In many European countries, medicines promotion is governed by voluntary codes of practice administered by the pharmaceutical industry under its own system of self-regulation. Involvement of industry organizations in policing promotion has been proposed to deter illicit conduct, but few detailed studies on self-regulation have been carried out to date. The objective of this study was to examine the evidence for promotion and self-regulation in the UK and Sweden, two countries frequently cited as examples of effective self-regulation.

Maternal smoking during pregnancy (SDP) seems associated with reduced birthweight in the offspring. This observation, however, is based on conventional epidemiological analyses, and it might be confounded by unobserved maternal characteristics related to both smoking habits and offspring birth weight. Therefore, we apply a quasi-experimental sibling analysis to revisit previous findings. Using the Swedish Medical Birth Register, we identified 677,922 singletons born between 2002 and 2010 from native Swedish mothers.