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.

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:

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:

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:

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

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:

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:

Science Daily. (November 27, 2007). “Second hand smoke damages lung, MRIs show.”

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



  1. Michelle says

    Wow. Very interesting article.

    I live in Florida, one of the states that has banned smoking in the workplace, and while I don’t believe that logic behind the ban is entirely reasonable, I do like the results. Truth is, I think most people are like me- they just don’t like the smell of smoke.

    One point I didn’t see you address was the impact of second hand smoke on children, and those who have respiratory issues. I’d be interested to read your take on that. =)

  2. The Doc says

    Google is not the basis of science, nor is The American Lung Association a scientific organization – it is a lobbying group. It is an annoyance, and for those who are annoyed and wish to have their own business free from smoke- I agree.

  3. The Doc says

    Most do not like the smell of smoke, and with everything appreciate a smoke free place to work and live. For those who wish to have a place to smoke, in their bar or restaurant, it would seem they should be able to.

    Second hand smoke on children – well, any environmental irritant can be cause an issue. If you smoke around a child you are an idiot – that’s my opinion. Smoke, like high ozone levels, like pollen – is an irritant. The other data about children, when re-tested was not reproduced – there are no increased ear infections, as some earlier work claimed.

  4. Wayne Fontaine says

    I am one of 5 kids. Dad smoked, mom didn’t, so mom and us kids all breathed 2nd hand smoke. All 5 of us married and all smoked along with our respective spouses. We all had kids for a total of 9. All these kids were born into homes where both parents smoked and all grew into adulthood breathing 2nd hand smoke. So we’re talking a total of 20 people who smoked and/or breathed 2nd hand smoke. As of now, all these people are still alive and well except my mom, who died of pancreatic cancer and a sister who committed suicide. Their ages range from mid to late 40’s to mid to late 50’s. None have any form of smoking related desease or other health problems that are blamed on smoking and/or 2nd hand smoke. Those are the facts and I don’t know how anyone can dispute that. How do you convince someone like me that 2nd hand smoke is dangerous to my health?

  5. Sheila says

    I always get a good laugh when people hold up the American Lung Association as though they were a bright and shining light! They get massive funding from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, partner to Johnson and Johnson, for the purpose of lobbying for smoking bans, which are NOT bans on smoking, they are simply a way to demonize and ostracize smokers onto the nicotine replacement products distributed by J&J. They do NOT lobby to stop the selling of nicotine products. They do NOT want tobaco to be unavailable! If tobacco WAS unavailable NO ONE would buy nicotine replacement from J&J! DUH!!!

  6. The Doc says

    This is a political topic, more than a scientific topic. While I am a skeptic by nature- part of that is to see what real evidence there is for the political statements made about a topic. In this case we can say — most people don’t like second-hand smoke -and irritates them. So far there is no evidence that second-hand smoke causes a lot of disease.

  7. says

    Excellent article, well researched, and well written! :)

    I think you’ll enjoy reading my own take on “ETS Exposure” at where you’ll find you’d have to hang out in a smoking bar/restaurant for literally 165,000 hours to get the same amount of arsenic as in a “government-approved-as-safe” 16oz glass of tap water.

    Keep on fightin’ Doc!

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

  8. virglk says

    I have been researching Smoking/SHS since 1998 and I have all of the information mentioned by the Doctor. I feel he is correct in everything he stated. It’s too bad the truth can’t get out to the public. Our Media is in the pocket of the Pharmaceuticals as are many of our Universities.

  9. Kin Free says

    I too have been researching the science of smoking for a long time and I agree with the Doc.

    Michelle wants to know the effect of SHS on children. The Doc mentioned the non statistically significant risk of lung cancer in non-smokers who lived or worked with smokers (Boffetta, et al, 1998). but did not point out that there WAS actually ONE statistically significant result in that study- a beneficial effect on children! There are other studies that concur with that too, although a few children suffering from chronic asthma can be adversely affected. Interestingly, child asthma has increased ‘manifold’ over the same time period that their exposure to SHS has been substantially diminished. (studies have shown that children of smokers are LESS likely to get asthma).

    Anti-smokers are often quoted as saying ‘the debate is over’ on the subject of smoking ‘harm’. I agree, as it relates to passive smoking – it is undoubtedly harmless! The debate on primary smoking however, is back on the agenda. While it continues to be claimed, it has never been proved that smoking kills. The epidemiological evidence is more persuasive than that on passive smoking but actual hard evidence is ominously absent.

    Conversely, there are clear anomalies in the notion of smoking ‘harm’. All cancers continue to rise in developed countries, unaffected by the reduction in smokers, Underdeveloped countries with more smokers tend to have LESS cancers, The majority of cancer sufferers are confined to a few small geographic areas and there are more cancers in large towns and cities compared to rural areas even though smoking prevalence is similar.

    There is clearly more to public ill health than smoking. There is more of a link to industrial pollution and concentrations of internal combustion engines than smoking.

    Isn’t it time to move the debate forward rather than confining it to SHS? For too long Anti-smokers (and industry and big pharma) have diverted attention away from the toxic effects of industry on public health to individual lifestyle choices. It is becoming clearer day by day that smoking harm is grossly exaggerated. Tobacco control know this and explains why other lifestyle choices are now being targeted – to explain the shortfall in, so called, ‘smoking related deaths’!

    Kin Free

  10. harleyrider1978 says

    The issue of shs/ets is the reason and basis the Nazis were able to get the bans in place to begin with. To get the truth out requires money,money and more money or else a shake up in the political power base in washington ie..nov 2010. I firmly believe that by april 2010 the steam roller of smoking bans will slow down to neil.As the voters go against the democrats who are the ones for the majority part of the bans. But,anyway we look at it educating the public on the LIE of second hand smoke must be at the fore front of any movement as shs/ets is the foundation of tobacco control.With that destroyed the rest collapses just like climate gate is today. CLIMTEGATE is the end of the green movement. Lets hope for SHSGATE soon.

  11. Rollo Tommasi says

    Sorry to rain on your parade Doctor. But I say your opinion piece is ill-informed and badly researched. In fact, if you’d written this for your medical peers, I suspect they would have ripped it to shreds.

    1. References in death certificates. In case it’s escaped your attention, pancreatic cancer is a disease. So it’s little wonder it appears in many death certificates. Passive smoking is not a disease; it is a risk factor for lung cancer and ischaemic heart disease. If you are trying to apply a rule that nothing should be considered dangerous unless it’s referred to in numerous death certificates, then I take it that you deny that radon gas and vehicle exhaust emissions are also causal factors for lung cancer. And you presumably should also deny that speeding and reckless driving are causal factors behind fatal road traffic accidents.

