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Letters
November 8, 2000

Health Risks of Cigar Smoking

Author Affiliations
 

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

JAMA. 2000;284(18):2320-2321. doi:10.1001/jama.284.18.2317

To the Editor: In their article about the health risks of cigar smoking, Dr Baker and colleagues1 failed to describe a dose-response relationship. Although there is actually a wide range in how often cigar smokers smoke, the data that linked cigar smoking to lung cancer were limited to men who smoked 3 or more cigars a day. This group experienced lung cancer death at two-thirds the rate of those who smoke 1 pack of cigarettes per day. However, only 5% of cigar smokers smoke 3 or more cigars a day.2 In fact, about half of all cigar smokers smoke less than once a week, and another 17.9% smoke 6 or fewer cigars a week.3 Baker et al did cite a study that showed there is a dose-response effect for oral cavity cancer and larynx cancer.4 Would they concede that more than 70% of all cigars smokers are at low risk for these cancers because they are exposed to at least 71% less cigar smoke than those who smoke 3 cigars a day?

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