Third Hand Smoke
A couple of my readers have been kind [or perverse] enough to point out an item of ‘news’ that is doing the rounds at the moment.
I say ‘news’ but this little nugget has been around since 2008.
I am referring to a rather alarming study regarding Third Hand Smoke.
We all know what smoking is, I presume? There are still major questions hanging over the dangers of that one, but I will leave that aside for now.
Then there is Environmental Tobacco Smoke, or as some people like to call it – second hand smoke. The dangers of ETS have never been proven. We constantly hear expressions such as “the well known dangers of” and “is known to be” and vague airy expressions, but I have yet so find any authoritative and definitive study that proves any dangers. In other words, the dangers of ETS lies only in rumour, popular belief and innuendo.
Back in 2008, a paediatrician by the name of Jonathan Winickoff made a solo run and decided to invent the concept now known as Third Hand Smoke. Note that he is a paediatrician; not an oncologist or an environmentalist, but an expert on children’s health. He took it on himself to investigate the effects of tobacco smoke in a room after the smoker has left.
Winickoff’s initial ‘research’ consisted of a survey of people’s opinions. Yes. He asked them if they thought that Third Hand Smoke could be dangerous. When the majority expressed an opinion that, yes, they thought it could be harmful, then Winickhoff had his ‘proof’ that it was harmful! By the same token, he could have asked them if they believed in Extra Terrestrials, and that would again have provided ‘conclusive scientific proof’?
Science is pretty advanced these days. Equipment has become ever more sophisticated to the point where it is safe to say that if something exists, no matter how small the quantity, that it can be detected. We are at the stage where individual molecules of an element or chemical can be detected in a sample of matter. As a simple example, I can guarantee [and will stake anything you care to mention, up to and including my life] that tests will find traces of Zirconium-95 [which is highly radioactive] in every living person in the UK and Ireland as a result of the Chernobyl disaster. There may only be a molecule or two, but it will be there. In fact, I would suggest that just about anything could be found if one searched hard enough. I would imagine that I would have several molecules of meteorite dust on my body, and probably a molecule or two that once passed through Napoleon.
Now here is the problem. If I find my molecules of Zirconium-95, how do I describe the amount? Do I say I have found one part per trillion, or do I say I have found a ‘significant’ amount? Anti-smokers tend to choose the latter.
I have searched the Interweb looking for further studies, but all I can find are press reports announcing this ‘alarming new threat’. I found one reference to a study that found that the bedrooms of non-smokers had concentrations of nicotine of 0.09 mcg/m3, while those of smokers had levels of 0.22 mcg/m3. Two things I would point out here – the first is that nicotine was found in the bedrooms of non-smokers just goes to show that it’s a naturally occurring substance anyway [do you eat potatoes?] and the second is that while there appears to be an ‘alarming increase’, the safe level is considered to be 500 mcg/m3, so there is hardly a ‘significant threat’?
At the start, I stated that the studies were alarming. I meant that for two reasons. The first is that I find it alarming that anyone would take such a ‘study’ seriously. If I produced a result like that in my primary school exams, I would be failed without hesitation. The second reason for alarm is that the public are being duped by the whole farce. This is a myth that has become fact purely through popular belief.
It has reached the stage now where ASH [good old ASH!] are now claiming that even if you smoke in your garden, the residue you bring back on your clothing is killing your children. This is clearly an irrational and insane proposal, but this is the level to which the public is descending. ASH are using their own theory now to propose that smoking be banned in private homes.
The zealots love to quote that there is no safe level of tobacco smoke.
I would contend that there is no safe level of anti-smoking zealots.
Severe Toxic Bullshit Warning
Ball smacked right in the top corner there Groandad. This stuff used to annoy me but now its down to such a crap level that even the world’s pointyheads are beginning to wonder …
Doesn’t bother me anyway. I only smoke dried cowshit so its the CJD for me.
