Tobacco Industry Special Account Number 4

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Tobacco Industry Special Account Number 4 was the secret bank account through which most of the tobacco industry's research projects related to Environmental Tobacco Smoke were funded.

Some examples of the types of projects funded through Special Account No. 4 include studies to measure levels of tobacco smoke in the environment, and studies on potentially confounding factors for the adverse health effects associated with smoking. For example, projects examining genetic factors associated with disease, or the influence of low-protein diets or psychological stress on pregnancy outcomes, could be used to divert attention from the part secondhand smoke played in precipitating disease. Funding such research projects served to divert attention from research on the adverse health effects of tobacco, a long-standing tactic of the tobacco industry.

Twenty-four of the consultancies funded through Special Account 4 were to support the preparation of statements for hearings on public smoking restrictions. Individual consultants were paid from $2,500 to $4,000 to prepare statements that favored the tobacco industry's position that smoking in public places should not be regulated. Special Account No. 4 consultancies also supported preparation of reviews of the scientific literature on topics that ranged from the "tobacco habit" to lung retention of particulate matter. Tobacco industry–sponsored reviews published in symposia proceedings consistently favor the industry's position that tobacco is not harmful. Some individuals were also paid for "continuing consultancies" for unspecified purposes. These continuing consultancies ranged from $500 to $1,500 per month and up.[1]

Articles and Resources


  1. The Cigarette Papers Glantz SA, Slade J., Bero LA, Hanauer P, Barnes D. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

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