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July 1984

What If They Held a Debate and No One Came?Did You Ever See the First Cancer Cell Start to Multiply?

Author Affiliations

American College of Chest Physicians 911 Busse Hwy Park Ridge, IL 60068-2375

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(7):1370-1371. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.00350190054008

A leading cigarette firm has begun a national advertising campaign based on the premise that there is no proof that cigarette smoking is directly responsible for cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases. They plead with the American public, "Let's have a national debate and see whether the facts are indeed available to justify charges that cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health." By suggesting that the issue is controversial, the company and the public relations staff on their payroll obviously hope that acceptance of their message will diminish motivation for smoking cessation.

Cigarette smoking is one of the most difficult habits to break; why should one suffer the physical and emotional trauma of smoking cessation if there is no proof that smoking is deleterious?

News of this tobacco company's promotional campaign excited the curiosity of a distinguished television commentator. Did you witness the dialogue on television between the president of the company

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