Environmental tobacco smoke research published in the journal Indoor and Built Environment and associations with the tobacco industry

David Garne MIPH [Hons], Megan Watson MIPH [Hons], Simon Chapman Prof PhDCorresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author and Fiona Byrne BAppSc

School of Public Health, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Available online 25 February 2005.


In the late 1980s, the international tobacco industry assisted in the establishment of the International Society of the Built Environment, which published the journal Indoor and Built Environment. Using evidence from tobacco industry documents, we examine the industry associations of the Society's executive, the journal's editor and board, and the extent to which the journal publishes papers on environmental tobacco smoke that would be deemed favourable by the tobacco industry. The society's executive has been dominated by paid consultants to the tobacco industry: all six members in 1992 and seven of eight members in 2002 had financial associations through industry lawyers. 67% of the editorial board in 1992 and 66% in 2002 had histories of financial associations with the tobacco industry. 61% (40/66) of papers related to environmental tobacco smoke published in Indoor and Built Environment in the study period reached conclusions that could be judged to be industry-positive. Of these, 90% (36/40) had at least one author with a history of association with the tobacco industry. The executive of the International Society of the Built Environment and the editorial board of Indoor and Built Environment are in large part consisted of people with histories of consultancies to the tobacco industry. On the basis of the evidence presented in this paper, there is a serious concern the tobacco industry may have been unduly influential on the content of the journal.