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Recent work from Ilies et al. (1) is very informative toward understanding the degree to which heated tobacco products might confer less health risk than combusted cigarettes. This publication extends well beyond the existing HTP emissions evidence base, much of which was not conducted by independent groups. The authors should be commended for leveraging strong methodology, and for their comprehensive evaluation of toxicants generated by these products.
While the methodology and results of this publication appear sound, there are a number of inaccurate claims that warrant criticism in the second paragraph of the Introduction section:
• The second paragraph discusses nicotine vaping products (e-cigarettes), however citation #2 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Use of cigarettes and other tobacco products among students aged 13-15 years--worldwide, 1999-2005. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2006;55:553) utilize data from 1999 through 2005, which mostly spans a time frame prior to the invention of the first e-cigarette in 2004 (2), and certainly spans a timeframe prior to their widespread marketing in the United States. The citation follows the sentence “However, the death toll provoked by their [e-cigarettes] consumption has increased significantly, reaching 650,000 annually, and it is likely to rise over the coming year…” This citation is clearly inapplicable to the unfounded claim being made about deaths attributable to e-ci...
• The second paragraph discusses nicotine vaping products (e-cigarettes), however citation #2 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Use of cigarettes and other tobacco products among students aged 13-15 years--worldwide, 1999-2005. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2006;55:553) utilize data from 1999 through 2005, which mostly spans a time frame prior to the invention of the first e-cigarette in 2004 (2), and certainly spans a timeframe prior to their widespread marketing in the United States. The citation follows the sentence “However, the death toll provoked by their [e-cigarettes] consumption has increased significantly, reaching 650,000 annually, and it is likely to rise over the coming year…” This citation is clearly inapplicable to the unfounded claim being made about deaths attributable to e-cigarette use.
• Citation #3 also supports claims about e-cigarette use, however the cited paper (Sinha DN, Kumar A, Bhartiya D, et al. Smokeless tobacco use among adolescents in global perspective. Nicotine Tob Res 2017;19:1395–6) references non-combusted tobacco products in general, as opposed to the many publications which have looked explicitly at e-cigarette use in a more comprehensive fashion. After reading the Sinha et al. research letter, I am not sure that e-cigarettes were considered at all.
• Citation #4 (US Department of Commerce CB. National cancer Institute and centers for disease control and prevention Co-Sponsored tobacco use supplement to the current population survey 2007) does not provide a direct link to any supporting data/publication. It appears the authors are generally referring to the 2006-2007 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS-TUS), which was conducted in April 2006, August 2006, and January 2007 (3). The first report of an e-cigarette being imported to the United States is from August 2006 (https://rulings.cbp.gov/ruling/M85579), and the 2006-2007 CPS-TUS did not include any survey items related to e-cigarettes. As such, there is no data from the 2006-2007 CPS-TUS that supports the claim “[e-cigarettes] are highly addictive and can cause serious health problems”.
• The claim “More than 30 carcinogenic compounds in high concentrations were identified, leading to severe health hazards such as oral, pharyngeal, oesophageal and pancreatic cancers” is unfounded, as there is no longitudinal data linking e-cigarettes and cancer to date, nor am I aware of evidence that over 30 carcinogenic compounds in “high concentrations” have been identified in any studies of e-cigarette emissions. Additionally, the provided citation (citation #5: Hatsukami D, Zeller M, Gupta P, et al. Smokeless tobacco and public health: a global perspective 2014) does not talk about e-cigarettes even once.
• Citation #6 (Gupta R, Gupta S, Sharma S, et al. Risk of coronary heart disease among smokeless tobacco users: results of systematic review and meta-analysis of global data. Nicotine and Tobacco Research 2019;21:25–31) also does not pertain to e-cigarettes at all, and the accompanying claim “Cardiovascular death risks and stillbirths were also shown to increase up to four times, signalling real concerns regarding human health safety” is baseless with respect to the epidemiological literature on e-cigarettes.
While these concerns do not directly impact the study results or conclusions, e-cigarettes have become a polarizing topic in the tobacco control community and beyond. As such, claims about e-cigarettes must be made with the utmost care, based on rigorous scientific evidence and sound, balanced interpretations of relevant findings. This publication will be read and cited many times over as heated tobacco products continue to proliferate in tobacco markets across the globe, making it that much more important to address these misleading, and at times, blatantly false claims.
