News and Events

Tobacco Industry Whistle-Blower, Dr. Victor DeNoble, Visits Dixie County
September 18, 2014

On Thursday, September 18, the Dixie County Tobacco Free Partnership and the Dixie County SWAT youth hosted presentations by Victor J. DeNoble, Ph.D.  at the Ruth Rains Middle School, the Dixie County High School and at a Community Forum at the Dixie County Community Library.

Victor J. DeNoble, Ph.D. has been giving presentations to youth and adults for nearly two decades.  His compelling story starts when he was recruited to develop a safer cigarette for Philip Morris in the 1980’s. In his secret research laboratory, he studied nicotine’s effects on the central nervous system and was successful in developing a nicotine substitute that did not elevate the heart rate; however, attempts to publish his work were suppressed by Philip Morris. Dr. DeNoble was eventually fired, his laboratory was shuttered, and his research was seized.

In 1994, after a decade of being silenced by a secrecy agreement, he became the first whistle blower to testify before Congress and was a key witness in the federal government’s investigation into the tobacco industry’s research practices.

The youth at Ruth Rains Middle school were amazed by the presentation which included some of the evidence that proved nicotine changes the human brain.  The Dean of the school, and all 6th grade teachers attended the presentation with the students. 

DCHS SWAT Officers
Dixie County SWAT Officers meet Dr. Victor DeNoble.

The Dixie County High School students that attended the presentation learned about the tactics that the tobacco industry used to lie to their customers and how it continues to develop and sale tobacco products aimed at attracting kids. There was a renewed excitement from the SWAT youth at both schools to give presentations to elementary school age students who are a target by the tobacco industry. Dr. DeNoble explained that their brains will not know if the nicotine comes from a traditional cigarette, spit tobacco, or an electronic cigarette. By using candy flavors and advertisements at child eye level, these products are being marketed to kids as future customers.

Dr. DeNoble at DCHS
Dr. DeNoble shows the students a chimpanzee brain.

In the evening, the Tobacco Free Partnership of Dixie County teamed up with the Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition to hold the Dixie County Community Forum at the public library so that all residents of Dixie County could have an opportunity to see Dr. DeNoble’s presentation.  He gave a very informative presentation that reviewed his experience with the tobacco industry but also gave visuals on how most drugs, including alcohol and nicotine, change the endorphin levels in the brain and how that process changes drug use into an addiction.  

There was so much positive feedback from the youth at the school presentations that several parents attended the evening presentation at the request of their children.  School teachers and administrators were at the evening presentation and thanked Dr. DeNoble for giving the presentations. 

For more information of the work of the Tobacco Free Partnership in Dixie County, you can contact the group at