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Marlboro: Freebasing and Manipulation

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Stephanie Tran

on 5 September 2015

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Transcript of Marlboro: Freebasing and Manipulation

How did Marlboro become the
world's leading brand
of cigarettes?
In large part, through lying about what the public was actually smoking. How so?
Crack Connection
This is the
same general process that turns cocaine into crack.
This is the process that turned Marlboro into what it is now.
What Is Freebasing?
Let's take a step back and look at the
historical context
behind the brand that secretly pioneered freebasing and thus evolved into the
#1 brand in the world.

In the 1920s, Philip Morris introduced Marlboro as a brand of cigarettes mostly
targeted towards women
in the US. They sold poorly and so were
How did this woman's brand return with a vengeance to
target men?
Following the publication of studies
linking lung cancer to smoking,
sales of cigarettes suffered a
significant decline
in the the early 1950s, as
millions of smokers began to quit or cut down, fearing for their lives.
This "crisis" began a campaign by U.S. tobacco companies to steer smokers onto
and reportedly
"low tar"
cigarettes as an

alternative to quitting.
Philip Morris
Marlboro during this period as a

filtered choice saturated with
confident symbolism.
Was this symbolism of
safety and confidence
enough to transform Marlboro into a

Apparently Philip Morris did not think so.

In the
the company began testing out
numerous ingredients and methods
of cigarette production in an attempt to find a way
to increase the potency of nicotine.
By saturating their tobacco leaves with
they found that they could not only make
a more addictive cigarette

but also one that produced a smoke having
a more chocolate-like flavor.
They found a way to tell their customers that Marlboro cigarettes were
lower in tar and nicotine, but were also more flavorful.

Of course,
they did not tell
how their nicotine was metabolized.

They kept that secret.
How Well Did Marlboro Do In the Market After Philip Morris Introduced Freebasing?
How Could Philip Morris Get Away With This?
Marlboro couldn't have done better.
Initially, they got away with this because
nobody knew.
Other big cigarette companies in the U.S. figured it out and copied the process, but they too kept it
secret from the public.
Another Big Question: How Do All These Tobacco Companies

Still Get Away With This Now?
Can You Do Now
You Know?

Demand that your country ban freebasing.

Banning this chemical manipulation of tobacco will make nicotine less addictive.

This will ultimately be the most impactful measure in decreasing the prevalence of cigarette smoking.
Landman, Anne. "What Have They Been Smoking?" PR Watch. N.p., 22 June 2010. Web. 13 May 2015.
Proctor, Robert. Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition. Berkeley: U of California, 2011. Print.
"Snoose, Flavors and Freebase Nicotine." Addiction Education Blog Wwwcnsproductionscom Snoose Flavors and Freebase Nicotine Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.
"Snus News & Other Tobacco Products." : 4/13/08. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.
"U.S. Food and Drug Administration." Tobacco Control Act Overview. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.
Special Thank You To:
Dr. Matthew Kohrman

& Dr. Claudia Engel
for all their help and guidance.
The Science of Freebasing
chemical manipulation
of molecules, splitting them into smaller,
more easily absorbed pieces in the lung
2009: Obama Signs First New Tobacco Law in Decades, Placing Tobacco Under FDA Regulations
Full transcript