March 16, 2015
512 Beagle Circle
Edmond, OK 73003
Dear Ms. Taylor,
On September 8, 2014, CDC acknowledged receipt of your letter regarding the article, “Intentions to smoke cigarettes among never-smoking U.S. middle and high school electronic cigarette users, National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2011-2013,” released online by Nicotine & Tobacco Research, as well as the press release, and subsequent newspaper reports. The study authors are replying to your comments about the technical aspects of the journal publication through CDC’s Information Quality Challenge process, detailed at http://www.cdc.gov/od/science/quality/support/faqs.htm. The issues you raise with press releases and media interpretations are not within the scope of this process and will be responded to in a separate correspondence.
As the Acting Director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, I would like to assure you that the article you referenced, which was pre-released in an online format by Nicotine & Tobacco Research on August 20, 2014, was consistent with CDC’s policies or guidelines regarding scientific integrity. The research for the article was conducted in accordance with accepted scientific practice and included established definitions cited from other peer reviewed literature. The article was reviewed through CDC’s internal review and approval process, then submitted to the journal, where it was reviewed independently by multiple peer-reviewers and by the journal’s scientific staff prior to acceptance for publication. Please note that the final version of the article was released online on November 28, 2014 at http://ntr.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/11/27/ntr.ntu166.full.pdf+html. In the final version the following text was added to clarify secondary analysis was done to confirm the validity of the intention to smoke measures.
To assess potential effect of our definition of intention to smoke, we also fit additional models using two alternative definitions. The first definition only classified respondents as having intentions if they responded “definitely yes” or “probably yes” to the two intentions questions and the second definition used a single question to classify intentions (i.e., smoking in the next year) instead of our two question definitions. Model results for these alternative definitions did not differ significantly for any factor except in the single question definition model where being in high school (compared with middle school) showed a statistically significant association with intention to smoke.
The article is expected to be published as part of a special issue of Nicotine & Tobacco Research that is expected to be released in 2015.
Further, the final version of the article presents findings for multiple definitions of “intention to smoke” and demonstrates that the associations with e-cigarette use remain with or without inclusion of “probably not” in the definition.
The issue of under what circumstances use of ENDS may decrease or increase conventional cigarette smoking is important. CDC remains committed to monitoring and reporting on the latest data in a scientifically rigorous manner to further advance this understanding. CDC recognizes the value of releasing data quickly and widely as well as maintaining high standards for data quality. Please note that the full NYTS 2013 findings were released as an MMWR publication on November 14, 2014, and are available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6345a2.htm. The full 2013 NYTS public use dataset was released in early 2015, in accordance with a long-established data release timeline that has been adhered to for previous NYTS datasets. The 2011, 2012 and 2013 datasets are available to the public on the following site: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/surveys/nyts.
If you wish to appeal this response to your request for correction, you may submit a written appeal or electronic request for reconsideration within 30 days of receipt of our response. The appeal must state the reasons why the agency response is insufficient or inadequate. You must attach a copy of your original request and the agency's response to it. Also, clearly mark the appeal with the words, "Information Quality Appeal" and send the appeal to the following address:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Management Analysis and Services Office
1600 Clifton Road, NE, Mailstop F-07
Atlanta, Georgia 30333 Fax: (770) 488-4995 or Electronic Mail: InfoQuality@cdc.gov
Thank you for writing to us with your concerns.
Ronney Lindsey, MS
Office on Smoking and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention