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How McKinsey Got Into the Business of Addiction


McKinsey now had another reason to back away from Big Tobacco. But the tobacco companies wanted to keep selling cigarettes, so McKinsey stayed to help them do just that. In addition to Philip Morris, the firm’s clients included R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard, Brown & Williamson, British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International.More health warnings followed.In 1992, the federal judge H. Lee Sarokin became so outraged reading internal industry documents produced in a liability lawsuit that he cast aside judicial restraint when he wrote: “Who are these persons who knowingly and secretly decide to put the buying public at risk solely for the purpose of making profits and who believe that illness and death of consumers is an appropriate cost of their own prosperity!”In response to mounting criticism, in 1993 Lorillard’s chief executive, Andrew Tisch, asked employees t …

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