The Myth of Second Hand Smoke

Editor’s Note: It has been a couple of years since I published this article, and yet people still say silly comments like “scientific evidence is clear.” It is not clear at all.  Not that I advocate smoking, but the myth of second hand smoke continues to guide policy makers even though the “studies” are population studies that do not pass muster. Some tobacco companies hired PR firms regarding second-hand smoke, and that has not advanced knowledge- but merely the logical fallacy of if they promote it there must be a reason and hidden agenda — and who could blame people for thinking this way. We are not associated with tobacco, nor receive funding, nor want funding from them. What we want is clear scientific resources.

We continue to look at the scientific papers – and will be happy to always look at any people wish to add to our comment section. To be clear: if you smoke then you should quit, and if you have kids and smoke around them then you are an idiot.

While I smoke an occasional cigar-  my brother died of lung cancer, from years of smoking. I am not a fan of cigarettes, but I am a fan of skeptical thinking. Draw your own conclusions- here are mine:

The 1964 Surgeon General Report, which declared that the inhalation of cigarettes would likely cause lung cancer and heart disease, had a profound impact in the United States. This report started America thinking that the practice of inhaling cigarette smoke was unhealthy and began a long series of studies, lawsuits, and laws, that changed the face of America from a primary smoking society—where over 60 percent of adults in the U.S. smoked—to a number that is now about 30 percent.

On June 27, 2006, long after the first Report and yet likely based on its long-lasting impact, Surgeon General Richard Carmona issued the following statements regarding second hand smoke: (a) The scientific evidence is now indisputable: secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance. It is a serious health hazard that can lead to disease and premature death in children and nonsmoking adults.
(b) Second hand smoke contains more than 50 cancer-causing chemicals, and is itself a known human carcinogen. (c) There is no risk-free level of exposure to second hand smoke. Nonsmokers exposed to second hand smoke at home or work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 40 percent and lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent.

The Surgeon General also stated that 49,000 deaths per year were caused by second hand smoke. As a surgeon, I was stunned, because I had never seen an autopsy report listing second hand smoke as the cause of death. Nor had I seen this as a secondary cause of death. So I asked six pathologists if they had ever listed second hand smoke as a cause of death – not one had. In my years of clinical practice, I have seen patients die from many devastating diseases, and yet I have never seen anyone who has been disabled by, or has died as a result of, second hand smoke. This was my first clue that perhaps there was more hyperbole than science involved in the reports issuing from the Surgeon General’s Office. To give a contrast: 33,000 people die per year of pancreatic cancer – all of the pathologists have listed pancreatic cancer as a cause of death.

Composition of Smoke
Second hand smoke, also called Environmental Tobacco Smoke, is a combination of Mainstream Smoke, which is exhaled by smokers and Sidestream Smoke, which is released directly from the burning tip of cigarettes or cigars. Sidestream smoke is the primary constituent of environmental tobacco smoke, providing most of the vapor phase and over half the particles. Hence, at events such as “The Big Smoke”, the majority of particulate matter comes from sidestream smoke.

Exhaled mainstream smoke contributes between 15 and 43 percent of the particulate matter in environmental tobacco smoke. Sidestream smoke is generated at lower temperatures and a higher alkalinity than mainstream smoke, and as a result has a different chemical composition. During environmental tobacco smoke formation, both sidestream smoke and exhaled mainstream smoke are diluted by many orders of magnitude and subsequently undergo physical transformation and alterations in chemical composition. For example, nicotine and many other semi-volatile compounds of tobacco smoke tend to be present in the particle phase of inhaled mainstream smoke, but evaporate into the vapor phase as exhaled mainstream smoke is rapidly diluted during the formation of environmental tobacco smoke. 

Second Hand Smoke and Lung Cancer
If second hand smoke exposure is a significant risk factor for developing lung cancer, then we should expect to see increased numbers of cancer cases in non-smokers who are exposed to regular doses of second hand smoke. Has there been an increase in the incidence of lung cancer among nonsmokers over the last 40 years? The answer is quite simply… No. Data from national mortality studies show that rates of lung cancer among non-smoking women remained stable between the 1950’s to the 1980’s (very few women smoked during those years) and didn’t rise until substantial numbers of women started smoking in more recent years. These non-smoking women were included in numerous studies as control groups for examining lung cancer rates in their smoking spouses. As anti-smoking logic would dictate, the longer one is exposed to second hand smoke the more we should see a rise in lung cancer. However, when we examine the data from the studies noted above, we do not see such a rise in cancer rates for these non-smoking women. 

