Credit: ANP / Hollandse Hoogte / Laurens van Putten

Tobacco funded research: how even journals with bans find it hard to stem the tide of publications

By Mathilde de Jeu, Irene van den Berg, | 31 May, 2024

Tobacco companies are investing billions in pharmaceutical and medical products. These ties complicate the ongoing efforts of researchers, scientific organisations, and journals to distance themselves from the industry, find The Investigative Desk and the British Medical Journal.

Tobacco-industry-funded research still appears in widely cited medical journals – despite attempts by some to cut the links completely. 876 studies on PubMed reveal a relationship between at least one of the researchers and a medical company with financial ties to the tobacco industry.

Although the tobacco industry has a long history of subverting science, most of the leading medical journals don’t have policies that ban research wholly or partly funded by the industry. Even when publishers, authors, and universities are willing to restrict ties to the industry, evidence indicates that they struggle to identify funding sources, because tobacco companies have funded front groups and have diversified into pharmaceutical and health technology.

Read the full article on the British Medical Journal (in English)

This production was a collaboration with John Hansen of the Danish newspaper Politiken and was made possible with the support of Journalismfund Europe. A story about this research will appear on FTM tomorrow.

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