These are historic documents for informational purposes only, and do not necessarily reflect the policies and priorities of the government of the day.


On Smoking and Cancer


"Studies of clinical data tend to confirm the relationship between heavy and prolonged tobacco smoking and incidence of cancer of the lung."

"Survey of Cancer Research with emphasis on Possible Carcinogens From Tobacco", a1953 internal memorandum from RJ Reynolds research scientists, after reviewing data from tests conducted from 1900 to 1952: RJR 50183 2947-2968 at p. 2963.


"The Du Maurier Filter Tip… It guards physical fitness… Smoke to your throat’s content."

DuMaurier advertisement, Vancouver Province, December 8, 1953.

On Selling "Addictive Drugs"


"Nicotine is addictive.  We are, then, in the business of selling nicotine, an addictive drug."

Memo from Addison Yeaman, Vice President of Brown & Williamson, 1963.


"A cigarette as a "drug" administration system for public use has some very significant advantages… Other "drugs" such as marijuana, amphetamines, and alcohol are slower and may be mood dependant…

[Tobacco] is legal (as is alcohol but not marijuana and LSD), and the articles themselves are eminently portable…all in all, it is a relatively cheap and efficient delivery system, legal, and easily usable."

BATCo. Internal memorandum, 1984: BATCo 400459986-9995 at pp.9986-7.


"So – give them what they seem to want taste and value. And always remember that, while King James I issued his famous "Counterbalaste to Tobacco", in 1604, it is nicer from our point of view to remember Oscar Wilde’s words in "The Picture of Dorian Gray" in 1891: ‘A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want.’

Let us provide the exquisitness [sic], and hope that they, our consumers, continue to remain unsatisfied. All we would want then is a larger bag to carry the money to the bank."

BATCo. Internal memorandum, 1984: BATCo 400459986-9995 at pp.9995.


On Smoking and Children


"The specific area of interest is young smokers between the ages of 15 and 19… As the youth stream… diminishes… we should better understand their smoking and quitting behaviours are today… Are we responding to their needs?"

Internal 1982 BAT marketing memorandum, BATCo 102687024-7044 at p. 7031.


On the Filter Tip


"The patented VICEROY filter… filters out and absorbs irritants [and] gives you purer smoke."

Viceroy advertisement, Vancouver Sun, October 6, 1953.


"From the data given on the previous page, it can be seen that the… filtering action of the present [VICEROY] filter tip is inferior to that of an equivalent length of tobacco."

Internal B&W memorandum, 1950: B&W 6802214891493 at p. 1491.


On Smuggling


"[W]e have decided to remove the limits on our exports to regain our share of Canadian smokers… an increasing volume of our domestic sales in Canada will be exported, then smuggled back for sale here… We can fairly accurately estimate those volumes sold outside of Canada and those returning from the total."

1993 letter from the CEO of Imperial Tobacco to B.A.T. Industries [BATCo 50028145-8147].


"When taxes are raised, smuggling…make[s] cigarettes even more accessible to kids… In Canada, for example…[p]eople selling illegal cigarettes are not going to ask for age identification."

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company "Issues Guide", 1994: RJR 51034 5185 – 5358 at p. 5310.