Medical Journals Refuse to Publish Tobacco-Funded Research (Op-Ed)
Editors of journals published by the BMJ Group will no longer consider publishing research that is partly or wholly funded by the tobacco industry, the journals have said in an editorial published this week.
Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than five million deaths every year, and current trends show that it will cause more than eight million deaths annually by the year 2030.
Editor-in-chief of BMJ Open Trish Groves said editors of the BMJ, BMJ Open, Heart, and Thorax could no longer “ignore the growing body of evidence – from the tobacco industry’s released internal documents – that the industry continues to actively play down the risks of its products.”
“What’s worse is that scientific journals have published potentially biased studies that were funded by industry, often without realizing that research funding bodies that sounded independent and academic were largely paid for by industry.”
Other journals that have previously introduced such bans include PLOS Medicine in 2010 and the journals published by The American Thoracic Society in 1995.
The journals' policy change comes in the wake of a recent scandal involving Phillip Morris in the United Kingdom where the government was considering mandating standard packaging for tobacco products.
Leaked confidential documents showed the company was using a sophisticated lobbying campaign to target politicians and civil servants it believed would support its position against the move.