Tobacco industry influence on science and scientists in Germany

Am J Public Health. 2006 Jan;96(1):20-32. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.061507. Epub 2005 Nov 29.


Using tobacco industry documents, we examined how and why the tobacco industry sought to influence science and scientists in Germany as a possible factor in explaining the German opposition to stricter tobacco regulation. Smoking and health research programs were organized both separately by individual tobacco companies and jointly through their German trade organization. An extensive network of scientists and scientific institutions with tobacco industry links was developed. Science was distorted in 5 ways: suppression, dilution, distraction, concealment, and manipulation. The extent of tobacco industry influence over the scientific establishment in Germany is profound. The industry introduced serious bias that probably influenced scientific and public opinion in Germany. This influence likely undermined efforts to control tobacco use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / ethics*
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Germany
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Propaganda
  • Research Personnel / ethics*
  • Scientific Misconduct / ethics
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Societies
  • Tobacco Industry / economics
  • Tobacco Industry / ethics*
  • Tobacco Industry / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / legislation & jurisprudence


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution