The article "Study Links Clove Cigarettes Ingredient, Toxicity" (by Dennis McLellan, June 18), is grossly misleading. It cites a report that has not even been completed based on methodology, known as intratrachea instillation, which is considered by some researchers over the past decade as not reliable.
Most reputable scientists would be dismayed to hear such far-fetched allegations directed to the smoking of clove cigarettes on the basis of such an unsound scientific test as applying eugenol, a natural ingredient of clove oil, in an undiluted, liquid form directly onto the lungs of laboratory animals. Common sense would tell you that a puff of clove cigarette smoke contains several components, tobacco, flavoring and clove, of which one ingredient is eugenol.
I find it appalling that your fine newspaper would publish an article in such depth before the final results were produced. As a result, I believe the article lost total perspective on the nature of eugenol.
All we ask is to be able to separate fact from fiction concerning a product that has been around for nearly a century in other parts of the world, and here in the U.S. since 1970, without any known acute respiratory problems such as those that were alluded to in your article and stated forthrightly in the headline.
GABRIEL A. AVRAM
Specialty Tobacco Council