This statement is being issued because we believe the people are entitled to know where we stand on this matter and what we intend to do about it.
See Anne Landman's treatment of this fascinating Draft of the "Frank Statement": http://www.smokescreen.org/list/det.cfm?listid=66&MessageID=243295&SearchString=
From The Facts about Smoking(Consumer Reports Books
The [tobacco] industry also created the Tobacco Industry Research Committee (TIRC). Although the stated purpose of the TIRC was to encourage research on smoking, its chief accomplishment was to put forward the idea that scientists themselves held differing opinions about whether or not smoking was dangerous. For example, in 1954, a front-page article in The New York Times reported that a majority of doctors and scientists attending the American Cancer Society meeting believed that smoking caused cancer, but in the third paragraph of the article a representative of the TIRC is quoted as saying that the poll was "biased, unscientific and filled with shortcomings." In 1954, when Drs. Graham and Wynder reported that tobacco tar painted onto the skin of mice caused cancer, the TIRC countered with: "Doctors and scientists have often stressed the many pitfalls present in all attempts to apply flatly to humans any findings resulting from animal experiments. " Whatever the validity of the TIRC's criticisms, they served to encourage skepticism in the public's mind about scientific reports of the dangers of smoking. The tobacco industry also established the Tobacco Institute, whose avowed purpose was to promote "public understanding of the smoking and health controversy and . . . knowledge of the historic role of tobacco and its place in the national economy." In the first issue of Tobacco News, the institute's president said: "The Institute and this publication believe that the American people want and are entitled to accurate, factual, interesting information about this business [tobacco] which is so important in the economic bloodstream of the nation and such a tranquilizer in our personal lives."
From PR Watch:
Hill & Knowlton's role is described as follows in a 1994 lawsuit, State of Mississippi vs. the Tobacco Cartel:
The presidents of the leading tobacco manufacturers ... hired the public relations firm of Hill & Knowlton .... As a result of these efforts, the Tobacco Institute Research Committee (TIRC), an entity later know as The Council for Tobacco Research (CTR), was formed.
The Tobacco Industry Research Committee immediately ran a full-page promotion in more than 400 newspapers ... entitled "A Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers."... The participating tobacco companies recognized their "special responsibility" to the public, and promised to learn the facts about smoking and health ... to sponsor independent research on the subject .... to cooperate closely with public health officials ....