Former tobacco executives tells students about health risks of smoking and more
Students at Truman High School saw "The Insider" on Friday. Not the movie -- the man.
Jeffrey Wigand, the subject of the Oscar-nominated movie, is the former Brown & Williamson executive who broke the tobacco industry's code of silence when he appeared on "60 Minutes."
In the now-famous interview with Mike Wallace, he told how toxic chemicals were added to tobacco to enhance the addictive quality of cigarettes.
Wigand's message to Truman students, however, went far beyond the health risks of smoking.
He told them about the bullet in the mailbox and the middle-of-the-night death threats. He said Brown & Williamson squashed the First Amendment by using courts to bully CBS into postponing the "60 Minutes" segment.
The tobacco industry was desperate to shut him up, he said, because he knew the secret of how cigarette companies hustled 3,000 teens each day into becoming habitual smokers. And he knew how they ensured future sales with addictive, lethal additives.