The influence of unhealthy commodity industries – such tobacco, alcohol, gambling and unhealthy food – plays a key role in the majority of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular and lung disease, mental health issues and obesity. Moral jeopardy occurs when a person or an organisation attempts to do good using resources from a source that involves harm. Moral jeopardy is critically important in responding to the harmful effects of unhealthy commodities. I am particularly interested in moral jeopardy as it occurs with legalized addictive consumptions. These consumptions generate substantial profits which are deployed to influence policy makers and divert public sympathies away from effective public health interventions.



Tobacco, alcohol and gambling corporations have been highly effective in stalling, diverting and blocking public health measures. This book provides an original and engaging exposé of the ethical issues faced by people and organizations when they accept industry money in ways that facilitate corporate influence with the public and with policy makers. It starts with a detailed examination of the risks of accepting such profits and what might be done to reduce them, then moves on to introduce the concept of a continuum of ‘moral jeopardy’ which shifts the emphasis from accept/not accept binaries to a focus on the extent to which people are willing to accept funding. This shift encourages people to think and speak more about the risks and to develop clearer positions for themselves. The content will be helpful to those working in government agencies, addiction services, community organizations or anyone interested in reducing the harms of addictive consumption. Read more

  • [CHAPTER] Adams, P.J. (2021) Commercialization: The role of unhealthy commodity industries. In K. Chamberlain & A. Lyons (eds.) Routledge International Handbook of Critical Issues in Health and Illness. London: Routledge. Read more.
  • [ARTICLE] Adams, P.J., Rychert, M. Wilkins, C.  (2021) Policy influence and the legalized cannabis industry: Learnings from other addictive consumption industries. Addiction. Early view. Read more
  • [ARTICLE] Kypri, K., McCambridge, J., Robertson, N., Martino, F., Daube, M., Adams, P., Miller, P. (2019) ‘If Someone Donates $1000, They Support You. If They Donate $100 000, They Have Bought You’. Mixed Methods Study of Tobacco, Alcohol and Gambling Industry Donations to Australian Political Parties. Drug and Alcohol Review 38 (3) 226-33. Read more
  • [ARTICLE] Adams, P.J. & Livingstone, C. (2015) Addiction surplus: The add-on margin that makes addictive consumptions difficult to contain. International Journal of Drug Policy, 26(1) 107-111. Read more
  • [BOOK] Adams, P. J. (2016) Moral Jeopardy: Risks of Accepting Money from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Gambling Industries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. See above.
  • [ARTICLE] Adams, P.J. (2013) Addiction industry studies: Understanding how proconsumption influences block effective interventions. American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 103, No. 4, pp. e35-e38. Read more
  • [ARTICLE] Adams, P.J., Buetow, S., Rossen, F. (2010) Vested interests in addiction research and policy: Poisonous partnerships: health sector buy-in to arrangements with government and addictive consumption industries, Addiction, 105, (4), 585-590. [Accompanied with one invited comment]  Read more
  • [ARTICLE] Adams, P. J. (2007). Assessing whether to receive funding support from tobacco, alcohol, gambling and other dangerous consumption industries. Addiction, 102(7), 1027–1033. [Accompanied by 5 invited commentaries and my response]. Read more
  • [ARTICLE] Adams, P. J. (2007). Trusting researchers to police themselves? Addiction, 102(7), 1039–1040. [Reply to 5 commentaries on paper in same issue]. Read more
  • [COMMENTARY] Adams, P.J. & Livingstone, C. (2016)  Commentary on INEBRIA’s Position Statement on the Alcohol Industry. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs77(4), 540-541 Read More
  • [CHAPTER] Adams P.J. Gambling and democracy. Chapter 1 in H. Bowden-Jones, C.Dickson, C. Dunand and O.Simon (eds.) Harm Reduction for Gambling: A Public Health Approach. London: Routledge (pp. 5-14). Read more
  • [ARTICLE] Livingstone, C., Adams, P.J., Cassidy, R., Markham, F., Reith, G., Rintoul, A., Dow Schull, N., Woolley, R. & Young, M. 2018 On gambling research, social science and the consequences of commercial gambling. International Gambling Studies 18:1, 56-68. Read more
  • [ARTICLE] Livingstone, C, & Adams, P.J. (2016) Clear principles are needed for integrity in gambling research. Addiction, 111(1) 5-10.
  • [COMMENTARY] Livingstone, C, & Adams, P.J. (2016) Response to commentaries – Clear principles for gambling research. Addiction, 111(1) 16-17.
  • [ARTICLE] Adams, P. J. & Rossen F. (2012). A Tale of Missed Opportunities: Pursuit of a Public Health Approach to Gambling in New Zealand. Addiction 107(6), 1051-1056. Read more
  • [CHAPTER] Adams, P.J. (2012) Should Addiction Researchers Accept Funding Derived from the Profits of Addictive Consumptions? In A. Chapman (Ed.) Genetic Research on Addiction: Ethics, the Law and Public Health, Cambridge: Cambridge University, 122-138.  Read more
  •  [ARTICLE] Adams, P.J., Raeburn, J. & De Silva, K. (2009) A question of balance: Prioritizing public health responses to harm from gambling. Addiction, 104, 688-691. [Accompanied by invited commentaries and author response]. Read more
  • [BOOK] Adams, P. J. Gambling, Freedom and Democracy. New York: Routledge New York [Sole-authored, original book; Volume 53 of Routledge Series on Studies in Social and Political Thought, 226 pages]. Read more


  • [VIDEO] Peter Adams, Swimming upstream until it hurts. (University of Auckland, 2015). Inaugural lecture (on youtube) Link
  • [ARTICLE] Remember who really pays in SkyCity deal (NZ Herald, March 5, 2013). Points out how profits from problem gamblers enables casino executives to invest in activities which court political and public favour. Read more



  • Invited to present to a special NIH committee (teleconferencing, 2018) deliberating on pharmaceutical industry involvement in US Government responses to the Opioid Crisis.
  • Consultant to World Health Organisation Nutrition Group in Geneva on procedures for ministries of health to manage conflicts of interest. Final Version
  • Member, Executive for Universitat 21 Health Science Group (a consortium of 16 of the 30 universities in the U21). Chair of their Public Health Disciplinary Group (2016-2019).
  • Assistant Editor for the journal Addiction (2010 on )
  • Co-principle investigator with Kypros Kypri on 3 year Marsden Grant looking into unhealthy commodity industry influence with New Zealand policy-makers.
Teach two postgraduate courses with content related to unhealth commodity industries:

  • POPLHLTH 737 Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Studies. (Semester 1) Provides an introduction and overview to studies on alcohol and other drugs. Incorporates theory and research developed within public health, mental health, and specialised treatment frameworks.
  • POPLHLTH 774 Addictive Consumptions and Public Health. (Semester 2) Focuses on the extensive health impacts of addictive consumptions, particularly in relation to the legalised consumptions of tobacco, alcohol and gambling. Outlines applications of public health principles to reducing harm from these consumptions.