Dating heavy smoker
But a year later the "Digest" ran an article with the resounding title "Cancer by the Carton." This started a lot of talk in America and a noticeable adjustment of cigarette advertising to remind the customer that the tobacco companies keep a 24-hour laboratory watch on every chemical intruder that might possibly sully his breath, tickle his throat or otherwise impair his health and comfort.A few of the tobacco companies had in truth been financing quiet research, but it was concerned with heavier matters than a sore throat or an acrid taste.The study will not end until the whole two hundred thousand are dead, but Dr Hammond says he will have the first significant findings ready by the end of 1955.One leading cigarette company has already said that it will accept the results as unquestioned.He suspects that the interviewers of lung-cancer patients probably induce an emotional bias in their victims who will thereby be led to make suspicious confessionals of heavy smoking.He says that it is extremely difficult to find a control group with the matched characteristics, of age, social standing, occupational habits, and regional location, of any given sick group.
Standing apart from all the interested parties who would seek to prejudice the truth by arraying the doctors against the manufacturers, there is one odd and important figure, a man possessed of a Voltairean disdain.In the social history of our time, it may well be that the "Reader's Digest" will come to claim a decisive part in dating the fashion of cigarette smoking.Although three separate reports were published here in 1949, suggesting a plausible relationship between smoking and cancer of the lung, they were folded away inside the pages of medical journals.He is even sour about the claims of the filter-tipped cigarettes, remarking in his wry way that the carbon in tobacco smoke probably neutralises some toxic agents, and that if the filter removes those carbon particles "filter cigarettes would do more harm than good."Dr Hammond is an ominous figure in this whole controversy because he happens to be conducting, on behalf of the American Cancer Society, the most exhaustive study yet attempted.He began in January 1952, composing a staff of interviewers who will study the life histories of 204,000 healthy white men between the ages of 50 and 69, who together form a statistical sample of the American white male population.