I refer to your article on research into the effects of smoking (see www.universityworldnews.com). John Banzhaf, a lawyer who has arguably made millions from promoting smoking bans and suing tobacco companies, said: "I don't think any reputable organisation today will accept tobacco industry money."

He's wrong. Hundreds of millions of dollars from the tobacco industry are pouring into antismoking groups and efforts to ban smoking - but only after it has been "laundered" through government and earmarked for antismoking-oriented research and efforts.

If someone proposed a research plan that might link smoking bans to increased murder rates or business closings, or that seemed likely to question the "deadly threat" of secondary smoke in any substantial way, they would be highly unlikely to get a grant from the NicoGummyPatchyPeople or from the state funds from the Master Settlement Agreement.

Sadly, even the tobacco companies are probably hesitant at this point to fund honest research questioning the wisdom of smoking bans. They know that at some lawsuit trial in the future, such funding will be thrown up by a lawyer to "prove" the company had "encouraged" its client to smoke.
So what are we left with? Basically what we see today: a mountain of studies, many of them simply copycatting each other while sucking money out of real health care and research, and all of them designed and planned right from the start to give the politically acceptable "correct" results for their pharmaceutical or antismoking funders.

Michael J McFadden
Author of Dissecting Antismokers Brains
Director, Pennsylvania Smokers' Action Network