As illustrated by this month’s image – the deceptively pretty Nicotiana tabacum, from which tobacco is made – the tricky question of whether the public health interest is served by publishing papers about harm-reducing but still harmful alternatives to tobacco is raised in the July issue of PLoS Medicine. Snus is a smokeless tobacco product that is widely used as an alternative to cigarettes in Sweden and is associated with less risk to health than smoking. In The PLoS Medicine Debate Carol Gartner and Wayne Hall argue the case for providing public information about snus, suggesting that it could be recommended to inveterate smokers. However, Simon Chapman and Becky Freedman argue that such an approach would simply play into the hands of the tobacco industry, which is already marketing the use of snus with slogans that promote smoking too.
Archives for July 2007
On 25th October 2006, we published an essay by Laurie Garrett calling for worldwide action to prevent the execution in Libya of six Bulgarian health workers. Because of the urgency of the issue, we peer reviewed and published the piece within 8 hours of submission, along with a blog by Ginny Barbour. Today the health workers were freed. Laurie has written an analysis of the negotiations that led to their freedom, and has agreed for us to post her analysis as a Guest Blog.
Congress needs to hear from scientists before upcoming votes on open access. Take three minutes and make a difference.
I’ve been waiting to write this Blog posting for a while and now I can. As from today PLoS ONE has a user rating system for its articles. All users can now rate articles in three subjective categories: Insight, Reliability and Style. We have made the tool, now we need you to come and use it.
I thought that statement might get your attention!
There is an interesting editorial out today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). It applauds the establishment of the journal Open Medicine by former editors of CMAJ. It also raises the question of what qualifies a journal to call itself ‘open access‘.