In 1992, second hand smoke was labeled a Class A carcinogen: one that causes lung cancer and is responsible for the deaths of 3,000 Americans annually (U.S. EPA, 1993). However, there were no autopsies, no bodies, nor one person that could be claimed as a victim. The EPA did not base their classification on their own independent study but examined over thirty epidemiological studies (i.e., studies that attempt to correlate various risk factors with early death in different populations). Eleven of those studies were done in the United States, and of those eight found a positive risk, three found a negative risk but none of them were statistically significant (that is, none of the U.S. studies could make the statement that there was a causal relationship between second hand smoke and cancer). 

In medical research, a statistical confidence level of 95% means that there is only a five percent chance that a significant finding could be due to chance (i.e., a random result). In their interpretation of the epidemiological studies, the EPA made a critical procedural statistical alteration. They changed the confidence level to 90%. This statistical manipulation made it more likely that their findings would show significant negative health effects of second hand smoke, but also made more likely the potential for erroneous conclusions. Furthermore, the EPA did not take into consideration the factors independently associated with both the development of lung cancer and exposure to second hand smoke, factors that certainly could account for the purported relationship between second hand smoke and early death. Finally, they did not attempt to assure that the subjects were properly identified into the correct experimental group. The EPA left several important questions unanswered such as: Were the exposed cases truly ill with primary lung cancer? Had the subjects been smokers previously? Were they truly exposed to second hand smoke? And, did the subjects accurately report their exposure levels?

The EPA also classified second hand smoke as a carcinogen based on chemical “similarities” between inhaled mainstream smoke and environmental tobacco smoke. Their logic was that since inhaled tobacco smoke is a carcinogen, environmental tobacco smoke must also be.  Inhaled mainstream smoke, however, contains chemicals at concentrations of up to one million times those found in environmental tobacco smoke (which is a combination of exhaled mainstream smoke and sidestream smoke). Further, deep inhalation affects the degree of exposure to those chemicals, as well as the deposition of those chemicals into the respiratory passages of the smoker. One of the frustrating issues is we do not know the chemical, or chemical compounds responsible for the link to lung cancer and/or heart disease. This leads to another difficult issue – the length of exposure to the chemical might not yield a linear relationship to the formation of cancer (also known as the exposure-risk relationship). Single dose exposure likely does not yield 100 percent incidence of carcinoma. For example, low exposures of materials in drinking water does not yield disease, but higher and longer exposures of materials – such as arsenic, certainly produce disease. Much as a single aspirin may produce the effect of headache relief, a large dose of aspirin will be toxic. What was not evident in many of these studies was a dose-response curve to second hand (passive) smoking and disease. 

At the behest of Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Ca), the Congressional Research Service (CRS) spent two years examining reports and came up with the following conclusions regarding second hand smoke and lung cancer (Redhead and Rowberg, 1995): (a) The statistical evidence does not appear to support a conclusion that there are substantial health effects of passive smoking. (b) It is possible that very few or even no deaths can be attributed to second hand smoke. (c) If there are any lung cancer deaths from second hand smoke, they are likely to be concentrated among those subjected to the highest exposure levels (e.g., spouses). (d) The absolute risk, even to those with the greatest exposure levels, is uncertain. The CRS found that, what was considered an “obvious” conclusion by the EPA was, in fact, flawed. The EPA reasoned that if the smoke inhaled by a smoker was close enough in composition to that which is exhaled, then if one was carcinogenic the other must also be carcinogenic. This assumption is chemically incorrect and was rejected.

The CRS examination of the various studies concluded that someone exposed to significant second hand smoke—a spouse for example—might increase their risk of dying from lung cancer to 2/10 of one percent, while those who are exposed on the job would have less risk: 7/100 of one percent. The most devastating opinion about the EPA’s decision to classify second hand smoke as a class A carcinogen,  came from Federal Judge William Osteen who interviewed scientists for four years and in 1998 opined: The Agency disregarded information and made findings based on selective information… [The EPA] deviated from its risk assessment guidelines; failed to disclose important (opposing) findings and reasons; and left significant questions without answers… Gathering all relevant information, researching and disseminating findings, were subordinate to EPA’s [goal of] demonstrating [that] ETS was a Group A carcinogen… In this case, the EPA publicly committed to a conclusion before research had begun; adjusted established procedure and scientific norms to validate the Agency’s public conclusion, and aggressively utilized the Act’s authority to disseminate findings to establish a de facto regulatory scheme…and to influence public opinion… While doing so, [the EPA] produced limited evidence, then claimed the weight of the Agency’s researched evidence demonstrated ETS causes cancer. (Osteen, 1998)