    2. The EPA report. My, my, my. Why are you giving so much attention to a report which is now 17 years old? There have been numerous more recent studies, which take account of latest evidence (e.g. Taylor et al (OUP, 2007), US Surgeon General (2006), IARC (2004), UK SCOTH (1998 & 2004), Law at (BMJ, 1997), Hackshaw et al (BMJ, 1997)). Other than passing reference to the USSG, you ignore all of them. Guess what? Their conclusions match those of the EPA. So, even if your criticisms of the EPA report were valid (which is debatable), your views are totally out-of-date.

    3. CRS: The risk you refer to relates to lung cancer only. If you include heart disease too, then the risk of harm from passive smoking increases greatly (as much as 10-fold). Suddenly the risks of passive smoking are not as small, are they?

    4. Osteen: You claim Osteen’s views were overridden on a “technical distinction”. Wrong. Osteen was not authorised to judge on the question of the case – that is fundamental, not technical. Of course, since Osteen there have been many “regulatory” decisions, as restrictions on smoking in public have been introduced. Courts are allowed to overturn these. Had the views of Osteen and the tobacco industry been as strong as you claim, we would expect these laws to be overturned following Judicial Review. So why haven’t they? Where are all these supposedly convincing judicial challenges now??

    5. Boffetta study. You state the report concluded “there was no statistically significant risk of lung cancer” as if that meant that passive smoking is not harmful. That interpretation is totally wrong. In fact, the finds of this study are fully consistent with other reports which show that passive smoking IS harmful.

    6. OSHA: Did you actually read the letter from Greg Watchman to which you refer? If you did, then you are deliberately trying to mislead. You quote him as saying it is unlikely that individual PELs would be exceeded. But Watchman immediately then aid “The more central concern of the Agency is that synergism of the chemicals in tobacco smoke may lead to adverse health effects even though the PELs are often not exceeded.” That’s a hugely relevant statement – so why did you ignore it??

    7. Enstrom & Kabat: Actually, the conclusions were not necessarily sound and have been subject to substantial legitimate criticism (albeit E&K were also criticised personally – there was no need for that). Interestingly, Geoffrey Kabat has since stated: “As a cancer researcher who has published extensively on the harmful effects of smoking, I am in favor of vigorous smoking bans and feel there is no justification for nonsmokers to have to breathe air polluted with tobacco smoke.”

    You are a trusted professional. You really should be more careful about knowing the facts before you make public claims.

  12. says

    Hello Rollo! Whew… you DO get around, don’t you? Heh… Glass houses speaking here admittedly…. ;>

    I hope you don’t mind my popping in. The Doc is of course welcome to add his own thoughts, but some of the answers might be more familiar to me. Taking your points in turn:

    1) I have to agree, in my relatively uninformed knowledge, never having actually SEEN a death certificate. However I believe in some U.S. States doctors are now allowed, even encouraged, and perhaps even REQUIRED to put ETS down as a “contributing cause of death” in a special box for anyone so exposed dies of just about anything besides meteor strikes.

    2) The EPA Report is what drove and justified U.S. smoking bans from 1992 through 1998. It was more thoroughly analyzed with a critical eye than any of the others – if they were similarly analyzed I would expect the conclusions to be similar.

    3) The lung cancer section was the most important when it came to promoting smoking bans. The CRS did not address heart disease because the EPA Report didn’t (despite, from what I understand, significant pressure from Glantz et al to do so – the evidence was just far too weak no matter HOW much they juggled statistics.

    4) Osteen’s ruling WAS overruled on a “technical distinction.” That distinction was, as I understand it, that since the EPA’s Report was informational/advisory rather than regulatory the court had no proper jurisdiction for a ruling, no matter how valid the ruling might otherwise have been. If the EPA had believed in its report strongly enough to make it regulatory then indeed it would have been overturned. {Caveat: It is possible that the EPA was acting *totally* outside its boundaries in issuing a report on indoor non-natural conditions in the first place and that might have been the reason for the non-regulatory nature of the Report. Have they ever issued similar reports for any other indoor non-natural conditions? If so, were they also non-regulatory?}


  13. says

    {… continued … It appears my h-tee-tee-pee links may be blocking the post so I will delete that part of the referenced links.}

    5) Bofetta’s study had only ONE significant finding: exposing children to smoke REDUCED their later lung cancer risk by 22%. That finding was blatantly ignored by the authors in their abstract/conclusions when they deliberately described their ONLY significant finding as showing “no association.” If you examine the RRs and CIs of childhood exposure studies listed at: you’ll find Bofetta’s result by no means unusual.

    6) My guess is that the Doctor was not aware of the sentence you quote. It is relevant and it is indeed usually ignored. I was not aware of it myself.

    7) I disagree at least partly with your characterization of E/K as having been subject to “substantial” legitimate criticism. Analyze the BMJ responses and I believe you’ll find very few that could be so characterized, and I also believe that you’ll find E & K responded to many of those criticisms … unlike the the Helena authors in response to Helena’s criticisms. As I’ve done before, I’d refer readers to both the BMJ study/responses at: and Dr. Enstrom’s detailed defense at: and

    OK…. back to the Sunday paper….

    Michael J. McFadden,
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

  14. says

    OK… there does seem to be a problem with multiple links. Let’s see if I can fix it:

    5) Bofetta’s study had only one significant finding: that exposing children to smoke correlated significantly with REDUCING their later lung cancer risk by 22%. That finding was not only never even hinted at as being causal, but was even ignored by the authors in the body of the study itself when they deliberately described their ONLY significant finding as showing “no association.” If you examine the RRs and CIs of childhood exposure and lung cancer studies listed at the bottom of the “philadelphia” section of the site you will see that the Bofetta finding for childhood exposure was by no means unusual.

    6) My guess is that the Doctor was not aware of the sentence you quote. It is relevant and it is indeed usually ignored. I was not aware of it myself.

    7) I disagree at least partly with you characterization of the E/K study as having been subject to “substantial” legitimate criticism. Do an analysis of the responses in the BMJ and you’ll find that very few seem to have anything that could be characterized as such, and I also believe that you’ll find Enstrom and Kabat responded to those criticisms … unlike the disregard shown by the Helena authors in response to the Helena criticisms. As I’ve done before in this discussion with you, I’d refer readers to both the BMJ study/responses after the BMJ Helena article itself and Dr. Enstrom’s detailed defense against the accusations lodged against them at the Journal of Epidemiologic Perspectives and Innovations, Oct. 10th, 2007 and his primary Scientific Integrity website that is listed as the third reference to that article.

    OK…. back to the Sunday papers….

    Michael J. McFadden,
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

  15. harleyrider1978 says

    All along the EPA is being used as a political tool in to many scams by the prohibitionist forces. It seems collusion is the end game here of so called public health officials rubber stamping each others findings without regard to scientific integrity. GRANTS to any research facility with half a name that can guarantee the outcome based studies we must have. It seems as of late its pushing for contatin levels in hair or blood….merely an association of being around smokers or ”LAUGH;; they ate some other plants in the tobacco group……

    Tobacco is IN the SAME food group as potato, tomato, cauliflower, green pepper, chili’s, egg plant and other foods. They ALL contain nicotine. Are those the next bans?

