Pinney Associates

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Pinney Associates is an American health consultancy, founded in 1994 by John Pinney.[1]


In January 2018, key people at the consultancy included:[2]

  • John Pinney - Founder and CEO
  • Joe Gitchell - President
  • Jack Henningfield- Vice President Research, Health Policy and Abuse Liability
  • Saul Shiffman - Senior Scientific Advisor, Behavioral Science, Study Design and Analysis
  • Robyn Gougelet- Senior Associate

Relationship with the Tobacco Industry

Image 1: Screengrab from, taken November 2017, disclosing that its harm reduction work is funded by a tobacco company

Harm Reduction Work Funded by Reynolds American

From February 2015, Pinney Associates' work on tobacco harm reduction has been exclusively funded by US tobacco company, Reynolds American (RAI) (see image 1).[3][4]

At the time of the agreement, John Pinney, the founder of Pinney Associates said:

"Our overriding objective is to minimize the death and disease caused by conventional cigarette smoking as quickly as possible and we believe we have a powerful opportunity to advance this objective with these new relationships"[4]

Financial Interest in Nicotine Gum Marketed by Tobacco Company

Jack Henningfield, Pinney Associates' Vice President Research, and leading expert on tobacco control and addiction, has disclosed that he shares a patent for a nicotine gum that is under license to Niconovum, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RAI.[5]

Pinney Promotes Research by "Our Colleagues" at Reynolds

In January 2018, Joe Gitchell, President at Pinney Associates, emailed public health experts to invite them to attend a RAI briefing, scheduled for February 2018 to coincide with the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) conference.[6]

According to Gitchell, the briefing aimed to discuss RAI's application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to label Camel snus as 'reduced risk'.[6]

Gitchell's email implied collaboration between the tobacco industry and the public health community, referring to RAI staff as "our RAI colleagues" who were to "provide an overview of the [FDA] application and will present the behavioral data that may be of interest to you".[6]

The "by-invitation only" event was to be moderated by Pinney Associates' Saul Shiffman, and would be followed by "cocktails and appetizers following the briefing, and a sit-down dinner, sponsored by Reynolds American Inc".[6]

Speaker at a Tobacco Industry Event

Since 2014, Pinney Associates staff have been regular speakers at the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum, an annual tobacco industry event previously known as the Global Tobacco Networking Forum.[7][8][9][10] See also:

TobaccoTactics Resources

Relevant Link

Pinney Associates website


  1. Pinney Associates, Our people: John Pinney, Founder and Chief Executive, undated, accessed November 2017
  2. Pinney Associates, Our People: Senior Leadership, 2018, accessed January 2018
  3. Pinney Associates, Tobacco harm reduction, 2017, accessed November 2017
  4. 4.0 4.1 PR Newswire, PinneyAssociates and Subsidiary Enter into Product Development and Consulting Agreements with Subsidiaries of Reynolds American Inc., 19 February 2015, accessed November 2017
  5. J. Henningfield, Global Nicotine Reduction Strategy. Personal Insights on the View From FDA and the WHO TobReg Study Group, Presented at CORESTA Congress, Berlin, 11 October 2016, accessed November 2017
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 J. Gitchell, "Invitation to Camel Snus MRTPA briefing in Baltimore". Email to undisclosed public health experts, dated 19 January 2018, 18:33
  7. Global Tobacco and Networking Forum, Look who's talking, 2014, accessed December 2017
  8. Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum, Look who's talking, 2015, accessed December 2017
  9. Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum, Look who's talking, 2016, accessed November 2017
  10. Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum, Look who's talking, 2017, accessed October 2017