Established policy for Tobacco Regulatory Science is to not process manuscripts funded or conducted by or on behalf of the tobacco industry. We fully recognize the view that good science should be made available without restriction, however, in our judgment at this time, more factors weigh on not allowing tobacco industry supported research than including it. Other journals, such as PLoS Medicine and Tobacco Control, have outlined their reasons for not accepting such research.1,2  We concur with their rationale.

There are nuances regarding the decision to not include research funded directly by tobacco companies, including how tobacco companies are defined. For the purposes of this journal, tobacco companies are defined as those companies or their affiliates that produce, market or sell products containing tobacco. This definition does not include companies that only sell nicotine delivery systems, electronic or otherwise, as long as those companies are not owned or affiliated with tobacco companies.

Other distinctions exist as well, such as whether to consider manuscripts that have not been funded by tobacco companies, but have been provided with a tobacco product at no cost to the independent scientist (eg who is funded by an NIH or FDA grant). We will not automatically prohibit publication in those situations; however, will consider them on a case-by-case basis. We will require potential authors to clarify how they obtained product and conditions on obtaining the product or use of results from the study before determining potential inclusion. In addition, we will not automatically prohibit any scientist who has taken tobacco industry funding in the past; however, if they were funded during the conduct of the research, the research will not be considered for publication.

Tobacco Regulatory Science is dedicated to investigating tobacco products and their effects, and most importantly the dissemination of unbiased and high quality research that has the potential to impact the regulation of tobacco. Given the rapidly changing environment regarding tobacco regulation, the publication policy described above will continue to be actively reviewed to best assure that the science published in Tobacco Regulatory Science is of the highest quality.

If any unusual situations arise other than those identified, please contact the Editor (Dr Leischow) for clarification.

References

  1. The PLoS Medicine Editors. A new policy on tobacco papers. PLoS Med. 2010;7(2):e1000237. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000237.
  2. Malone RE. Changing tobacco control’s policy on tobacco industry- funded research. Tob Control. 2013;22:1-2. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050874.