Tobacco Industry Influence on Science and Scientists in Germany (2006)

Authors: Thilo Grünung, Anna Gilmore, and Martin McKee


Using tobacco industry documents, we examined how and why the tobacco industry sought to influence science and scientists in Germany as a possible factor in explaining the German opposition to stricter tobacco regulation.

Smoking and health research programs were organized both separately by individual tobacco companies and jointly through their German trade organization. An extensive network of scientists and scientific institutions with tobacco industry links was developed. Science was distorted in 5 ways: suppression, dilution, distraction, concealment, and manipulation.

The extent of tobacco industry influence over the scientific establishment in Germany is profound. The industry introduced serious bias that probably influenced scientific and public opinion in Germany. This influence likely undermined efforts to control tobacco use.

Read more: American Journal of Public Health