The Marginalization of Smokers Benefits Corporate Interests and Conditions the Populace to Accept Totalitarian Policies

by Heidi Stevenson, Editor Gaia Health

Photo by Dan, Photo cropped & filter applied.

Over the last 60 years, smokers have been pushed to the edges of society, marginalized as self-destructive and, worse, detrimental to the health and welfare of everyone else.  While it’s certainly true that smoking is unhealthy, is it really up to the rest of society to exert pressure to make them conform?  Is their exhaled smoke really so bad that they should be pressed into the throes of withdrawal?  Ultimately, who really benefits?

Personal Interest

Let me clarify my own status in this picture.  I’m a former smoker, one who has been smoke-free for a dozen years and has no residual desire to take it up again.  I don’t like to be in the presence of smoking and don’t allow it in my home.  Nonetheless, I question the fervour against smokers and wondered at the truth behind the stories we’re told.

The bending point came on seeing supposedly serious reports claiming that second-hand smoke was actually worse than smoking itself.  That simply begged credulity.  An attenuated version of what the smoker takes in being claimed as worse—especially when the smoker is also subject to second-hand smoke on top of the first-hand variety—lacks any sort of basis in reality.

The breaking point came on seeing reports that “third-hand” smoke is harmful.  That refers to the residual smell of smoke on clothing and such, plus the lingering remnants of smoke long after the cigarette has been put out.

No serious attempts to prove there’s an association between third-hand smoke and health have been made, though innuendo to that effect is attempted.  Nonetheless, a campaign of claims that there is no safe level has been introduced.  That simply beggars belief—and flies in the face of a basic toxicology fact:  The dose makes the poison. Virtually any substance is poisonous at high enough levels, and virtually any substance is harmless, and even therapeutic, at low enough levels.  If tobacco breaks this rule, then it should certainly be documented, if not also explained.

Today’s Tobacco and Today’s Anti-Tobacco Campaign

People start to smoke because they get pleasure from it.  It satisfies something in them.  However, we need to understand that tobacco as it’s usually used today bears little resemblance to what the plant produces.  Tobacco corporations have modified the final product so that it’s far more addictive and far more dangerous than what native Americans smoked.  This cynical manipulation is a direct result of the capitalist drive for profits.  There is no other reason for it.

Sadly, a large number of people have become addicted to tobacco in its current manipulated form, and tobacco corporations should be forced to pay for it.

Photo by Africa, Photo cropped & filter applied.

That, of course, doesn’t happen.  And that turns the concept of wanting to stop tobacco smoking on its ear.  If ending smoking were truly the goal, then steps to prevent the exploitation of tobacco by corporate interests would be the focus.  That, though, is not the situation.

The tobacco corporations are not running this show any longer.  The new Big Bad Boys have pushed them to the edges.  Back in the 50s through the 80s, the focus was on the tobacco companies and their manipulations.  Now, though, it’s on the smokers and businesses like pubs where smoking is, or more accurately was, enjoyed.  They’re being castigated and treated as outsiders, even to the point of criminalizing them.  That’s a major shift, turning the victims and the businesses they patronize into targets.

So, who are the big boys, if the tobacco corporations aren’t?  One need only look to the money trail.  It’s Big Pharma, which is now pushing drugs and other products as treatments for tobacco addiction.  Smoking cessation products add up to big money, but the very best—and probably the only one that’s reasonably effective and safe—is being attacked.  In some places, it’s even banned, in spite of being safer than any smoking cessation product produced by Big Pharma.

The Smoking Science

Smoking is bad for you.  That’s well established.  Whether it’s as bad as is claimed is open to question, but the basic fact that smoking tobacco is harmful is pretty much open and shut.  However, smoking is not being attacked for that reason now.  It’s being attacked because the smoker is now claimed to be a danger to everyone else.  Just how true is that?

If you read mainstream media, the impression is that it’s an open-and-shut case.  Second-hand smoke is now considered as bad as smoking, and some even claim it’s worse.  And now, even third-hand smoke is under attack.

What’s missing the most in all of this is any sense of proportion.  The basic fact of toxicology, that it’s the dose that makes the poison seems to have gone missing in this issue.  Comparisons with other harmful things are not considered.  And the benefits of tobacco are also not put into the picture.

