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FOR RELEASE: August 16, 2000
CONTACT: Dick Gunn
405/271-5601

Tobacco Whistleblower, Victor DeNoble, Meets with the Oklahoma Tobacco Use Prevention Science Advisory Council

The Oklahoma Tobacco Use Prevention Science Advisory Council of the Oklahoma State Department of Health is scheduled to meet with Victor DeNoble, former Phillip Morris researcher and tobacco industry “whistleblower”, Aug. 18 at 10:00 a.m. in the Governor's Large Conference Room at the State Capitol. He will discuss the scientific issues of the nature of tobacco addiction, and what the tobacco industry does not want people to know about tobacco.

A behavioral psychologist, DeNoble became a national figure in the mid 1990s when he became a key player in the federal government's investigation of the tobacco industry. He testified before Congress, the FDA Task Force and the Vice President's Tobacco Settlement Committee. DeNoble also made numerous appearances on television news programs, including "60 Minutes," "Dateline" and "Good Morning America."

The Oklahoma Tobacco Use Prevention Science Advisory Council was created in July 1999 to review and recommend to the Commissioner of Health the best science on the nature of tobacco addiction, its health effects and its prevention or treatment. The following individuals are currently serving on the council:

  • Dr. Ed Brandt, Regents' Professor, College of Public Health, OU Health Sciences Center
  • Dr. Frank Collins, Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training, Oklahoma State University
  • Laurence D. Fechter, Ph.D., Mosier Centennial Professor of Toxicology, Director Oklahoma Center for Toxicology, OU Health Sciences Center
  • Dr. Elisa T. Lee, Dean, College of Public Health, OU Health Sciences Center
  • Robert McCaffree, MD, Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary Disease & Critical Care Section, OU College of Medicine
  • Dr. Joshua Wiener, Chairman, Department of Marketing, Oklahoma State University

In addition to the presentation by Dr. DeNoble, the agenda includes a discussion on the state appropriation / HB2019 - “Four Cornerstones”, the American Legacy Foundation Grant - “Statewide Youth Movement Against Tobacco Use”. The council will also discuss a proposed demonstration project, recent research and evaluation included in the Surgeon General's Report on Reducing Tobacco Use, upcoming events and activities.

From 1980 to 1983, DeNoble was project leader of the Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory at the Philip Morris Research Center in Richmond, Va. He had been recruited by Philip Morris to develop a safer cigarette. Attempts to publish his findings were suppressed by the company. In 1984, his lab was closed, and he was fired. He was the first person from inside the tobacco industry to breech the wall of secrecy that surrounded the industry.

The University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy, OU College of Nursing, and GlaxcoWellcome pharmaceutical is sponsoring the DeNoble visit to Oklahoma. He will present at a continuing education session on smoking cessation, Aug. 19 at the College of Pharmacy.

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