Jeffrey Wigand, a Famous Cigarette Whistle Blower

Jeffrey Wigand, a Famous Cigarette Whistle Blower






Jeffrey Wigand, a Famous Cigarette Whistle Blower

Dr. Jeffrey Wigand was born in New York city in 1942. He is a former Brown and Williamson (the third largest tobacco company at the time) director of research employee. He became an expert witness and consultant on various tobacco issues and currently he spends his time around the world giving lectures on the same. He also runs a non-profitable organization, Smoke-Free Kids, Inc, where he makes efforts to helping kids to be able to make informed decisions and healthy choices regarding tobacco use. In the year 1990, Wigand became famous when he revealed to the public that the cigarette companies were trying to hide the dangers of smoking. He made known to the public the companies had conducted campaigns to conceal from them the addictive effects of cigarette and the fact that it causes lung cancer(Isaacs, 2010).

The doctor was originally hired to help the company develop a safer cigarette. However, he was ultimately fired after clashing with his bosses. Out of the desire to revenge, he started exposing the safety problems related to the tobacco industry. He stated the Brown and Williamson had intentionally manipulated its tobacco blend to increase the amount of nicotine in cigarette through putting dangerous additives like ammonia. He revealed that the company knew about the health effects posed by its product but its public statements were contrary.

Dr. Wigand is a courageous and determined individual. He is able to break his confidentiality agreement and worked on a story about tobacco industry to develop a ‘fire safe’ cigarette. He is caring towards the public and concerned about the health. He is ready to stand up for what he knew was right even though there was immense pressure from the company to stop.

The company, Brown and Williamson, was, however, determined to destroy his reputation. It planned to create damaging stories about him and publish them. He also received threats about killing him and destroying his family. Today, Dr. Wigand is given credit for being the key witness in successful tobacco reform law suits. He also spearheads laws to ban smoking in public places and warning school kids about the dangers of tobacco. The company was sold soon after the tobacco incident and the tobacco companies started complying to the regulations.


Isaacs, D. (2010). The whistle-blower. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 46(5), 213-213. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1754.2010.01761.x