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Tobacco company makes freedom of information request for university’s research

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 05 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5655
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. 1Edinburgh

A Scottish university may be forced to hand over detailed research into teenage smoking to a cigarette manufacturer after failing to block a request it made under freedom of information legislation.

Gerard Hastings, director of the Centre for Tobacco Control at the University of Stirling, said that such an outcome would be “catastrophic” and would have enormous implications for academic freedom.

Philip Morris International, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, has submitted a series of freedom of information requests to get access to the Stirling centre’s research into the smoking behaviour of British teenagers.

The university has resisted the requests, …

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