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May 27, 1950


Author Affiliations

Albany, N. Y.

From the Bureau of Cancer Control, Division of Medical Services, New York State Department of Health.

JAMA. 1950;143(4):336-338. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910390008002

The published literature on use of tobacco and its possible association with human cancer fails to show clearcut consistent observations. Reviews of the literature for the past twenty years reveals that it is often conflicting and that it consists for the most part of studies which are inconclusive because of lack of adequate samples, lack of random selection, lack of proper controls or failure to age-standardize the data. Potter and Tully1 have reported a higher proportion of smokers in patients with cancer of the "buccal cavity" and "respiratory tract" among males "over the age of 40" who were seen at Massachusetts cancer clinics.

Since 1938 a history of tobacco usage has been obtained routinely from all patients admitted to the Roswell Park Memorial Institute, Buffalo. These histories are part of the regular clinical history and are taken before the final diagnosis has been established. This procedure is considered especially