Sunday, July 14, 2013
Exclusive: Smoked out: tobacco giant's war on science - Science - News - The Independent:
Philip Morris International, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, is seeking to force a British university to reveal full details of its research involving confidential interviews with thousands of children aged between 11 and 16 about their attitudes towards smoking and cigarette packaging.
The demands from the tobacco company, made using the UK's Freedom of Information law, have coincided with an internet hate campaign targeted at university researchers involved in smoking studies.
One of the academics has received anonymous abusive phone calls at her home at night. She believes they are prompted by an organised campaign by the tobacco industry to discredit her work, although there is no evidence that the cigarette companies are directly responsible. Philip Morris says it has a "legitimate interest" in the information, but researchers at Stirling University say that handing over highly sensitive data would be a gross breach of confidence that could jeopardise future studies.
The researchers also believe that the requests are having a chilling effect on co-operation with other academics who fear that sharing their own unpublished data with Stirling will lead to it being handed over to the tobacco industry.
Posted by JOlmsted at 7:49 AM