1. Ilies BD, Moosakutty SP, Kharbatia NM, et al. Identification of volatile constituents released from IQOS heat-not-burn tobacco HeatSticks
using a direct sampling method. Tobacco Control. Published Online First: 26 May 2020. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2019-055521
2. Henningfield JE & Zaatari GS. Electronic nicotine delivery systems: emerging science foundation for policy. Tobacco Control
3. US Department of Commerce, Census Bureau (2006-2007). National Cancer Institute and Food and Drug Administration co-sponsored
Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey. 2006-2007. https://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/brp/tcrb/tus-cps/
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The meta-analysis by Khouja et al. confirms the strong association in young people between e-cigarette use and subsequent smoking. The critical issue is whether the relationship is causal. If there is a causal relationship, there are several factors which diminish its impact.
Firstly, most of the studies used ‘ever smoking’ as the outcome. Ever smoking is a poor marker for smoking-related harm as most smoking by vapers who later smoke is experimental and infrequent and few progress to established smoking (100+ lifetime cigarettes). Shahab et al. found that only 2.7% of youth who tried e-cigarettes first progressed to established smoking. Only established smoking is linked to significant smoking-related death and disease.
Secondly, the absolute number of non-smokers who progress from vaping to smoking is small as smoking precedes vaping in the vast majority of cases (70-85%). If there is a gateway from vaping to smoking, this only affects a minority of young vapers.
Thirdly, the authors use Bradford Hill’s dose-response and specificity criteria to assess whether the association between vaping and subsequent smoking is likely to be causal.
They acknowledge that the dose-response criterion is mostly based on nicotine dependence, indicating that that nicotine dependent vapers are more likely to progress to smoking. However, nicotine dependence in non-smoking vapers is rare, less than 4% in the 2018 National Youth T...
They acknowledge that the dose-response criterion is mostly based on nicotine dependence, indicating that that nicotine dependent vapers are more likely to progress to smoking. However, nicotine dependence in non-smoking vapers is rare, less than 4% in the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).
They point out that studies with ‘negative control outcomes’ would reduce specificity but do not cite any studies to demonstrate this. A number of studies have found that vaping also predicts other risky behaviors such as alcohol, marijuana and other substance use.[5,6] There is no biologically plausible mechanism for e-cigarette use being a causal factor for these other behaviours. We think that, like smoking, these associations are best explained by a common liability.
Finally, the recent study by Shahab et al. using NYTS data found that nicotine vaping appears to be protective against future smoking. Teens who vaped first were significantly less likely to subsequently become established smokers than 1) those who smoked first and 2) a matched group of non-vapers.
Their findings suggest that, if there is a gateway from vaping to smoking it is very small and is outweighed by a much larger effect of diverting youth away from cigarette smoking.
1. Khouja JN, Suddell SF, Peters SE, et al. Is e-cigarette use in non-smoking young adults associated with later smoking? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Tobacco control 2020 doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2019-055433 [published Online First: 2020/03/12]
2. Shahab L, Beard E, Brown J. Association of initial e-cigarette and other tobacco product use with subsequent cigarette smoking in adolescents: a cross-sectional, matched control study. Tobacco control 2020 doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2019-055283
3. Berry KM, Reynolds LM, Collins JM, et al. E-cigarette initiation and associated changes in smoking cessation and reduction: the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study, 2013-2015. Tobacco control 2018;28(1):42-49. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2017-054108
4. West R, Brown J, Jarvis M. Epidemic of youth nicotine addiction? What does the National Youth Tobacco Survey reveal about high school ecigarette use in the USA? 2019 [Available from: https://www.qeios.com/read/article/391 accessed 24 February 2020.
