" were paid to attend conferences, write books and give interviews in which they said that smoking, drinking tea, shopping and eating chocolate all promoted good health by relieving stress.
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