Passive-smoking study faces
Did the tobacco industry skew results of survey?
Nature Vol 446, p242, 15 March 2007
Officials at the University of California are in the throes of a debate
whether to ban research grants from tobacco companies. The discussion
now sparked an independent review of a controversial 2003 report that
contested the dangers of second-hand smoke...
The new review concerns a study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ)
said spouses of smokers were no more likely to die of lung cancer and
heart disease than were spouses of non-smokers (J. E. Enstrom and G. C.
Kabat Br. Med. J. 326, 1057; 2003). The study, led by epidemiologist
Enstrom of the University of California, Los Angeles, looked at 118,000
subjects from a study set up by the American Cancer Society beginning
But top scientists at the cancer society say they repeatedly warned
Enstrom of possible deficiencies in his analysis - particularly a
gap in which exposure to second-hand smoke could not be verified...
In August 2006, a US federal judge cited the BMJ study as a prime
of how nine tobacco companies engaged in criminal racketeering and
to hide the dangers of tobacco smoke. The tobacco companies dispute the
judge’s decision, which they are appealing. Enstrom and his
Geoffrey Kabat, formerly of the State University of New York at Stony
Brook, stoutly defend the research against its critics....