Third Hand Smoke

We’ll start with third-hand smoke. The concept itself came on the scene in early 2009 when a report in the journal Paediatrics, titled “Beliefs About the Health Effects of ‘Third hand” Smoke and Home Smoking Bans” first used the term.  It claimed that even tiny amounts of tobacco smoke’s constituents are neurotoxic.  However, the report was not a study of whether that’s true.  It merely cited one study that purports to show it, and that one studied the effects of second-hand smoke on children’s cognitive abilities.

The first sentence in the report states, “There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke.”  That is, as already explained, pure nonsense, based on the primary law of toxicology.  It would be reasonable to stop reading the study at that point.  Nonetheless, a bit more information should dissuade any thought that there’s legitimacy to the report.

The focus of the third-hand smoke report was on attitudes of smokers towards third-hand smoke.  Shock of shocks, they found that a large percentage of smokers were unaware of a connection between third-hand smoke and health risks!  The chances that they’d have ever heard the term third-hand smoke were approximately nil.  They found the great majority (82%) of those with strict smoking bans in their homes agreed that third-hand smoke is harmful, in spite of it almost certainly being the first time they’d even heard the term third-hand smoke.  If the report carries any meaning, it shows that asking such questions is utterly meaningless.

Photo by Sir Mildred Pierce, Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic. Filter applied.

Second-Hand Smoke

Now, we’ll go back to the study cited in the Paediatrics report.  It operates on innuendo.  It doesn’t consider that children exposed to second-hand smoke in the home are almost certainly the same ones as those exposed to third-hand smoke.

Titled “Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Cognitive Abilities among U.S. Children and Adolescents”, it was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives in January 2005.

The authors purpose is to show that there’s a connection between poorer cognitive skills in children exposed to third hand smoke in the home than in those who aren’t.  There are gaping flaws in the study:

  • It fails to demonstrate how children might have been exposed to third-hand smoke in the home without also being directly exposed to second-hand smoke.
  • It doesn’t consider that these same children were also likely to have been exposed to the effects of their mothers’ smoking while they were in the womb.  In fact, the study obscured the finding that accounting for prenatal exposure eliminated or greatly reduced differences in results.
  • It doesn’t consider whether their parents cognitive skills were lower, thus affecting, either by environment or by heredity, their children’s abilities.

This is the referenced study that supposedly shows the negative cognitive effects of second-hand smoke on children, and was cited to show that even small exposures are harmful.

Royal College of Physicians

The March 2010 report by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), “Passive smoking and children” was funded by Cancer Research UK, which is heavily funded by Big Pharma—and Big Pharma makes Big Money on smoking cessation products.

The RCP did a meta-study.  Without getting deeply involved in the topic, it must be noted that a great deal of bias exists in most meta studies.  They combine individual studies and try to derive conclusions from them.  It sounds good, but there are significant confounders involved.  The most obvious is bias.  Studies are included or not based largely on whether the researchers want them.  While it’s possible for a meta-study to be honest, when the funding comes from a biased source, then the choices of which studies to include may be questionable.  In any case, not including all known studies means that some data is not utilized.

The study notes that the death rates from the conditions it addressed tend to be higher in people of lower socio-economic classes, and that smoking is higher in these groups. In their discussion of confounders, they ignored the issue of housing quality, in particular mould.  This is a significant health issue for the same conditions:  lung diseases.  Without factoring that in, the results showing harm from smoking may have little meaning.

Photo by Peter Klashorst, Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic. Filter applied.

Health Benefits of Smoking?

We keep hearing about all the harms that tobacco can do, but what about its benefits?  You didn’t know there were any?  In fact, there are:

  • Smoking protects against Parkinson’s disease, and the benefit fades if a smoker quits.
  • After cardiac angioplasty, smokers’ arteries are less likely to become occluded again.
  • Nicotine may kill tuberculosis bacteria.
  • Nicotine eases symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
  • Smoking may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Today, many conditions that are commonly associated with smoking had been shown in earlier studies to benefit from it.  To accept either earlier or later studies is likely one of bias.  Earlier studies tended to be associated with tobacco corporation money.  Newer studies tend to be associated with Big Pharma money.

Should a non-smoker start smoking?  Of course not.  However, since we’ve seen the dishonesty in studies funded directly or indirectly by Big Pharma, we should be questioning the validity of most of the anti-smoking pseudo-science that’s out there.  Certainly we’re likely to find that smoking is harmful, but the question should be put in focus.  If it’s bad, just how bad?  What benefits does smoking have?  Should some people be encouraged to smoke to gain the benefits, or do the negative effects outweigh them?  We’ll never find out with the current approach.

