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Smoke and Letters-Reply

Ronald M. Davis, MD; Simon Chapman, PhD
JAMA. 1994;272(19):1480. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520190021012.
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In Reply.  —Mr Lee claims that in our letter we were "attempting indirectly to smear" his work. On the contrary, our letter responded to the Editorial by Dr Rennie,1 commented in general terms about letters to the editor written by individuals affiliated with the tobacco industry, and did not cite the original letter by Mr Lee.2We stated that "many (or most) of the letters written, generated, or otherwise paid for by the tobacco industry are characterized by poorly informed, misleading, or downright silly arguments." Space does not permit a detailed presentation of examples of industry-generated letters that match our characterization. But perhaps an example will help illustrate our point.Dr Sharon Boyse, with the British-American Tobacco Company, criticized an article about ETS, using the argument that "of the more than 30 studies currently published on this topic, the vast majority (around 80%) do not report a statistically


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