The "Father of Stress" Meets "Big Tobacco": Hans Selye and the Tobacco Industry
Petticrew, Mark P
American journal of public health 2011 Mar; 101(3): 411-8
The concept of stress remains prominent in public health and owes much to the work of Hans Selye (1907-1982), the "father of stress." One of his main allies in this work has never been discussed as such: the tobacco industry. After an analysis of tobacco industry documents, we found that Selye received extensive tobacco industry funding and that his research on stress and health was used in litigation to defend the industry's interests and argue against a causal role for smoking in coronary heart disease and cancer. These findings have implications for assessing the scientific integrity of certain areas of stress research and for understanding corporate influences on public health research, including research on the social determinants of health.
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