This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
To the Editor.—
Dr. Szasz has once again attained a forum by attacking psychiatry. His "Special Contribution" demonstrated his well-known prejudices more clearly than usual.As an example of his non sequitur arguments, he attacks those on the panel with him for smoking (while he had a sore throat) and for not discussing nicotinism as a mental illness, as he precipitately requested from them. They apparently (and understandably, considering they did not know that Dr. Szasz would have a sore throat) did not come prepared to discuss the psychiatric intricacies of nicotine use or abuse. Szasz, however, generalizes from this lack of preparation that "psychiatrists thus speak of `alcoholism'... as a mental illness... but do not speak of `nicotinism' and do not regard it as a disease." The reason for this, in Szasz's view, is that "psychiatrists disapprove of alcoholism but approve of—and indeed encourage... nicotinism." This unsupported logic leads
Liskow B. Much More Ado About Tobacco Smoke. JAMA. 1974;230(5):672. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240050020013
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: