Kay Thomas Packett

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Kay Thomas who married and became Kay Thomas Packett was a long service Issues Manager at the Tobacco Institute who was intimately involved with most of their scams and underhand activities. She worked as the superior to Diana Avedon who did the scheduling and general running of the Scientific Witness Team of sell-out scientists and scientific lobbyists.

Documents & Timeline

1988 Sep 8 Kay Thomas at the Tobacco Institute is dealing with Karil L Kochenderfer of Fleishman Hillard Inc. who scheduled and conducted the media and Scientific Witness Team tours for the tobacco industry. They have identified a list of 'state policy-makers targeted to receive a copy of the Katzenstein article. These are all officials dealing with air-quality and health issues [2]

1989 In his later deposition whistleblower Jeff Seckler testifies that Kay Thomas Packett was in charge of the Tobacco Institute's Scientific Witness Team program (SWT). He said

"Shortly thereafter I received a copy of an internal memo sent to Diana Avedon who coordinated the schedules of TI's scientific witnesses, by Brenda Babcock of TI, telling Avedon that I did a great job.
Exhibit A. Babcock was the Northwest Regional TI representative who worked with Kay Thomas Packett, who was in charge of TI's scientific witness program.

This team of scientists, lawyers and technicians was paid to tour various regions of the USA and provide propaganda and witness services -- appearing at hearings into public smoking bans, advising local councils, debating anti-smoking groups on television, etc. They generally maintained that they were independent experts, and never admitted that they were paid by the cigarette companies.

1989 Mar 21 John Lyons (VP State Activities) has called the Tobacco Institute disinformation staff and their external consultants together for a one-day brainstorming session on "Public Smoking" problems. His agenda details the main problems they were facing:

  • Cigarette tax increases have been proposed in 35 states and DC.
    • One state has already passed a tax increase. [Wyoming + 4¢]
    • Five states have defeated excise increases
    • Bills are anticipated in another 8-13 states.
  • Tax increases on smokeless tobacco is also pending in 18 states
    • One state has defeated excise increases
    • Bills are anticipated in another 8-13 states.
  • Taxes or restrictions on the use of certain packaging materials have been proposed in 17 states. (with another 3 expected)
    "Fire-Safe" standards for cigarettes are proposed for four states.
    • Legislation is anticipated in another 4 to 10 states.
  • Proposals to 'earmark' existing cigarette taxes have surfaced in 27 states, and Wyoming has since passed a law.
    • These funds are targetted to be used for health care, smoking cessation programs, fire protection, anti-tobacco education, and cancer research.[and many more]
    • Earmarking has been defeated in Mississippi and Wisconson.
  • Toxic Waste laws, like California's Prop 65 (Safe Drinking Water Act) have been proposed in four new states. (Hawaii has delayed consideration)
  • Indoor Air Quality standards have been proposed in ten states (and another 4 potentially)
  • Cigarette Sample Bans have been proposed in 13 states and passed in Nebraska and Utah.
    • Hawaii, South Dakota and Washington bills to stop this type of sampling among young people have been defeated.
    • Sampling legislation is anticipated in another 9-21 states.
  • Legislation to ban tobacco advertising has been proposed in 9 states with another 8 pending. (Hawaii has blocked the legislation)
    • Another 9 to 18 states are considering a ban.
  • Bills to expand or introduce smoking restrictions are being considered in 40 states. [Utah has already banned school smoking]
    • 21 states will introduce workplace smoking restrictions.
    • 13 states are to try bans of public smoking only
    • Washington State has banned smoking in some public transport (ferries)
    • Legislation is anticipated in another 4-6 states
    • 5 states have killed smoking ban legislation.
    • Virginia has 'Pre-emptive' legislation to block workplace advertising bans except by the employer Six other states have similar pre-emptive legislation.
  • Death certificates to show 'contribution' of tobacco use. Eight states have legislation requiring this and six others are considering bills.
  • Vending machine sales restrictions to limit youth access are proposed in 14 states. Georgia, Maryland and Washington have defeated similar bills.
  • Sales taxes on advertising expenditure has been imposed by three states. One has rejected.
  • Pre-emptive bills: Eight states propose to prohibit employment discrimination based on smoking and non-smoking.
    • Similar legislation is being considered for 6 more states.


1989 Mar 27 Diana Avedon reports on the planning for ACVA/HBI tours and on the results produced by ENV Services on some fake air-testing in Idaho.

- Sent preliminary ENV report to Brenda Babcock [Regional Director North East]
- Talked with B Babcock -- ok'd her sending ENV report to Roden -- Report not to go any further.
William C Roden was the Idaho Legislative lobbyist for the Tobacco Institute along with Regional Directors/Managers Paul Jacobson and David Hooper
She also discused with Kay Thomas Packett
- New Witness clearance -- New witness Lawrence Halfen to accompany Larry Holcomb to Memphis 3/28" [5]

1990 May 31 Charley Powers (Republican apparatchik in Reagan/Bush - then TI VP Public Affairs) has written to Sam Chilcote at the Tobacco Institute:

When we decided to hire Martha Rinker as the new public smoking Issues Manager, I made the point that we have, in Kay Thomas, an outstanding employee, although not yet ready to assume the manager's position. At that time, we discussed the possibility of a new position for Ms. Thomas both as a career step and as an incentive for her to remain at The Institute. We have a similar situation with Carol Hrycaj who has applied for the excise tax manager position. Although not yet ready to assume the Issue Manager position, she is in much the same developmental position as Ms. Thomas. [6]

[He recommends them for promotion to "Senior Issues Analyst" ]

1990 Jul 23 The Tobacco Institute's Public Smoking Issues Group had been resheduled to meet on August 1st.


  • EPA risk assessment Briefing & Update of TI Activities
  • OSHA IAQ Update
  • State Activities Update
  • LMC Activities (Labor Management Committee)
    After the regular Issues meeting, we would like to discuss the EPA Workplace Policy Guidelines and possible responses to the EPA. In that context, we hope to start preliminary discussion of a Workplace Hazards Conference (a workplace McGill)
[The "workplace McGill" reference is to the Canadian (Montreal) McGill University ETS Symposium which was controlled and funded by Philip Morris in November 1989. It brought together the top tobacco lawyers, lobbyists, WhiteCoats, consultants and academic witnesses from around the world into one gigantic 'scientific' confab.
It was a full-expensed-paid/by-invitation-only conference, and every person invited was in the pay of the tobacco industry in some substantial way. However only the organizers knew this. It was set up and run on a 'need-to-know-only' basis by Andrew Whist and the staff of Philip Morris International's Corporate Affairs division.
The procedings of this so-called 'Independent Symposium of ETS Experts' were published by a PM front called the Institute for International Health & Development run by (Paul Dietrich). They were printed in large numbers and distributed in different languages around the world as if they were trustworthy textbooks on passive smoking. This whole project was judged to be very much worth the million+ dollars it must have cost.]

1991 Jan 4 Industry strategies to defeat the (EPA's) ETS risk assessment
1. To block the release of, or, short of that, to modify the EPA risk assessment and workplace policy guide to reflect more accurately the scientific consensus on ETS,
2. To build a record of the flaws and controversies surrounding the risk assessment and policy guide and the SAB review of those documents for use in legislative and regulatory battles on ETS . [Much more on Strategies] [8] Accompanying notice to TI [9] [Kay Thomas was one of three TI representatives in this group]

1993 Kay Thomas is now listed as the 'Issues Manager' at TI

1993 Dec Kay Thomas is now associated with the Georgetown University (IAPAG) database. She is working on their ETSLIT database update list which is distributed by Loreen McAlpin [10]