Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Risks of Passive Smoking

Christopher Booker :

In 1998 and 2003 came the results of by far the biggest studies of passive smoking ever carried out. One was conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organisation. The other, run by Prof James Enstrom and Geoffrey Kabat for the American Cancer Society, was a mammoth 40-year-long study of 35,000 non-smokers living with smokers. In each case, when the sponsors saw the results they were horrified. The evidence inescapably showed that passive smoking posed no significant risk. This confirmed Sir Richard Doll's own comment in 2001: "The effects of other people's smoking in my presence is so small it doesn't worry me".

In each case, the sponsors tried to suppress the results, which were only with difficulty made public (the fact that Enstrom and Kabat, both non-smokers, could only get their results published with help from the tobacco industry was inevitably used to discredit them, even though all their research had been financed by the anti-tobacco cancer charity).


Free to breathe fresh air at last said...

Try telling that to Roy Castle - oh no, wait, he's dead. How about that, a non-smoker, killed by lung cancer, after spending years passive smoking in jazz clubs.

Even if it were proven to do no harm, which I very much doubt is the case, I welcome it being banned because it's deeply unpleasant pollution for everyone else, and hardly in the interests of tobacco addicts themselves.

Furthermore, given that very, very few smokers would choose to continue being addicted to tobacco if they could start over, almost all becoming addicted as children, we owe it to our children to minimise the likelihood of them falling into the tobacco addiction trap that big-tobacco has perpetuated for years.

For years I've purposely avoided pubs and restaurants where smoking is permitted - I can't stand havig my sometime asthmatic lungs assaulted with a fug of smoke or the smell of my clothes after spending any time in such an environment - but now we have liberation from the nicotine lepers pollution, hurrah - so what the 'leisure industry' loses in the short-term they will certainly make up for in due course as non-smokers, by far the majority in society, rediscover the pleasures of eating and drinking in formerly polluted establishments.

JuliaM said...

"...a non-smoker, killed by lung cancer, after spending years passive smoking in jazz clubs."

Ever heard the phrase, 'correlation is not causation'...?

Anonymous said...

He made plenty of money on the backs of the smokers who came to listen to his tin pot act.

Anonymous said...

Having grown up with my dad smoking 20 a day it is pretty obvious that any smoke is so diluted by the time it reaches the passive smoker (such as me) that there can be no risk or we would already have hordes of people that have never smoked dying of lung cancer.

I suspect that those people that die from lung cancer but have never smoked have done so as a result of inhaling cancer causing molecules from diesel engines.

It is intewresting that restrictions on smoking were brought in because smoking was the only cause of lung cancer (so we were told). Now we are told that you can get lung cancer even if you don't smoke - so the original research must have been crap right?

Anyway, it is pretty clear to me that the smoking ban is aimed at forcing tobacco addicts to try and give up. It is stealth legislation and is abhorrent and an abuse of democracy. Perhaps if they had enforced existing legislation on teenagers smoking behind the bikesheds this new legislation would not be needed.

It is kind of sad the 1 in 3 people that smoke feel that this legislation is OK and they should be forced to smoke in unheated wooden shelters outside in the wind and the rain.

Anonymous said...

Those who profit from getting people hooked on cigarettes are no better than those who profit from getting people hooked on heroin or crack.

Strip away the well-spoken voices and the nice suits and they are the same kind of scum underneath.

Anonymous said...

As one of those suited scum here is my 2 pence worth.
The ban has had NO effect on tobbaco sales in scotland and Ireland infact after a intial sharp fall at the beginning of the ban sales actually have increased.
Why ?
Because people have chosen to stay in.Sales of booze for home consumption has increased and so have gigs.

Do not believe for a minute the government is intrested in saving peoples lives in fact it has a vested intrest in not doing so.

here is why.

The government makes approx 18 Billion per year from the tobbacco taxes ( duty,VAT ).
Cost according to goverment is 1.5 billion for nhs treatment call it 2 billion. this leaves a profit of 16 billion per year.
The other bonus for the goverment is this :
If you start smoking at 16 and smoke for 40 years you have paid on average about 85% extra in taxation, tragically you die .there is a cost to goverment then but you have paid in advance .
The real bonus for government is that they will not have to pay you a pension for the next 30 years.

