Center for Indoor Air Research (CIAR)

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Center for Indoor Air Research (CIAR) was a nonprofit, tobacco industry funded-and-formed research organization. CIAR was formed in March 1988 by tobacco companies "to sponsor "high-quality research on indoor air issues and to facilitate communication of research findings to the broad scientific community." According to Thomas L. Ogburn, Jr. of R.J. Reynolds, a basic goal of CIAR was to "broaden research in the field of indoor air quality generally and to expand interest beyond the misplaced emphasis solely on environmental tobacco smoke."[1]


CIAR was initially formed and funded by Lorillard, Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds, in late 1987-early 1988 and began operations in September 1988. The formation of CIAR was kept confidential. Many of the documents about hiring staff and recruiting scientists for it were stamped "confidential." Much of the work to form CIAR was conducted through the tobacco industry's Washington DC law firm, Covington and Burling, which allowed documents to be labeled "Attorney Work Product." A proposed budget was put together by Peter G. Sparber of the Tobacco Institute, and John Rupp, the main tobacco attorney with Covington and Burling, was hired to recruit other tobacco companies around the world to join and support the CIAR.

CIAR was to operate "at arm's length" from the industry so the Tobacco Institute incorporated it as a completely separate, non-profit entity. The Institute rented separate offices for CIAR (near other respected scientific agencies) and hired a separate executive director.

The purpose of CIAR was to give grants to scientists who would in turn do research, produce and publish studies that would bolster the industry's arguments against regulation of environmental tobacco smoke. Another goal was the eventual creation of its own scientific journal, the contents of which could be controlled completely by the tobacco industry.

Seven of the nine members of the CIAR advisory board responded to Rep. Henry Waxman's survey. Only two agreed with the estimate that passive smoke is responsible for 3,000 lung cancer deaths a year. However, five agreed with the statement that environmental tobacco smoke/passive smoke is a "human lung carcinogen" and six agreed the statement that environmental tobacco smoke presents a "serious and substantial" health threat to children. (WP 7/25/94).

Documents & Timeline

1988 Jan 29: A meeting of the ETS Advisory Group of the UK's Tobacco Advisory Council has been addressed by an RJ Reynolds executive and reported by Sharon Boyse, the Issues Manager of BATCo.

RJR elaborated on the Centre for Indoor Air Research being set up by the US Tobacco industry. Apparently a suitable head has been identified for the Centre and it is hoped to open on 1st February. The approximate funding figure for research (after running costs etc.) was expected to be $5 million. It was noted that the CIAR would try to broaden the issue by focusing not simply on ETS. The aim would apparently be to keep the unit quite separate from the Tobacco Institute and therefore give it more scientific credibility.[1]

1988 Feb 17: Philip Morris called a special meeting of the UK industry (with BAT, Rothmans, Imperial Gallaher, C&B and Bioassay Ltd.) to explain their determination to implement new activities on behalf of the whole industry They are creating [Whitecoats] or [ETS Consultants] in many parts of the world. [2]

1988 MarchCovington & Burling setting up a London office to coordinate the ETS Consultants/WhiteCoats recruitment needs of Philip Morris. {From deposition]

The countries in Europe where they have already been working are the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Scandinavia (via Sweden). A list of potential scientists who could be contacted in the UK was produced." "David Remes (of C&B) presented the approach of the US lawyers, and said that he believed their function to be to act as intermediaries between the consultants and the industry and also to indicate 'areas of sensitivity' on ETS research. He was not prepared to elaborate on these areas of sensitivity or on the state at which any filtering process would be carried out. [3]

1988 Mar 30 Dr W Allan Crawford (OBE, MB ChB, PhD, M(FOM), RCP, DPH, DIH, FRACMA, FACOM, FRSH) - [Mersey Holdings Pty Ltd] a Consultant in Occupational and Environmental Health has written from his Home/Clinic in Seaforth, NSW, Australia to 'Bill Kloepfer" at the Tobacco Institute, thanking him for his letter of March 11. Crawford is setting up a visit to the USA. [4]

Kloepfer replies pointing out that Charlie and Marvin have now retired [Crawford must have been dealing with them for years] He also points out they now have incorporated the CIAR to look after scientific matters relating to the ETS controversy. They will be 'taking over consultations'. Guy Oldaker of Reynolds is the acting Director of the CIAR. [5]

1988 Sept 15 Record of a CIAR Board of Directors meeting. We have two handwritten records of the same meeting (this is a consolidation) They have reviewed:

