Tobacco companies had been protecting their turf for decades. They had congressmen in their pocket. They had corrupt scientists who made excuses about nicotine, cancer and addiction. They had hordes of lawyers to threaten anyone — inside the industry or out — who posed a problem. They had a whole lot of money to spend. And they were good at getting people to do what they wanted them to do. After all, they had already convinced millions of Americans to take up an addictive, unhealthy, and potentially deadly habit.
David Kessler didn’t care about all that. In this book he tells for the first time the thrilling detective story of how the underdog FDA — while safeguarding the nation’s food, drugs, and blood supply — finally decided to take on one of the world’s most powerful opponents, and how it won. Like A Civil Action or And the Band Played On, A Question of Intent weaves together science, law, and fascinating characters to tell an important and often unexpectedly moving story. We follow Kessler’s team of investigators as they race to find the clues that will allow the FDA to assert jurisdiction over cigarettes, while the tobacco companies and their lawyers fight back — hard. Full of insider information and drama, told with wit, and animated by its author’s moral passion, A Question of Intent reads like a Grisham thriller, with one exception — everything in it is true.