Tobacco Company Whistleblower Takes On Montana

KALISPELL, Mont. — One of the whistleblowers responsible for bringing down the major tobacco companies in the 90s is hitting five Montana cities in five days. Dr. Victor DeNoble worked for the largest tobacco supplier in the United States. DeNoble was allowed to break his sworn silence to the tobacco companies in 1994 telling congress the companies were lying about how lethal their products actually are.

“ The seven executives, for the first time in history went on national television and swore in front of the world that nicotine’s not a drug and [not] addictive. They literally lied,” says DeNoble.

DeNoble speaks with 350,000 students annually. For the next week, he’s telling five Montana cities how research shows smokeless tobacco and smoked tobacco create heart disease, cancers, jaw and bone recession, black teeth, and other health ailments.

“If you took all the drugs together and added them up and the disease and the death from every other drug, all car accidents, AIDs, [and] murders, they don’t even come to half the number of people that are going to die in this country from using tobacco products,” explains DeNoble.

Some Montana legislators currently want to lessen funds for educating Montanans on the harms of tobacco. DeNoble says Montana shows a 40% decline in people beginning to smoke. To cut funds now, he says, would reverse that progress.

“If you stop the funding, it will stay low for a while, and then like every other disease, it will creep back up. Three or four years from now, you’re having to redo all the tobacco control programs, and not only are you now having to treat people, now you’re doing prevention again,” comments DeNoble on what he says would happen if Montana lessens funding.

Tobacco companies continue to pay out an estimated $500-700 billion for damages caused by their products.

DeNoble speaks again in Kalispell on Monday, and then speaks in Butte, Helena, Billings, and Bozeman over the next five days.

source: www.nbcmontana.com

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