Intended for healthcare professionals

Bmj Usa


BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 18 December 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:266
  1. James E Enstrom, PhD, MPH (,
  2. Geoffrey C Kabat, PhD, MS
  1. School of Public Health University of California, Los Angeles
  2. New Rochelle, NY
  3. American Cancer Society Atlanta


    We are writing to address the misleading BMJ USA editorial by Michael Thun of the American Cancer Society1 and the BMJ USA “Editor's Choice” by Steven Woolf 2 that were published in the same issue of BMJ USA [July 2003] as our article.3 For the record, we have presented an accurate analysis of the California CPS I [American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study I] cohort, not “misleading science,” and it comes from the University of California, Los Angeles, and the State University of New York, Stony Brook, not the “tobacco industry.”

    We both have a substantial record of accomplishment in conducting relevant epidemiologic studies and we have never previously had our professional integrity challenged. We want to make clear that the tobacco industry played no role in our paper other than providing the final portion of the funding and that we would never have accepted tobacco industry funds if there had been any other way to conduct this study. For Thun to attack our integrity and the validity of our findings because of tobacco industry funding is character assassination of the worst kind.4

    Anyone who reads our full-text paper online5 and our January 9, 2003, response to the reviewers6 will see that in fact, we provided detailed evidence which refutes Thun's claim that our “negative conclusions were entirely predictable from the outset because of the flawed way …

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