114 e-Letters

published between 2005 and 2008

  • This may be due to Low DHEA
    James M. Howard

    It is known that smoking increases DHEAS, the precursor of DHEA. The same should happen because of exposure to secondhand smoke.

    DHEA is the active molecule, so increases in DHEAS may indicate that smoking is reducing DHEA. DHEA is known to be important to normal pregnancy-associated outcomes.

    I suggest the findings of Peppone, et al., may be explained by reduced DHEA in these women.

  • Philip Morris International's view on "Existing technologies to reduce toxicants in cigarette smoke"
    Ruth Dempsey

    In their article, “Existing technologies to reduce specific toxicant emissions in cigarette smoke,” RJ O’Connor & PJ Hurley list technologies that, they propose, manufacturers could use to comply with ceilings on nine smoke constituents proposed by the WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation (TobReg).

    Initially, it is important to address any conjecture that these ceilings will reduce the harm cause...

    Show More
  • Response so far
    Simon Chapman

    Jim Sargent says I support business as usual for Hollywood. What I emphatically and unapologetically do support is business as usual for consistency. R-rating of any scene of smoking invites unavoidable questions about parallel controls on a wide range of activity that an equally wide range of interest groups would wish to see implemented in the name of health, religion or morality. Jonathan Klein implies that because ni...

    Show More
  • blunt instraments for a nuanced issue
    Becky Freeman

    I do support R ratings (actually M15, as this is roughly the Australian equivalent to an American R) for films that decidedly glamourise or blatantly promote smoking. I do however believe that smoking can be shown in films in ways that do not promote the product - without having to be a hit-you-over-the-head health message.

    While I agree the current system of ratings for films has to be considered in any realist...

    Show More
  • Missing the Point
    Michael Siegel

    The responses so far to Dr. Chapman's article have missed the fundamental point of his argument: that a policy requiring an R-rating for any movie which depicts smoking is a narrow-minded one that treats smoking differently than other dangerous health behaviors depicted in films and which fails to address the overall public health problem of the media portrayal of unhealthy behaviors.

    In order to defend the polic...

    Show More
  • Business as Usual
    James Sargent

    Simon Chapman's editorial supports business as usual for Hollywood. By considering only the commercial element of paid product placement, he ignores that making films in Hollywood is a business. Free artistic speech is a fundamental right that everyone in Western societies supports, but Hollywood uses it as a mantra to avoid changing how they do business. Movies are a combination of art and business, just like many othe...

    Show More
  • Smoking imagery in movies requires action now
    Jonathan D Klein

    Simon Chapman’s recent commentary on smoking in movies misses several important points with regard to the influence of media portrayal of tobacco on children’s health (1). Chapman fails to recognize the ease with which other socially questionable behavior is rated R in US films. Using the Motion Picture Association of America voluntary ratings system (2), use of the 'F' word as an exclamation twice, or once in a sexu...

    Show More
  • Late to the Party
    Stanton A Glantz

    I would have written Simon Chapman's editorial 15 years ago, when I first joined behind-the-scenes discussions in Hollywood to advocate the same "solutions" he is now. Serious and sustained efforts by many organizations (sometimes at substantial cost) to pursue the ideas Chapman is now proposing repeatedly failed. Indeed, the amount of smoking onscreen actually increased during this time. We only developed the Smoke...

    Show More
  • Australian government excludes tobacco industry from routine consultation
    Simon Chapman

    An important new marker of the denormalisation of the tobacco industry has occurred in Australia in 2008. It is traditional – indeed usually mandatory -- for industries which may be affected by proposed changes in government policy or legislation to be fully consulted through formal processes prior to any changes taking place. In 2008, the Australian government established a Preventative (sic) Health Task Force, with s...

    Show More
  • Identification of Jewish Ghetto in Rome
    Norbert Hirschhorn

    The authors's Figure 2 identifies the 'smokers' zone' overlaid on a map of modern Rome as resembling "the location of the Jewish ghetto during the Third Reich."

    In fact, a Jewish community has existed in Rome for over two thousand years. In 1555 Pope Paul IV created a walled-ghetto for Jews as one of a series of anti-semitic measures. The walls were torn down in 1870 when Italy was unified as a single nation, lea...

    Show More