… the world’s biggest multinational tobacco companies seem poised to save many consumers in future, kill millions of them in the meantime and, through multibillion-dollar mergers, become even more powerful.
First, the industry appeared to engage, promising high-quality research into the issue. The public were assured that the best people were on the case.
The second stage was to complicate the question and sow doubt: lung cancer might have any number of causes, after all. And wasn’t lung cancer, not cigarettes, what really mattered?
Stage three was to undermine serious research and expertise. Autopsy reports would be dismissed as anecdotal, epidemiological work as merely statistical, and animal studies as irrelevant.
Finally came normalisation: the industry would point out that the tobacco-cancer story was stale news. Couldn’t journalists find something new and interesting to say?
The Problem With Facts, April 24, 2017, at 10:13 AM