AMA Takes No Stand Against Smoking
The Unfiltered Truth About Smoking and Health
In 1959 the editor of JAMA, John H. Talbott, MD, rebutted the U.S. Surgeon General, Leroy Burney, MD, who had concluded that there was sufficient evidence of a causal link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. On the heels of the publication in 1962 of Smoking and Health: Summary and Report of The Royal College of Physicians of London on Smoking in relation to Cancer of the Lung and Other Diseases, Senator Maurine Neuberger (Democrat-Oregon) urged the AMA to join other health organizations in taking a strong stand against smoking. When AMA members also urged action in June 1962, the association’s leaders announced plans to appoint a committee to study smoking. The Wall Street Journal reported that the AMA was forced to drop its investigation because it was unable to enlist a sufficient number of qualified physicians and other scientists to conduct it.