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August 10, 1918


JAMA. 1918;71(6):465-466. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600320049013

However obvious the contention that statistics never lie may seem in critical analysis, there can be no question about the danger of error that all too frequently lies in the way in which such figures are interpreted. A recent statistical inquiry bearing on the health and habits of literally hundreds of thousands of young men and presumably applicable to an increasing number of young women has been published by authority of the Surgeon-General of the Army and is certain to be widely quoted when once its true import is appreciated. An expert of the War Department Tuberculosis Board has attempted to ascertain the effect of the inhalation of cigaret smoke on the lungs, a question that has aroused more than one thoughtful person in view of the seemingly inordinate increase of smoking that has developed as the years go on. Major Webb1 has found from observations on several thousand