The Big Pharma Effect

We all know about how tobacco corporations skewed the research on smoking for years.  It’s fairly well accepted that money talked and was the true author behind much of the research and public relations around smoking.  Now, though, we haven’t reached a balance.  Not only smoking, but smokers are vilified.  They’re marginalized and, more and more, treated as if there’s no excuse for not being able or willing to quit.

The fact that they’ve been given an addiction that people who’ve gotten through heroin addiction often can’t beat—and that the severity of the addiction is a direct result of the subtle alteration of tobacco by the manufacturers, alterations that continue to exist—is now used to press Big Pharma’s treatments.  The attitude of doctors is to push the tobacco addict into using some sort of smoking cessation product produced by Big Pharma.

Do they ever suggest using e-cigarettes, which appear to be the safest alternative and are unlikely to be annoying to anyone but the most self-righteous?  That virtually never happens.  In fact, there are now strong efforts to ban e-cigs!  If stopping smoking and improving the health of smokers and people in their vicinity were the real goal, why would e-cigs be marginalized along with the smokers?  Wouldn’t they be encouraged as, at least, an improvement for everyone?

The fact is that smoking cessation products are Big Biz for Big Pharma.  They produce nicotine patches, such as Nicorette, Commit, and Nicotrol.  They produce drugs like Zyban and Chantix, two of the most insidious on the prescription market.  How effective are they?  Not very.  Of course, that suits the manufacturers just fine.  After all, that means the customers must go back again and again … and yet again.  Ka ching!

Photo by graur codrin, Filter applied.

Balance

The purpose of this article is not to prove that smoking, or even second-hand smoke, is harmless.  It’s to point out that there’s no sense of balance, and very little reasonableness in the way the issue is promoted.  Basic facts, like the point that the degree of exposure is significant, are ignored.  If even a hint of harm from tobacco can be implied at any dose and not even proven, then it’s flaunted as fact and used to flog smokers, to turn them into societal pariahs.  To push smokers into using Big Pharma’s smoking cessation products, preferably for life.

The number of people who are harmed by alcohol is far greater.  How many become diabetic, go blind, and lose limbs because of fructose-sweetened soda pop?  Recent studies show that antibiotics cause permanent damage to the gastrointestinal biota and lead to cancer.  And then, of course, there’s the devastation being wrought by one in a hundred children becoming autistic.  Frankly, the damage done by second-hand smoke pales in comparison to these travesties.  Yet, the causes behind them, Big Pharma and Agribusiness, aren’t turned into pariahs.

Why not?

What’s obvious is that health is not the real goal.  It’s used as a carrot or stick to accomplish another goal.  And that goal is to promote the profits of Big Pharma.


Where’s Socialism in All This?

So, why did I choose to write about this topic for a socialist publication?  It’s a bit in-your-face.  Socialists generally support the greater good, what’s best for everyone, rather than the promotion of each person out for him- or herself.  There is also the great respect for science as a determiner of reality.

I concur with both goals.  Sadly, though, I see both twisted far too often, and banning smoking is a prime example.

First, the idea that everyone should enjoy the best possible health is certainly admirable.  But at what cost?  Should good health be forced on people who, for whatever reason, do unhealthy things?  Certainly, there’s an argument that their misbehaviour is costly to the people as a whole.  Even so, does that trump the individual’s autonomy?  Does that individual not have the right to engage in self-destructive behaviour?  I say yes, most assuredly so.

If socialism is truly best, then surely it can try to find the real reasons behind a person’s self-destructive behaviour, rather than try to coerce it.  Historically, and probably even more so today, we’ve seen and are seeing the results of attempting to coerce behaviour that we, as a whole, believe to be positive.  It doesn’t work.  It ignores the needs of the individual.

But what about the rights of bystanders to avoid the risks of smoke exposure?  That’s a real concern.  People do have the right not to be harmed by another’s vices.  It’s never going to be easy to come to a reasonable balance.  First, though, we must attempt to find the truth about risks—and that, frankly, has never been done in the case of second-hand smoke.  (I won’t insult anyone with the suggestion that there’s one whit of legitimacy to the concept of third-hand smoke.)  Certainly, second-hand smoke is irritating.  In confined places, whatever harm it can produce is certainly more prominent than in open areas.  If we hope to ever come to a reasonable solution, then we must have honest research to find the truth.

