98 e-Letters

published between 2006 and 2009

  • Evidence From Zhu et al. That American Smokers Have Switched to Smokeless Tobacco
    Brad Rodu

    Zhu et al. reported that 0.3% of men who were exclusive current smokers in 2002 became smokeless tobacco users at follow-up in 2003 (1). Similarly, they reported that 1.7% of men who were former smokers of one year or less duration and 0.3% of men who were former smokers for a longer time were smokeless tobacco users in 2003.

    These percentages are quite small, prompting the first author to issue a statement in...

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  • Response to Nitskin and Rodu's Comments
    Shu-Hong Zhu

    Nitzkin and Rodu raise several interesting points about harm reduction and how they would like to see the current FDA bill (HR1108/S625) be improved [1]. However, the purpose of Zhu et al.’s paper is not to advocate for or against harm reduction. It is simply to examine whether current US data replicate the Swedish results [2].

    If large numbers of US smokers could be induced to switch to smokeless tobacco, tha...

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  • Promoting Snus Will Save Lives in the USA
    Joel L Nitzkin

    Zhu, et al., when comparing tobacco-related behaviors in the U.S. and Sweden concluded that “promoting smokeless tobacco for harm reduction in countries with ongoing tobacco control programs may not result in any positive population effect on smoking cessation.” [1]

    We believe that this conclusion is too pessimistic.

    Promotion of snus in the U.S., as a low-risk alternative for smokers unable or unwillin...

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  • Mental disorders and smoking: Correlation is not causality
    John Hughes

    A recent article in Tobacco Control 1 reported that 33% of cigarettes are consumed by smokers who had a current mental disorder. The title, abstract and discussion of that article stated that this 33% represented how much “mental disorders contribute to tobacco consumption in New Zealand.” This statement is misleading for at least two reasons. First, although 33% of smokers had a current mental disorder, 21% of nonsmok...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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