Heartland Institute And Tobacco

Led by president and CEO Joseph Bast, the Heartland Institute has a long and disgraceful track record of misleading the public about the overwhelming scientific evidence that cigarette smoking poses significant health risks. The organization has also consistently argued against health-based regulation of tobacco products. Heartland’s scientifically and morally indefensible advocacy on smoking is no surprise given that a significant portion of its funding has come from tobacco companies. In the past two years, Altria and Reynolds American contributed $90,000 and $110,000 respectively.

  • Joe Camel Is Innocent!” — Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast, August 21, 1996
  • “The public health community’s campaign to demonize smokers and all forms of tobacco is based on junk science.” — Joseph Bast, April 20, 2007
  • “People being paid to demonize tobacco products and their users may not be the best judges of whether the scientific debate is settled. Forgive me for believing that what General Carmona says is an accurate expression of the politics and passions of the moment, but not necessarily of the real science of the health effects of secondhand smoke.” Joseph Bast, July 6, 2006
  • “So whether or not you smoke, you have good reasons to oppose the lawsuits against tobacco companies as well as any proposed settlement.” — Joseph Bast, September 1997
  • “Debate over the ethics of smoking may never end, but the legal challenges could be, and properly should be, stopped.” — Joseph Bast, January 2, 2002
  • “Heartland does many things that benefit Philip Morris’ bottom line, things that no other organization does” — Joseph Bast, July 27, 1999
  • “Smoking in moderation has few, if any, adverse health effects” — Joseph Bast, July 1998
  • “Anti-smoking groups with a collectivist political agenda, allied with ‘cancer industry’ organizations that rely on fear to enhance their considerable cash flow, have filled the media with claims about secondhand tobacco smoke that are questionable at best, and fraudulent at worst.” — Dennis Constant, October 22, 2005
  • “No matter what the environmental issue—ozone depletion, acid rain, pesticides, etc.—any and all scientific opposition based on objective facts is blamed on an imagined involvement with tobacco companies. None of this is true, of course. Oreskes and Conway claim to be academic historians, yet they have consistently ignored factual information, have not bothered to consult primary sources, have never interviewed any of the scientists they try to smear, and generally have operated in a completely unprofessional way. The ultimate aim of these attacks has been to discredit skeptics of similarly unsupported global warming fears.” — S. Fred Singer, January 3, 2011
  • “Millions of dollars have been spent promoting SHS [second-hand smoke] as a killer and more millions of dollars have been spent by businesses in order to comply with thousands of highly restrictive bans, while personal choice and freedom have been denied to millions of smokers. Finally, all this has diverted resources away from discovering the true cause(s) of lung cancer in non-smokers.” — Jerome Arnett, August 2, 2008
  • “While there is agreement that smoking cigarettes, like most pleasures, is risky, the zealous people who wish to abolish smoking could not have mounted the current antismoking crusade without playing up the risks of so-called 'secondhand smoke' — or, what the scientific literature calls environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Under the flag that the end justifies the means, the purported risks posed by ETS have been used to justify draconian regulations that criminalize and marginalize lawful citizens, pitting children against parents, spouses against spouses, and people against people to the point of raising homicidal animosities against smokers.” Gio Batta Gori, April 1, 2007
  • “The big bucks go to those who "discover" that ETS causes everything from pimples to piles.” Michael Fumento, September 11, 2001
  • “So it's time to talk turkey about this secondhand smoke craze to my once-upon-a-time second city, and let you know just how bonkers you are and just how you began the greatest brainwashing of the 20th century.” Sidney Zion, November 29, 2002