Hope this is the right forum for this one. Has anyone any idea what is meant by "thread the needle" in the following?
The report summarizes [tobacco company X's] attempt to thread the needle about the term ?addiction?: X states that there are and have been various definitions of ?addiction? over the years and the definition of ?addiction? as used by the public health community has changed over the years. However, X decided as a matter of corporate policy to refrain from publicly debating the appropriate definition of ?addiction?.
The eye of a needle is generally very thin. To get something through it, it has to be even thinner. Therefore, I would say they are trying to say that it is trying to define addiction in it's strictest terms.