5. Park E, Livingston JA, Wang W, et al. Adolescent E-cigarette use trajectories and subsequent alcohol and marijuana use. Addictive behaviors 2020;103:106213. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2019.106213 [published Online First: 2019/12/22]
6. Rigsby DC, Keim SA, Adesman A. Electronic Vapor Product Usage and Substance Use Risk Behaviors Among U.S. High School Students. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol 2019;29(7):545-53. doi: 10.1089/cap.2019.0047 [published Online First: 2019/07/26]
7. Vanyukov MM, Tarter RE, Kirillova GP, et al. Common liability to addiction and "gateway hypothesis": theoretical, empirical and evolutionary perspective. Drug and alcohol dependence 2012;123 Suppl 1:S3-17. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.12.018 [published Online First: 2012/01/21]
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Miech and colleagues demonstrate declines in prevalence of non-medical use of prescription drugs among US high school students and show that these declines can be explained by trends in cigarette smoking.1 These observations are taken as support of the gateway hypothesis in which cigarette smoking increases the likelihood of subsequent other drug use. The authors further argue that these results are inconsistent with a ‘common liability’ model, and that the common liability model predicts that adolescent drug use would have “stayed steady or even increased as adolescents continued to use these drugs regardless of whether they smoked.” In this scenario, adolescents with a predilection toward substance might substitute cigarettes with other drugs as smoking rates decline.
However, this conceptualization of the common liability model is inconsistent with how such models are typically understood. Models that posit a common liability do not assert that the degree of liability is fixed in the population, such that changes in risk for use of one drug increases risk for other drug use. Instead, common liability can be influenced by environmental factors and environmental changes can coherently impact multiple outcomes, resulting in trends similar to those observed by Miech and colleagues.
For over 40 years, Problem Behavior Theory has provided a comprehensive theory and empirical approach to common liability. “Problem behaviors” (later termed...
For over 40 years, Problem Behavior Theory has provided a comprehensive theory and empirical approach to common liability. “Problem behaviors” (later termed “risk behaviors”) can be modeled as a latent factor that predisposes an adolescent to use of multiple substances, delinquency, and other health risk behaviors.2,3 The latent factor is influenced by the environment at multiple levels. We rely on this framework in two recent papers that demonstrate that that US declines in tobacco use, other substance use, substance use disorders, delinquency, and sexual promiscuity among adolescents are consistent with a population-level reduction in a latent factor that predisposes to risk for all of these outcomes.4,5 Similarly, the externalizing spectrum of personality and psychopathology is postulated to arise from a common liability to multiple substance use and other disinhibitory disorders.6 Externalizing liability has been shown to change in response to specific environmental stressors such as minority stress and child maltreatment.7–10
Although common liability models do not invoke causal gateway effects, they are consistent with commonly observed gateway patterns, in which easily available drugs such as alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana are usually used prior to use of other drugs.5 Thus, trends observed by Miech and colleagues do not contradict the common liability model.
1. Miech R, Keyes KM, O’Malley PM, Johnston LD. The great decline in adolescent cigarette smoking since 2000: consequences for drug use among US adolescents. Tob Control. January 2020:tobaccocontrol-2019-055052.
2. Jessor R, Jessor SL. Problem Behavior and Psychosocial Development: A Longitudinal Study of Youth. Academic Press; 1977.
3. Jessor R. Risk behavior in adolescence: A psychosocial framework for understanding and action. Journal of adolescent Health. 1991;12(8):597-605.
4. Grucza RA, Krueger RF, Agrawal A, et al. Declines in prevalence of adolescent substance use disorders and delinquent behaviors in the USA: a unitary trend? Psychological Medicine. 2018;48(9):1494-1503.
5. Borodovsky JT, Krueger RF, Agrawal A, Grucza RA. A Decline in Propensity Toward Risk Behaviors Among U.S. Adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2019;65(6):745-751.
6. Krueger RF, Markon KE, Patrick CJ, Benning SD, Kramer MD. Linking antisocial behavior, substance use, and personality: an integrative quantitative model of the adult externalizing spectrum. J Abnorm Psychol. 2007;116(4):645-666.
7. Lehavot K, Simoni JM. The impact of minority stress on mental health and substance use among sexual minority women. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 2011;79(2):159-170.
8. Eaton NR. Transdiagnostic psychopathology factors and sexual minority mental health: Evidence of disparities and associations with minority stressors. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. 2014;1(3):244-254.
9. Rodriguez-Seijas C, Stohl M, Hasin DS, Eaton NR. Transdiagnostic Factors and Mediation of the Relationship Between Perceived Racial Discrimination and Mental Disorders. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(7):706.
10. Vachon DD, Krueger RF, Rogosch FA, Cicchetti D. Assessment of the Harmful Psychiatric and Behavioral Effects of Different Forms of Child Maltreatment. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(11):1135.
