“It will harm business and increase illicit trade”: An evaluation of the relevance, quality and transparency of evidence submitted by the tobacco industry to the UK Consultation on standardised packaging 2012

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Abstract

Introduction Transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) submitted evidence to the 2012 UK Consultation on standardised packaging (SP) to argue the policy will have detrimental economic impacts and increase illicit tobacco trade.Methods A content analysis of the four TTC submissions to the consultation assessed the relevance and quality of evidence TTCs cited to support their arguments. Investigative research was used to determine whether the cited evidence was industry connected. Fisher's exact tests were used to compare the relevance and quality of industry-connected and independent from the industry evidence. The extent to which TTCs disclosed financial conflicts of interest (COI) when citing evidence was examined.Results We obtained 74 pieces of TTC-cited evidence. The quality of the evidence was poor. TTCs cited no independent, peer-reviewed evidence that supported their arguments. Nearly half of the evidence was industry-connected (47%, 35/74). None of this industry-connected evidence was published in peer-reviewed journals (0/35) and 66% (23/35) of it was opinion only. Industry-connected evidence was of significantly poorer quality than independent evidence (p<0.001). COIs were not disclosed by TTCs in 91% (32/35) of cases.Conclusions In the absence of peer-reviewed research to support their arguments, TTCs relied on evidence they commissioned and the opinions of TTC-connected third-parties. Such connections were not disclosed by TTCs when citing this evidence and were time consuming to uncover. In line with Article 5.3 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and broader transparency initiatives, TTCs should be required to disclose their funding of all third-parties and any COIs when citing evidence.
LanguageEnglish
JournalTobacco Control
Volume24
Issue numbere2
Early online date3 Dec 2014
DOIs
StatusPublished - Jun 2015

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Tobacco Industry
Product Packaging
nicotine
transparency
Tobacco
Referral and Consultation
industry
evaluation
evidence
Industry
Conflict of Interest
Research
conflict of interest

Keywords

  • Tobacco industry
  • Standardised packaging
  • evidence-based policy making
  • illicit cigarettes

Cite this

@article{7c58bcf84d724f68b9393fb528931e7f,
title = "“It will harm business and increase illicit trade”: An evaluation of the relevance, quality and transparency of evidence submitted by the tobacco industry to the UK Consultation on standardised packaging 2012",
abstract = "Introduction Transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) submitted evidence to the 2012 UK Consultation on standardised packaging (SP) to argue the policy will have detrimental economic impacts and increase illicit tobacco trade.Methods A content analysis of the four TTC submissions to the consultation assessed the relevance and quality of evidence TTCs cited to support their arguments. Investigative research was used to determine whether the cited evidence was industry connected. Fisher's exact tests were used to compare the relevance and quality of industry-connected and independent from the industry evidence. The extent to which TTCs disclosed financial conflicts of interest (COI) when citing evidence was examined.Results We obtained 74 pieces of TTC-cited evidence. The quality of the evidence was poor. TTCs cited no independent, peer-reviewed evidence that supported their arguments. Nearly half of the evidence was industry-connected (47{\%}, 35/74). None of this industry-connected evidence was published in peer-reviewed journals (0/35) and 66{\%} (23/35) of it was opinion only. Industry-connected evidence was of significantly poorer quality than independent evidence (p<0.001). COIs were not disclosed by TTCs in 91{\%} (32/35) of cases.Conclusions In the absence of peer-reviewed research to support their arguments, TTCs relied on evidence they commissioned and the opinions of TTC-connected third-parties. Such connections were not disclosed by TTCs when citing this evidence and were time consuming to uncover. In line with Article 5.3 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and broader transparency initiatives, TTCs should be required to disclose their funding of all third-parties and any COIs when citing evidence.",
keywords = "Tobacco industry, Standardised packaging, evidence-based policy making, illicit cigarettes",
author = "Evans-Reeves, {K. A.} and Hatchard, {J. L.} and Gilmore, {A. B.}",
year = "2015",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2014-051930",
language = "English",
volume = "24",
journal = "Tobacco Control",
issn = "1468-3318",
publisher = "BMJ Publishing Group",
number = "e2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - “It will harm business and increase illicit trade”

T2 - Tobacco Control

AU - Evans-Reeves,K. A.

AU - Hatchard,J. L.

AU - Gilmore,A. B.

PY - 2015/6

Y1 - 2015/6

N2 - Introduction Transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) submitted evidence to the 2012 UK Consultation on standardised packaging (SP) to argue the policy will have detrimental economic impacts and increase illicit tobacco trade.Methods A content analysis of the four TTC submissions to the consultation assessed the relevance and quality of evidence TTCs cited to support their arguments. Investigative research was used to determine whether the cited evidence was industry connected. Fisher's exact tests were used to compare the relevance and quality of industry-connected and independent from the industry evidence. The extent to which TTCs disclosed financial conflicts of interest (COI) when citing evidence was examined.Results We obtained 74 pieces of TTC-cited evidence. The quality of the evidence was poor. TTCs cited no independent, peer-reviewed evidence that supported their arguments. Nearly half of the evidence was industry-connected (47%, 35/74). None of this industry-connected evidence was published in peer-reviewed journals (0/35) and 66% (23/35) of it was opinion only. Industry-connected evidence was of significantly poorer quality than independent evidence (p<0.001). COIs were not disclosed by TTCs in 91% (32/35) of cases.Conclusions In the absence of peer-reviewed research to support their arguments, TTCs relied on evidence they commissioned and the opinions of TTC-connected third-parties. Such connections were not disclosed by TTCs when citing this evidence and were time consuming to uncover. In line with Article 5.3 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and broader transparency initiatives, TTCs should be required to disclose their funding of all third-parties and any COIs when citing evidence.

AB - Introduction Transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) submitted evidence to the 2012 UK Consultation on standardised packaging (SP) to argue the policy will have detrimental economic impacts and increase illicit tobacco trade.Methods A content analysis of the four TTC submissions to the consultation assessed the relevance and quality of evidence TTCs cited to support their arguments. Investigative research was used to determine whether the cited evidence was industry connected. Fisher's exact tests were used to compare the relevance and quality of industry-connected and independent from the industry evidence. The extent to which TTCs disclosed financial conflicts of interest (COI) when citing evidence was examined.Results We obtained 74 pieces of TTC-cited evidence. The quality of the evidence was poor. TTCs cited no independent, peer-reviewed evidence that supported their arguments. Nearly half of the evidence was industry-connected (47%, 35/74). None of this industry-connected evidence was published in peer-reviewed journals (0/35) and 66% (23/35) of it was opinion only. Industry-connected evidence was of significantly poorer quality than independent evidence (p<0.001). COIs were not disclosed by TTCs in 91% (32/35) of cases.Conclusions In the absence of peer-reviewed research to support their arguments, TTCs relied on evidence they commissioned and the opinions of TTC-connected third-parties. Such connections were not disclosed by TTCs when citing this evidence and were time consuming to uncover. In line with Article 5.3 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and broader transparency initiatives, TTCs should be required to disclose their funding of all third-parties and any COIs when citing evidence.

KW - Tobacco industry

KW - Standardised packaging

KW - evidence-based policy making

KW - illicit cigarettes

UR - http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2014/12/10/tobaccocontrol-2014-051930.full?sid=cd72a3b5-34df-424d-ac2d-5567522a8f30

UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2014-051930

U2 - 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2014-051930

DO - 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2014-051930

M3 - Article

VL - 24

JO - Tobacco Control

JF - Tobacco Control

SN - 1468-3318

IS - e2

ER -