Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Education And Debate

How the tobacco industry responded to an influential study of the health effects of secondhand smoke

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 14 December 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:1413

Rapid Response:

Cilia-a Missing Link

It has been interesting to note the absence of debate on the impact of cigarette smoke on the functioning of the cilia in either the smoker or second-hand passive smoker, cancelling out its protective function. This was brought to my attention in Dr. Koops autobiography while describing his need to have tests of smoking done in Canadian airlines because he failed to obtain cooperation in U.S. airlines.The acid test is this: does the action under consideration interfere with the normal function of the body? In this case, the answer is yes.

Who is listening?Are there existing studies available that addresses the reduction in cilia performance as mentioned by Dr.Koop? Does this remind anyone of the Hound of the Baskervilles with Holmes asking:"Why didn't the hound bay at midnight?"

Respectfully submitted, John L. Evers

Competing interests:   None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 December 2002
John L. Evers
Independent Researcher
Westwood,NJ 07675