Annual Report on Medicine as a Profession

Managing Conflicts of Interest

The Tobacco Industry and the Medical Profession

Quality Strategies Initiative

Physicians as Agents of Social Change in Emerging Democracies

Physician Advocacy Fellowship


The Tobacco Industry and the Medical Profession: The Historical Record and Legacy

A collaborative project with the American Legacy Foundation

The past and present relationship between the tobacco industry and the medical profession is a relatively unexplored topic by historians of medicine. On the one hand, some physicians and medical organizations have cooperated with the tobacco industry in research, public relations, and litigation. On the other hand, some parts of the medical profession have cooperated with public health scientists and organizations in research and health education on the health consequences of smoking. Moreover, these relationships have changed over time. The nature and dynamics of medicine’s contributions on both sides of the battle are not well understood, leaving a considerable gap in our understanding of both the industry and the profession.

The proposed project focuses on four interrelated fields of inquiry: 1) the dynamics of tobacco industry influence and the vulnerabilities of medical organizations and practitioners to this influence; 2) the forces within medicine that inspired research on the health consequences of tobacco use and physician engagement in the public campaigns against smoking; 3) the components of medical professionalism that enhanced or hindered physician civic engagement with tobacco control; and 4) the potential role of physicians as agents of social change and policy development in the contemporary field of tobacco control. Examination of these major issues will illuminate the past and present relationship between the tobacco industry and the medical profession.

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