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Should The Tobacco Industry Be Obliged To Donate To Lung Cancer Research?
If and only if Tobacco companies won’t be allowed a single inch of room to influence the system and pay the researchers to say “you can keep smoking cigarettes because tobacco is not the reason why you are more prone to develop heart disease or lung cancer”. Now why I fear they will cast their shadow on the lung cancer research and tweak the conclusion in their favour? Because it’s the history of Tobacco industry to tread on the public’s belief in science. Now this was a time before the scepticism of today about science, particularly before the invention of atomic bomb. People used to religiously believe in science and Tobacco industry understood this authority. Therefore, they used Pseudoscience.
If we take a look at the poster ads of cigarette companies that were produced in 1920s and 1930s, we’ll see something like a person who looks scientist by appearance is busy looking through a microscope holding a cigarette in his hands. Or a cigarette puffing scientist with a laboratory behind them and the caption reads “More doctors smoke Camel than any other cigarette” (Grüning, Gilmore, & Mckee, 2006).
Very often you’ll find scientific studies quoted on those posters with ‘smoking scientists’ in the laboratory in the background, scientific studies that later proved to be completely invalid. Tobacco industry in the name of funding scientific research paid the researchers to make a specific point rather than to ask a question. Tobacco industry swayed the conclusions of research studies in the past and simplistically put out all the invalid and speculative research as the ‘scientific findings’ about the safety of their tobacco products. As recent research studies have also pointed out occupational and air pollution exposures as two major sources of lung cancer other than consumption of tobacco products (Ong, & Glantz, 2000).
Grüning, T., Gilmore, A. B., & Mckee, M. (2006). Tobacco Industry Influence on Science and Scientists in Germany. Am J Public Health American Journal of Public Health, 96(1), 20-32. doi:10.2105/ajph.2004.061507
Ong, E. K., & Glantz, S. A. (2000). Tobacco industry efforts subverting International Agency for Research on Cancer’s second-hand smoke study. The Lancet, 355(9211), 1253-1259. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(00)02098-5
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