  • Delbert Eatough's proposal on airline testing
  • the Viren-Laird study (on Hirayama)
  • The Spitzer/McGill/Rockefeller University study
  • Conferences: a) Claude Bieva's Brussels IAQ conference; b) Roger Perry's Imperial Ambient Air conference; c) Argentina; d) Tokyo;
  • Current Project Review:
    • E Lee Husting has asked for another $25,000 and 4 months from the CTR. He has talked with lawyer Mary Ward and Guy Oldaker (RJR/CIAR) and asked for $10,000. Is he getting money from both the CTR and the CIAR ?? Max Eisenberg [temporary director] will go to Winston-Salem to determine whether Husting should get the extra $25,000.
    • Sol DiNardi. Arrange time to meet with Max Eisenberg re manuscript. "Max should attempt to persuade DiNardi to accept valid comments from (lawyers) Shook Hardy & Bacon."Do we need to do anything also?
          DiNardi has data comparing different pieces of equipment which were taken from 49 public locations. He never had callibration data.     Lawyer John Rupp has revised DiNardi's first paper on comparative tables ("It is retrievable"), and checked his second ("not retrievable" due to DiNardi's resistance to SH&B changes.)
      [They appear to be saying that since DiNardi hasn't made the changes that the lawyers demand his research paper is useless.]
          [We need him to] complete the second manuscript and then get the raw data in the hands of someone else. Bob Pages and Don Hoel (Not Max E) will go out and look at his data.
      The CIAR should also take an accouning of his equipment (the industry would have paid for it). Charlie Green firmly rejects the notion of any future financial involvement with DiNardi.
    • Scandinavian Airline Services (SAS) Project. The project started today, and everything seems to be in shape. Rupp has talked with HER [ Helmut Reif of FTR] on Tuesday and all is in good shape. SAS is being very helpful, and the video (which explains the tests) was well received by the cabin crew."All on track.
      The 'Contract' was signed [quotes indicate a verbal agreement only - contract probably with the TNO Dutch laboratories). (The) consultants John Lephardt and John W Drake (working with PMI's Mary Pottorff) have no contract yet. Who contracts with Torbjorn Malmfors (Sweden's EGIL consultant) Part of money has come from CIAR budget.
          What are they going to do? Take the report from TNO and prepare an article for publication (with TNO as co-authors) but including a Heath Assessment" (The consultants are to prepare a "qualitative" risk assessment.). The final report will be overseen by Helmut Gaisch (PM/FTR), Guy Oldaker (RJR) and TNO; the consultants will then prepare a full-blown journal article incorporating the TNO report.
          We must identify conferences at which the consultants may release the results (possibly) a presentation at the Bieva/Brussels IAQ conference
    • Max Eisenberg $500,000 study -- all to be written up.
  • Center for Indoor Air Research (CIAR) and a fulltime Executive Director.
    They have rented 2200 sq ft of space in Linthincum near BWI. They have an administrative assistant and receptionist on board, also a local bank and an accounting firm. Furniture and phones have been ordered, also IBM computers and software. They are now interviewing scientists.
        Max Eisenberg feels it is critical to have a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), and he would like to attract some sponsors who are not corporate members of the tobacco industry... with at least one corporation having a seat on the board (This "adds credibility and makes attracting SAB members and scientists easier.") John Rupp has suggested Jim Woods' ex company Honeywell. [Honeywell had an air-conditioning division, and Jim Woods worked on the side as a consultant to the tobacco industry while acting as a standard-setter for ventilation.]
  • Indoor Air Pollution Advisory Group (IAPAG)
    Tom Osdene will talk to Dietrich Hoffman or Ernst Wynder whether they will publish their hamster studies.
    [Hoffman and Wynder of the American Health Foundation 'cooperated' with the tobacco industry in their later years, but (with a few minor exceptions) they are not generally linked to the organisation of outright corrupt scientists who worked behind the front of the IAPAG (Indoor Air Pollution Advisory Group)]
  • ACVA ETS Measurements.{Gray Robertson's fake airtesting company, later known as HBI]
    • $47,000 for foliage study [unknown]
    • $440 per site for 150=250 per year to measure nicotine, Particles, Carbon monoxide and dioxide. CIAR will not fund.
  • Ragnar Rylander Conference Proposal - needs more fomality. Tom Osdene does not like the list of prospective participants. The CIAR will sponsor and publish monographs.
    [Rylander ran many pseudo-conferences for the tobacco industry where the industry controlled the funding, the speakers, the participants, and then edited and published the proceedings.] [6]

  • <tdo>resource_id=6608 resource_code=ciar

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    1. Stanley L. Temko, Acting Secretary of the Tobacco Institute MINUTES OF MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE DECEMBER 10, 1987 NEW YORK, NEW YORK Meeting minutes. December 10, 1987. 4 pp. Bates No. TIMN0014390/4393