Conclusions made by a new study of cigar and pipe smoking by researchers at the Columbia University Medical Center are not supported by the study’s findings, says the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association, a not-for-profit group of premium cigar retailers and manufacturers.
The study, published last month in the Annals of Internal Medicine, was funded primarily by grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Institutes of Health. The study concludes that "physicians should… counsel cessation of pipe and cigar smoking…."
"Nothing in the study justifies this erroneous conclusion. It is prejudicial and preconceived, thereby justifying the labeling of the survey as being a corrupt misuse of junk science," said Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR which is comprised largely of some 2,000 neighborhood mom-and-pop retail stores and family-owned manufacturers of premium cigars, pipes, tobacco and related accouterments.
McCalla cited several features of the study that he said support his group’s position:
* Of 3,528 participants in the study, only 58 had ever smoked cigars or pipes and not cigarettes, and only 428 had smoked pipes or cigars along with cigarettes.
* Only 47 of the subjects were current cigar smokers, of which only 16 were current cigar smokers who had never smoked cigarettes.
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* Of the cigar smokers, 95 percent were male, but only 34 percent of non-smokers were men.
* There was no effort in the study to determine the type of cigar smoked – machine-made or premium, hand-made cigars.
* The study showed no clinical effect on lung function in cigar smokers.
* There were no differences in airflow obstruction between cigar smokers and non-smokers.
* Cotinine levels (a form of nicotine) were similar in cigar smokers and non-smokers.
"The study found no clinical differences between cigar smokers and non-smokers and to draw conclusions to the contrary is to participate in a conspiracy of public disinformation and deception," McCalla said.
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