Michael J McFadden writes
The problem lies in the mixing up of science, idealism, activism, and politics. The resulting brew would make Mickey run out of the room faster than a Dormouse could scream “Fantasia!” as it was being swallowed by the Cheshire Cat. I won’t try to claim that I’ve read the whole 700 pages or even a good bit of it, but I’m familiar enough with the science to know where some of the dirty laundry might be hidden and poked around in those corners to find things like the Otsuka study highlighted last week.
Is this misuse of science something that ONLY occurs with Antismokers though? Maybe not. Here are two articles dealing with our climate. They’re ten years apart. One is dealing with the sort of fantasyland predictions we’ve seen with the WHO proclaiming 600,000 deaths a year due to “passive smoking” while the other has a base a bit more firmly rooted in reality.
He then goes on to say.
Why? Simple: The Report, despite its 700 pages of largely well-done science, takes that science and then distorts it to support two ulterior goals:
1) Instilling an unreasonable fear of a practice that has become more popular in recent years than in past times, namely “social smoking” where people who do not normally smoke will join friends who have been exiled to smoking areas and light up with those friends to make them feel more comfortable. And,
2) Basically fabricating a fear from the almost completely non-existent evidence that there could be any significant level of harm from occasional or mild exposures to the smoke of others.
I couldn’t agree with him more. There is far to much science by political agenda, it’s almost enough to make one question the integrity of scientist in general. First to the point of the video. A lot has been said about sticky platlets by anti-smoking activist like Stanton Glantz.
On this Subject Dr Michael Siegel points out.
The truth is that brief secondhand smoke exposure is likely to trigger a heart attack only in people with severe existing coronary artery disease. And for such individuals, there are so fragile that any exposure which increases platelet aggregation and causes endothelial dysfunction — is also likely to trigger a heart attack. There is no mechanism I know of by which secondhand smoke is the only exposure that can trigger a heart attack in some who is brittle enough so that a mere 20 minute exposure to tobacco smoke is going to trigger a heart attack. The same hypercoagulability and endothelial dysfunction is also caused by eating high-fat foods and even by mental stress. It doesn’t follow that you are going to prevent this person from having a heart attack merely by asking them to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. Moreover, there is simply no scientific evidence to support the assertion that by avoiding secondhand smoke exposure, we will prevent heart attacks among individuals with severe coronary artery disease.
Now in full disclosure Dr Siegel believes the science justifies smoking bans but he will be the first to tell you that many experts disagree with his conclusions, he is no absolutist but an honest scientist who refuses to use junk science to defend his position. Before I get into the DNA change claims I want to get into the no safe level claimed by the 2006 SG report. This is actually the highly controversial Linear No-Threshold Theory. Which means that for radiation the dose response curve is not a curve but is linear. many of us fighting smoking ban have been critical of the American Cancer Society because they are more interest in wealth rather then curing cancer and as Dr Siegel points out it is all about political agenda and wealth. This is the first time I have seen the good Dr do this.
If it were only science, and not politics, that were dictating policy, the FDA would have removed the X-ray scanners from public use long ago, and would have demanded that adequate data be presented to demonstrate the safety of these devices among vulnerable population groups. The FDA would have demanded to see the type of data that the UCSF researchers have called for.
If it were only science, and not politics, that were dictating policy, the American Cancer Society would have called for the removal of these X-ray scanners from the market – along with electronic cigarettes (or it would not have called for a ban on either product).
For the ACS – at least – money is also an apparent factor. The ACS receives money from Big Pharma companies that manufacture smoking cessation drugs and stand to lose substantial sales if electronic cigarettes become popular.
The approval of whole body X-ray scanners for use on nearly a million people a day in the United States, coupled with the ban on electronic cigarettes – which save tens of thousands of people a day from exposure to the carcinogens in tobacco smoke – represents one of the largest inconsistencies in federal public health policy of which I am aware.
It is only January 3, but the FDA and the American Cancer Society are well on their way to putting themselves into contention for the Tobacco Control Hypocrisy Award of 2011. . . Also in line for the hypocrisy award is the office of the United States Surgeon General, which has warned that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke because even minute exposure to a potential carcinogen is dangerous.
This is relevant because because in theory the dose response for radiation is linear (no safe level) now the dose response curve has never been shown to be linear for active smokers much less then for second hand smoke As I said this theory is highly controversial for radiation (which it was based on) and has never been proven as scientific fact for any chemical substance, dose makes the poison.
The Lie: (1) “Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can cause cardiovascular disease and could trigger acute cardiac events, such as heart attack.”; (2) “Inhaling even the smallest amount of tobacco smoke can also damage your DNA, which can lead to cancer.”
When it comes to the DNA damage tie SG acts like there is something uniquely magical about ETS. I found what Dr Siegel posted in the comment section of this article significant.
“The question then becomes, doctor, is tobacco smoke somehow unique, and that the tiniest amount of candle smoke, fireplace smoke, pellet stove smoke, car and diesel exhaust, polluted city air, etc. etc. can NOT damage a person’s DNA?”
My answer, Harry, is that tobacco smoke is not unique and that you are right – one could also assert that the tiniest amount of any carcinogenic exposure, including diesel exhaust, polluted air, and fireplace smoke, can damage a person’s DNA. This is precisely why the Surgeon General’s statement is so meaningless.
And how many of the so called deaths by second hand smoke can be caused by the persistent free radicals we breath in every day? In highly polluted areas you could be inhaling a weeks worth of cigarettes each and every day.
Louisiana scientists are reporting in a study scheduled for presentation today at the 236th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. Inhaling those pollutants exposes the average person up to 300 times more free radicals daily than from smoking one cigarette, they added.
The discovery could help explain the long-standing medical mystery of why non-smokers develop tobacco-related diseases like lung cancer, said H. Barry Dellinger, Ph.D., the Patrick F. Taylor Chair of Environmental Chemistry at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
This could explain why parts of California who has the second lowest smoking rate and yet there are parts that have extremely high lung cancer rates. As a matter of fact it appears to be clustered in certain areas. So it is not as simple as tobacco smoke. Not to mention that some reports claim that Radon is the no 1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, but then again there always is HPV. There is a reason that risk ratios as low as 1.3 are not widely accepted as proof of anything.