Associates for Research in the Science of Enjoyment

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

Associates for Research In the Science of Enjoyment (ARISE) was an industry-funded front group that was also known until the end of 1993 as "Associates for Research In Substance Enjoyment." It was owned and run by Professor David M. Warburton a pharmacologist who did some nicotine research, and it became a favourite project of the tobacco industry because it attacked the idea that smoking (and especially passive smoking) should be regulated. They paid for full-time secretary who looked after Warburton's tobacco/ARISE activities and handled the press-releases he issued to publicise so-called ARISE research, and his triennial conferences.

[NOTE: Much of the information in this article is excerpted from "Tobacco Industry Sociological Programs to influence public beliefs about smoking," published in Social Science & Medicine, Volume 66, Issue 4, February 2008, Pages 970-981.]

Origins, formation and objectives

After the U.S. Surgeon General issued his 1988 report that concluded nicotine was addictive, the tobacco industry responded by advancing the group “Associates for Research in the Science of Enjoyment” (circa 1988 to 1999), whose academic and scientific supporters promoted the health benefits of the use of pleasurable legal substances, including chocolate, tea, coffee alcohol and tobacco, for stress relief and relaxation.[1]

ARISE was begun by David Warburton, the director of Human Psychopharmacology Unit at Reading University in the United Kingdom with the help of Ian Hindmarch (who was funded by BAT, who paid him a quarterly consultancy fee for Psycho-pharma of £1250. [1] While controlled by tobacco it also attracted the financial help of a number of large multi-national food, drink and tobacco companies, including, Guinness, Kraft General Foods, Tate & Lyle, Coca Cola, Philip Morris, British American Tobacco Miller, R.J. Reynolds Nabisco and Nestle (most were subsidiaries of tobacco companies in the early days). The aim of the group was to promote the health benefits of "pleasure and relaxation."[2]

David Warburton served as spokesperson and organizer of ARISE. Warburton had contributed to the U.S. Surgeon General report 1988 reportand was critical of it's conclusions. He had a longstanding relationship with U.K. tobacco companies. Rothmans Tobacco had supported Warburton’s research, which supported the view that nicotine is not addictive and which showed that it enhances performance.1988 report Other ARISE associates included Digby Anderson of the Social Affairs Unit in London, Christie Davies (a sociologist from the University of Reading), Sherwin J. Feinhandler, an anthropologist from Harvard University who was also involved in the industry’s original Social Costs/Social Values Project, John Luik (a philosopher who previously worked as a professor of Ethics at Brock University, Canada), Frank van Dun, a Professor of Philosophy of Law from the Universities of Ghent, Belgium and Linmburg, Maastricht, Netherlands, and a number of other psychologists from the U.K., Switzerland, United States, and Australia.[3]

Operations and activities

ARISE's objectives were focused on conducting an "organised and proactive campaign to ensure its views are heard and recognised by international opinion formers." ARISE commissioned surveys, opinion polls and other research to support its views and provide media opportunities through which it could disseminate those views.[4]

In public proclamations, ARISE promoted the health benefits of the use of legal substances, including alcohol and tobacco use, with safer pleasurable activities like drinking tea, shopping, and eating chocolate. In press releases, ARISE stated that use of these pleasurable substances can enhance the immune system and reduce stress and conversely, guilt can increase stress and undermine the immune system [5] ARISE met at formal conferences and submitted scientific papers about the importance of pleasure. Professor Warburton also gave interviews on the subject[6]

Documents & Timeline

1987 Jan: In January 1987, Rothmans had organised a meeting between Warburton and Sharon Boyse and Ray Thornton who ran the "Smoking Issues" (PR) division of British American Tobacco (BAT) [2]. The industry baton for the control of Warburton was passed from Rothmans to BAT, and from genuine nicotine research to the generation of propaganda.

Sharon Boyse (who was the "Issues Manager" (with some scientific background -- but not a tobacco scientist at BAT) was interested in doing more research to emphasise the beneficial side of nicotine, and on Warburton's advice she approached Ian Hindmarch from the Human Pyschopharmacology Research Unit at Leeds University. [3] Hindmarch accepted the invitation to apply for a grant, and the nucleus of the new ARISE group was born [4]

Sharon Boyse's only concerns were with the ridiculous position the scientists (and the industry) were forced to take on questions of "addiction"; they had to deny the obvious and play word-games about the difference between "addiction" and "habituation". [5]

1988 Late: Warburton's tobacco industry-funded phantom science association, ARISE ("Associates for Research in Substance Enjoyment"), had a number of celebrity members who were paid to tour Europe between 1988 and 1997 touting the line that smoking was good for people and actually boosted immunity because it relieved stress and people enjoyed it. ARISE also had associates in far off Tasmania, and his group with Auberon Waugh and Peter L Berger visited Australia to promote the ARISE message. Columnist Bernard Levin was also a member of the 'organisation'.

