Former tobacco researcher to speak

Victor J. DeNoble, a former research scientist at Philip Morris Co. and a key witness in the case against tobacco companies, will be on the Washington State University campus Nov. 3 to discuss the addictive nature of nicotine.

The free event will be at 5:30 p.m. in Todd Hall Auditorium and is open to the public.

DeNoble will give a personal account of the research within the tobacco industry, including the amount of money spent by the industry to study why smokers smoke and how to keep them smoking. He will also present proof that nicotine is a highly addictive drug, not a flavor factor in smoking.

In the 1980s, DeNoble was recruited to develop a safer cigarette for the Philip Morris tobacco company. In his secret laboratory he studied the effects of nicotine on the brain and succeeded in developing a nicotine substitute that was free of the negative effects that nicotine has on the heart. Fearing that his research would support the claims that nicotine was addictive, the tobacco company seized his laboratory and DeNoble was fired. Silenced by a secrecy agreement, his story remained uncovered for more than a decade.

However, in 1994, after a congressional release from his confidentiality agreement with Philip Morris, he became the first whistle-blower to begin tearing down the wall of secrecy built by the tobacco industry.

DeNoble has testified before Congress, the Food and Drug Administration and former Vice President Al Gore’s Tobacco Settlement Committee. He has also appeared on “60 Minutes” and “Dateline NBC.”

Currently, DeNoble is the vice president of Hissho Inc., a scientific and medical communications company.

The event is sponsored by the Whitman County Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. Pullman Memorial Hospital will host a reception following DeNoble’s presentation.

Tobacco Quit Line: (877) 270-STOP

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