The Tobacco Industry Documents: What They Are, What They Sell Us, and How to Search Them (2004)


This is a manual about the tobacco industry documents released by US-based tobacco companies as a result of lawsuits fi led against them in the USA. It may be used by persons with many interests:

  • those simply wanting to know more about the subject
  • those who would like to understand the mechanics of searching the documents without necessarily conducting searches themselves
  • those who would like to learn, or sharpen, the skills needed to do a search. The manual comes in the following sections. Readers may pick and choose according to their interests:
  • an historical introduction: what the documents tell us about the behaviour and knowledge of the tobacco industry over the past 50 years; examples of quotes found in the documents; and how the documents have been used by tobacco-control advocates, international civil servants, academic researchers, journalists, legislators, policy-makers and lawyers;
  • a listing of where tobacco industry documents may be found on the Internet; and a catalogue of collections of individual documents gathered by researchers on specifi c topics—such as nicotine and cigarette chemistry, marketing to youth, advertising, etc.—and where they may be found on the Internet
  • a thorough explanation of how researchers extract information from the documents
  • a step-by-step exercise based on an actual case to show the strategy of a successful search. The manual also provides useful information in its annexes:
  • an inventory of publications, based on original research into the documents (complete as of July 2004)
  • for those intending to publish their research, a standard format for providing a reference to each document described
  • a useful compendium of Internet addresses for a broad range of sources on tobacco-related information around the world—news, data, statistics, cigarette company web sites, etc.

Read more: World Health Organization