It is now obvious that Rothmans and Philip Morris funded ARISE from its inception in 1988.

1989: The creation of ARISE was a stoke of genius for nicotine research specialists looking for a new and lucrative career. So it is probably no coincidental that in 1989, David Warburton switched his career emphasis from experimental research, to organising and running his own scientific society. He remained at Reading University, but now the grants made to him at the University were for a different purpose. In a 1989 bulletin of the British Psychological Society he argued that nicotine isn't addictive because its effects are different from those of drugs or alcohol. For example, it doesn't give a "strong, pleasurable thrill". (It was this denial which justified his tobacco grants).

1989 July [Formal establishment of ARISE]. The tobacco companies could see the publicity benefits of these conferences, and on the 12th and 13th of July 1990, Warburton, Ian Hindmarch and five other well-known tobacco-funded nicotine scientists were paid to meet in Zurich, and they agreed to formally establish the new group [6]. (See ARISE for further details)

Initially this was a one-man show, run out of Warburton's office in the Psychology Department at Reading University with only the part time services of one secretary. Later, a full-time secretariat was established at the London headquarters of PR company Fishburn Hedges. [7].

1989 Oct The first conference (later listed as an ARISE function) was held in Florence, Italy, in October 1989. It was initially supported by RJ Reynolds, British American Tobacco, and possibly Philip Morris. Warburton appears to have convened this conference alone.

1990 July - The 7 man executive committee meeting was held in Zurich (Possibly for legal reasons since the organisation had Swiss registration and many of the operations came under the control of Helmut Gaisch's FTR/Philip Morris Europe group at Lausanne in Switzerland.[7]

1991 Feb - Executive Committee meeting in Lisbon (cost £5,490) [8]This is a letter from David M. Warburton to Raymond Thornton (Issues Manager of BAT) February 26, 1991. Bates No. 300527008

ARISE made its broader public debut in Europe in 1991, when British American Tobacco (BAT), Gallaher and R.J. Reynolds joined Philip Morris and Rothmans in supporting the enterprise.

1991 Oct - Venice Workshop [8] The press handout for the Venice conference, quotes three speakers, all well-known professional/academic touts for the tobacco industry,

1992 Philip Morris has funded a Mori poll into "Typical Pleasures of Everyday Life" and "Coping with Stress" which was used by Warburton in the 1993 Brussels conference. It generated a comparison between "Sex" and a "Hot bath" with smoking a cigarette. They also produced a Video News Release (VNR) which was picked up by 8 TV channels in Germany, Spain, UK and Belgium. [10]

1993 In a 1993 application for funding, Professor David M. Warburton of the University of Reading in the United Kingdom asks Philip Morris for £32,000 to perform a study on the human use of legal substances (like alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, food, tea, tobacco). Warburton believed the outcome of the study would "show that it is the total abstainer from substance use who is abnormal." Philip Morris had previously funded Warburton from 1991-93 in the amount of $250,000 [10][11]

1993 Sep 24 - Brussels Conference [12]

This was ARISE's third international conference. The press release says

Health puritans accused of ruining quality of life, By Sue Plemingz
Puritanical health workers who dictate whether people should smoke or drink alcohol and coffee are trying to ruin the quality of life, a group of academics said on Friday. The academics, grouped under the Associates for Research and Substance Enjoyment (ARISE), said an opinion poll found that coffee, tea, alcohol, cigarettes and chocolates were among the most cited products used by people to relax or cope with stress .

The catch phrase which got the release widely publicised in the English press was the claims that 80% of Italians saw Sex as a typical pleasure compared with 62% of Britons.

Associates for Research in the Science of Enjoyment

1993 Oct At some time between September and December (probably October) the name of ARISE was marginally changed from "Substance Enjoyment" to "Science of Enjoyment". Computer search systems and medical database were just becoming popular, and this was probably a ploy to make it more difficult to discover the history of the organisation. [12]

A 1993 memo from PM Corporate Services in Brussels reported that press kits from an ARISE workshop in Brussels had been sent to 200 European food/gastronomy/lifestyle publications, lifestyle writers and the business press, and stated, ‘‘As the credibility of ARISE is of critical importance, we recommend strongly that [ARISE] press kits be sent only by the ARISE PR agency in Brussels.’’

