I disagree with Dr Siegel on the issue of smoking bans, but I would never question his integrity! He is one of the very few within the Tobacco Control Movement that is willing to stand on what he believes is sound science. A lot of earlier links to his works are broken as are a lot of mine when I was with “Ban the Ban Wisconsin”
There are only two people in the “Tobacco Control” movement that I have any respect for and that is the good “Dr Siegel” and “Martin Pion” of MoGASP although I am losing faith in the latter as I have been banished from his site without explanation. Both are members of the FDA shadow panel.
I defended Dr Siegel several years ago while working with “Ban the Ban Wisconsin” not because I agreed with him but because of his integrity. One can disagree with someone and still respect them for their integrity. Science is not as simple as 2+2=4, and it is even less so when it comes to statistics, and the entirety of smoking bans are based on statistics! And as Mark Twain said in his autobiography said “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”
It is one thing to disagree with someone, it is quite another to attack their integrity. This is not the first time that Dr Siegel has been attacked! The other time I defended him they attempted to get him fired from his job at the Boston University School of Public Health. Again my post at “Ban the Ban” is gone and I can’t find his post from that period, but it did happen. But to put the good doctors words in perspective.
As a primarily science-based movement, public health is supposed to have room for those who dissent from consensus opinions based on reasonable scientific grounds. To argue that those who fail to conclude that the small relative risk for lung cancer of 1.3 among persons exposed to secondhand smoke is indicative of a causal connection are comparable to Holocaust deniers is to turn public health into a religion, where the doctrines must be accepted on blind faith to avoid being branded as a heretic.
While I personally believe the evidence is sufficient to conclude that secondhand smoke causes heart disease and lung cancer, there are a considerable number of reputable scientists who have come to different conclusions. While I believe those scientists are wrong, I would never argue that they are denialists, nor would I ever compare their dissent with Holocaust denial.
Diethelm and McKee appear to be basing their assessment that secondhand smoke “dissenters” are “denialists” not on the reasonableness of the scientific arguments, but on the position of these arguments. This is a dangerous proposition which threatens the integrity of public health by turning it into a purely ideological movement, rather than a scientific one.
Again my links are broken but those are the words of Dr Siegel, if I could find the original article Diethelm and McKee compared those of us fighting the bans as flat earther’s yet it was those very people that tried to use consensus and political might to suppress the opposition.
As much taxpayer money that is being spent in the name of “Big Pharma” and in the name of Tobacco Control” it is time for a full fledged investigation into the spending and grants into this prohibitionist movement. A lot of the money funding this movement came from extortion from the Master Settlement Agreement, when in history was any group forced through force of law, forced to fund the lobby group lobbying against them. Where the Jews forced to fund the Nazi party? Where the blacks forced to fund the KKK? But in modern america it is acceptable to force smokers to fund the very people lobbying against them? And even with the billions of dollars they have extorted they still demand more through more punitive taxes! When does it all end!