Scott E Stapf

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

Scott Stapf (also called 'Staph' in some tobacco documents) was the assistant to the president of the Tobacco Institute from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. (however there is a limited amount of later dateable material)

Documents & Dates

1984 Nov 8 The Fingerhut Granados Opinion Research organisation has issued a press-release

"Post-election Poll Shows Mondale Could Have Won Vote of Reagan
Democrats With Populist Economic Appeal"

Key defecting Democratic voters rejected Mondale focus on taxes and deficits, Wanted activist economic policies.
[They claimed the poll results showed]... that Mondale's failure to present a strong, clear message about prosperity for the "average American" was the key reason many Democratic-leaning working and middle income voters decided to support President Reagan.
The poll, commissioned by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and other FGOR clients
[The Tobacco Institute obviously!], confirmed the findings of other recent polls that Mondale's tax and deficit proposals actually hurt him with the key swing voters he needed to win.

[Note: The Tobacco Institute's intention was clearly to give a message to Democratic strategists that the party should no longer promote revenue-raising via cigarette excise taxes.]

The three contacts given for further information were:

[Note: The Fingerhut Granados Opinion Research company is still Virginia-based and works for the unions and various corporations. In 1984 Scott Stapf was the assistant to the president of the Tobacco Institute.]

1986 Scott Stampf was working for the Tobacco Institute on "fire-fighting" problems in 1986

1986 Jun 12Newspaper story on one of the tobacco industry's attempts at controlling a scientific conference:

Smoking Conference Canceled in Dispute Over Sponsorship (Washington Post)

A Georgetown University conference on the health effects of tobacco smoke on nonsmokers, scheduled for Saturday, was abruptly canceled this week when several speakers withdrew after learning that tobacco companies were helping to pay for the program.
 The sponsorship by RJ. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris Inc. was not mentioned on the advance brochure, and some scientists on the program said they were not told of the companies' support when invited to speak,
 Georgetown School of Medicine officials denied any attempt to keep the funding secret, and said those who recruited speakers were instructed to inform them of industry support. They said all sponsors would have been listed on the program, in keeping with university policy.
&nbsp "We wound up canceling the program because it was getting unbalanced," said Dr Thomas Stair, Georgetown's assistant dean for continuing medical education. "The people who were going to present the best evidence that there are long-term hazards from passive smoking were the ones most easily scared away. The ones who are unabashed apologists for tobacco ... were the ones hanging in there."
  Stair said the one-day course for doctors was organized by Sorell L Schwartz, a professor of pharmacology at Georgetown [who had] assured him that all participants would be informed of tobacco- industry funding.
 Scott Stapf, assistant to the president of the Tobacco Institute, accused the American Lung Association of "academic goon-squad tactics" to intimidate scientists and silence debate. He said he was disturbed by reports that Donald R Shopland, acting director of the federal Office on Smoking and Health, had also called conference participants about the industry sponsorship.

(Note: Pharmacy professor Sorrel Schwartz ran two major operations for the tobacco industry at Georgtown University:

  1. IAPAG -- Indoor Air Pollution Advisory Group and
  2. CEHHT -- Center for Environmental Health and Human Toxicology.

The CEHHT was not exclusively directed at helping the tobacco industry (they were equal opportunity science-lobbyist), while the IAPAG was controlled by tobacco lawyer John Rupp. The CEHHT also nominally housed the:

  1. SWT -- Scientific Witness Team of the Tobacco Institute, and handled some scheduling, using members of the IAPAG.]

1987 Apr 15 This is a document by Chip Foley (at TI) on Ventilation Project to Promote Gray Robertson and Sick Building Syndrome. Others involved were Peter Sparber, Susan Stuntz, Bill Cannell, Walter Woodson, Scott Stapf, Katherine Becker (State Activities), Rich Marcus (Ogilvy & Mather), Dennis Dyer, Ron Morris, John Kelly, Mike Brozek, Ric Scanlan and Jim Savarese [2]

1988 Apr 18 Advice to TI from Foster Higgins re payment of Retirement benefits .

1994 Aug 18 Press launch at the National Press Club of the Louis Harris and Associates TV documentary

Off Limits: Your Health, Your Job, Your Privacy.

Philip Morris (via its food company subsidiary, Kraft) had funded this fake PBS-style documentary. It was made by the Educational Film Center (EFC) {address is 5101 F Backlick Road, Annadale VA 22003 703/750-0506}

The film was distributed to the media via contacts: Scott Stapf or Michelle Herman, {now at the Hastings Group on phone 703/276-1116}[] [3]

The Floodgates Open

1997 Mar President Clinton tells the Justice Department to begin actions against Big Tobacco. The Liggett Group has already settled 22 lawsuits brought by state attorneys-generals, and as part of the settlement they removed the cloak of deception shrouding industry activites. They admitted (and released internal documents to prove) that their scientists had known for years that:

  • smoking causes cancer and other diseases.
  • nicotine is addictive
  • the tobacco industry targets underage smokers

They also agreed to:

  • a 25 year scheule of compensation payment to the states
  • release internal documents providing evidence of their malfeasance
  • free their employees to testify in cases against other companies
  • accept Food & Drug Adminisration (FDA) regulations over cigarettes
  • add a new warning to packs that "Smoking is Addictive"

This settlement opened the floodgates of information about the tobacco industry: the conspiracy of deception, addiction and intimidation was exposed.

1997 Apr 16 Senator Frank Lautenberg wrote to President Clinton praising his actions in telling the Justice Department to begin actions against the tobacco industry. He sets out some minimum standards for a settlement agreement.

The settlement by the Liggett Group of 22 lawsuits brought by state attorneys general will remove the cloak of deception shrouding the activities of the tobacco companies.
As part of this agreement, Liggett admitted what scientists have known for years: that smoking causes cancer and other diseases, that nicotine is addictive, and that the tobacco industry targets underage smokers. It also agreed to a 25 year payment schedule to the states, to release internal documents providing evidence of the above claims, to free Liggett employees to testify in ongoing cases against the other companies, and to accept Food and Drug Administration regulation along with stark new warning labels on its cigarettes that "Smoking is Addictive."
This settlement was truly historic. It will open up floodgates of information about tobacco, The truth, is that smoking is addictive and it kills. The documents that will become public as a result of this settlement will help expose the conspiracy of deception and intimidation the tobacco giants have used to thwart claims against them in court, reasonable attempts at regulation and public education programs to protect the public health.

A copy of the letter found its way to Scott Stapf on the same day and was sent on to Sam Chilcote. [Note: Since the letter hadn't been signed and the copy wasn't circulated, it must have been treated as highly confidential and therefore come as a leak from the Senator's office.] .