Because the EPA report was “advisory” and not “regulatory,” Judge Osteen’s indictment was reversed. However, it is important to note that the decision was reversed on a technical distinction, not the merits of the EPA’s report. In another large-scale study, and in contradistinction to the EPA conclusions, the World Health Organization International Agency on Cancer published a report concluding that there was no statistically significant risk of lung cancer in non-smokers who lived or worked with smokers (Boffetta, et al, 1998). This study was the product of ten years of data gathered from seven European countries.

Health Risks of Second Hand Smoke
In a study spanning 16 U.S. cities, the U.S. Department of Energy researchers placed monitors on nonsmoking bartenders and waiters who worked in smoke-filled bars and restaurants to measure the amount of environmental tobacco. The conclusion was that the monitors detected minuscule amounts of tobacco products. (Jenkins, et al, 1999) The harm that might come from such minuscule amounts of exposure was calculated as “none” to “improbable harm”. The anti-tobacco forces have condemned this study because it was partly funded by the R.J. Reynolds Company. Later, a group of individuals visited the establishments and concluded that since they saw few individuals smoking, the study was flawed. In spite of this study being done by Oak Ridge National Laboratories, it was painted with a broad brush because of the funding from the tobacco industry. 

Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is considered by many authorities to be an important component of indoor air pollution in part because it is often viewed as being equivalent to mainstream cigarette smoke (MS). It has been clearly demonstrated that ETS is not the same as MS. Side stream cigarette smoke (SS) is a major contributor to ETS. Side-stream smoke is generated under different conditions than MS, and as a result, has a different relative chemical composition. Exhaled MS, the second primary contributor to ETS, is a different material from that which leaves the cigarette butt and enters the lungs. Exhaled MS has been substantially depleted in vapor-phase constituents, and the particulate matter is likely to have increased its water content in the high-humidity environment of the respiratory tract. As the cigarette smoke, both SS and exhaled MS, enters the atmosphere, it is diluted by many orders of magnitude and subsequently undergoes both physical transformation and alterations in its chemical composition. Upon standing, or during air exchange from other sources, ETS continues to change… (Guerin, et al, 2000)

The science and chemistry of this field of research are complex, and if the conclusions reached do not meet with current public policy, the research scientist is often stereotyped as being “pro-tobacco”. Because these studies are expensive, and because tobacco companies often supply the grant funds to purchase the supplies, anti-tobacco advocates will often say this is equivalent to bribing the researchers. They sometimes fail to mention, however, the anti-tobacco-funded individuals who personally receive thousands of dollars to vent anti-tobacco research and lend their name to the anti-tobacco movement. One of those individuals, Stanton Glantz, a Ph.D. whose field of expertise is aerospace engineering, attempted to convince the EPA to accept that there were over 50,000 deaths a year, from cardiac events, attributed to second hand smoke. The Congressional Research office examined the statistics related to second hand smoke and cardiac events and determined that those numbers were implausible (Gravelle and Redhead, 1994) 

And yet, the anti-smoking advocates continue to march their cause… The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) withdrew a 12-year-old petition that smoking be banned from all indoor workplaces. The withdrawal was based on a lack of evidence. The decision was taken to court in an attempt to force OSHA to reverse its decision. OSHA stated that it would regulate based on permissible levels of the various ingredients in environmental tobacco smoke, and the lawsuit was withdrawn on the grounds that OSHA would do nothing. (Henshaw, 2001) 

It’s no wonder OSHA decided to withdraw its complaint, since even its own people couldn’t agree on a position. In 1997, Acting Assistant Secretary of OSHA, Greg Watchman aired his own view: 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, 1997) As with arsenic content in drinking water, for example, setting scientific numbers to permissible levels would compel the scientific community to make real statements as to levels that are acceptable. Given that science had already answered the question with a number of chemicals in tobacco, such a regulation would be a blow to all anti-smoking advocates and their contention that there is no “safe” level of second hand smoke. 

