Medical Journal Bars Tobacco-Funded Research

February 24, 2010

PLoS Medicine, an open access peer-reviewed journal, has announced it will no longer accept submissions of research findings supported by the tobacco industry. In an editorial, the journal cited two reasons for its decision. "First, tobacco is indisputably bad for health. Half of all smokers will die of tobacco use. Unlike the food and pharmaceutical industries, the business of tobacco involves selling a product for which there is no possible health benefit. Tobacco interests in research cannot have a health aim — if they did, tobacco companies would be better off shutting down business — and therefore health research sponsored by tobacco companies is essentially advertising.... Second, we remain concerned about the industry's long-standing attempts to distort the science of and deflect attention away from the harmful effects of smoking. That the tobacco industry has behaved disreputably — denying the harms of its products, campaigning against smoking bans, marketing to young people, and hiring public relations firms, consultants, and front groups to enhance the public credibility of their work — is well documented. There is no reason to believe that these direct assaults on human health will not continue, and we do not wish to provide a forum for companies' attempts to manipulate the science on tobacco's harms."

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