    Interesting: Tobacco used to fight cancer

    I have yet to see in any of the contatin studies where these foods were considered as possible bio-markers themselves……

    But lets be fair and point out nicotine is not a carcinogen
    so the face value of studies on contantin really are nothing….Another thng that always seems to get lost in the maize of anti-tobacco propaganda studys is the dose makes the poison chart…….Of all the anti-tobacco sites I have searched not one lists the main part of second hand smoke as its nearly 94% water vapor and ordinary air……if that was publicized by the tobacco control folks there would be no tobacco control…….

    Propaganda is what I call all of it and the historical connection to the last prohibition movement with the anti-cigarette leagues of the early 1900s where they were able to get complete tobacco prohibtions in place before they moved onto alcohol prohibiton….same scare tactics employed then as now just change the dates………Human nature never changes it just goes forward and reacts the same way it did last time…..smoke easy/ speak easys……..smoke em and have fun in the new ROARING TWENTIES.

  16. harleyrider1978 says

    Also you may want to hear of some research that was carried out in 1991. It assumes you are in a room 100m3 about 20 feet x 20 feet by 20 feet, sealed and unventilated. Here are the number of smokers that you have to be surrounded by before you reach danger levels of the chemical is the last figure:

    Benzene: 13,300 A car gives off 20,000 more chemicals than a smoker per cubed inch.

    Methyl chloride 0.88 10.30 1,170
    Acetaldehyde 1.26 180.00 1,430
    Nitrogen oxides 2.80 50.00 1,780
    Phenol 0.25 19.00 7,600
    Benzene 0.24 32.00 13,300
    Dimethylamine 0.036 18.00 50,000
    Benzo[a]pyrene 0.00009 0.20 222,000
    Polonium 210 0.4pCi 3pCi/l 750,000
    Toluene 0.000035 375.00 1,000,000

    What do you make of this study into lung cancer and exposure to SHS in Iowan women. This study is the latest from 2006. Yes, SHS is actually protective, and by a statistically significant amount too.

    “There was no significant increase or decrease in risk for those in high-risk occupations, those with any chemical exposure, those with asbestos exposure, or those with exposure to environmental tobacco smoke as a child. A significant inverse association was found for those with some college education (OR=0.63, 95% CI=0.48-0.81) and for those with adult passive smoke exposure at home (OR=0.37, 95% CI=0.26-0.54).”

  17. Albert R. Faunce says

    Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan, President of the American Council on Science and Health has authored twenty-three books on nutrition, smoking, and environmental issues and over 300
    articles for popular and professional publications. She states “Political correctness and fear of retribution silenced doctors who knew better. Every lung specialist
    and cardiologist I questioned across the years scoffed at the story that secondhand smoke caused death. “But don’t quote me, or I’ll be dead.” Dr. Whelan also stated that she represents 350 doctors through the ACSH who also agree with that statement. I believe that represents a little peer review.

  18. Rollo Tommasi says

    Hi Michael. Good to see you. Actually, I’ve not been spending much time at all in debates on smoking, so I’m quite pleased if my limited postings are being noticed! And of course I don’t mind your popping in.

    1. Death certificates: I don’t think your comments deal with my main point. The doctor was arguing that he has not seen SHS referred to on a death certificate; ergo passive smoking is not be a causal factor for death. I was making the point that there are many factors which we rightly accept can lead to death but are never or rarely referred to on death certificates. If anything, your comment undermines the doctor’s point, by indicating that there may be death certificates which refer to SHS.

    2. EPA report: The doctor was trying to argue that, based on what we know now, passive smoking is harmless. He was not selling his blog as a history lesson about what the tobacco lobby was arguing in the mid-1990s. But that is all that his “evidence” amounts to. It doesn’t matter if the EPA report was a significant issue between 1992 and 1998. The fact of the matter is that a lot of evidence has emerged since 1992 and more recent assessments reflect this, including the US Surgeon General’s 2006 report, the IARC monograph of 2004 and the UK SCOTH report also of 2004. None are tarnished with the same claims as the tobacco lobby made about the EPA report in the mid-1990s. Yet they all reach similar conclusions to the EPA report – and conclude that passive smoking IS harmful to health.

    3. CRS: This is another area where the doctor simply offers a history lesson about what the tobacco lobby was saying in the mid-1990s (when they referred to the CRS report), but he tries to wrap it up as a factual statement based on what we understand now. It doesn’t matter that the CRS report just focused on lung cancer. All that shows is that the CRS report did not tell the whole story about death rates. Based on what we know now, there is clear evidence that passive smoking is associated with ischemic heart disease.

    4. Osteen: My understanding of what the court did is similar to yours. But to me, the fact that “the [Osteen] court had no proper jurisdiction for a ruling” is a fundamental reason for striking its ruling down, not simply a “technical distinction”.

    Be that as it may, yet again all the doctor does is offer a history lesson of what the tobacco industry was telling us 10-12 years ago. The doctor implies that another court might have reached the same conclusions as Osteen. You now say there are suggestions that the EPA might have acted outwith its powers. Why are you both speaking hypothetically? There have been 12 years for another court to vindicate Osteen. Many regulations limiting smoking in public have been introduced during this time. If the EPA report really provided the basis for these laws, then each of these regulations gave someone an opportunity to seek Judicial Review on the grounds that the EPA acted outwith its powers or its report was flawed. Yet (as far as I know) none has successfully done so. The Osteen judgment is therefore a red herring and should be consigned to history.

    [Comments on points 5-7 to follow]

  19. Rollo Tommasi says

    5. Boffetta: Like many critics of the smoking laws, the doctor tries to base his claims on an interpretation of one or two cherry-picked studies, instead of what the overall body of evidence is saying. His interpretation requires him to attach a wrong definition to the concept of statistical significance. “Statistically significant” does not mean “point proven”. And, as I said before, “statistically insignificant” does not equal “no risk”. As the table from NYCClash shows, Boffetta’s results about risks to adults are consistent with those a large body of studies, the great majority of which also show an association between passive smoking and lung cancer. The table also shows how available evidence about the risk of harm from childhood exposure is less clear cut. If anything, the Boffetta findings there went against the grain of the balance of evidence.

    6. Watchman: I think you’re acknowledging that the doctor’s quote was not fairly representative or accurate of the message Mr Watchman wanted to convey on behalf of OSHA in his letter.

    7. Enstrom: From my reading, Enstrom’s article does not acknowledge all the criticisms levelled against their study. In particular, it doesn’t appear to acknowledge a valid and relevant line of argument that no follow-up research was carried out between 1972 and 1998. So there was no meaningful assessment of whether people’s exposure to SHS had changed in the intervening years, especially where participants had died in the meantime.

