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Medical community is outraged at tobacco funded chair

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7051.186a (Published 27 July 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:186

Cambridge University's decision last week to accept a £1.5m ($2.25m) donation from British American Tobacco Industries (BAT) has provoked outrage among senior figures in the medical establishment.

The university's senate voted two to one in favour of accepting the sponsorship, which will be used to set up the Sir Patrick Sheehy chair in international relations, named after BAT's retiring chairman. In response to the decision, the Cancer Research Campaign will be reconsidering its funding links with the university, and Professor Anthony McMichael from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has resigned as external examiner for the university. BMA Secretary Dr Mac Armstrong expressed “overwhelming sadness” that funding pressures on universities have led to such a decision. The president of the Royal College of Physicians, Professor Leslie Turnberg, said: “I am …

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