Dr. Jeffrey S. Wigand is known as a good and fair scientist, who cares about people, promotes healthy style of life, does not afraid to argue about harm of smoking, being a part of a tobacco industry, and this is why he is respected in different spheres of life in the United States of America.
He was born on December 17, 1942 in New York City. He spent some time of his childhood in Bronx, however, came back to Pleasant Valley, New York very soon. Jeffrey Wigand was in the military, and even participated in actions in Vietnam. His education is connected to the State University of New York at Buffalo: he got his Master and PhD there.
He was fond of Japanese, Biology, Chemistry, and other Sciences. His service at Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation is succeeded by work at Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer. However, in March, 1993, Mr. Wigand assisted FDA in order to investigate the role of nicotine in people’s lives and its impact on human health.
In 1995, Jeffrey Wigand achieved unbelievable success and people’s recognition – he introduced his ideas how unfair tobacco industry can be and how people make smokers become addicted. His interview at the program 60 Minutes opened terrible secrets concerning the health risks, which were caused by cigarettes.
All his actions against tobacco companies cause absolutely different emotions: some people were amazed to hear such a terrible truth; some people started hating this person, because he made an attempt to destroy their business; and some people just skip this information and continue smoking.
Dr. Wigand admitted that “Brown & Williamson executives were most certainly aware that smoking caused disease” (Janofsky, para. 11). Such words and many other proofs served as a strong reason to start lawsuits and blame Mr. Wigand for disclosure of corporate secrets.
In 1999, the movie The Insider appeared on the screens: Russell Crowe portrayed Jeffrey Wigand just perfectly. With the help of this movie, it became clear that “trying to shut up him [Dr. Wigand] is futile, and only liable to make him talk more about tobacco companies” (Perez-Pena, para. 1). This movie presents valid information about the scientist and help people to evaluate his actions from one more perspective.
Nowadays, Jeffrey Wigand is proud of received people’s recognition and aims at developing his organization in order to reduce tobacco use among teens that is called SMOKE-FREE KIDS, Inc.
“We were just ordinary people placed in some extraordinary situations and did the right thing…as all should do” (Wigand, 2009). These words help to create more or less clear picture about this person. He is not afraid to admit that he is an ordinary man; he also underlines that this life provides him with a chance to be placed in a situation and try to change this world.
To my mind, his action cannot be prohibited or required, but still, they can be permissible. It is impossible to prohibit a person to talk and save people’s lives. However, when a person has some business affairs with a serious company, it is necessary to divide personal interests and points of view and the ideas of professional ethics.
Those people, who do not want to smoke, cannot start smoking just because of Brown & Williamson’s distribution. Smoking people get one more chance to evaluate the situation and decide whether smoking is worthy of health, money, and even time. In case of Jeffrey Wigand, his actions and words have enough reasons and sense, and it is better to take them into consideration in order to make this life better and healthier.
Janofsky, Michael. “For a Trial Lacking in Drama, a Stat Witness, of Sorts.” The New York Times. 1 Feb. 2005. 16 Sept. 2009.
Jeffrey Wigand. 2009. 16 Sept. 2009
Perez-Pena, Richard. “The Insider’ Is Left out of Youth Meeting.” The New York Times. 7 Jun. 2000. 16 Sept. 2009.