Their Product Is Doubt–Deceptive Government Campaign Against Electronic Cigarettes
C. Everett Koop, Surgeon General under President Ronald Reagan, was an ardent crusader against smoking. As he said of himself in 1998, “I frequently spoke of the sleazy behavior of the tobacco industry in its attempts to discredit legitimate science as part of its overall effort to create controversy and doubt.” Koop was referring to doubt surrounding the relationship between smoking and lung cancer.
The word “doubt” carried special resonance. It conjured an infamous 1969* internal memo from the Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company. “Doubt is our product,” a B and W executive instructed his colleagues… “[It] is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the mind of the public… of establishing a controversy.”