Science for hire: a tobacco industry strategy to influence public opinion on secondhand smoke

Nicotine Tob Res. 2003 Jun;5(3):303-14. doi: 10.1080/1462220031000094169.


A review of internal tobacco company documents reveals that members of the tobacco industry and its corporate attorneys created an international scientific consultants program to influence public opinion on environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). This program was shaped as a "product" to protect the industry from international threats of smoking restrictions. Additionally, this program was used to promote a scientific backdrop supporting the industry's position on ETS that differed from regulatory agencies and published scientific research. In this report, we detail the pervasive nature of the so-called ETS Consultants Program, outline the wide range of activities undertaken by the consultants, and highlight the role of the industry's corporate attorneys in creating and managing this program. We suggest heightened monitoring of industry-created scientific organizations, further tobacco document research, and wide dissemination of such work.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Conflict of Interest
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Organizational Policy*
  • Policy Making*
  • Public Health
  • Public Opinion*
  • Research Support as Topic
  • Tobacco Industry*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution