New TCRG research on PMI’s manipulation of science


Philip Morris international (PMI) and its subsidiary Philip Morris Japan (PMJ) covertly paid academics and consultancies linked to Japanese universities to conduct studies and other science-related work, according to a new paper from the Tobacco Control Research Group.

The paper examines leaked whistleblower documents, published in the University of California San Francisco’s Truth Tobacco Documents archive, which reveal PMI and PMJ’s recent scientific activities in Japan and describes how these activities mirror Big Tobacco’s past practices to manipulate science for profit.

According to the paper, in addition to funding apparently independent university academics at Kyoto University, PMJ also contracted a life sciences consultancy, run by a University of Tokyo professor, to recruit a network of experts, described in the documents as “key opinion leaders”, to influence public health policy.

Lead author, Dr. Sophie Braznell, notes:

“This is a unique insight behind the curtain of the world’s biggest tobacco company. Hardly an issue of the past, our findings show PMI continues to manipulate science at the expense of public health and highlights the need to protect science from those with vested interests.”

For more information visit the Tobacco Tactics page Influencing Science: PMI’s covert science in Japan

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has also published an article about the whistleblower at the centre of this case.

Read the paper and related reports:

“Keep it a secret”: leaked documents suggest Philip Morris International, and its Japanese affiliate, continue to exploit science for profit, S. Braznell, L. Laurence, I. Fitzpatrick, A.B. Gilmore, Nicotine and Tobacco Research, Published Online First: 27 June 2024, doi:

Science for sale: Philip Morris’s web of payments to fund  tobacco research 

STOP – PMI’s IQOS Illusion

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