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This is a well written original research about the burning issue of tobacco manufacturer lobbying. These manufacturing industries have developed strategies to undercut minimum price laws. By increasing tobacco taxes an effective policy has been designed to decrease tobacco use. In Pakistan currently, 209 million people smoke and about 83 billion cigarettes are smoked per year. As Pakistan has not ratified any anti-smoking policies, there should be great effort made to raise excise duties and taxes on tobacco companies to reduce the demand for cigarettes. In 2017 the local price of cigarettes was about 75 rupees of which half was excise duties .
With this expansion of taxes, there will be responses of reducing tobacco consumption, but the cigarette manufacturing industries developed specific promotions and lobbies to encourage their consumers to purchase lower taxed or lower priced tobacco products. It is the responsibility of health authorities to regulate the prices and promotion of such hazardous products . According to WHO, “MPOWER” was the slogan in 2015, according to which M= monitor tobacco usage, P= Protect people from tobacco smoke, O= offering help to quit tobacco use, W= warning about its hazards, E= enforce to ban its advertisement, R = Raise tobacco taxes .
For smoke free Pakistan and all over the world four key factors should be instruments: Education, legislation, quitting support and financial policies.
1. Bate R. Large cigarette tax hikes, illicit producers, and organized crime: Lessons from Pakistan. AEI Paper & Studies. 2018 Jun 1:1.
2. Apollonio DE, Glantz SA. Tobacco industry promotions and pricing after tax increases: An analysis of internal industry documents.
3. World Health Organization. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic 2015: raising taxes on tobacco. World Health Organization; 2015 Jul 31.
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It should be noted that the Aspire Cleito coils used in this study have a manufacturer stated operating power range of between 55 and 75 watts. This is noted both on the box and laser etched into the side of the coil housing proper. it should be noted that the first data points in the graph ( to demonstrate the presence of CO in both liquid samples are in excess of the stated power range of the element.
"Strawnana" at 80 watts
"Black Ice" at 100 watts
This leads me to question the normalizing curve for the black ice sample as there are no data points in the graph (Figure 2) within the manufacturer noted operating range for that coil.
Furthermore, while this statement " ...though the bulk liquid temperature is controlled by boiling limits of the e-liquid component" would be accurate were the coil to be completely submerged in liquid, the mechanics of coil design will confound that principle. The resistance coils in electronic cigarettes are not, by design, submerged in liquid, they are in contact with a liquid saturated wick. Any heat energy applied to the coil whether in magnitude or duration, that exceeds the supply of liquid saturating the wick will result in a temperature spike which could cause the temperature to spike causing thermal degradation of what liquid does remain, and the singeing of the cotton wick.
It can be expected that where combustion occurs, carbon compounds will...
It can be expected that where combustion occurs, carbon compounds will be present.
I would be interested in seeing the data sets to better understand exactly how far out of operating range CO began to manifest in the study.
The atomizer used for testing has a maximum rating of 80 watts.
200 watts was applied. Needless to say, horrible results occurred.
This is not reputable science, it is a failed experiment, it should never have been published.
We thank you for your response to our paper. We honor and acknowledge that there are more than 564 Tribal Nations and that each has their own name and language. In this article, we used the term “American Indian,” which was a decision guided by our long-standing work with cultural advisors in Minnesota. While we chose to use the term “American Indian,” we recognize that each Tribe and individual may prefer to use a different term. For additional context, please see another article titled “Why the World Will Never Be Tobacco-Free: Reframing “Tobacco Control” Into a Traditional Tobacco Movement,” available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4984762/
Whilst it is true that Juul is not exactly popular with those on either side of the fence this article fails to address the major issue.
The impending regulation which Juul is said to have brought down on the vapor industry helps Juul by eliminating the competition. Only they, and other brands owned by tobacco companies have any hope of being able to afford the process to keep their products on the market. Independent manufacturers and the retailers who sell their products will simply be obliterated.
Considering that these are people who who have dedicated their lives and often their life savings to helping people switch to safer alternatives, and who are by far and away the most efficient at enforcing strict age verification for purchases, this is a tragedy, not something to be celebrated.
Lastly, as if it still needs to be said, the outbreak of acute lung injury in the US has not been linked with Juul, or any other commercially available nicotine vaping product.
