Nicotine Files 'Were Hidden for 19 Years'
Byline: DAILY MAIL REPORTER
CANCER victims and antismoking campaigners have welcomed the discovery of files which show a major tobacco firmknew 19 years ago nicotine was addictive.
The documents, which refer to a search by British American Tobacco for a new 'socially acceptable addictive product' containing nicotine to replace cigarettes, are considered extremely important evidence for people suing tobacco firms.
They are already being used in a case in America, and might be included in an action against the Gallaher and Imperial tobacco companies by a number of British lung cancer victims in a case which is expected to return to the High Court soon.
The file, Key Areas - Product Innovation Over Next 10 Years for Long Term Development, is alleged to have been produced at BAT's Southampton base in August 1979.
It states that the company was looking for 'a socially acceptable addictive product' and that 'the essential constituent is most likely to be nicotine or a direct substitute for it'. John Pickering, whose firm represents British victims, said the discovery was 'very, very significant'.
'It would appear that these documents do exist and they are clearly extremely important pieces of evidence,' he said. 'The tobacco companies have always denied the addictive properties of nicotine. …