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Tobacco Industry Records

Administrative Summary of the Tobacco Institute


  • Incorporated in 1958 as principal trade association intended to foster public understanding of smoking and health controversy, to "increase awareness of historic role of tobacco and its place in the U.S. economy"; consisted of 11 companies that manufacture/market cigarettes, other tobacco products. Intended to speak as one voice for the industry.
  • 1964 Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health affected functions-added federal activities, public relations (1966-67), general counsel's office (1969), medical-statistical component (1970).
  • 1970s:
    • established field offices on regional basis in response to efforts to regulate smoking in public places and workplace
    • founded Tobacco Action Network-volunteer response organization on smoking regulation in public, workplaces
    • expanded public communications activities, including: establishing The Tobacco Observer, specialty publication on tobacco issues; program of public appearances and interviews on tv and radio
  • 4 staff in 1958; 32 in 1977
  • Set up Tobacco Institute Testing Laboratory in 1967 to keep track of Federal Trade Commission's Tar and Nicotine Laboratory and ensure it's work was accurate.

Stated functions:

  • promote better public understanding of tobacco industry and its place in national economy
  • cooperate with governmental agencies and public officials with reference to tobacco industry;
  • collect and disseminate information re. use of tobacco; scientific and medical material re. tobacco; information re. tobacco industry published by any federal or state gov't agency, or from any other non-industry source; information re. federal/state legislative and administrative developments affecting tobacco industry;
  • promote "good will"
  • Field representatives: advise institute of developments in regions (6), speak for institute when occasion arises; work/cooperate with local tobacco people on industry problems that came up.


  • Board of directors: consisted of chief executives of member companies; elected annually
  • Executive committee: committee of the board responsible for interim policy directions when board not available; set overall policies; composed of the CEO and head of the tobacco division of each of 5 major companies supporting institute. Met 6 times a year to receive staff reports, set policy.
  • Standing committees: legal-legislative; communications; budget; various ad-hoc committees.
  • (1977): Senior vice presidents for: Government Relations; Communications; State Activities (1962) expanded to have 6 field staff (1974); Administration. Director of Statistics (1970); Medical Director (1970). Public Relations staff (1967).
  • (1974) Field representatives.