The sad story, though, is that we don’t have honest research—so we don’t know the whole truth about second-hand smoke, whether we need to avoid it or should better view it as irritating, but not particularly dangerous.

Science is a wonderful tool.  It can, though, be corrupted.  I think that has been clearly shown here.  The science on tobacco was corrupted by Big Tobacco for decades.  Even now, Big Tobacco is given the freedom to escape from its depradations on humanity.  That they’re allowed to evade responsibility for corrupting tobacco by making it more addictive and more harmful is a crime—one that should be punishable by ending their corporate existence.

But that crime is no worse than the one now being promulgated by Big Pharma.

Both Big Tobacco and Big Pharma use and corrupt science for their own ends.  Sadly, the high regard in which science is held by so

Photo by LittleJack, from http://MorgueFile.com. Filter applied.

many socialists who think of themselves as rational and caring has also led them astray.  The simple stamp of the term science on a publication or article causes blinders to be worn.

Pseudo-science reports are quoted as if they were gospel.  In terms of smoking, people quote a study’s conclusions without question.  If that’s what was written, then it must be true.  After all, it’s science, isn’t it?

Far too often, the answer is no, it isn’t.  The conclusion is based on pseudo-science masquerading as the real thing, bought and paid for by corporate interests.  Socialists must come to terms with the fact that their primary tool can be, and often is, corrupted.

To assume the veracity of any study in the current capitalist climate is foolhardy.  To follow these pseudo-science dictates merely puts one back into the same system that finances pseudo studies on tobacco, not to mention a host of other issues, including pharmaceutical drugs, medical treatments, environmental damage, nuclear power, and many others that aren’t in my particular bailiwick.

True socialists love the personal freedom that socialism can bring—the freedom not to worry about obtaining education, health care, good food, clean water, good work or any of our other needs.  True socialists want their science to be pure, and understand that it can’t be as long as corporations are in control.

And we must never, ever, get self-righteous or allow the craven lust for profits to manipulate science, and thereby us, so that we vilify the victims and make the wrong choices in resolving problems—as seems clear is happening now to smokers.

References:

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270 Responses to The Marginalization of Smokers Benefits Corporate Interests and Conditions the Populace to Accept Totalitarian Policies

  1. Joanne Telfer says:

    You are quite correct Belinda the ASH agenda did enter the progressive movement via the Trade Unions. However as we’ve seen from this discussion it has a very strong grip amongst socialists. It’s an agenda based on fear as we have seen and frightened people are not rational people. I think the association of Forrest with the libertarian right is a very real one. What happened on this thread is that there was a strong call for censorship, that we should not be discussing the subject and even though the author of the article is a socialist, the objectors to the article were raising the specter of the libertarian right in an attempt to discredit her. I think what might be helpful would be to establish a rational dialogue on the left about the points that the author raises because Heidi’s angle on the subject should be of particular concern to the left in general.

  2. Belinda says:

    I think this would be very helpful Joanne.

  3. Steve Hartwell says:

    Belinda (246) asked – “how do you do it ?”

    When one stands back and takes a long pondering look at anti-smoking over the past 10 years, IMHO a single simple pattern emerges. The antis have succeeded for one reason. Simplicity. Quick, short, ‘sweet’, 3 second newsbite instantly comprehensible simplicity. “Second Hand Smoke Kills Other People”. And — it’s what they all say. The same simple very short message.

    The majority of people do not stop to consider just how ludicrous that statement is. It sounds right to them, it’s simple, it’s easy and quick to accept, so, they instantly do. Even when the antis are forced to shovel out their junk science explanations, most people get turned off by that from antis too. Like, the sun comes up every morning. Most people do not question that. We don’t stop when we hear it and respond that in fact no, the sun does not come up every morning. We don’t say – The Earth turns, and then dive in to a scientific explantion of that. We just accept that the sun comes up every morning, and get on with our day.

    That’s our problem in trying to fight anti-smoking claims. We always fall into arguing the claims with long winded real science, and immediately everybody turns off for various reasons, but mostly because they haven’t time nor the scientific comprehension to listen and struggle to understand it, they are too busy trying to survive, make their buck, to pay their bills.

    Similarly when we try to suade people with arguments that anti-smoking is racist, dehumanizing, fear-mongering, big pharma profiteering, big brother fascism, et cetera – they just turn us off instantly.

    IMHO we all need to focus on one single simple quick message from all of us, our groups, our individuals, and stick to it. That message has to be direct counter to the antis message, our message is to say that SHS is not a health risk, the health risk cannot be proven, and, the convincing key for that is — the leaders of anti-smoking know it, and are suppressing that fact, and – here’s the proof.

