Journal retracts two-year-old paper after finding study was indirectly funded by tobacco companies

On June 20, 2023, BMJ Open retracted a paper that was a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the metabolic syndrome in patients with type 2 diabetes after switching from smoking to e-cigarettes. Published April 1, 2021. However,BMJ Open retracted the study after learning it was indirectly funded by tobacco companies. Because journal regulations do not publish research funded by tobacco companies.

The withdrawal notice is as follows:

Following a publication review of the study’s funding sources, the journal and publisher decided to retract the paper.Because the paper violated BMJ Open’s policy not to publish research funded by the tobacco industry.

The BMJ understands that ECLAT SRL, the funder listed in the paper, receives sponsorship from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, a non-profit organization supported and funded by tobacco company Philip Morris International. When the article reached the pre-publication revision stage, the authors added a disclaimer listing the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World as a “funder.”But the author did not inform the editor to pay attention to the addition of these disclaimers. Had I been informed then, this article would not have been published.BMJ Open
The editorial policy of the journal states that the journal will not publish any research that is partially or wholly funded by tobacco companies.

This is not the first paper to be retracted because of its association with the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.Retraction asked the editor-in-chief of BMJ Open how to make contributors notice this information and realize its importance, and whether the journal has considered changing the review process for this requirement. The editor-in-chief replied:

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