In the 1980s, Victor DeNoble was a research scientist for tobacco company Philip Morris. He says he was first hired at the company to create a drug that would not cause cardiovascular problems, but still be addictive. As DeNoble continued his research, he learned that his work was focused on creating a more addictive cigarette.
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Eventually, DeNoble became a whistleblower on the tobacco industry, ultimately forcing the heads of the major cigarette companies to testify in front of Congress about the addictive nature of cigarette smoke. The new documentary Addiction Incorporated chronicles DeNoble’s journey from the lab to anti-smoking crusader.
Charlie Evans, Jr. directed the film, which screens at the Gene Siskel Film Center through Thursday. Steve talked with DeNoble and Evans about how the film came together, and why DeNoble risked his career and came forward with what he learned at Philip Morris.