In order to preserve their “independence,” a growing cadre of medical journals is refusing to publish any research conducted by vaping-industry scientists.
It’s a policy marred by hypocrisy that will exclude good science from the peer-reviewed literature.
“Censorship of science is deeply troubling on many levels,” the ACLU argued in 2007. “At the most basic, it affronts the fundamental premises of the scientific method … For science to advance, knowledge must be shared.
Without the free exchange of ideas, science as we understand it cannot exist and progress.” The civil liberties group was challenging efforts to prevent federal researchers from freely and thoroughly investigating climate change and AIDS, though the phenomenon—unjustified censorship of science—is alive and well 15 years later.
Earlier this year, the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) announced a policy change already implemented by several other peer-reviewed publications: it will no longer accept any content from scientists affiliated with the vaping or tobacco industries.
The updated publication guidelines were instigated by a February 2022 opinion piece in the journal: The Tobacco Industry’s Renewed Assault on Science: A Call for a United Public Health Response. The authors alleged that the industry has used vaping as a means of “infiltrating” tobacco control research and subverting the anti-smoking efforts of public health experts:
Cameron English – American Council on Science and Health – 2022-04-26.