ARISE members also worked to influence legislatures. A flier that described an ARISE workshop titled ‘‘Pleasure and the Quality of Life’’ held in Brussels in 1993 states,

‘‘ARISE associates are in no sense a lobby group. However, associates are called on to advise on legislative reports and have the expertise to make constructive statements on legislative proposals.’’ [13]


1994 Feb:, Rothmans Public Affairs Department persuaded Warburton to drop the word "substance" from the group’s name and change it to "Associates for Research in the Science of Enjoyment," nominally because "the new version of the name emphasizes the importance of the science that lies behind the research." [14][15]

1994-95 ARISE’s expenses were $773,750 for fiscal year 1994-1995. Industry money initially flowed to ARISE through the University of Reading in the U.K., then through a full-time ARISE secretariat that PM, RJR, Rothmans, BAT and Gallaher established the U.K. in 1994. The public relations firm Fishburn Hedges coordinated additional PR firms around Europe that managed ARISE affairs after July 1994.

The public relations firms helped insulate ARISE from being connected to the tobacco industry.

1994 Aug 23 Warburton has written to chief disinformation staff executive at Philip Morris who was looking after the Asian and Latin American regions, Matthew Winokur. (He would not necessarily have known whether Winokur was "in the know" about the tobacco support of ARISE)

ARISE has become more active and we are planning some major events over the next year . Determined to spread the ARISE message further, we have produced a comprehensive information pack (enclosed) which covers all the key facts relating to the science of enjoyment. Also in¢Iluded are some recent press articles which demonstrate the growing trend towards a 'pleasure backlash' and a selection of Europe-wide coverage

generated from ARISE's '93 research into the typical pleasures of everyday life.

Through August and September, ARISE will be undertaking research into stress, relaxation and pleasure in the office environment across 15 countries in Europe, USA and Asia -Pacific. Results will be published in November.

An important date for your diary is 23rd - 26th April 1995, when ARISE will be holding its next international meeting. The Conference will! be held in Amsterdam, one of Europe's most stunning cities, and we anticipate some very interesting debates and contributions. More details will be forwarded as soon as possible . In the meantime, look out for our September newsletter.[14]

1995 Mar 23: In an article: Tobacco Dream Team: Experts Who Insists Nicotine Isn't Addictive, Wall Street Journal, 23 March 1995 Warburton espouses nicotine's mood-elevating effects but doesn't recognise its depressing effects.

1995 April 23-25: - Amsterdam workshop [15]

ARISE had conducted polls and surveys, and its members continued to present papers at workshops, conferences and symposia claiming that simple, everyday pleasures like eating chocolate, drinking tea and smoking cigarettes were vital to a healthy populace because they reduced stress.

They also claimed that members of the group were independent, impartial and credible academics. Tobacco funding was put on the public record, but along with an extensive list of other sponsoring industries like coffee, chocolate (Nestle), and alcohol (the tobacco companies usually had food and alcohol subsidiaries).

The Amsterdam workshop was called "Living is More Than Surviving." Key ideas expressed at this workshop were that,

  • substances of enjoyment help relieve workplace stress,
  • people need to learn to enjoy substances of pleasure, since some are not initially pleasurable,
  • much of the enjoyment of alcohol and tobacco are due to the traditional social aspects associated with the products, and
  • abstinence from substances of enjoyment does not keep one from dying. [16]

2001: Professor Warburton released a study showing that people are intimidated by television chefs, who, he claimed, increase pressure on regular people to produce excellent dishes at dinner parties. Warburton concluded that these fears were causing a new syndrome to emerge that he called "Kitchen Performance Anxiety," or KPA. The physical symptoms of KPA included mental blocks during cooking, a rapid heart rate, difficulty in breathing, nausea, and headaches. BBC did a news report on KPA [16]. Not unexpectedly, Warburton's study was commissioned by the makers of the wine Piat d'Or wine. [17]

Conferences provided springboards for publication of books

At a 1989 ARISE conference in Florence, Italy ARISE members attacked the U.S. Surgeon General’s conclusion that nicotine is similar to heroin or cocaine, and emphasized that nicotine enhances performance. This conference led to a book, Addiction Controversies, published in 1990 by Harwood Academic Publishers in Switzerland,[17]that criticized established views on substance use. The structure of Addiction Controversies was similar to a prior industry-funded book titled Smoking and Society, which was a compilation of articles on legal and illegal drugs and addiction, written in an academic tone and aimed at a scholarly audience. At the 1991 ARISE conference in Venice, Italy ARISE associates aligned tobacco with innocuous, pleasure-causing items like food and drink and advanced the idea that "smoking is a controlled pleasure -- it does not take control." Another book with the same structure resulted from these proceedings, Pleasure: The Politics and the Reality, edited by Warburton and published in March, 1994 by John Wiley and Sons. The book emphasized the social functions of pleasurable substances and strove to differentiate cocaine and heroin from nicotine and caffeine.[18] The book was funded at least in part by BAT, which sent £1,200 toward publishing costs to Warburton. The ARISE conference held in Brussels, Belgium in 1993 explored how "the science of pleasure leads to positive health and feeling good.’’ ARISE representatives spoke against "forcing a uniform healthy society" (ARISE, 1993). This conference yielded yet another book, Pleasure and the Quality of Life, published in 1996 by John Wiley and Sons, that described the positive contribution of pleasure –- including smoking –- to everyday life and railed against "health scares." Warburton edited all three books. A chapter in Pleasure and the Quality of Life frames public health efforts to reduce smoking as ‘‘the New Puritanism,’’ a framing that tracks closely with a 1993 Philip Morris Corporate Affairs plan that desccribed how the company would fight smoking restrictions in Europe during the period 1994-1999. PM’s plan included using ARISE to help cast public health efforts as "extremist," "indicative of intolerance" and "health fascism."[19]

