Some time ago I was sent an article on a website with a view to eliciting my comments.
Naturally, I forgot about it, but have now remembered again [because I am now using long term memory instead of short term?]
The page is typical of thousands all saying much the same thing. I think it maybe a worthwhile exercise to analyse it piece by piece?
Secondhand smoke is a burning health issue, thanks to two major studies. Find out how to protect yourself and your family from the effects of secondhand smoke…
OK. Fair enough. Can you quote the two studies please?
Everyone knows the dangers of smoking – 1 in 10 deaths worldwide is from a smoking-related disease, according to the World Health Organization.
There is a nice sleight of hand here. They talk about smoking “related” diseases, which can be anything from cancer to glue-ear or Sudden Infant Death [which incidentally have damn all to do with smoking] so if one in ten dies of a disease that they have arbitrarily listed, then that is not surprising. In fact they have listed so many smoking “related” diseases that I’m surprised that the figure isn’t massively higher.
But exposure to tobacco fumes kills 600,000 nonsmokers a year worldwide, including 165,000 children, according to a December 2010 WHO study. That’s about 1 out of every 100 deaths worldwide, through smoke-related illnesses such as heart disease, lower respiratory infections, asthma and lung cancer.
I’m sorry but despite my best efforts, I can find no record of this December 2010 WHO study. The figures of 600,000 and 165,000 are pure nonsense anyway. They are at best a “guestimate” based on hypothetical figures derived from epidemiological studies, which in turn have been totally discredited. They are designed as a scare tactic for the gullible.
And the fumes are harder to avoid than you think: They can seep through apartment ventilation systems and cling to baby car seats, where they’re easily ingested.
Fantasy land again. Ventilation systems are designed to extract air from apartments, not pump air from one apartment to another. They’ll be saying next that smoke can travel through telephone wires and through brick walls next. Oh wait.. they already have. As for the baby seats – this is appealing to the “what about the chiiiildren brigade”. How many babies do you know who eat baby car seats?
The U.S. Surgeon General’s office issued its own report on the dangers of smoking in December 2010, reinforcing the dangers of “passive,” or secondhand, exposure.
“Chemicals in tobacco smoke reach lungs quickly every time you inhale, causing damage immediately,” said U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, M.D.
At this stage we are supposed to be awed by the very name of the U.S. Surgeon General. After all, what higher authority can you get? However, since her “there is no safe level of tobacco smoke” pronouncement, she has proved herself to be unscientific, biased and discredited. Her “immediate damage” comment above isn’t even worthy of consideration.
“Inhaling even the smallest amount can also damage DNA, which can lead to cancer.”
Yes. It in theory can damage DNA which technically can lead to cancer. However on the face of it, this implies smoke will damage DNA which in turn will cause cancer, the use of the word “can” shows the more accurate truth. Smoke can in theory damage DNA which can in theory cause cancer. Equally anything we eat or drink can in theory damage DNA which can in theory cause cancer.
“About 3,400 lung cancer deaths a year are attributable to secondhand smoke, the report estimates.”
A very precise number? Not 3,300 or 3,500? Strange as it is not even an estimate. Once again it is a figure that is chosen arbitrarily from thin air. At least they have the grace to use the word “estimates”. I concede that 3,400 people die of lung cancer each year who had been “exposed” to smoke, but there is no proven links anywhere to say that the smoke actually caused the cancer. What about the millions who are exposed to smoke who don’t die?
Tobacco smoke contains 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and at least 70 known to cause cancer, according to the Surgeon General’s report.
Here we are in very familiar territory. The “7,000” varies widely; some say 50, others say 10,000. No matter.
Yes, cigarette smoke does contain chemicals, though no one is quite sure how many, and some of those chemicals are indeed carcinogenic. However what they fail to mention is that the levels of chemicals are so low as to be beyond negligible. You will in fact find much the same chemicals in ordinary tap water, in candles or in any open fire. A barbeque will produce precisely the same chemicals but in quantities equivalent to hundreds or even thousands of cigarettes.
Passive exposure also causes heart attacks, says cardiologist Matthew Sorrentino, M.D., FAAC, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago.
“The toxins in cigarette smoke enter the body and damage the coronary arteries that bring blood to the heart,” he says. “Cholesterol builds up on the arteries, and they become blocked, which can lead to a heart attack.”
The more you’re exposed, the higher your health risks.
The second paragraph here also has elements of truth. Apparently there are toxins which in theory can damage arteries, but again the effect is less than negligible. It is theoretical only. The rest follows as exaggeration piled on exaggeration. I would ask one simple question – in the days when smoking was the norm and 60% to 70% of the population smoked, how come the streets weren’t filled with the bodies heart attack victims?
“Someone who works in a bar or restaurant eight hours a day and is surrounded by smokers will have a higher exposure rate than most other people. The longtime spouse of a smoker will have a higher dose effect as well.”
Yes? So? That says nothing but implies a lot.
Each year, 46,000 American nonsmokers who live with smokers die from heart disease, according to the Surgeon General’s report.
Two points – I have already disqualified the Surgeon General as being biased and unscientific and who is to say that those heart attacks were cause by smoke anyway? How many non-smokers [who live with smokers] live to a ripe old age? How many would have died anyway. What age were they when they died? Yet another nonsensical piece of writing.
Demand Builds for Smoke-Free Environments
As concerns about secondhand smoke increase, so have calls for smoke-free homes, workplaces and public venues.
“The U.S. Surgeon General concluded that there’s no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke,” says Joel London, a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health in Atlanta.
The only reason for the calls for smoke free environments is the exaggeration and downright lies by the Anti-smoker brigade.
And there you have the Surgeon General’s famous statement. “There is no safe level!” This is not a mistake. This is not an exaggeration. It is an outright and blatant lie to further the Anti-smoker cause made by a person in authority who should by rights be disbarred.
Any scientist worth a dam will tell you that the dose makes the poison. Not only can most things be ingested safely at the right dose, but most things can kill if the dose is exceeded. By making that statement, the Surgeon General is placing herself outside the realms of science and fact, and into the realms of lies and propaganda. Incidentally I would apply the same to the World Health Organisation who have also made that “no safe level” statement.
The article carries on, piling scare upon scare and non-fact upon non-fact.
I could go on, but it just becomes tedious and boring.
All you need to know is that Secondhand Smoke carries no danger. It never has and never will. It is the invention of the Anti-Smoker crowd who will stoop to any level to further their cause.
If you don’t believe me, just look back fifty years to when the majority smoked. There was no “Secondhand Smoke” then. No one dropped dead from heart attacks. Cancer rates were considerably lower. Asthma rates were also much lower.
In fact, we were all a good deal healthier.