Center for Indoor Air Research (CIAR)

This page was last edited on at


In the late 1980s the tobacco industry was under pressure to respond to growing concerns about second-hand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Using a classic PR diversionary tactic, it decided to set up an organisation that would instead look at “indoor air quality” rather than ETS. The Center for Indoor Air Research was initially formed and funded by Lorillard, Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds to “broaden research into the field of indoor air quality generally and to expand interest beyond the misplaced emphasis solely on environmental tobacco smoke”. 1

Set up to “Fraudulently Mislead”

On 29 January 2003, the US Department of Justice outlined in court documents that the “CIAR was officially created … to act as a coordinating organization for Defendants’ efforts to fraudulently mislead the American public about the health effects of ETS (environmental tobacco smoke) exposure”.
Moreover, CIAR “funded research designed not to find answers to health questions, but solely to attack legislative initiatives related to ETS exposure. Lawyers specifically engineered and constructed scientific studies to get results that would be useful for public relations, litigation, and legislative battles, as opposed to results that would assist the scientific community in further understanding the health effects of ETS exposure”.2


  1. Tobacco Freedom Website, CIAR, undated
  2. Center for Science in the Public Interest, Professional Associations, Charities, and Industry Front Groups, Undated
Go to Homepage