95 e-Letters

published between 2009 and 2012

  • Response to Zhu et al. (1, 2)
    Paul Bergen

    The authors of this paper (1), the responders (3), and most everyone else agree that smoking is high risk, and that the use of smokeless tobacco is fairly low risk. In any other area, the obvious conclusion would be to encourage smokers to switch to the lower risk alternative.

    However, what follows instead is a strange and yet quite common argument that because many smokers might not switch, this alternative...

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  • 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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