[Skip to Navigation]
Sign In
July 19, 1995

Lawyer Control of the Tobacco Industry's External Research Program: The Brown and Williamson Documents

Author Affiliations

From the Institute for Health Policy Studies, Department of Medicine and Division of Clinical Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco (Drs Bero and Glantz, Ms Barnes, and Mr Hanauer), and the Department of Medicine, St Peter's Medical Center, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick (Dr Slade).

JAMA. 1995;274(3):241-247. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530030061035

Objective.  —To examine the involvement of tobacco industry lawyers in the selection of tobacco industry scientific research projects and to examine how the research was used to influence public policy.

Data Sources.  —Documents from Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corporation, the British American Tobacco Company (BAT), and other tobacco interests provided by an anonymous source, obtained from Congress, and received from the private papers of a former BAT officer.

Study Selection.  —All available materials, including confidential reports regarding research and internal memoranda exchanged between tobacco industry lawyers.

Conclusions.  —The involvement of tobacco industry lawyers in the selection of scientific projects to be funded is in sharp contrast to the industry's public statements about its review process for its external research program. Scientific merit played little role in the selection of external research projects. The results of the projects were used to generate good publicity for the industry, to deflect attention away from tobacco use as a health danger, and to attempt, sometimes surreptitiously, to influence policymakers.(JAMA. 1995;274:241-247)

Add or change institution