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WHO warns anti-smoking campaigners not to become too close to drug firms

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d2430 (Published 14 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2430
  1. Aser García Rada
  1. 1Madrid

The World Health Organization has warned health professionals working in tobacco control not to become too closely involved with drug companies that produce smoking cessation products.

The warning came last month at a meeting on smoking prevention in Madrid that was hosted by the National Committee to Prevent Smoking, which represents most Spanish anti-tobacco organisations, and which was sponsored by Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and McNeil—all of which make treatments to help smoking cessation.

Armando Peruga, programme manager of WHO’s Tobacco Free Initiative, advised health professionals “to be independent and guided by scientific evidence.”

“We have to keep a distance from the tobacco industry, but we also have to maintain some distance from any other industry that can have a commercial interest in this issue,” he said.

“Today the …

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