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12 July 2000

Appeals Court Rejects Challenge to UCSF Tobacco Research

The right of University of California scientists to carry out tobacco smoking research and anti-smoking advocacy was affirmed by the California State Court of Appeals in Sacramento last week.

The decision supported a lower court's dismissal of a suit that had challenged research on the economic effects of smoking bans in California restaurants and bars. The study was a project undertaken by Stanton Glantz, PhD, UCSF professor of medicine and a well-known tobacco researcher. The dismissed suit also challenged the legality of the University of California allowing Glantz to engage in anti-smoking advocacy.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the Sacramento County Superior Court's 1998 dismissal of the suit. In its ruling, the Court of Appeals found that California law expressly authorizes the state government, including the University, to engage in anti-smoking efforts and therefore it is not a misuse of public finds for public entities to advocate tobacco control measures.

The case against UC had been brought by a group called Californians for Scientific Integrity. The group appealed in 1998 and lost the appeal July 6.

"This is just the latest evidence that the University of California takes seriously its responsibility to the California public and its commitment to protect academic freedom," said an elated Glantz. "The fact that the University has so consistently taken a strong stand makes me proud to be on its faculty."


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