LAS CRUCES — After the Environmental Protection Agency declared second-hand smoke a cancer-causing carcinogen in 1992, further fueling government restrictions on smoking in public places, the tobacco giant Philip Morris formed an organization dedicated to cultivating doubt about the scientific basis for increased regulation.
Garrey Carruthers was tapped by APCO Associates, a public relations firm working for Philip Morris, to head the new organization, called The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, or TASSC.
Carruthers, Republican governor of New Mexico from 1987 to 1990 and currently one of five finalists for the presidency of New Mexico State University, was chairman of TASSC from 1993 to 1998, according to his résumé. It was a paid position, but is listed under the “public service” portion of his résumé.
During that period, from 1993 to 2003, Carruthers was also president and CEO of Cimarron Health Plan, a health insurance company.