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Pro-tobacco writer admits he should have declared an interest

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 02 February 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:257

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. Zosia Kmietowicz,
  2. Annabel Ferriman
  1. London

    Writer and philosopher Roger Scruton, who was discovered last week to be on the payroll of a large tobacco company, has admitted that he should have “declared an interest” when he wrote a pamphlet attacking the World Health Organization for its campaign against tobacco.

    He told the BMJ:“Our firm had a consultancy [with Japan Tobacco Industries] at that time. I was asked independently to do this [write the pamphlet]. I did not want to mix it up with the consultancy, but looking back I should have declared an interest.”

    As a result of Mr Scruton's fall from grace last week, when his financial connections to Japan Tobacco Industries were revealed, the Institute of Economic Affairs—the free-market think tank that published the pamphlet attacking the WHO—has conceded that it needs an author's declaration policy.

    Colin Robinson, the institute's editorial director and a professor of economics at …

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