With no scientific evidence to back his statement, Mayor Bloomberg of New York City proclaimed that bartenders inhale the equivalent of half a pack of cigarettes a day. In fact, a study from the U.K. showed that the average London bartender inhaled the equivalent of six cigarettes annually (about one quarter of a pack). (Matthews and MacDonald, 1998)

Perhaps one of the better studies was published in the British Medical Journal by epidemiologist James Enstrom and Geoffrey Kabat (2003). Their study of 35,000 Californians showed that lifelong exposure to a husband or wife’s smoke produced no increased risk of coronary heart disease or lung cancer among the non-smoking spouses. As with most who oppose the anti-tobacco lobby, Enstrom was forced to defend his study on the basis that it had received funding from a tobacco company. The study was condemned as biased, even though it was published in a peer-reviewed journal, the statistics were not flawed, and the conclusions were sound. 

When the cigar lounge at Seattle’s El Gaucho restaurant was closed because smoking in public places in the state of Washington became illegal, one of the reasons cited was to “protect the workers.” The premise of this law has no evidence. Suffice it to say, there is far more evidence to ban the sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants than cigar smoking. Every day in every major city there are deaths from people who have consumed alcohol and driven. Alcohol is directly responsible for about 100,000 deaths a year and an estimated 2.3 million years of lost life. Alcohol prohibition didn’t work. So why attempt to prohibit tobacco?

The press frequently overlooks inconsistent data when reporting about environmental tobacco smoke. The most recent example was when a group of radiologists noted that one-third of patients who had never smoked, but were exposed to “high levels” of second hand smoke, showed MRI changes in their lungs similar to the changes seen in smokers. What failed to make the mainstream news was that two-thirds of the patients who were listed as non-smokers, but exposed to “high levels” of second hand smoke, paradoxically, had lower diffusion through the lungs than the “low exposure” group. That is, they showed the opposite of changes seen with heavy smokers. Again, what made the news in most circles was that this was more proof about the negative effects of environmental tobacco smoke. What did not make the news was that the paradoxical report might prove the opposite of their conclusion. (Science Daily, 2007)

The Surgeon General was incorrect. Second hand smoke may be an irritant and an annoyance, but it’s not a cause of death. There are no body bags filled with those who have developed tumors or heart disease as a result of second-hand smoke. The body bags are filled, however, with scientists and physicians who dare go against the anti-smoking lobby and state the obvious—the science isn’t there. As much as they want to ban all smoking in all places, the health risk is grossly overstated. Whenever someone dies of lung cancer, such as Diane Reeves, the late wife of Christopher Reeves, the anti-smoking lobby uses the news as a media circus. They want to relate the unfortunate death to something… even if such a relationship has no basis in solid scientific research. 

In 1633, the Catholic church condemned Galileo for asserting that the Earth revolves around the sun. Galileo was forced to recant his scientific findings to avoid being burned at the stake. This was a clear conflict between faith and science.

READ my latest post on a recent Second Hand Smoke Study,  based on data collected in Xian, China.

References
Boffetta, P., Agudo, A., Ahrens, W., et al. (1998). “Multicenter Case-Control Study of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Lung Cancer in Europe.”

Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Vol. 90, No. 19:1440–50.

Enstrom, J. E. and Kabat, G. C. (2003, May 17) “Environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality in a prospective study of Californians, 1960-98.”

British Medical Journal, 326(7398): 1057. Available: www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=155687

Gravelle, J. G., and Redhead, C. S. (1994, March 23).

Congressional Research Office Memorandum “Discussion of Source of Claims of 50,000 Deaths from Passive Smoking.” “In response to request for information on the possible source of an estimated premature 50,000 deaths from passive smoking effects.” Available: www.nycclash.com/Cabinet/CRSDiscusses_50000_Deaths.html

Guerin, M. R., Jenkins, R. A., Tomkins, B. A. (2000). “The Chemistry of Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Composition and Measurement.” (Second Ed.) CRC Press.

Henshaw, J. L. (2001). “Withdrawal of Proposal.” U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA, Notice, Indoor Air Quality – Federal Register #66:64946. Available: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=16954

Jenkins, R. A., Palausky, A., Counts, R. W., Bayne, C. K., Dindal, A. B., and Guerin, M. R. (1999). “Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke in Sixteen Cities in the United States as Determined by Personal Breathing Zone Air Sampling.”

Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology. Oct-Dec;6(4):473-502.

Letter from Greg Watchman, Acting Ass’t Sec’y, OSHA, to Leroy J Pletten, PhD, July 8, 1997.

Matthews, R., and MacDonald, V. (1998). “Passive Smokers Inhale Six Cigarettes a Year.”

UK News Electronic Telegraph, Issue 1178. Available http://www.forces.org/evidence/files/passmok2.htm

Osteen, W. L., United States District Judge (1998). “Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization Corporation, et al v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al.”

United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, Winston-Salem Division, 6:93CV00370, 89-90. Available: www.forces.org/evidence/epafraud/files/osteen.htm

Redhead, C. S. and Rowberg, R. E. (1995, November 14) CRS Report for Congress. “Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Lung Cancer Risk.” Retrieved November 2007 from the internet. Available: www.forces.org/evidence/files/crs11-95.htm

Science Daily. (November 27, 2007). “Second hand smoke damages lung, MRIs show.” Available:www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071126104424.htm

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (1993) “Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders. ” National Institutes of Health. Monograph 4, NIH Publication No. 93-3605, August 1993.

Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and received his MD. Dr. Simpson, a renowned weight loss surgeon, is a leading advocate of culinary medicine. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit www.terrysimpson.com.

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Comments

  1. harleyrider1978 says

    rollo anti-tobacco doesnt even use reasoning or science,they pick certain pieces out of the sg report like contanine levels and use it as a propaganda tool.

    As of late they have started using big words like nnl or n-nitrosomines hoping the public doesnt catch onto the facade.

    Ive already found over at spiegels blog the break down of what it actually is. It didnt take long to see the laugh of what the TC folks were trying to spin……its all smoke and mirrors where TC is involved.

    nnl inorganic arsenic

    out door levels 0-29 pico grams

    read from a cigarette is 0-29 pico grams

    Just goes to prove organic materials are whats in the air everywhere…..

    BTW it takes 5 million pico grams to kill ya…..concentrated of course…..but then the body has to turn those nnl’s into arsenic in the body,but wowzer we piss it away quicker than it accumulates…..yet the toxicology boys call it pee cancer…….hence where the TC people try and claim smoking causes bladder cancers…..problem is everybody is exposed to the same levels everyday just by breathing the air anywhere….lmao

  2. harleyrider1978 says

    That new one 3rd hand smoke…..I mean cant you folks come up with better propaganda..Id fire the idiot that thought that one up….I even read a study done by TC the other day trying to say childhood diabetes was caused by shs…..its just hilarious how they try and connect things…..So rollo its your own people that are making a laugh out of your movement…….If I were you I’d quickly remove myself from such insanity in a cause. It just makes its supporters appear as assenine as its claims.

  3. Rollo Tommasi says

    So now HarleyRider reverts to his old technique of running off at tangents, in an effort to forget that he has no answer to the central issues behind this debate.

    Harleyrider – Since you’re referring to Michael Siegel’s opinions (albeit in a misspelt way), would you care to acknowledge that he too recognises that passive smoking is harmful?

  4. harleyrider1978 says

    michael siegal is on the fence and leaning toward abandoning his support of smoking bans…of all of the professionals out there who have had the reputations attacked he is most likely the most harmed……So rolo I would say,given a bit more time and with the loss of political support for the ban your gonna see more than siegal abandon support of smoking bans……..its just a matter of time,like next year by the political winds.

    Siegels opinion changes……If I was you TC folks I wouldnt push his button to many more times or your likely to see him expose what he knows about your entire group.

  5. Rollo Tommasi says

    Harleyrider – By now I’m not surprised that you make another outlandish claim which you don’t substantiate in any way. Michael Siegel on the fence? His university profile page states clearly “He has been active in promoting smoke-free bar and restaurant policies throughout the country” (http://sph.bu.edu/index.php?option=com_sphdir&id=239&Itemid=340&INDEX=677).

    As for your bizarre claim that he is apparently leaning toward abandoning his support of smoking bans, I’ve no idea where you pick that up from. Siegel’s views come largely from properly conducted research studies which he himself has led or been involved in. So I really don’t know how you expect he will retreat from those results. For example, Siegel led this research study into the health effects of secondhand smoke on workers in the “5 B’s” – bars, bowling alleys, billiard halls, betting establishments, and bingo parlours: http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/12/3/333.abstract?ck=nck. That report concluded “While public health advocates must continue to seek protection of the public from secondhand smoke exposure in office workplaces and restaurants, they must devote special attention to protecting workers in these five service workplaces”.