    Instead of considering all the published research available, why does the doctor only cherry-pick a couple of studies, including E&K? It is not representative of the evidence as a whole. It is not exceptionally large (in particular, several other studies analyse a larger number of lung cancer cases). Its methodology is not any more highly regarded than other studies. The doctor is simply cherry-picking this study because it gives a result which is more comfortable to him.

    Yet there’s an irony to this. Not even E&K share the doctor’s conclusion that passive smoking is not harmful!

  20. harleyrider1978 says

    Rollo I have seen your supposed new evidence, perhaps you can share your concrete evidence that shs causes ischemic heart disease..Hopefully your not referring to the death chamber where they introduced tobacco smoke 100s and thousands of times higher than would ever occur in a natural setting. Then the serum cotinine levels in blood or hair the silly local smoke free groups are touting to add some sort of medical supremacy in language for the local papers headline.
    Yes they saw the same findings in a bowl of corn flakes.

    If others confirm the Surgeon generals finding,they should be investigated by competent authority,if any can be found today not forced to cringe in fear that their professional name be lambasted by tobacco controls death grip of the medical community as a whole.

    Ive read many parts of SG2006 report and from what I ve read its a rehash of the 1992 and revised epa shs report.

    You like most of the tobacco control groups know the science for shs/ets is built on a foundation of sand. For the simple fact the majority of studys cant even come close to an RR of 1.5 Where it requires at least a 3.0 to even be allowed in a court of law.

    You fall back when it concerns deaths to shs/ets as do all the smoke free people because the body bags arent there when you make broad statments that 60,000 a year die….smoke frees defence is to kick back and punt with the excuse its over a lifetime of exposure…….guess how much stuff is in the environment to breathe everyday…….to much of the things in shs/ets are NATURALLY occurring in the air everywhere……Take arsenic its everywhere in the air at recorded levels of 0-29 picograms……then your people move to more scare tactics using NNL n-nitrosomines/arsenic as a headliner of fear to the general public,while hoping nobody catches the insignificance of the claim.They couldnt read anymore nnl in a cigarette than they could in the natural air, nitrosomines for those reading turn into inorganic arsenic in the body. Toxicologists call it ”PEE CANCER”
    hense where the tobacco control folks try and claim smoking causes bladder cancer… just isnt so.

    Lets just be frank here rollo, the truth is that billions have been spent creating a public healthscare and building a mountain out of a mole hill called shs/ets.Where no harm even excists no matter the amount of money spent you still cant prove shs/ets causes harm. If you could prove it so easily then every study ever done would show those conclusions but they dont. Heck thay cant even prove direct smoking causes cancer as per the 2004 cot meeting of toxicologists.

    Its all hype and mirrors to create a healthscare so you folks at tobacco control can create a new prohibition.Granted the entire matter is a political one and your people control it in washington working hand in hand with RWJF.

    SHS/ETS is a joke. One thing I know for sure is you wont see any anti-tobacco site or group saying the true chemistry of second hand smoke and thats the PR headline that would sink your collective ship in a heart beat…….94% water vapor and ordinary air…….If I had the money to do it That simple PR drive would end these prohibitions faster than a speeding bullet in the publics eye.

    good day

  21. Rollo Tommasi says

    Harleyrider: You obviously have no answer to the points I have made about the doctor’s blog, because you completely ignore those issues.

    And what you do write is simply an evidence-lite rant.

  22. harleyrider1978 says

    You have no responce to my points,your science is lame and bought. Their conclusions are at most laughable.
    I’m waiting for the tobacco control emails to show up next
    proving the collusion of goverment and non-profits along with research groups working together to create the second hand smoke health fraud…….I hope you have a day job.

  23. harleyrider1978 says

    Quite a copout there rollo.The good doctor is probably working for a living instead of promoting smoke free propaganda paid for with taxpayer dollars. You wouldnt want him to miss any work,that might cut your pay rate on the back of the taxpayers back.

  24. Rollo Tommasi says

    Ah, the inevitable claim that I must somehow work for tobacco control. How wrong you are. Again.

  25. The Doc says

    Oh my- the points everyone is making. First, I don’t think there is any conspiracy by the government. Second, when it comes to death certificates- I have signed them, and if you think there is a contributing factor to second hand smoke, you can place that on it. That can be heart disease, lung cancer, or any disease.
    Here is the bottom line: smoke irritates many people – and if you don’t like to be around it- then don’t be. There is little evidence that it causes the same issues to the same degree as inhaled smoke.

  26. harleyrider1978 says

    Ah! but yes,the inevitable denial. Maybe maybe not. Your arguments are pro-anti-tobacco. How does it feel supporting lies and deciet. Rollo what your up against is generations of smokers who have first hand knowledge of what smoking is. Your so called evidence doesnt phase them in the least.If smoking killed the smoker within moments it never would have become popular,if it had been seen thru the centuries as a killer of bystanders it would have been rejected. The point is it didnt. Thats why your propaganda studies have no impact except in the political sence where shakedown crews like the ACS ,ALA,AHA can parade their paid PHD’S and professional victim witnesses before these groups.
    What you do have in your favor is political plants within local politics that can get these bans thru. The deals are made prior to the public even hearing about a proposed ban.
    What we end up with is radical progressives working in unison with far flung religous nuts who have a compassionate hatred of tobacco and its users. These bans wont stand the test of time as political winds blow and common sence once again returns to the country.

  27. Rollo Tommasi says

    Well Doc, if nothing else I give you credit for offering some kind of response. But I have to ask – is that all you’ve got to say?

    Your latest message does not address any of the 7 criticisms I levelled at your article. Instead it says just 2 things. One is that doctors can refer to second hand smoke on death certificates if they want to. Okay – but that’s not the point you were trying to argue in your article, when you claimed that something should be considered safe unless it’s explicitly referred to in death certificates. Do you still hold that position? Or should I treat your half-relevant remark as implicit acceptance that you may have been wrong?

    The other thing you say is that SHS is less dangerous than active smoking. But again that is a rapid retreat from the point you were trying to make earlier – which was that SHS is not harmful.

    Your article is called “The Myth of Second Hand Smoke”. It seems the only myths it contains are claims you make but are clearly unable to defend.

    As I said before, people place their trust in you as a medical doctor. It is irresponsible of you to be making statements that SHS is safe in your professional capacity as a doctor, based only on the flimsiest of evidence.

  28. harleyrider1978 says

    New Surgeon General’s Report on Passive Smoking

    By David W Kuneman
    June 28, 2006

    In typical antismoking activist style, the DHHS has just released a press release declaring that secondhand smoke is even more dangerous that previously believed. Yet, in the executive summary, reports that the risk association between secondhand smoke and lung cancer is still 1.2 to 1.3, and heart disease 1.25 to 1.3, which are same values claimed 20 years ago. Since these two diseases encompass most of the alleged deaths, then the content of the report actually says secondhand smoke is no more dangerous than generally believed 20 years ago.

