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News Release

Key Researcher Victor DeNoble to Discuss Tobacco Industry Secrets at Moravian College

Smoking"It's a cover-up that is unbelievable...it's unfathomable what has been held back from the American public." Victor DeNoble

Victor J. DeNoble, Ph.D., former research scientist for Philip Morris (maker of Marlboro cigarettes) will discuss the addictive nature of nicotine and the tobacco industry's attempt to hide important health information from the public. Dr. DeNoble will present, "Inside the Darkside: an insider's look at the truth about tobacco addiction and what the tobacco companies don't want you to know," on Wednesday, September 8, at 4:30 p.m., in Moravian College's Prosser Auditorium. DeNoble's presentation is sponsored by the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Valley and Moravian College.

Dr. DeNoble, an experimental psychologist, has been a key witnesses in government hearings examining the practices of the tobacco industry. His testimony was an important part of the mounting evidence that damaged the tobacco industry's creditability and ultimately led to the multi-billion dollar "tobacco settlement." He testified before Congress in 1994, the Food and Drug Administration in 1995 and 1996, and Vice President Gore's Tobacco Settlement Committee in 1997. DeNoble has appeared on each of the major network television news programs and has been featured on 60 Minutes, Dateline, and Good Morning America.

DeNoble headed a secret lab in Virginia for Philip Morris from 1980 to 1984, where he led experiments on rats to explore the effects of nicotine on the brain and central nervous system. DeNoble has revealed how the lab developed a synthetic chemical that had the same desired effects as nicotine on the brain without the health risks. His work focused on developing a "safer cigarette" which also included special filters that reduced the cancerous affects of secondhand smoke by 80 percent. The scientist said the company never made the research public and repeatedly blocked him from disclosing any information about his research with the threat of a lawsuit.

In 1984 Philip Morris shut down the lab, hid the findings and fired the scientists, for fear that if a healthier cigarette was produced, the tobacco industry, which had long denied the negative effects of nicotine, would be subject to lawsuits.

Congressional hearings on the tobacco industry in 1994 made it possible for DeNoble to speak publicly about his work. More recent developments in the lawsuits waged by several states against the industry have also encouraged the scientist to speak out.

Recently, DeNoble has been critical of the landmark tobacco settlement which grants the tobacco industry immunity against future lawsuits in exchange for paying an estimated $300 billion in health care costs related to smoking.

Dr. DeNoble received his Doctorate degree in 1976 in the field of Experimental Psychology from Adelphi University, Garden City NY. He has postdoctoral fellowships from both the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York and the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Dr. DeNoble also worked in drug discovery forthe DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company and Ayerst Research Laboratories specializing in central nervous system diseases. Currently, Dr. DeNoble is the Vice-President of Hissho, Inc. a scientific and medical communications company.

"Inside the Darkside" is free and open to the public. Reserve a seat by calling the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Valley at (610) 402-4855. The Coalition consists of 150 community organizations and individuals dedicated to improving the health status of the Lehigh Valley by reducing the prevalence of tobacco use through prevention, education, and advocacy. Prosser Auditorium in located in the Haupert Union Building at Monocacy and West Locust streets in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.