Ha ha ha! Just watched the vid- its a thighslapper. Note the graphics showing second-hand smoke but the discussion is about ‘third-hand’ smoke…
There was a lady who wrote in to a broadsheet newspaper here in the UK a couple of weeks ago and said that what she does whenever she has guests around is bring in the coffee at the end of the meal and announces ‘whoever would like to smoke please go ahead- non-smokers are welcome to step into the garden’!! She claims that so far not one non-smoker has taken her up on her offer.
Its class when you thinks she’s absolutely right- its the ‘clean air freaks’ who like the fresh air so they should be the ones to feck off out of it.
It does worry me though that so many are taken in by such rubbish ‘science’. It really is up there with alien abductions and the like.
The video is a classic. Peppered with words like ‘deadly’, ‘arsenic’ and ‘toxins’!! There is that great line – “we know that second-hand smoke kills 50,000 people a year”. What? Where does this figure come from? How do we know that? That is a figure that is plucked out of the [clean] air and is treated as gospel simply because it has been repeated so often. It is a load of crap.
for the love of god would they just leave us alone. Can we not “invent” a new study that ASH and whomever else can be appalled at and go annoy another sector of society?
like all those endangered animals eating alot of endangered plants…. I read about that somewhere, tragic… idiots.
Why don’t they turn their attention to traffic and it’s hazards? Hah! Not a soft target!
Incidentally, I’m already at #2 on Google.ie for “Third Hand Smoke”. I’ll have to write about it a bit more and climb in Google.com. 😈
I think you should drop the anti-Ash campaign. Why not adopt their tactics and start a few new scare campaigns ? It worked for Swift suggesting the eating of children. These new campaigns will serve to show up the stupidity of Ash. Some suggestions.
a) Third hand Farts. Danger of inhaling directly into virgin lungs of noxious gases – methane for one.
b) Third hand sweat. Danger of absorbing unknown chemicals when shaking hands in church – obviously a declining problem in Ireland.
c) Third hand perfume. The absolute and ever present danger of inhaling unknown and generally over-powering air-carried molecules of unknown and therefore dangerous chemicals.
d) Third hand Lynx. I need not explain.
I’m sure you are up to the job – I should have blogged it meself!
yours, an ex-60camel man.
.-= kerryview´s last brainfart .. George Lee More Popular than Haiti =-.
I have already done one on the terrible dangers of water. The above post is aimed at the entire ignorant masses who lap up any bilge that is thrown their way, though ASH have taken to it like a fly to shit. The only reason I mention ASH is that they are usually the first to jump on the bandwaggon; then exaggerate things out of all proportion and then finally demand legislation.
Did you notice that the good doctor said that “this is the same as what comes out of the exhaust of a city bus” and the interviewer never picked her up on it. That’s what’s causing the problem – maybe ASH should be concentrating on the buses…
Good point KB … and the ‘research’ comes from California (Berkeley I think?) and you woud imagine they at least would be able to see the problem in assessing risk levels between smog and ‘third hand smoke’.
The whole point of the exercise is to conjure up mental imagery. You are supposed to think of a massive exhause pipe belching out clouds of noxious fumes and this is supposed to equate to you strolling in from the garden! Another was the mention of your clothes being “a toxic waste dump”. Then there is the story of the child having an asthma attack!! If that were produced as evidence in a court case, would the judge accept it as conclusive proof?!! This is mind manipulation at its lowest level.
Lol, that ‘medical editor’ is full of shit. Neurotoxin? is it hell, it’s the exact opposite. We ‘know’ SHS kills 50,000 a year? No, we’re told it, but there’s no body. The same stuff that comes out of a city bus? No, it isn’t. How stupid do you have to be to believe this? We would all be dead! they never ever consider the little matter of dosage.
This is nothing new, i even spoke to Winickoff and he admitted it was just smell. You can read my article on it here http://www.smokescreens.org/thirdhandsmoke.htm, from over a year ago
Hi Rich, and welcome to The Dark Side. 🙂
I couldn’t help but notice that “if you can smell it – it’s killing you” bit. It made me laugh. Of course he is pandering to the non-smokers who complain about the lingering smell and is trying to give them ammunition. I live in the countryside, and occasionally we are treated to farmyard smells. Does this mean I am living on a diet of cow-shit? Hah!! If we all have to worry about smells, we are all fucked.
