"When I'm doing something right, the tobacco companies squeal."
- Jeffrey Wigand, US News & World Report, August 27, 2001.
As a researcher at Brown & Williamson Tobacco, Jeffrey Wigand knew many secrets. In 1994, he began telling them, revealing how companies suppressed evidence of tobacco's addictiveness and unhealthiness. His courage helped originate a new awareness of how tobacco products are engineered for maximum profits and little else. His courage was the inspiration for the 1999 film, The Insider. Wigand recently founded the Smoke-Free Kids Foundation, and now educates teenagers and the public on how tobacco is marketed to young people.
A native New Yorker, Dr. Wigand was born in New York City but now calls Charleston, South Carolina home. He earned academic degrees with distinction from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and more recently obtained a Masters Degree in Secondary Education (MAT) from the University of Louisville.
Dr. Wigand taught Japanese and Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physical Sciences) at duPont Manual High School, a national school of academic excellence, in Louisville, Kentucky for three years and received national recognition for his teaching skills when he was awarded the Sallie Mae FIRST CLASS TEACHER of the YEAR in 1996. He was one of 51 teachers recognized nationwide.
Dr. Wigand has always been a teacher, but not always in the classroom. He held senior management positions with a number of leading health care companies, including Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, and then served as Vice President for Research and Development for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation from December 1988 to March 1993. After his separation from Brown & Williamson, Dr. Wigand cooperated with governmental agencies investigating the tobacco industry. Dr. Kessler, the former Commissioner of the FDA, has acknowledged that Dr. Wigand's assistance was central to the FDA's investigation into the role and effect of nicotine in tobacco products.
Related Links:Dr. Wigand's official site