    Starting with that document Belinda somehow supplied the link to in an earlier post.

    That document was issued by the UK HSE in 2006, scheduled to be reviewed in 2011, but, quietly replaced without review or consultations of any sort by a re-write sometime in 2007. It was a circular to Health Inspectors responsible for enforcing the then Smoking Ban Act telling them what to do regards various situations. Item/Paragraph 9 in the original document stated “The evidential link between individual circumstances of exposure to risk in exempted premises will be hard to establish. In essence, HSE cannot produce epidemiological evidence to link levels of exposure to SHS to the raised risk of contracting specific diseases. And it is therefore difficult to prove health-related breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Inspectors are therefore urged to exercise caution in considering any formal enforcement action in relation to SHS.”

    In 2007, that statement was removed.

    There we have proof that they know SHS is not a health risk, that they cannot prove it’s a health risk, and, proof that they deliberately removed and suppressed that fact from ever being known by the public.

    The ones that know it, and help suppress it, are guilty of fraud, and a long list of other crimes.

    IMHO we need to concentrate all our efforts on finding all the other ‘proofs’ of this that most assuredly exist, make a webpage list of them all, and, that becomes the undeniable evidence we point everybody to that backs up our single simple short message that we all focus on spreading to everybody we can get to listen. I think many will listen when we present them with that single, simple, short, ‘sweet’, common message being told by us all collectively.

    And then, when the people are listening, and want to know more, we’ll get our opportunities to tell them the rest of the story.
    steve h.

  4. Iro Cyr says:

    What usually gets people thinking is when I ask them this :

    It takes 20 years (if ever) for a HEAVY smoker to contract any disease suspected to have been caused by smoking. How long does one expect to live to be worried about whiffs of hundreds of times diluted smoke indoors and thousands of times, outdoors?

    Oh I occasionally get the argument that it’s not true that it takes 20 years for a ”smoking related” disease to develop, but then I have the CDC’s own policy which is to not estimate anyone’s disease under 35, to prove it. Considering the median age for starting smoking is around 15 years old, it makes their 35 year cut off age credible.

    Adding the HSE (now suppressed) statement to this short paragraph confirms that even THEY know it. I hold a similar printed letter in my hand from the Quebec health ministry that answered more or less the same thing when I asked them why there were not tons of law-suits of sick from second hand smoke people suing their employers or other places that allow smoking. The answer I was given is that it’s very difficult to prove in a court of law. If it cannot be proven in a court of law, how sound is it? The second hand smoke scare is advocacy tactics serving what was once an idealistic goal but that has now become mostly a marketing ploy to serve corporate interests – it has nothing to do with truth or science.

  5. Steve Hartwell says:

    Iro, for sure good stuff, but, the difference is, if ever reported, which it never is, “not 20 years to die” and then followed by the proof that they lie about SHS, knowing it’s not a health risk, and suppress the truth, might show up on the last page of the life section.

    Leading with “health officials caught lying about SHS and deliberately secretly suppressing the truth, for money.” and then if it comes up following with the rest of what you said,

    is front page scandalizing headline news that aught to sweep the planet newsmedia within 24 hours of the first appearance,

    and after that, all those who don’t want to also get charged with fraud will quickly begin to shout ” Not Me – I didn’t Know – I just followed orders – it was CHARLIE !!” and rat on each other, which will very quickly turn in to a raging firestorm that’ll consume anti-smoking before anybody stops blinking, or even thinks to blink at all, with nothing left butt a few puffs of smoke lingering over the dead anti-smoking carcass.

    eh ?!

  6. Belinda says:

    as things are, it has been hard to get the press to take any interest. For one thing (if it is relevant), tobacco is not allowed to advertise and pharmaceuticals also probably have restrictions on them but the dept of health can advertise all it wants (in the UK). Is the press free in Canada to publish anything or is it ridden with self-censorship?

  7. Iro Cyr says:

    Belinda, the Canadian Press is very much sold to the government/pharma doctrine, much more than the UK or even the US press actually. They publish probably less than 5% of anything I send in and even then it’s not the most compromising letters that they’ll publish. The Canadian Press is far from being a guardian of democracy.

  8. Belinda says:

    I thought it would be an international phenomenon somehow.