Bollocks to the lot of ’em .. My house is a smoking house (fellow Pipe smokers are particularly welcome) .. and if anyone objects to that .. they can stay outside on the doorstep ..
Yup. We used to tolerate non smokers, but no more. From now on, smoking is compulsory in Head Rambles Manor.
I think I might make a laminated sign to put in my front window .. then these precious tossers can’t claim they weren’t warned .. Grrrr
‘It does worry me though that so many are taken in by such rubbish ’science’. It really is up there with alien abductions and the like.’
Good stuff Grandad. How many times do we hear ‘you’re smoke is killing me’? ASH and their much quoted ‘rubbish science’ have completely hoodwinked the public and caused so much divison. It was a quite cynical decision by the WHO to foster fear among non-smokers by creating this myth.
btw, when can I get a Scottish flag?
Hi Marie ..
I once had someone tell me that my Pipe smoke was slowly killing them ..
My reply ? … “Just get on with it quietly and don’t leave a mess then” ..
Sorted .. Lol
The whole things a load of crap anyway. Governments taking $$$$$$s on tax, the EU subsidising tobacco farmers. When smugglers bring in counterfeits what do we hear about – the loss to the exchequer! No one mentions illegal importing of dangerous toxins! Pharmaceuticals raking it in with sales of patches and pills etc.
GD – do you know who funds ASH? Wonder what they’re making out of it?
.-= mick´s last brainfart .. Global Irish Network =-.
Ha ha, can I kill you by hugging you?
If Marie gets a Scottish flag – can I adopt it please?
The other option you suggested the other day is proving a bit problematic – we haven’t got the luxury of 70 miles of water between us !!!!!!!!!
If somebody says ‘your smoke is quietly killing me’ just respond by saying ‘You’ve got me there. Its by popular request’.
I tell you what they wanna warn people about, nicotine replacement tablets….minging as fuck and they make you fart like a dog all the time and I mean ALL THE TIME!
.-= manuel´s last brainfart .. Quality =-.
Cap’n H – I may go into the business of producing those signs.
MarieC & Cardi – If you want a Scotish flag then there is a very simple solution – declare independence and leave the UK. We did that a while ago, though I’m not quite sure what we got out of it? Apart from our own flag, of course. 🙂
Mick – ASH is not a single organisation which makes it a little complicated. They have a common obsession but their funding varies. I know the Irish ASH is supposed to be funded by the Irish Cancer Society and the Irish Heart Foundation. However, I know their groups abroad are more often than not part funded by the pharmecutical industry.
Giuppi – According to the twat I wrote about, yes. Apparently I’m a walking toxic dump and Superman, all in one. One touch, and you are dead!! Heh!
Manuel – Have you tried the e-cigarette? That could be your answer. As for the farts – I cooked one of my specials tonight, and they are renowned for their incredibly loud, prolonged side effects.
Heh. You could use exactly the same science to force women to stop putting on perfume!
That would be a great campaign and would end this nonsense fairly quickly.
Perfume is alcohol based and also contains chemicals which contain traces of toxins.
Hi Cap’n Con ..
I agree, maybe I was a little churlish in my reply ..
Perhaps I ought to have been a tad more considerate & helpful .. by enquiring whether, if I selflessly smoked two Pipes at once it might make things easier for her by hastening the process ? ..
“Cap’n H – I may go into the business of producing those signs” …
Go for it Grandad .. I don’t own the copyright on the idea or owt ..
Maybe a nice little number in plastic, like the peel-off ones for car windows ?
And one featuring a Pipe would be good too ..
Joking aside, at least then when “officialdom” comes knocking at the door .. be it in the form of the Council or other callers .. (“Officials” in UK now have the power to insist you don’t smoke in your own house whilst they are present) they cannot later claim that you smoked in their presence, or that they weren’t warned in advance ..