Tobacco Consultants Find Letters Lucrative

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Science  14 Aug 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5379, pp. 895-897
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5379.895a

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The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported last week that several scientists received payments from the Tobacco Institute--the industry's public relations arm--in 1992 and 1993 for writing letters to journal and newspaper editors criticizing studies on the health effects of secondhand tobacco smoke. The information, mined from a mountain of documents assembled in Minnesota's lawsuit against the industry, indicates that nine individuals received as much as $10,000 for a letter and that the letters were often reviewed by lawyers before being sent to publications such as the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and The Lancet.