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Universities and tobacco money

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 07 July 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1

Some universities are accomplices in the tobacco epidemic

  1. Joanna E Cohen, assistant professor
  1. Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 2S1

    In December 2000 Nottingham University announced the establishment of an international centre for corporate social responsibility, with initial funding of £3.8m provided by British American Tobacco (BAT). To protest aganst their university's acceptance of money from the tobacco industry, an MBA student refused to accept his “student of the year” award; Richard Smith, editor of the BMJ, resigned from his post as professor of medical journalism; a cancer research team decided to relocate; and a member of the European parliament relinquished her roles at the university.

    Nottingham joins a long list of universities that have accepted funding from the tobacco industry. Other academic institutions have, however, taken the opposite stance and severed their ties with this industry. For example, Brigham and Women's and Massachusetts General hospitals in Boston, the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, and the University of Sydney all have policies precluding acceptance of research funds from the tobacco industry.1 The …

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