Lorillard’s KENT Micronite Filter

Asbestos and the Quest for a Safer Cigarette

In 1952, using the popular new medium of television, the P. Lorillard Co. sponsored “scientific” demonstrations to show the efficacy and implied health benefits of its KENT Micronite filter. The campaign also featured advertisements in medical journals. Although the ads did not disclose the composition of “Micronite,” the material that Lorillard touted as “so safe, so effective it has been selected to help filter the air in hospital operating rooms” and that was used “to purify the air in atomic energy plants of microscopic impurities” was asbestos.

Dr. Alan Blum interviews attorney Nathan Schachtman, whose 35-year law practice has focused on the defense of product liability suits, with an emphasis on the scientific aspects of exposures to toxic substances from products and environmental sources. He has also taught a course at the Columbia Law School on probability and statistics in the law.