    According to the DHHS Press release, “Surgeon General Carmona noted that levels of continine — a biological marker for secondhand smoke exposure — measured in nonsmokers have fallen by 70 percent since the late 1980s, and the proportion of nonsmokers with detectable continine levels has been halved from 88 percent in 1988-91 to 43 percent in 2001-02.” ( The report also says smoke exposure is down 68% in children) yet, the report does not investigate or reveal, if the prevalence of any of the conditions blamed on secondhand smoke have declined accordingly in the USA. In fact, the executive summary declares secondhand smoke still kills about 50,000 Americans/year, the same number which was claimed in the late1980s. How can it be if smoke exposure is down 70%, that secondhand smoke still kills the same number of Americans?, particularly since the executive summary claims many of the effects are immediate. If indeed many of the effects are immediate, then declining smoke exposure should cause immediate declines in the purported deaths. The summary also finds that the majority of remaining exposure is now in the home.

    Remember, the bulk of the scientific evidence is that smokers of fewer than 5 cigarettes/day have the same health statistics as nonsmokers. This new report does not answer the question “How is it smokers of fewer than 5 cigarettes/day are as healthy as nonsmokers while those on average, exposed to the equivalent of 1/2 cigarette/day from secondhand smoke are affected?”

    The executive summary of the report
    claims brief exposure to secondhand smoke can cause a heart attack, yet in Chapter 8 specifically states ” Studies of secondhand smoke and subclinical vascular disease, particularly carotid arterial wall thickening, are suggestive, but not sufficient to infer a casual relationship between exposure to secondhand smoke and atheriosclerosis”. Since these are the mechanisms by which heart attacks blamed on secondhand smoke occur, then this finding contradicts the claim short term or even longer term exposure can cause a heart attack. Yet, the summary does claim long term exposure is related to heart disease. It is amazing if you actually read the executive summary’s report of the status of conditions usually associated with secondhand smoke, that most are still categorized as “insufficient or inconclusive evidence” and this includes breast cancer and children’s ear infections.

    This new report is mostly a rehashment of the 1992 EPA report, using the same arguments, and noting that the Tobacco Industry lawsuit ultimately failed because the EPA never attempted regulatory action. It is noted my, me, that the Surgeon General is also not going to attempt regulatory action, instead leaving it to local governments to risk any resulting lawsuits, because it is obvious if the EPA had undertaken regulatory action after 1992, they would have been found guilty as alleged by the Tobacco Industry, and the DHHS would too.

  29. harleyrider1978 says

    Rollo,I ask ya what do you think of the tobacco companies be forced in the MSA deal to be gagged against stating anything against what tobacco control may claim in the future. Their is also this tid bit about the WHO world tobacco treaty blackmaling countries to sign onto the anti-tobacco treaty or else lose world bank loans. You might also
    be fascinated that epa and osha both list tobacco smoke as a class 3 irritant. If the same standards were applied to other things that they used to make shs/ets a carcinogen even that glass of water you drink would be classified as a human carcinogen……..

  30. harleyrider1978 says

    New Surgeon General’s Report on Passive Smoking

    By David W Kuneman
    June 28, 2006

    In typical antismoking activist style, the DHHS has just released a press release declaring that secondhand smoke is even more dangerous that previously believed. Yet, in the executive summary, reports that the risk association between secondhand smoke and lung cancer is still 1.2 to 1.3, and heart disease 1.25 to 1.3, which are same values claimed 20 years ago. Since these two diseases encompass most of the alleged deaths, then the content of the report actually says secondhand smoke is no more dangerous than generally believed 20 years ago.

    According to the DHHS Press release, “Surgeon General Carmona noted that levels of continine — a biological marker for secondhand smoke exposure — measured in nonsmokers have fallen by 70 percent since the late 1980s, and the proportion of nonsmokers with detectable continine levels has been halved from 88 percent in 1988-91 to 43 percent in 2001-02.” ( The report also says smoke exposure is down 68% in children) yet, the report does not investigate or reveal, if the prevalence of any of the conditions blamed on secondhand smoke have declined accordingly in the USA. In fact, the executive summary declares secondhand smoke still kills about 50,000 Americans/year, the same number which was claimed in the late1980s. How can it be if smoke exposure is down 70%, that secondhand smoke still kills the same number of Americans?, particularly since the executive summary claims many of the effects are immediate. If indeed many of the effects are immediate, then declining smoke exposure should cause immediate declines in the purported deaths. The summary also finds that the majority of remaining exposure is now in the home.

    Remember, the bulk of the scientific evidence is that smokers of fewer than 5 cigarettes/day have the same health statistics as nonsmokers. This new report does not answer the question “How is it smokers of fewer than 5 cigarettes/day are as healthy as nonsmokers while those on average, exposed to the equivalent of 1/2 cigarette/day from secondhand smoke are affected?”

  31. harleyrider1978 says

    The executive summary of the report
    claims brief exposure to secondhand smoke can cause a heart attack, yet in Chapter 8 specifically states ” Studies of secondhand smoke and subclinical vascular disease, particularly carotid arterial wall thickening, are suggestive, but not sufficient to infer a casual relationship between exposure to secondhand smoke and atheriosclerosis”. Since these are the mechanisms by which heart attacks blamed on secondhand smoke occur, then this finding contradicts the claim short term or even longer term exposure can cause a heart attack. Yet, the summary does claim long term exposure is related to heart disease. It is amazing if you actually read the executive summary’s report of the status of conditions usually associated with secondhand smoke, that most are still categorized as “insufficient or inconclusive evidence” and this includes breast cancer and children’s ear infections.

    This new report is mostly a rehashment of the 1992 EPA report, using the same arguments, and noting that the Tobacco Industry lawsuit ultimately failed because the EPA never attempted regulatory action. It is noted my, me, that the Surgeon General is also not going to attempt regulatory action, instead leaving it to local governments to risk any resulting lawsuits, because it is obvious if the EPA had undertaken regulatory action after 1992, they would have been found guilty as alleged by the Tobacco Industry, and the DHHS would too.

  32. harleyrider1978 says

    There is some new noteworthy information, of particular interest; a reference to Capes & Hi (2000) found that generally the smaller the study, the higher the likelihood of a positive correlation between secondhand smoke and disease. Epidemiology textbooks all teach that larger studies are more reliable than smaller ones. The Enstrom/ Kabat study, which is the largest of all the studies, of 35,000 nonsmokers found no risk from secondhand smoke exposure. This confirms the findings of Copas and Shi. Yet the executive summary ignores the possibility smaller studies are unreliable and should be questioned. It would be easy to run many small studies, and publish only the ones which found a risk, and this may actually be what has happened. Yet, the executive summary does not even mention the E/K study, which is the only truly “landmark” study released since the last Surgeon General’s report on passive smoking and is also large enough to minimize all the confounding variables discussed more fully below.

