Philip Morris Corporate Scientific Affairs

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

Philip Morris formed its Corporate Scientific Affairs (CSA) department in 1990 to address the growing problems that the issue of secondhand tobacco smoke or Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) posed to the company.

Mission of CSA

According to a PM document written by Steven C. Parrish describing CSA, the department's mission was to formulate policy recommendations for senior management; recommend specific strategies (scientific, technological, regulatory and political) for dealing with the problems posed to the company by secondhand smoke issues; to coordinate and supervise secondhand smoke-related scientific research and activities, and to coordinate the activities of PM's subsidiary companies with respect to secondhand smoke issues.


When it was formed in 1990, CSA consisted of about twenty people, including scientific groups located overseas at PM's offices in Neuchatel, Switzerland as well as in Richmond, Virginia. The department also had a scientific director, Thomas J. Borelli, and a program manager, Mary ("Mopsy") Pottorff, based in New York, all of whom reported to Steven C. Parrish. Mayada Logue was a CSA scientist stationed in Richmond, VA.


In the early 1990s, the activities of PM's CSA department were devoted to undermining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 1993 Risk Assessment, which had declared secondhand tobacco smoke a Group A human carcinogen. The rating put it in the same category as radon gas, vinyl chloride and asbestos. CSA worked to overturn EPA's ruling by applying coordinated programs of scientific, political, media and legal pressure against the agency.

CSA's efforts were designed to support the public affairs objectives of PM-USA, PM International, and PM Companies Inc., by providing scientific witnesses, spokespersons and written argumentation to be used in lobbying, regulatory proceedings and media efforts. CSA prepared detailed argumentation notebooks that were distributed to company employees. CSA also supervised company attorneys who were charged with recruiting and training a stable of scientific witnesses who would be prepared testify in the company's favor in anticipated secondhand smoke-related litigation, like workers compensation cases.

Steve Parrish recommended that the name of the department be changed to "External Affairs."


In 1990, CSA activities cost Philip Morris approximately $19.5 million.[1]

Related Sourcewatch resources


  1. Corporate Scientific Affairs Department. Memo. Parrish S., Philip Morris Management Corporation. March 8, 1993. 6 Pp. Bates No. 2045681301/1306

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