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Smoke and Letters

Peter N. Lee, MA
JAMA. 1994;272(19):1479-1480. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520190021011.
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To the Editor.  —Drs Davis and Chapman1 are concerned with individuals affiliated with the tobacco industry being able to publish, without peer review, letters that are "poorly informed, misleading" and contain arguments variously described as "weak," "irrational," and "downright silly." As a consultant to the tobacco industry who wrote one of the letters2 from which the correspondence arose, I have no objections to such peer review. Whether it would be practical, for reasons described well by Dr Rennie,3 or useful is another matter. Peer review is, after all, no guarantee that published papers or letters are scientifically sound. I do, however, have considerable objections to Davis and Chapman attempting indirectly to smear my work in this way without giving any indication whatsoever as to the basis of their criticisms.Having spent over 25 years evaluating in detail evidence relating smoking and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure to


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