Editorials

Tobacco funding for academics

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7033.721 (Published 23 March 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:721
  1. Douglas Carnall
  1. Editorial registrar BMJ, London WC1H 9JR

    A blatant advertising ploy that threatens academic freedom

    Most people would agree that Cambridge University would be ill advised to launder money for a Colombian cocaine cartel. While the pounds sterling1.5 million that the university proposes to accept from BAT (British American Tobacco) Industries to fund a new chair in international relations may be legal, it is hard to make a moral distinction between the tobacco industry and the drug cartels.1 Both supply and promote an addictive substance with the intention of maximising their profits, in spite of the resultant human suffering.

    Selling tobacco is certainly profitable: BAT Industries' profits went up 56% to a record pounds sterling1.56 billion in 1995. Most of this growth came from selling 100 …

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