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Cancer Control Research

Hurt, Richard D.


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The 1998 Minnesota tobacco trial against the five largest cigarette manufacturers changed the landscape of the global public health through the release of millions of pages of previously confidential documents and required the ongoing production of documents now totaling 58 million pages. The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) instituted public health measures which have resulted in an emphasis on corporate social responsibility by the tobacco industry. The more contemporary documents, primarily through the US Department of Justice litigation, will inform the public health of new strategies adopted by the tobacco industry to meet the market challenges in the post-MSA era. Tobacco company records reveal that the industry has undertaken an elaborate campaign to affect the dissemination of scientifically valid studies about the health effects of ETS and to influence public opinion about known health consequences. In response to the reviewer's critique, we have adopted a published theoretical framework for tobacco document research which is constructed around themes of major importance to public health and policy allowing us to categorize work from the current grant around 7 themes and to project anticipated findings from the grant continuation around those same themes. Further, we have become increasingly aware of the tobacco industry's focused efforts in Latin America. Of particular interest is Brazil as it is a major producer of tobacco and the largest exporter of tobacco in the world where the tobacco industry has had a major influence over public health policy, especially surrounding ETS issues. The specific aims for this project are: 1) To continue to investigate the scope of the tobacco industry's worldwide campaign to interfere with the dissemination of valid scientific information regarding ETS and influence public opinion on the health consequences associated with ETS exposure; 2) To identify the scope of the tobacco industry's efforts in Brazil in the areas of ETS, lobbying against smoke-free indoor air legislation, and other discoverable subject areas such as genetically altered tobacco and smuggling; 3) To evaluate all audio, video, and other electronic media at the Minnesota and Guildford Depositories with relevance to ETS issues; and 4) To continue to work in collaboration with researchers at University of California, San Francisco, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Tobacco Documents Online(r) to make the documents (which are not already online) widely available for use by the public on the UCSF and TOO(r) websites.

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