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December 16, 1974

The New Seduction

JAMA. 1974;230(11):1564. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240110056021

In an earlier communication (JAMA 227:1045, 1974) Weldon J. Walker reported the very real declining incidence of death from ischemic heart disease that has occurred in the United States since 1963. The Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health (1964) appeared to be the watershed—relating cigarette smoking to the increasing morbidity and mortality from coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, peptic ulcer, and bronchial carcinoma. Well, it would seem that except for the latter disease, all others have declined since then. And this happy revelation can be correlated with less cigarette smoking and improved dietary habits (lower caloric consumption and less ingestion of saturated fats) by many Americans in the vulnerable age groups.

Elsewhere in this issue (page 1529), Walker takes up his battered lance once again to demand an end to federal subsidies, loans, and tax breaks to industries that support cigarette production. He believes that it is