    Epidemiology text books also teach that cohort studies are more reliable than case-controlled studies. In evaluating the evidence linking secondhand smoke to heart disease, the Surgeon General’s report should have included the findings by Enstrom and Kabat that a metanalysis of all cohort studies did not find a link between secondhand smoke and heart disease.
    This also should have been included in the section of the executive summary where the Surgeon General pretends to be concerned about bias problems with secondhand smoke studies. Indeed, when case-controlled studies consistently find higher risks than cohort studies, when small studies consistently find higher risks than large ones, positive bias is definitely operating.

  33. harleyrider1978 says

    The report says nicotine and continene measurements are still the best biomarkers because they are specific for secondhand smoke exposure. The flip side of that coin, is that nothing else in secondhand smoke is specific to secondhand smoke, and present from so many other sources, tobacco smoke exposure cannot be determined by measuring them. This makes it obvious, the report is admitting most of the 5,000 “chemicals” in smoke are too often present from other sources for the elimination of the last traces of secondhand smoke to make any real difference in the public’s assimilation of those other 5,000 chemicals. In fact, the FDA reports that many carcinogens are naturally present in foods, you’ll note many of these are the same as the ones found in tobacco smoke.

    The report does a good job describing the problems with measuring the health impacts of secondhand smoke exposure but then glosses over most of the problems, insinuating they are solved, when no conclusive evidence is presented that they actually are solved. The report admits it is plausible nonsmoking spouses of smokers are more likely to be ex-smokers than is usually assumed when studying the health impact of spousal smoke exposure. ( This, alone could explain all the body of evidence they quote from the literature) The report also admits nonsmoking spouses of smokers are more likely to engage in other risky health behaviors than nonsmoking spouses of nonsmokers, and that these could confound many conclusions of studies the report relies on to conclude secondhand smoke is still a serious health problem.

  34. harleyrider1978 says

    The report says many of these confounding factors are actually more risky than the risks found in the secondhand smoke studies. Apart from misclassification of ever-smoking status, the report recognizes diet and socioeconomic status as potent confounders. The report ignores the fact that smokers and therefore nonsmoking spouses are 1/3 more likely to be urban residents. Urban residency is considered to be a more serious risk for lung cancer and heart disease than secondhand smoke exposure. It is impossible for any secondhand smoke researcher to conclude anything unless urban residency is accurately controlled for. MORE

    Another essential element the Surgeon General missed is the overwhelming evidence that the positive confounders discussed are actually the reason why conclusions that there is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure exist. If indeed, all the secondhand smoke risk claimed is actually due to the presence of confounders, then the actual amount of secondhand smoke exposure is not related to the rate of outcome of disease, and any secondhand smoke exposure contains all the same confounders at the same prevalence level, causing the study conclusions to be of the same magnitude.

  35. harleyrider1978 says

    Even distinguished professors not connected to the industry have questioned the claim…..

    The antismoking activists must be gleeful that the new Surgeon General’s report prepared at taxpayer’s expense follows their previous successful approach of duping the public by selectively considering only evidence supporting the conclusion that secondhand smoke is a health risk. It is obvious the Surgeon General’s office did not do their own research, yet represents that these findings are their own.

    David W. Kuneman
    Director of Research

  36. harleyrider1978 says

    Since 1981 there have been 148 reported studies on ETS, involving spouses, children and workplace exposure. 124 of these studies showed no significant causal relationship between second hand smoke and lung cancer. Of the 24 which showed some risk, only two had a Relative Risk Factor over 3.0 and none higher. What does this mean. To put it in perspective, Robert Temple, director of drug evaluation at the Food and Drug Administration said “My basic rule is if the relative risk isn’t at least 3 or 4, forget it.” The National Cancer Institute states “Relative risks of less than 2 are considered small and are usually difficult to interpret. Such increases may be due to mere chance, statistical bias, or the effect of confounding factors that are sometimes not evident.” Dr. Kabat, IAQC epidemiologist states “An association is generally considered weak if the relative risk is under 3.0 and particularly when it is under 2.0, as is the case in the relationship of ETS and lung cancer. Therefore, you can see any concern of second hand smoke causing lung cancer is highly questionable.” Note that the Relative Risk (RR) of lung cancer for persons drinking whole milk is 2.14 and all cancers from chlorinated water ranked at 1.25. These are higher risks than the average ETS risk. If we believe second hand smoke to be a danger for lung cancer then we should also never drink milk or chlorinated water.

  37. The Doc says

    Nothing like a good lesson in statistics to see that in scientific journals, there can be debate over findings.

    To make broad public policy statements based on “what we think” and poor statistics after, is not a wise use of tax payer resources. I suspect those who promoted the idea of second hand smoke were more interested in public exposure for their careers than public exposure to second hand smoke.

    As a born skeptic, I am not convinced by the data — should there be data — reproducible data- with well thought out studies- then I would change my mind.

    I don’t like cigarettes – I don’t smoke them, and avoid places where the smoke is present. I find it noxious to me, personally — but that should not effect or affect my views, or change the basic religion of the skeptic– the scientific method.

  38. Rollo Tommasi says

    I’ll put this as politely as I can, Doc. But your article is not the work of a “skeptic” which you claim to be, nor of someone who adheres to “scientific method”. Remember that a skeptic is someone whose behaviour is to question, challenge or doubt a stated position. It is not the description of someone who makes ill-founded claims in another direction.

    Your first claim about death certificates is an ill-based claim, not the statement of a skeptic. It does not properly reflect the various ways in which scientific method helps us understand what is harmful to people.

    Your next claims (about the EPA report, the CRS and Osteen) are not the statements of a skeptic either. If you had been truly sceptical and questioned the very lines you’ve pushed (which were claims the tobacco industry raised in the 1990s), you would have discovered how many holes they contain. And you would not have treated as fact these claims whose relevance is so out-of-date in any case. As for applying scientific method, you simply don’t. You focus on the 1992 EPA report, instead of more recent and comprehensive meta-analyses and overall assessments of available evidence. And you rely on an incomplete and dated picture painted by the CRS about numbers of deaths related to SHS exposure.

    It is not proper “scientific method” to cherry-pick two scientific studies (Boffetta and E&K) to try to build a case which is different from what the evidence as a whole tells us. And it is most certainly not proper scientific method to use these studies to build a claim that SHS does not cause harm, when in fact neither of the studies reaches that conclusion! A true skeptic would not behave in that way.

    And it again is not the work of a skeptic to materially misquote an author, as you did in making claims about the Watchman letter. That is the product of either poor research or a deliberate and cynical intent to deceive.

    Doctor – being sceptical means questioning EVERYBODY’S claims. It is not the work of someone who unquestioningly laps up the often very dubious arguments produced by the tobacco industry and opponents of restrictions of smoking in enclosed public places.

  39. harleyrider1978 says

    Rollo its about time you posted your supposed new evidence buddy. I will be waiting and be sure to include the RR’s.
    I suggest you quit drinking so much koolaide and tap water
    its just as cancerous as that bad old second hand smoke.