Also consider this for all the anti smoking messages there are more young men and woman smoking .
Why ?

If you have children you will know that telling young people NOT to do something actually has the complete oppositte effect.

DumbJon said...

All these anti-smokers seem mightily aggressive. ? Maybe a quiet fag would them down ?

Anonymous said...

Got a feeling that seeing lots of animated discussion from smokers OUTSIDE a pub might actually encourage young people to believe that smoking is the way to be. Keeping more of the smokers away from public gaze in pubs and clubs may have made it less of an attraction for young people trying to prove how mature they are.

Not only that, with crowds of people now appearing outside of pubs, anyone looking at the crowd will get the impression that smoking is more usual than not smoking.

I think this restriction may prove counter-productive.

Squander Two said...

Roy Castle may well have got lung cancer from second-hand cigarette smoke, but it's worth remembering that he was playing the trumpet at the time, which involves inhaling one hell of a lot more air and holding it in for far longer than having a conversation does. Even if it is one day proven that second-hand cigarette smoke is a significant danger to wind instrumentalists, that won't have any implications for violinists or people sitting on bar stools watching Sky Sports.

> It is intewresting that restrictions on smoking were brought in because smoking was the only cause of lung cancer (so we were told). Now we are told that you can get lung cancer even if you don't smoke - so the original research must have been crap right?

You appear to have mistaken legislation for research here. In fact, I don't believe we have ever been told that smoking is the only cause of lung cancer; we were told that it was a leading cause. Furthermore, the legislation was brought in to combat a wide range of conditions caused by smoking, of which lung cancer is only one.

For the record, I hate cigarette smoke and am against the ban.

IanCroydon said...

It's worth looking at the initial responses to this report on the BMJ website.

DumbJon said...

Yowser! That BMJ thread makes Gerbil Warningists look like they're smoking a full pack. As the great Natalie Solent said about Glottal Worming, if the science is so strong, why the need to set rampaging mobs on any dissenters ?

Anonymous said...

Well as a smoker myself, I reckon it does cause some harm/ distress (even if that is transient) to folk with bronchial asthma, so I prefer to stay away from them.

However, maintaining segregated areas for smoking would have been better and less intrusive, than such a draconian ban "because we can". Just as the NHS is gearing up to deny services to smokers because we won't "benefit", when the real reason is:
"because we can".

I look forward to the day the National Blood Transfusion Service refuses my B Rhesus Positive, but I'm not holding my breath possums...

We are being encouraged, at every turn, to start viewing each other as "the enemy". I am just the prey today, tomorrow, I may be the predator.

Oh, and before we all prepare ourselves to join the Choir Eternal, one more thought:
Do we really want to listen to Castle playing the bloody jazz trumpet again. I'd rather go to the other place and learn the accordion.


Anonymous said...

Labantall, it's like living in a bloody police state now. The government keep telling us what we can and can't do!

Forget banning cigarettes - ban alcohol!
100 people a day admitted to hospital with alcohol-related liver disease


Anonymous said...

Smoking banned in pubs, by people who don't go to pubs.

Final confirmation ( if it was ever needed ) that socialists hate the English working class.

One of the beardy-weirdy folk singing, real ale drinking socialist types who has had a safe haven in the non-smoking lounge bar of my local for the last two years came into the public bar tonight to have a sneer. He left again very quickly when asked if he'd like to get filled in, in return for his smart arsed comments.

Anonymous said...

"Well as a smoker myself, I reckon it does cause some harm/ distress (even if that is transient) to folk with bronchial asthma, so I prefer to stay away from them."

Interestingly a doctor friend of mine told me that the reason why we have so many asthma sufferers these days is because we have become very good at improving the survival rates of premature babies. I'm not sure that they have a right to expect that society moves over for them when society has given them the chance of life in the first place.