Times: Tobacco Companies Accused of Funding Misleading E-cig Research in UK

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Times: Tobacco Companies Accused of Funding Misleading E-cig Research in UK
Tobacco companies accused of downplaying risks and funding research on e-cigarettes, influencing social movements, and lobbying against regulations.

According to a recent report by The Times, tobacco companies have been accused of funding studies that underestimate the risks of e-cigarettes, including their impact on children and teenagers. Additionally, these companies have been found to support social movements that advocate for their own interests.


According to a report, tobacco companies are using these paid studies to resist strict regulations on e-cigarettes in the UK. One example is a article by researcher Peter Lee, who questions the conclusions of other scientists that using e-cigarettes may increase the likelihood of switching to traditional cigarettes. However, The Times points out that Mr. Lee has close ties with tobacco companies, with some of his papers being co-authored with employees of Philip Morris International (PMI).


In addition, tobacco giants also provide payments to doctors, scientists, and "independent" radical organizations who oppose restrictions on e-cigarettes. Hundreds of doctors have participated in training programs hosted by a physician, aimed at quitting smoking through the use of e-cigarettes, with funding support in the millions of pounds from PMI. This scenario is not an isolated case.


Another tobacco company, British American Tobacco (BAT), has actively participated in the establishment of an organization known as the Global E-Cigarette Alliance. This organization is also involved in lobbying for e-cigarette interests and publishes a dedicated magazine. Another organization called "Smoke-Free World" has received support from Philip Morris International (PMI) and has secured approximately $400 million in funding from the company. The organization advocates for the use of e-cigarettes as a substitute for traditional cigarettes.


Experts express concern as the use of e-cigarettes among children and adolescents is becoming increasingly common in the United Kingdom. According to a study, by 2023, 20.5% of individuals under the age of 18 in the UK will have tried an e-cigarette, demonstrating a noticeable increase from 15.8% in 2022 and 13.9% in 2020.


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