    Rollo the overwhelming evidence is against your claims. the doc put out those 2 studies because they were the most comprehensive ever done.

  40. harleyrider1978 says

    Corrupt science has two salient characteristics. First, instead of starting with a hypothesis and data and deriving from that a conclusion, it does just the opposite: starting with a desired conclusion, it then selects data in order to support the hypothesis. Second, it stifles dissent by excluding dissenters from the process of review and by using ad hominem arguments to question their character and motives. The EPA is guilty on both counts.

    Of the 30 studies on spousal smoking referred to in the EPA report, only 6 found any statistically significant association between ETS and cancer in nonsmokers married to smokers, and none found a strong relative risk. The studies actually used by the EPA were limited to 11 studies done in the United States. Using the EPA’s own Guidelines for Carcenogenic Risk Assessment, none of these showed a statistically significant risk. These guidelines call for a 95% Confidence Interval. By lowering it to 90%, only one of the 11 studies showed a statistically significant risk. More importantly, the two largest and most recent studies, one of which was partially funded by the National Cancer Institute, were omitted from consideration altogether. Had these two been included, no statistically significant risk would have been found even after lowering the Confidence Interval to 90%. Even after violating its own guidelines, in other words, the EPA could still show no statistically significant risk without selecting data to fit its hypothesis. This cooked data is the EPA’s only basis for declaring ETS to be a “Group A” carcinogen.(“Group A”, incidentally, does not mean “extra deadly”. It simply means “human”.)

    The EPA’s studies on ETS operate under a “zero threshold” hypothesis, or the assumption that if huge quantities of something are dangerous, then microscopic quantities are dangerous also. The data they used, however, fails to bear this out: virtually all of the studies used either found no risk at all or a risk so weak that it would not be considered significant if applied to other subjects.

  41. Mast3r_Shake says

    Rollo, I think what he is saying if second hand smoke kills 30,000 a year or whatever number is claimed then each year there should be 30,000 death certificates that have this stated on it.

    If second hand smoke really does kill or increase cancer risk then wait staff, and people that work at bars should have a higher rate then others, and they really don’t.

    Plx, just stay in your house, you have a 0.00000001% chance of being hit by a car if you don’t.

  42. Rollo Tommasi says

    HarleyRider and Mast3r_Shake make points which I’ve already addressed in this thread, if they care to look.

    Mast3r_Shake – The Doc’s original position did indeed appear to be that the number of references on death certificates can tell you how many people die from something. But he appears to have retreated his position under challenge. And it is right that he should. As I mentioned earlier, radon gas and vehicle exhaust emissions are accepted as causal factors for lung cancer. But you’re unlikely to find them often referred to on death certificates. You’ll also unlikely to see many references made in death certificates to speeding and reckless driving as causal factors behind fatal road traffic accidents. Yet we accept that they are harmful too.

    It’s perfectly clear why HarleyRider isn’t keeping up with the debate – he’s copying and pasting other people’s material without thinking about its relevance to this discussion. He still tries to imply that “not statistically significant” means the same as “not harmful”, without any evidence to justify his claims. He still blindly bases his arguments around the 17 year old EPA report – why? The scientific understanding about SHS has progressed a long way since then. He does of course copy and paste Kuneman’s critique of the US Surgeon General’s 2006 report. But that was written as a biased polemic and was not subject to peer review. For instance, Kuneman waxes lyrical about references in the report and Davey Smith’s article to confounders which might overstate risk. But he conveniently downplays (or ignores altogether) the equally valid references to confounders which can artificially understate risk.

    And as for Relative Risk – please! HarleyRider’s comments show the same deceitful misquoting of professionals as the Doc exemplified in his reference to the Watchman letter. I don’t think HarleyRider deliberately intended to deceive – judging by his tendency to copy and paste other people’s comments, I think he just fell for someone else’s deceit. The fact of the matter is that a Relative Risk of 2 or more is only required where a researcher is seeking to demonstrate a finding following novel research. That was the context in which Temple and the NCI made their comments. They were not stating that the same rule should apply to a situation where a large body of evidence exists, such as in relation to SHS and lung cancer/heart disease. I’ve never been able to find where the Kabat quote comes from (can HarleyRider help me?). But it is certainly not consistent with Kabat’s – sourced – quote that “As a cancer researcher who has published extensively on the harmful effects of smoking, I am in favor of vigorous smoking bans and feel there is no justification for nonsmokers to have to breathe air polluted with tobacco smoke.”

  43. harleyrider1978 says

    Rollo its quite simple, they cant repeat the same findings over and over again in a lab…These cherry picked studies that the surgeon general used still couldnt prove anything.
    Your trying to defend a causation where the threat is so insignificant it doesnt even matter. The day I saw that water vapor and air were the main components of shs/ets and I saw osha’s findings it confirmed what I had always thought. Its all lies. I will say you guys have sure done a thorough job and wasting billions of dollars to get the general public to believe in your HYPE. All you really have going for your side is the political will of government right now.Bush kept your agenda stuck in the mudd for years.
    What you really have pushing your sides agenda is the vast amount of former clinton people in government positions and the vast numbers of public health officials in government closely connected to the anti-tobacco movement. From these positions in CDC,NIH and others they are able to basically rubber stamp anything thrown at them by non-profit groups and put the endorsement of the us govmnt on them.Its a nice play for the tobacco control groups to use in its media campaign to refer to these govmnt agencies as endorsements to their claims……..Guess what gives it all away, the cdc shs page is a carbon copy of the ACS page on shs….when you see that Carmona uses continine blood markers as a bio-marker for being around shs and you see that being used by the smoke free groups everywhere as part of their propaganda campaign it doesnt take much to put the two together….I would have to agree with kuneman that the SG 2006 report was written by tobacco control and he just put his name to it, Why else would so much of tobacco controls campaign be in it. Especially when you see that true neutrality for that report would have been inclusive of all the relevant data/studys not just those that had the best chance to create a close causation but still fell short……….

  44. harleyrider1978 says

    hey ROLLO, psst it takes an RR over 3 before a judge will even listen to it…..thats the magic number.If you cant produce an overwhelming majority over 3 and higher….your gonna be laughed out of court,lucky for you the court of public opinion doesnt need that. They only require a media blitz for years and billions of dollars to create a FACADE.
    Rollo prohibition didnt work before even with a constituional amendment…The people revolted, crime became king and right now smoking rates are climbing,bootlegging is at all time highs around the world……..goverments are in need of revenues and the smoke free groups are the first money the governments take from. So how long do you really think tobacco prohibiton will last?

  45. harleyrider1978 says

    He still tries to imply that “not statistically significant” means the same as “not harmful”, without any evidence to justify his claims. He still blindly bases his arguments around the 17 year old EPA report –

    Rollo,since when has shs/ets changed ever in 400 years.The point is it hasnt.

    lets see here

    Milk-RR of 2.14

    tap water-RR of 1.25

    Second hand smoke- RR of 1.14 averaged of all studies to date.

