Cigarette Maker Subverted Smoking Study, Researchers Say
What made the original study's importance debatable is that while the IARC team did find an elevated cancer risk with secondhand smoke, the results were not considered statistically significant. Glantz, a statistician, says the study was "underpowered" -- meaning that too few people who hadn't been exposed to secondhand smoke were involved as a comparison.
A number of other studies had already established links between passive smoke and lung cancer.
"Today, we would not respond to a scientific study by engaging in all of the activities referred to in The Lancet article. Our approach today is to move towards solving problems -- hopefully working in an atmosphere of transparency and open dialogue," says the Philip Morris statement.
Glantz says that what Philip Morris was really trying to avoid was the publication of a scientifically definitive statement of the risk of passive smoking. Now, Glantz says, he hopes that will be possible.