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May 24, 1985

Tobacco and Its Supporters

Author Affiliations

University of California, San Francisco

JAMA. 1985;253(20):2959. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350440037010

To the Editor.—  The Nov 23/30, 1984, issue of The Journal devoted many articles to the relationship between smoking and health, as well as an editorial by Dr William Pollin1 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. We thought it was appropriate to reinforce attention to this issue but are disturbed that the issues were not set in an appropriate social and political context. The medical profession will have only a small influence on the smoking problem as long as the mass media continue to bombard the population with high-tech tobacco advertising. Perhaps even more important is the continued presence of Senator Jesse Helms as chairperson of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which will guarantee federal price support to tobacco growers. The zeal with which the federal government has gone after marijuana and opium poppy growers in this country and elsewhere could be shared with an all-out assault on tobacco