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November 10, 1999

Perceptions of Health Risks by Cigarette Smokers—Reply

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthorStephenLurieMD, PhDIndividualAuthor


Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999

JAMA. 1999;282(18):1722-1723. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-18-jbk1110

In Reply: We agree with Dr Gerace that "some smokers [in our study] may not have included their smoking behavior in their mental representation of themselves while evaluating their risk" of heart disease and cancer. This point is precisely the key public health message from our study. If smokers are not thinking carefully about these health risks when they choose to smoke, then their choice is not a well-informed one. Even if some heavy smokers accurately consider their health risks when deciding to smoke, our study demonstrates that most heavy smokers are either denying or unaware of these risks.

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