The Critics Hit Back
Said one — 'Folks of a surly Tapster tell, And daub his Visage with the Smoke of Hell; They talk of some strict Testing of us — Pish ! He's a Good Fellow, and 'twill all be well.'
THE WORK OF Doll and Hill in England, of Horn and Hammond in America, and of all the other investigators who have taken up the trail of the disease-producing effects of cigarette smoking, has, of course, not gone unchallenged. I shall not in this chapter deal with all the arguments that have been advanced in an attempt to rebut their conclusions. Many of the criticisms are themselves unsound, and it would be a waste of time to discuss them in detail. Others, while reasonable at the time when they were made, have since been answered by the original authors, either in further analyses of their data, or by new studies. In going through the writings of Doll and Hill, and of Horn and Hammond again for the purpose of this book I was struck, as I had been when I had read them originally, by the great care which had been taken in the carrying out of these investigations, by the way in which the authors took note of published criticism and tried to answer it by adducing further factual information, and by their wholly admirable refusal to be side-tracked from strictly scientific argument. I believe that the case which they make out can be criticized but that is merely to say that scientific investigators, even the most eminent, are only human; whatever the truth of the criticisms here