    You’ve now had a further 24 hours to find any kind of evidence to substantiate your previous claims about relative risk, statistical significance and your typically nonsensical claim that “The studies done prove second hand smoke is not a risk factor for disease.” Have you made any progress yet?

    • The Doc says

      It is amazing how people take “conclusions” as “facts.” The statistics of any given study are important if they show some significant relevance. Interesting how with all the other features in this blog about eating and health- this is the most controversial of all.
      OK- go eat some vegetables– obesity is far worse than second hand smoke

  6. Rollo Tommasi says

    Doc – You comment on this thread being controversial. Maybe, but it would not have been nearly as controversial had you based your article on sound evidence, instead of erroneous, ill-considered and outdated arguments which you are clearly unable to defend under challenge.
    Our understanding about the harm of passive smoking is not built upon the results and conclusions of one or two studies. It is based on the combined weight of scores of studies, the great majority of which corroborate the finding that exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease. In fact, the likes of the US Surgeon General have been quite conservative in where they conclude that passive smoking is harmful. That is why they not yet stated that, for instance, it is a causal factor for stroke or chromic obstructive pulmonary disease, even though there is good evidence to suggest there is a link.
    I find your last sentence decidedly odd for 3 reasons. First, you completely downplay the harmful effects of passive smoking – responsible for an estimated 49,000 deaths according to the Surgeon General.
    Second, you imply that we only need to abide by one rule in order to live a reasonably healthy life. Do you honestly tell your patients that, provided they “go eat some vegetables”, they can eat as much salt, sugar or fatty foods as they like, freely indulge in alcohol or tobacco and not bother with exercise? No? So why adopt that position where secondhand smoke is concerned?
    Finally, there is one huge difference about the above lifestyle choices and passive smoking. What we eat and drink, how much we exercise, etc, are choices we make which affect our own lives. However, secondhand smoke is different. That is where one person’s lifestyle choice risks the health of people around them, including loved ones. Doc – that includes your loved ones.

    • The Doc says

      There is no evidence of the 49000 deaths per year from cardiac disease caused by second hand smoke. That was one of the more silly things that a non-physician, non-epidemiologist claimed and cannot be backed up by any evidence whatsoever. Do you really think if someone has heart disease that the cause is second-hand smoke? Really? Any studies that show when you take away risk factors of BMI, lipids, hypertension, and genetics that plaque builds up around second hand smoke– cause that is what you would need — of course you don’t.
      Do not argue from the straw man here.
      The studies are there- they are simple, straightforward, and well done.
      I’ll let you two argue about how many angels dance on the head of a pin.

  7. harleyrider1978 says

    responsible for an estimated 49,000 deaths according to the Surgeon General.

    Do you have any idea just how absurd that claim is!!!

    Im still waiting for this mountain of evidence you claim or is that the combined pile of nazi propaganda smoke free has spouted for the last 3 years…….mcfadden and kuneman do a real good job of breaking down such absurd claims by your people…….

    rollo I think your done,if thats the best ya got rehashing radical claims proven to be insane.

  8. Rollo Tommasi says

    Yet another ludicrous statement. Enstrom & Kabat involved a 12 year study….followed by a 26 year gap in which no follow-ups were conducted with study partcipants. That’s why it’s a questionable report.

    You really ought to study the evidence properly HR, instead of relying like an unquestioning, mindless poodle on twisted nonsense from prosmoking websites.

    Because when you simply keep posting more comments, each of which ignores straightforward and reasonable challenges to the claims you loosely toss around, all you do is demonstrate an utter ignorance of the subject.

    Of course, you could actually attempt to answer the questions I set you. Or is that asking for too much?

  9. harleyrider1978 says

    what you mean they didnt contact the same people from the original study participants…..Oh but they did…..you see rollo acs gave up that study after it didnt produce the results they were looking for,they quickly followed up with a standinf directive of cutting off research funds…..to any and all studies that didnt produce results that they wanted……..

  10. Rollo Tommasi says

    Harleyrider. I suggest you check proper evidence for yourself and what do you do? Reel off complete nonsense once again.

    I said no follow-ups were conducted in the intervening 26 years and I was right. They conducted a survey of surviving participants at the end of those 26 years. But they did not undertake any assessment of changes in exposure to secondhand smoke in the intervening time.

