July 16, 2024  

A native New Yorker, Dr. Wigand was born in New York City but now calls Mt. Pleasant, Michigan home. Currently he spends his time and efforts on lectures around the world, as an expert witness and consultant on various tobacco issues, and on his non-profit organization, SMOKE-FREE KIDS, Inc., where he concentrates his energy on helping kids of all ages make better decisions and healthy choices regarding tobacco use.

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Russell Crowe portrayed Dr. Wigand in the film "The Insider", and they spent quite a bit of time together in order for Russell to learn Jeff's mannerisms. (Regarding this, Dr. Wigand feels Russell "really nailed it".)

In these clips, Russell discusses his personal impression of Dr. Wigand.

Dr. Wigand earned academic degrees with distinction from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and a Masters Degree in Secondary Education (MAT) from the University of Louisville.

For four years 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. He 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. rtg casinos bonus

David Kessler talks about being introduced to Dr. Wigand during the FDA's investigation:
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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.

In 1995 Dr. Wigand achieved national prominence when he became the tobacco industry's highest ranking former executive to address public health and smoking issues. He made the truth known to the public about the industry's disregard for health and safety during an interview with 60 MINUTES and during a deposition he was compelled to give in an action against the tobacco companies.

A lawsuit was filed against him by Brown & Williamson because of his public disclosures about the industry's efforts to minimize the health and safety issue of tobacco use. (Louisville-based Brown & Williamson is owned by BAT Industries, Plc, the world's second largest tobacco concern.) The lawsuit was dismissed as a condition of the June 20, 1997 historic $368 billion settlement between the Attorneys General of 40 States and the tobacco industry.

Dr. Wigand has received numerous awards and public recognition for his action in revealing tobacco company research and marketing practices and he continues his efforts to reduce teen tobacco use through the non-profit organization he formed, SMOKE-FREE KIDS, Inc.

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