  9. Steve Hartwell says:

    Belinda you know as well as I that the world’s news is owned and controlled by a handful of billionaires, including all of Canada’s mainstream news. But no employees need to be ordered to be anti-smoking. I’ve had anti-smokers at newspapers and magazines tell me there’s no way they’d ever print the truth about SHS. When I tried to file official complaints that they were violating their own codes of ethics and standards and the Canadian Constitution with the Human Rights Commission and the (I forget what the newsmedia watchdog’s name is – btw it’s made up of representatives of – the news media itself ) – I just got blown off and filed in the garbage cans. The HRC guy told me that smokers have no constitutional rights.

    Butt, how long can they all ignore reporting that billions and billions has been and is being embezzled based on lies that the sources of those lies know is not true.

    It’s just too big a block buster story to keep suppressing entirely. Somebody is going to want the glory of breaking it to the world.

    As I said, if we all push just that one message, sooner or not quite so sooner, somebody is going to break to print the biggest scoop of the 21st century to date.

    So, let’s say you’re right, and what I’m proposing does not work. Well, we’re not getting anywhere the way we’ve been trying – now have we ? Admit that too.

    We have never collectively pushed the same single simple message.

    You said somewhere – paraphrasing – we just banter all our own messages saying all sorts of different things, and never getting anywhere – if only we could all agree on the one thing to say – well, what better message is there ?

    I haven’t seen one since I began in 1999. The way we’ve been trying – we all just come off sounding like the Tower of Bable-ing nutbars we get slandered as being.

    Private property rights has never worked, is not working, and never will work. They are abrogated every day incessantly for all sorts of reason, with Public Health at the top of that list.

    Try it – just try what I’m proposing……

    You wanna be the heroic leader of it ? Soak up the glory. Be the big fish in the big pond. Go in to the history books…..

    world news front page headline — “Belinda of F2C reveals astounding undeniable proof that……”

    great by me…. I sure don’t wanna be that person.

    But, just try it – a really good try – see what happens. maybe it doesn’t work —– butt……maybe it does……

    else we all just continue babling different messages separately and uselessly and just keep on losing – guaranteed.
    sh

  10. Steve Hartwell says:

    maybe we could organize to all bombard our national news services on the same day – say world no tobacco day may 31, 2012 – that aughta pack some punch

  11. Belinda says:

    Steve 🙂

    I haven’t argued against your proposal at all, I think its chief weakness is that the message has to be put so strongly over the top of all the other lines of argument, as well as the reluctance of the press to print anything. But collecting and focussing on material as you suggest is to me a good idea (unless someone else has already done it of course).

    Secondary smoke does not kill, and the authorities know there is no proof that it can raise the risk of specific diseases
    The dose makes the poison. It is nonsense that ‘there is no safe level of secondary smoke’ and any comprehensive air quality standard will demonstrate this.

    Just these two points alone should provide the basis.

  12. Steve Hartwell says:

    🙂 me too 🙂

    and if you will consider it further, talking more about it here is probably a very bad idea.

  13. Steve, here is a link to that full UK HSE document you reference in 235: It’s not the original link but a repro of the full doc by Stephanie Stahl on one of the pages of her “wispofsmoke.net” site:

    wispofsmoke.net/PDFs/255_15.pdf

    – MJM

  14. Steve Hartwell says:

    Thanks Michael, but Belinda already provided the link. So, we’re good.

  15. Steve Hartwell says:

    oh, michael, btw, i lost your email address during several os reinstalls and have something to discuss with you. please email me at stevehartwell@rogers.com

  16. harleyrider1978 says:

    This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds?lite

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

    146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

    OSHA ON SECOND HAND SMOKE……………..

    According to independent Public and Health Policy Research group, Littlewood & Fennel of Austin, Tx, on the subject of secondhand smoke……..

    They did the figures for what it takes to meet all of OSHA’S minimum PEL’S on shs/ets…….Did it ever set the debate on fire.

    They concluded that:

    All this is in a small sealed room 9×20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

    For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes.

    “For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes.

    “Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

    Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

    “For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes.

    For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time.

    The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

    So, OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

    Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA.

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  18. chris says:

    Thank you, Ms. Stevenson, for this excellent article. I’ve been involved in smokers’ rights for a while now and many of my comrades there tend to characterize antismoking as a “leftist” form of oppression, mainly because so many on the left fail to fully respect the values of “choice” “diversity” and “tolerance” that the left claims to stand for. I and many others have drifted more libertarian as a result. This is a breath of fresh air.

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