I 100% understand the general good intent of this paper. I also must say that I am Cherokee but not "fullblooded" Cherokee. I did grow up in the heart of the Nation, though. However, could people please stop using the term "American Indian"? Indians are from India. Columbus got lost (even though he was a navigator), ran the one ship he captained aground where he was found by the Native population of the island he smashed into (which for the record was not anywhere near North America). He looked around and thought, "I'm on a beach, I was trying to find India, India has a beach. These people are not white, they are tan, Indians are tan! I'm in India!" He then spread his stupid to the world. Now every tan person originating from any American continent (which are when put together the same land mass as the entire "known" world at that time) are all Indians... Please stop. It's just offensive.
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Mr. Clive Bates’ response to our article, the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World and healthy Indigenous futures: an oxymoron?, indicates the need to clarify several issues. In this response, we emphasise two key issues:
1. Organisations claiming to serve the good of the public, but who receive direct or third-party funding from the tobacco industry, are faced with serious conflicts of interest (COI); and
2. harm reduction is only part of a comprehensive approach to reducing commercial tobacco use.
As Indigenous peoples, we have an inherent responsibility to protect the health and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples now and for our future generations. The tobacco industry poses, and has posed in the past, a significant threat to our health and wellbeing. Therefore, we are deeply concerned about the Philip Morris-funded Foundation focusing on Indigenous peoples.
Philip Morris International, the Philip Morris Funded-Foundation and the Centre for Research Excellence: Indigenous Sovereignty and Smoking
Mr. Bates states that “There is no credible analysis (anywhere) of the actual, rather than the imagined, relationship between PMI and the Foundation for a Smokefree World”. This is incorrect 1-5. Researchers in journals such as The Lancet and Tobacco Control have analyzed key documents from the Foundation, including tax returns and bylaws that highlighted numerous relationship issues and conflicts of interest 1-5.
Addressing conflicts of interest is fundamentally important for ethical practice. Conflicts of interest are commonly described in ethical principles, including specific Indigenous codes 6-8. The Tri-Council Policy Statement describes a COI as:
“when activities or situations place an individual or institution in a real, potential or perceived conflict between the duties or responsibilities related to research, and personal, institutional or other interest. These interests include, but are not limited to, business, commercial or financial interests pertaining to the institution and/or the individual, their family members, friends, or their former, current or prospective professional associates.” 6, page 93
A clear COI is created when the tobacco industry’s role is purported to support health research, while also profiting from the sale and promotion of tobacco products–all while smoking continues to be identified as the single greatest avoidable cause of death and disease worldwide 9 10. In other words, there is a COI when health professionals accept funding from the tobacco industry 9 10. This COI was also identified in the United Nations General Assembly, when they recognised the “fundamental conflict of interest between the tobacco industry and public health” 11, page 5. The Foundation was launched with a 12-year funding commitment from PMI of $1 billion 12. There has been financial dependence on PMI as well as conflicting commercial and business interests 2-4 12. Further, analysis of the Foundation’s tax return indicated that the Foundation remains solely funded by PMI. 3 The Foundation and subsequently the Centre have received PMI funding. As Yach and Bettcher stated in an earlier time, “tobacco is at the centre of the contradictions... …It is where the goals of a set of multinationals are clearly in conflict with public health and welfare.” 13, page 6
The COI, actual and perceived, and the inherent conflict of duty can manifest in additional ways:
1) the PMI-funded Foundation’s harm reduction role serves PMI’s agenda of moving into the Alternative Nicotine Devices market, while PMI continues to promote and sell tobacco 14. Therefore, the Foundation serves PMI’s Alternative Nicotine Devices market aspirations 14-16.
2) The Foundation serves a public relations role for PMI. The PMI-funded Foundation’s mission of progressing toward ending smoking through health, science, and technology for smoking cessation and tobacco harm reduction tools, supports PMI’s corporate responsibility agenda. Therefore, it could be argued that the Foundation contributes a veneer of credibility to PMI. This veneer provides public relations opportunities for PMI to frame themselves as “good” global corporate citizens 17-19. Further, Legg et al. 3 provide additional analysis of the relationship between PMI and the Foundation, highlighting that the Foundation’s expenditure on public relations was more than their expenditures on research, challenging the Foundation’s purported image as a “scientific body” and supporting the growing consensus that they serve as a PMI public relations function 3 20.
