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Volume 68, Issue 56, Tuesday, November 12, 2002


Tobacco insider to tell story

By Geronimo Rodriguez
The Daily Cougar

One of America's most recognized whistleblowers, Jeffrey Wigand, will speak from 11 a.m. to noon today at the Law Center's Krost Hall Auditorium about his scarring experience with disclosing to the world how the tobacco industry knowingly harmed its consumers.

Wigand's ordeal was the basis for Michael Mann's 1999 film, The Insider, starring Russell Crowe and Al Pacino.

"He will also relay his experience with the legal system during the case and the ethics of the whole situation," said Leah Gross, the Law Center's director of marketing and public relations.

Wigand, who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry, was vice president of research for Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp. in 1996, when he learned that corporate heads ignored that nicotine in their cigarette products was chemically manipulated to enhance its addiction.

Wigand was dismissed after the corporate heads learned he was privately speaking to CBS 60 Minutes' producer Lowell Bergman. He then separated from his wife and daughter and became a high school science teacher.

Wigand remains the highest-ranking official to testify about the wrongdoings of the tobacco industry.

His speech will be free and open to the public.

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