Media influence

Through ARISE, the sponsoring tobacco and other companies generated news articles around the world that ridiculed and derided public health goals around smoking and reassured people about the relative safety and benefits of smoking. A media progress report on ARISE activities covering September 1993 to March 1994 contains 292 pages of press clippings, transcripts, articles, tapes and other media coverage ARISE generated in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Spain, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, South Africa and the United States. A 1996 presentation prepared by the ARISE secretariat for the tobacco companies reported that from 1994 to 1995 ARISE generated 646 press articles, 178 radio reports and 72 TV broadcasts in 17 countries, reporting that the coverage contained "minimal criticism of ARISE." At a 1989 ARISE conference in Florence, Italy ARISE members attacked the U.S. Surgeon General’s conclusion that nicotine is similar to heroin or cocaine, and emphasized that nicotine enhances performance. [20]

Fate of ARISE

After its 1999 conference in Kyoto, Japan, ARISE seems to have disappeared. It could not be determined why the group was disbanded after its service to the industry, or whether was reconstituted in another form. An inquiry on this issue, sent via email to Warburton on November 25, 2005, went unanswered, and Warburton refused to be interviewed for a published study about ARISE. [21]

Related SourceWatch resources

External links


  1. Landman, A. et al., Tobacco industry sociological programs to influence public beliefs about smoking, Social Science & Medicine (2008), doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.007
  2. ARISE Associates for Research into the Science of Enjoyment Report. 1993. 24 pp. Bates No. 2045655007/5030
  3. Landman, A. et al., Tobacco industry sociological programs to influence public beliefs about smoking, Social Science & Medicine (2007), doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.007
  4. Fishburn Hedges Associates for Research Into the Science of Enjoyment Overseas Agency Brief Report. August, 1994. 11 pp. Philip Morris Bates No. 2504092395/2405
  5. ARISE/PR Newswire '90s Guilt-Trap Could Threaten UK Health, Say Scientists Press release. Undated]
  6. No author. Interview on Arise [Sue McGregor Interviewing David Warburton Transcript. September 25, 1993. British American Tobacco Bates No. 500906549/6550
  7. No author. Associates for Research in Substances of Enjoyment July 12, 1990. 2 pp. British American Tobacco Bates No. 300527077-300527078
  8. David M. Warburton, University of Reading regarding ARISE meeting in Lisbon
  9. No author Information on Associates for Research in Substance Enjoyment Meeting in Venice Report. Undated. 4 pp. British American tobacco Bates No. 300561820/1823
  10. Philip Morris Project Cosmic: Budget/Spending Status Budget/Budget review. February, 1991. 1 page. Bates No. 2023160927
  11. Philip Morris EXPENSE ELEMENTS ANALYSIS 910000 ZERO BASED OPERATING BUDGET Budget review. February 19, 1991. Bates No. 2023160930/0931
  12. ARISE [Associates for Research into the Science of Enjoyment Report. 24 pp. 1993: Philip Morris Bates No. 2045655007/5030
  13. Philip Morris Workshop on Pleasure and Quality of Life Report. 9 pp. October 8, 1993. Bates No. 2025496543/6551
  14. Associates for Research in the Science of Enjoyment ARISE Issue No. 1, Autumn 940000 Newsletter. 9 pp. December, 1994. Philip Morris Bates No. 2045655073/5088
  15. Landman, A. et al., Tobacco industry sociological programs to influence public beliefs about smoking, Social Science & Medicine (2007), doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.007
  16. Landman, A. et al., Tobacco industry sociological programs to influence public beliefs about smoking, Social Science & Medicine (2007), doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.007
  17. David M. Warburton Addiction Controversies CRC. Paperback. 399 pp. January 28, 1992
  18. David M. Warburton Pleasure: The Politics and the Reality April, 1994. John Wiley & Sons. 180 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0471942290
  19. Landman, A. et al., Tobacco industry sociological programs to influence public beliefs about smoking, Social Science & Medicine (2007), doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.007
  20. Landman, A. et al., Tobacco industry sociological programs to influence public beliefs about smoking, Social Science & Medicine (2007), doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.007
  21. Landman, A. et al., Tobacco industry sociological programs to influence public beliefs about smoking, Social Science & Medicine (2007), doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.007

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