Still Holding Back

The Unfiltered Truth About Smoking and Health

Despite dissolving their research ties to the tobacco industry, the AMA still had reservations about tackling the tobacco and health issue. In a 1982 memo, the editor of JAMA warned the journal’s editorial staff that certain subjects were deemed politically sensitive to AMA leadership, specifically tobacco, nuclear war, and abortion.

1982 04 Tobacco Observer New Health Warnings Go Unheeded

“New Health Warnings Unneeded”

Front-page article
The Tobacco Observer (newspaper published by The Tobacco Institute, Washington, D.C.)
April 1982

1982 04 Tobacco Observer Lung Cancer Remains a Mystery

“‘Lung Cancer Remains A Mystery’”

News article
The Tobacco Observer, page 6
April 1982

1982 09 07 George Lundberg to JAMA Editorial Staff Sensitive Political Issues

“SUBJECT: Particularly Sensitive Political Issues”

Memorandum from George D. Lundberg, MD, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, to editorial staff members
September 7, 1982

“In a recent meeting, Doctor James Sammons [AMA executive vice president] and Mr. Thomas Hannon [JAMA publisher] pointed out the existence of some particularly sensitive political questions and urged  that we exercise appropriate caution in our JAMA publications about these subjects. They are:

–tobacco and control of tobacco use,

–nuclear war,


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