Thank You for Smoking: How Big Tobacco Created the ‘Type A’ Personality Myth
Researcher Mark Petticrew has uncovered a treasure trove of documents showing Big Tobacco’s connection to stress research and the construction of the uptight ‘Type A’ personality. Get ready to hate this industry even more.
No matter how hard you try, you don’t hate the tobacco industry nearly enough.
Oh, I know, the 5 million tobacco-related deaths a year worldwide provoke intense revulsion, as does the $289 billion a year price tag for U.S. tobacco-related illness ($133 billion for direct medical costs and $156 billion for lost productivity), not counting the billions in lost productivity from second-hand smoke.
But it gets worse. Based on a series of articles written by British researcher Mark Petticrew, the tobacco industry has been systematically subverting the scientific process, changing reality to fit its needs as only a multi-zillionaire evil empire can do. And not just little stuff—you know, like paying some poor slob in a lab to creatively adjust results in a series of mouse experiments. No, they went after some of the largest ideas of the 20th century by seducing medical giants with money and false friendships: Hans Selye, the Hungarian-Canadian endocrinologist who introduced the world to the concept that stress can be bad for one’s health, and cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman, who coined the term “Type A personality” and promoted the role of this type of behavior in the development of heart disease.
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