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Tobacco and Editorial Policy

Elizabeth M. Whelan, ScD, MPH
JAMA. 1980;244(18):2045. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310180015011.
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To the Editor.—  The recent COMMENTARY by Alan Blum, MD (243:739, 1980), "Medicine vs Madison Avenue," gave some enlightening perspective to the problem of the marketing of the number one preventable cause of human cancer.Because they are so dependent on the income from cigarette advertisements, many popular magazines downplay the impact tobacco has on health. Having reviewed a number of major women's magazines, I have not found one important story on tobacco and health.I have had a great deal of personal experience with the problem of editorial suppression of tobacco stories. For example, recently a widely read woman's beauty and fashion magazine asked me to write an article entitled "Protect Your Man From Cancer." I prepared it and by necessity emphasized the contribution of tobacco to cancer of the lung, prostate, oral cavity, and other sites. I was paid in full for the piece, but the editor frankly


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