Below is a very, very bad “news” article, with some serious problems in the form of missing data, contradictory information, and unsupported statements. Read the article and answer these questions. You do not need to submit this for grading. However, some of these questions will be on the Unit 1 Exam, and you are allowed to keep a copy of your answers on hand and use it to answer the exam questions.
1) The article states that there was no significant difference in the death rates of male heavy smokers and male reducers. What was/were the causes of these deaths?
2) What did the article say about the death rates of female heavy smokers versus female reducers?
3) The article states that “People may be misled if they’re told that cutting back on their smoking may help them stave off disease and early death…” But again, what causes of death were considered in the study?
4) What did the article say about the death rates of people that quit smoking? Was there any specific information provided?
5) What did the article say about the death rates of people that never smoked? Was there any specific information provided?
6) Pretend like you’ve never heard anything about the health effects of smoking, then consider the only the information provided in the article (or not provided). The article’s subtitle says “Quitting is the only real route to health, study finds”. If this article was all you had to go on, is this a reasonable statement?
Cutting Back on Smoking Won’t Cut Death Risk
Quitting is the only real route to health, study finds
Less is not more when it comes to smokers’ health, new research finds. A Norwegian study found that merely cutting back on the number of cigarettes smoked per day did not lower a heavy smoker’s rick of early death.
Reporting in the journal Tobacco Control, a team from the National Health Screening Service in Oslo found that limiting the daily amount of cigarettes may be useful as a temporary measure when a smoker is trying to quit, but kicking the habit is the only real way of reducing the risk of smoking-related health consequences and early death.
The team studied more than 51,000 men and women ranging in age from 20 to 34 at the start of the study, when they were first assessed for cardiovascular risk factors. The participants were screened again two more times over an average follow-up of 20 years.
The participants were classified as “never smokers; quitters (those who stopped smoking between the first and second screening); moderate smokers (1 to 14 cigarettes per day); reducers (more than 15 cigarettes per day, but by more than half at the second screening); and heavy smokers (more than 15 cigarettes per day).
Compared to men who were heavy smokers, death rates from all causes were not significantly different for male reducers. And women who cut back on smoking actually had higher death rates from all causes than female heavy smokers.
People may be misled if they’re told that cutting back on their smoking may help them stave off disease and early death, the study authors concluded.
HealthDay (2006, November 28). Cutting Back on Smoking Won’t Cut Death Risk. Retrieved from http://consumer.healthday.com
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