The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

3343.0: Monday, November 11, 2002 - 9:43 PM

Abstract #47936

Efforts made by the tobacco industry to promote cigarette smoking among people with cognitive disabilities

Sumita Bhattacharya, Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, 3333 California St., Suite 265, San Francisco, CA 94143-0936, 415-502-8202, and Lisa A. Bero, Institute for Health Policy Studies and Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco, 3333 California, Box 0613, San Francisco, CA 94143-0613.

Smoking is a major health problem among patients with cognitive disabilities, especially those suffering from Alzheimer's Disease and Schizophrenia. According to internal tobacco industry documents, the tobacco industry is interested in exploring a cognitive enhancement effect from nicotine in curing or ameliorating psychiatric diseases. If this effect were proven, the tobacco industry could argue that smoking had therapeutic benefits, thus countering or mitigating criticism and justifying continued promotion of a product proven to be dangerous to public health. This paper shows how the tobacco industry funded many studies aimed at showing that nicotine caused cognitive improvement in humans and animals, modified research protocols to use only nicotine delivered through cigarette smoking in studies of psychological/cognitive disorders, and influenced the publication of scientific reports and sponsored symposia for "informed-laypersons" to illustrate the "beneficial effects" of nicotine. We will discuss implications of the tobacco industry's promotion of the idea that cigarette smoking is therapeutic for people with cognitive disabilities.Funding: California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Identities, Images and Deceptions: The Tobacco Industry and Special Populations

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA