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The most important and influential papers in tobacco control: results of an online poll
  1. S Chapman
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor Simon Chapman
 School of Public Health, Edward Ford building A27, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia;

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In a recent issue, we published a list of the 100 most cited authors who have published work relevant to tobacco control.1 We also listed the 50 most cited papers in our field. That exercise produced lists of authors and papers dominated by “big epi” work: papers mainly establishing the contribution of tobacco use to disease. Such papers are often published in high impact factor journals and tend to be cited in the introductory sections of other papers.

Constructing the lists by citations alone resulted in some authors appearing who would not normally be considered leaders in tobacco control. They were primarily researchers working in epidemiology—often multi-risk factor epidemiology—whose work involved them in looking at the relation of smoking to disease. There were very few whose work involved tobacco control. Similarly, the 50 most cited papers were also dominated by epidemiological studies. The lists were decidedly narrow in showing the breadth of research scholarship examining all aspects of tobacco control policy, programmes, and the science underpinning these.

Throughout my own career, I have often noted papers that struck me as in some way seminal or as having made a research contribution that changed …

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  • Competing interests: none declared

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