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November 1985

Smokeless Tobacco: An Open Letter to the Surgeon General

Author Affiliations

Surgeon General, Public Health Service

Arch Otolaryngol. 1985;111(11):707-708. doi:10.1001/archotol.1985.00800130039001

Dr Koop, as otolaryngologists-head and neck surgeons, we are faced with the task of caring for many patients with tobacco-related diseases. We support and applaud your stand, and we have accepted your challenge.

In the October issue of the Archives, we called attention to some of the special problems of smokeless tobacco, particularly the very young age of some users, the advertising campaigns with sports celebrities to attract teenage users, and the lack of public awareness of the dangers of prolonged use.

This month, we would like to propose a series of specific measures that deserve consideration if the growing scope and prevalence of this problem is to be reduced.

Dr Koop, you have appointed an "advisory committee" chaired by Dr Joseph Cullen "to oversee the entire review" of the scientific evidence on the health effects of smokeless tobacco. The entire membership of this committee is from within the Public