Monday PM: Henningfield slices cigarettes in court

November 23, 2004 10:37 am by Carrie

The next witness was Jack Henningfield, PhD. He was an expert witness in psychopharmacology, specializing in work with drug and addiction therapies. He spoke about the FTC tests on light cigarettes, and confirmed that the FTC tests do not accurately measure tar and nicotine output of light or regular cigarettes. He also agreed that they were never intended to be accurate in this measure, and that it was never a desire of the tobacco companies to change the effect of smoking a cigarette by creating a light brand.

He testified that low-tar or light cigarettes do not, in fact have lower levels of tar and nicotine for human smokers (as opposed to the “smoking machines” used in the FTC lab tests). He addressed the issues that still create problems with light cigarettes, such as the equal level of nicotine addiction and again reiterated that the light brands were not created to change the effect of the cigarette.

He then put three cigarettes on the Elmo dcoument projector and cut open a Marlboro Red and pointed out the over-wrap, filter, and tobacco column parts of the cigarette. Judge Kessler and he discussed the fact that it is possible and probable that different kinds of tobacco are used in the over-wrap section (the buffer between the filter and the tobacco column).

Henningfield hilighted the fact that every puff of a cigarette is more powerful, containing more nicotine and more tar, etc. The smoking machines measured a 2 second puff every minute until the cigarette was gone. Normal smokers may take longer and more frequent puffs while smoking, rendering this test inaccurate. Also, smokers may smoke the tobacco in the over-wrap section, which is the most potent and therefore the results of the tests are also faulty.

In addition, Henningfield magnified the filter paper from the cigarette he dissected and pointed out the ‘vent holes’ and their effects when covered and uncovered. When humans smoke, some, all, or none of the holes may be covered, and the more that are covered, the more tar and nicotine get through in each puff.

The court then went into recess and it was time for me to leave. He planned on cutting open the Barkley cigarette after the recess, which would display larger holes and thus more ventilation and much less accurate tests on the FTC smoking machines.

Leave a Reply

The primary purpose of this site is to provide information in a timely manner. Postings should be informative. The usual rules apply: No libel, no profanity, no personal abuse, keep it on topic, and short.

If you are scheduled as a court witness, CHECK with your lawyer before posting anything here!