As Mr. Bates highlights, the tobacco industry continues to directly and indirectly fund foundations, centers, and researchers. Funding foundations, centers, and researchers can be used in its effort to gain credibility 3 21. The tobacco industry has marketed global corporate responsibility with attractive research funding and courted prominent scientists. This has included epidemiologists including Dr. Ernst Wynder, an early proponent of tobacco harm reduction 17, and Dr. Alvan R. Feinstein, editor of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 18. Feinstein critiqued the “atmosphere [in which a tobacco industry] consultant’s stature, credibility, and integrity become instantly impugned and tarnished by the depravity of associating with the tobacco ‘bad guy’” 18. However, Feinstein failed to declare that he, too, was a tobacco industry consultant 22-24. The Foundation’s director has also previously detailed such industry strategies as “buying scientists” to serve commercial objectives and undermine effective tobacco control 25. In 2007, Yach and Bettcher stated, “As the vector of the tobacco epidemic, the tobacco industry's actions fall far outside of the boundaries of global corporate responsibility” 13, page 207.
The tobacco industry has a long and productive history of colluding in covering up, denying, confusing, and questioning the science on smoking and smoking-related morbidity and mortality 26. Given the long and comprehensive history of the tobacco industry using public relations firms and scientists in its manipulation of research 27 28, the connections between the Foundation and bodies with long-standing tobacco industry links continues to raise significant concerns about the legitimacy of the PMI-funded Foundation, the Centre, and their research messages.
3) the Foundation and its protagonists create divisions both real and perceived. For example, the Foundation and its protagonists can frame institutions and various peoples as “for” or “against” harm reduction in a binary fashion, but in fact there are many aspects and diverse views on harm reduction 29-32. The arguments about who to trust and who researchers should accept funding from can dilute the health sectors’ efforts, sow confusion and doubt, and generate opportunities to promote the tobacco industry agenda 16 33. As outlined, this echoes a common colonisation tool - divide and conquer. 10 34 This credibility dilemma over who the public should engage with, believe, and trust creates a false dichotomy of “us vs. them”. In reality, views lie on a diverse continuum. Such divisions, real or perceived, do not help progress constructive debate about reducing tobacco use or tobacco related harms, and disrupt knowledge production processes in public health and medicine. 28 Indigenous processes are about inclusivity and our right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health. 35 We want to have fora that promote that standard, where different perspectives can be heard and discussed free from externally imposed agendas. 32 35
Harm reduction and a comprehensive approach to reducing tobacco use among Indigenous peoples
The World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) 32, and others 29-31, have outlined the need for a comprehensive and multifaceted systems approach to reducing commercial tobacco use, including preventing tobacco uptake. 29-32 A comprehensive systems approach emphasises that there is no single solution to addressing smoking disparities; by definition, the solutions are complex. 9 30-32 In addition, the FCTC guiding principles recognize the particular needs and challenges experienced by Indigenous peoples, and the importance of facilitating Indigenous participation in developing, implementing, and evaluating tobacco control. 32 Indigenous peoples should be able to engage in tobacco reduction debates, including about forms of harm reduction, free from external or tobacco industry agendas. 32 35 While Mr. Bates states, “There is a far more imaginative way to see the Centre, the Foundation and PMI”, our interests are clear. We are interested in reducing tobacco use, and consequently tobacco-related death and disease. We are interested in improving our health and wellbeing. “For the tobacco epidemic, the vector is not a virus, bacterium, or other microorganism – it is an industry and its business strategy.” 36, page 71
There is a need for evidence-based debate to reduce tobacco-related death and disease, and we encourage constructive debate that strengthens and advances tobacco control programs and policies. But this science must be ethical and independent from the tobacco industry. 2 5 25 27 28 32 37 We must reinforce the calls from WHO, the public health community, and Indigenous peoples to reject collaborations with the Foundation 3 10 20 32 38. We encourage centers and researchers not to accept Foundation funds, and we urge the Foundation to return its funding to PMI. Tobacco-related death and disease is completely preventable 9, and the “health and well-being of Indigenous peoples is too critical, the promise of future Indigenous generations too important.” 10, page 3
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3. Legg T, Peeters S, Chamberlain P, et al. The Philip Morris-funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World: tax return sheds light on funding activities. The Lancet doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31347-9
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