    The ACS did not fund the study. If you look at Enstrom’s own Scientific Integrity Institute website, you’ll see that he applied for funding but this was turned down in 1990. The project was funded for a while instead by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program. However, funding from that was abandoned owing to concerns about the way in which E&K were conducting their research.

    Funding was not stopped because they didn’t like the results. That is simply impossible. The results only emerged after E&K conducted their follow-up survey in 1999. That survey took place AFTER funding from the TRDRP was withdrawn and E&K instead got funding from the tobacco-industry supported Center for Indoor Air Research (CIAR).

    Doubtless you will again try to argue that black is white. And doubtless you will again make claims without the slightest hint of supporting evidence. Don’t expect me to give you the courtesy of full explanations of why you are wrong in future.

  11. harleyrider1978 says

    They conducted a survey of surviving participants at the end of those 26 years. …..But they did not undertake any assessment of changes in exposure to secondhand smoke in the intervening time…….

    They didnt need to,exposure was exposure regardless…but dont worry smoking will be back again everywhere.

    All it takes is politcal change and the democrats just guaranteed that this morning……btw merry xmas

  12. virglk says

    Why would anyone be upset by rollo’s so-called facts. He continually makes the same arguments that he says are wrong when said by others. He simple enjoys his ability to twist anything to his way of thinking. The problem I have is, why would anyone care what rollo thinks when anyone can see he is here for the enjoyment he gets from being argumentative? A real conclusion will never be had from someone with his mentality. Just a waste of time.
    Doc, go cure someone and Harley, jump on your bike and enjoy yourself. Rollio is not worth your time.

    Enjoy a Merry Christmas and don’t screw up you’re New Year with rollo. He will twist anything of value with his junk.

  13. Rollo Tommasi says

    No Virglk. Rollo simply thinks it is important to expose the “Emperor’s new clothes” of the conspiracy theorists’ arguments for the naked nothingness that they are.

    If I had really been talking nonsense, then you, Harleyrider and the Doc would have challenged me on the points I’ve made instead of trying to ignore them, going off down tangents or simply moaning about my presence.

    Anyway, I had a good Christmas. Hope others did too.

  14. NicNarc says

    Where did this guy get his degree from KMart! Give me a break my Aunt died of lung cancer due to second hand smoke exposure after living with my Uncle for a number of years who was a smoker. That’s what the Drs. told the family the main cause of my Aunt’s death was being around my Uncle who smoked for many years, and he has since died of lung cancer. You can believe what you like but this “Dr” is playing with the health of everybody who believes this.

  15. Pharaoh says

    Great article. BTW, Somebody mentioned funding by the big Tobacco being the reason why they denounce a certain study. If the anti-smoking movement is obviously funded by big pharma, whose sole purpose is to make the likes of nicorette the only legal way of nicotine application, I don’t see why the fuss about the funding by big Tobacco (assuming that any study in fact was funded by them)- but that’s only my opinion.

    The fact remains, Passive smoking is a scam. yes, It will eventually end just like the alcohol prohibition.

  16. Pharaoh says

    Rollo Tommasi,

    If you’re afraid of second-hand smoke, you should also avoid cars, restaurants…and don’t even think of barbecuing.

    here are just some of the chemicals present in tobacco smoke and what else contains them:

    Arsenic, Benzine, Formaldehyde.

    Arsenic- 8 glasses of water = 200 cigarettes worth of arsenic

    Benzine- Grilling of one burger = 250 cigarettes

    Formaldehyde – cooking a vegetarian meal = 100 cigarettes

    And so on. You can stay at home all day long if you don’t want all those “deadly” chemicals around you, but in fact, those alleged 4000 chemicals in cigarettes are present in many foods, paints etc. in much larger quantities. And as they are present in cigarettes in very small doses, they are harmless. Sorry, no matter how much you like the notion of harmful ETS, it’s a myth.

  17. Don says

    I am not a smoker and in fact I cannot stand it. I am educated in a technical field, BS in Ceramic Engineering, so I understand the Scientific Method, statistics, DOE’s, etc.. . I have to say as far as this thread goes Rollo is getting pwned. Harley, Doc and others are making far better and more informed arguments.

    Rollo, since you keep asking why don’t you answer why a non-statistically significant finding does not equal no risk?

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