Investigations prize for tobacco exposé

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The Independent Online

The Independent's Science Editor, Steve Connor, has been awarded the prize for best investigative journalism by the Association of British Science Writers for his reporting on how tobacco giants are fighting a covert war against British tobacco researchers.

In his series "Big Tobacco Exposed", Connor revealed how scientists are being subjected to a hate campaign, and how tobacco companies are using powerful proxies to gain access to research data, including confidential interviews with child smokers, in attempts to undermine the scientific case for further restricting tobacco sales and promotion.

Following public condemnation, Philip Morris International, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, backed away from its demand to obtain Stirling University's smoking research involving interviews with thousands of children aged between 11 and 16.