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November 8, 2000

Estimating the Numbers of Smoking-Related Deaths

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Executive Deputy EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;284(18):2319-2320. doi:10.1001/jama.284.18.2317

To the Editor: In debunking the notion that smoking causes more than 400,000 deaths each year, Ms Marimont and I1 were critical of studies that failed to control for confounding variables like alcohol consumption, exercise, diet, occupation, and income. In response, Dr Thun and colleagues2 purport to have controlled for the first 4 of those variables plus race and education. Thun et al conclude that "federal estimates of deaths caused by smoking are not substantially altered by adjustment for behavioral and demographic factors."

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