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Article
January 12, 1979

Threshold Theory vs Linear Theory

Author Affiliations

Mount Olive Family Medicine Center Mount Olive, NC

JAMA. 1979;241(2):135. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03290280017014

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Abstract

To the Editor.—  Certainly inclusion of the article "Toward Less Hazardous Cigarettes: Current Advances" (240:1255, 1978) is appropriate for a publication such as The Journal. I do not believe it necessary, therefore, to apologize for its inclusion. (Or was the editorial "Smoke Screens" an apology for its delay in inclusion?)Certainly the reminder of the tangled web that politics weaves with regard to this article is of interest. I doubt that this comes as a surprise to any of the readers and serves only to strengthen the wish that government and politics have as little to do in medicine as possible.Dr Barclay's comments (240:1271, 1978) with regard to the threshold theory vs linear theory of toxic action are interesting. I for one am not as certain that most scientists believe in the linear theory. Certainly our goals of environmental protection for various toxic substances are often thresholds for whatever

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