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Smoking and use of mobile phones

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 10 March 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:616

Data have been wrongly interpreted

  1. Trevor Jones, managing director (
  1. Marketing Databasics, Links House, Edinburgh
  2. Respiratory Branch, Italian College of General Practitioners, Milan, Italy
  3. Smoke-free Institute, National Cancer Institute, Milan, Italy
  4. National Heart and Lung Institute, London
  5. Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Zurich, Switzerland

    EDITOR—Charlton and Bates's use of data was breathtaking in its inaccuracy.1 For a start, the chart has no data points before 1996, so we have no way of judging how large the downturn in teenage smoking has been. But more importantly, the chart shows clearly that teenage smoking was falling before the sharp rise in mobile phone ownership. And, even worse, at the point where phone ownership sharply increases, the decline in smoking actually levels off.

    This is a clear case of …

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