Intended for healthcare professionals


Tobacco companies mounted “dirty tricks” campaign against WHO

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 05 August 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:319
  1. Judy Jones
  1. London

    Dirty tricks campaigns were used by tobacco companies as part of a prolonged and orchestrated drive to subvert the World Health Organization's antismoking strategy, an inquiry panel established by the organisation has found. The inquiry showed that the tobacco industry developed elaborate strategies to manipulate public opinion against the WHO, discredit key individuals, infiltrate its structure, and arranged media events to divert attention away from potentially damaging stories.

    Some strategies succeeded in influencing WHO activities, causing “significant harm” to the organisation and its objectives. The inquiry's report states: “Of greatest concern, tobacco companies have, in some cases, had their own consultants in positions at WHO, …

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