Type A personality: a construct of the tobacco industry

The Secret History Behind The Science Of Stress
July 07, 2014

both Selye’s work and much of the work around Type A, were profoundly influenced by cigarette manufacturers who were interested in promoting the concept of stress because it allowed them to muddy the waters by arguing that it was stress and not cigarettes that was to blame for heart disease and cancer.

PETTIGREW: In the case of Selye, tobacco industry lawyers vetted papers. They vetted the content of the paper. They agreed the wording of papers. Tobacco industry lawyers actually influenced the content of his writings. They suggested to him things that he should comment on.

“What’s never really been appreciated is that the tobacco industry was a major funder and stimulant of research on stress,” he says. “Specifically Selye’s work, but also research on Type A behavior. Type A personality is to a large extent a construct of the tobacco industry.”

from Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery, 10e (July 2014) > Chapter 46: Anesthesia for the Surgical Patient
Major Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease:

  • hypercholesterolemia
  • hyperlipidemia
  • hypertension
  • smoking
  • diabetes mellitus
  • hyperhomocysteinemia
  • advanced age
  • male sex
  • obesity
  • sedentary lifestyle