    The point is when compared to other things in the environment that we injest everyday,trying to take away an insignificant item such as second hand smoke isnt really going to change anything.

    Greg watchman has even stated that if shs/ets bothers you simply open a window. A class three irritant isnt much of a threat to anyone.

    When I take a look at how they went about classifying shs as a carcinogen its a laugh. Why isnt milk or tap water made carcinogens by the same criteria……oh thats right they set dose makes the poison levels to them was it.
    Seems osha did that too,you know the ones in charge of indoor air,unlike epa who is in charge of outdoor air.
    Those dog gone pel’s, its not that osha didnt want to go right along with the tobacco control folks its just that the science wasnt there to back it up and still isnt.
    You’d think that after nearly 40 years of testing. This entire argument would be a done deal in favor of public smoking. Smoking sections worked fine for everybody,it was a compromise that worked well. But as I said back then,it was a gateway to prohibition……I was right

  46. Rollo Tommasi says

    HarleyRider: Would you kindly care to substantiate these wild claims you’re making?

    Kindly list all those numerous published studies which the US Surgeon General supposedly excluded from his report as a result of “cherry-picking”.

    Where exactly is it stated that “it takes an RR over 3 before a judge will even listen to it”?

    When exactly did Watchman say “if shs/ets bothers you simply open a window”?

    When are you going to accept that OSHA is concerned about the health effects of SHS even though individual PELs are not exceeded?

    Are what do your Relative Risk figures for whole milk and water refer to? Which diseases? From any consumption or from a particular volume? How many people are potentially affected? And how many people are at risk because people around them are drinking tap water or whole milk?

    The 20-30% additional risk of heart disease or lung cancer from exposure to SHS is enough to cause thousands of premature deaths each year. In the UK (and I suspect the US too) there are estimated to be more than twice as many premature deaths attributable to exposure to SHS than there are deaths from road traffic accidents.

    So much for your claim that SHS “isn’t much of a threat to anyone”.

  47. harleyrider1978 says

    Those are the sum total of all the shs studys…..the others are for an 8 oz glass and thats for risk to lung cancer or didnt you read the former post………watchman stated open a window if the smoke bothers you.It was in one of his memos……..Ive asked you repeatedly to post your new evidence,I am still waiting.

    ENSTROM & KABAT (2003) Covered by Kevin.

    BOFETTA (WHO) 1998
    10 year study in 7 countries. Statistically insignificant 1.16 for adults; statistically significant decrease in risk of later life cancer for children growing up in smoking households.

    BROWNSON (1992)
    Excluded from EPA Report on lame excuse. “….there was no elevated lung cancer risk associated with passive smoke exposure in the workplace.”

    WU WILLIAMS (1990)
    Also lamely excluded from EPA report, despite its own high praise for the study. Statistically significant decreased risk of lung cancer among women married to smokers– RR: 0.7 (0.6- 0.9)– and similarly no significant association with exposure from coworkers, cohabitants or parents. The study, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and based on 417 cases (a notably large sample) was found, by the EPA, to be “basically well-executed” and yet (amazingly!) they excluded it from their final meta-analysis.

    Similarly, several other workplace studies:

    JANERICH (1990)
    “…an odds ratio of 0.91…indicating no evidence of an adverse effect of environmental tobacco smoke in the workplace”

    “…the association with exposure to passive smoking at work was small and not statistically significant.”

    STOCKWELL (1992)
    “…no statistically signficant increase in risk associated with exposure to environmental tobacco smoke at work or during social activities.”

    ZARIDZE (199
    ” There was no association between exposure to ETS at the workplace and risk of lung cancer.”


    Some of this analysis comes from Martha Perske; some’s my own. It should be noted, too, that most of these studies had small samples, different methodologies, and controlled for few, if any, confounders.

    “No association was observed between the risk of lung cancer and smoking of husband or passive smoke exposure at work.” (p. A -113)

    “…the observed association could easily occur by chance.” (p. A-70)

    “…these results are based on a small sample with too few details provided to assess adequately the study’s design and execution and its bearing on the evidence.” (A-76)

    Even at the highest exposure level (husband smoked 21 or more cigarettes per day) the small increase in risk was not statistically significant. (Table 5-10; p 5-39)

    “No association with lung cancer incidence is observed for spousal smoking.” (A-80)

    Note: this is not his mid-1992 study which the EPA excluded) Of this study EPA notes that it “…suggests a possible association between exposure to ETS and lung cancer, although it could easily be ascribed to chance.” (p. A-26_[Emphasis mine]

    “The unadjusted analysis, the insensitive indicator of ETS exposure, and large use of decedent case and proxy responses limit the value of this study for assessing any health effects associated with passsive smoking.” (A-29)

    Based on 22 cases and self-administered questionnaires. Statistically insignificant findings with CI’s you could drive a truck through. Per EPA: “The potential for bias in all the analyses…needs to be kept in mind…”(A-37)

    GARFINKEL 3 (1985)
    American Cancer Soc study.. Self-administered questionnaires, some filed out by relatives of deceased. “…suggestive of a dose-dependent association between smoking in the home and lung cancer, with reservations due to the use of proxies.” No risk at all from exposure at work or other environments after either 5 or 25 years. RR 0.89, 0.93. (A-51)

    Other Garfinkel studies show inverse dose/response (the longer the exposure/ the less the risk; the greater the exposure/ the less the risk), and zero evidence of histological damage to nonsmokers. And finally showed a decrease in risk for exposure in the workplace (see more, below)

    “There was no indication at all of an association between ETS exposure and lung cancer in women from exposure at home, at work, or from spousal smoking.” (P A-82)

    “…strongly support[s] an increase in lung cancer incidence associated with passive smoking.” A-43 [Note: Fontham refused to release her raw data, not even to her peers or under congressional subpoena.]

    This study reported a decreased risk with increased exposure to ETS. A-42

    “Number of cigarettes smoked daily by the husband and years of exposure to husband’s smoking were positively but not significantly related to lung cancer risk. There was no evidence of any association with exposure of smoking to other household members, and exposure at work was…not statistically significant.” A-87

    “Although there is some suggestive evidence of lung cancer risk from ETS exposure, the statistical evidence may be stronger for an association between lung cancer and the use of wood or straw for cooking.”A-119

    LAM W
    “Potential confounders [including age] have not been controlled for…so attribution…is uncertain.” A-102

    LAM T
    “These statistical results are ostensibly suggestive of an association between ETS exposure and lung cancer incidence but they are based on only crude data with cases and controls unmatched, even on ages.” A-98

    [Slightly elevated risks, but not statistically significant.] A-128 Note: his later (excluded) study definitely said no risk.

    “The authors note this study has obvious limitations.” (A-126) [This is quite a dismissal for a study upon which the Surgeon General hung his hat in 1986. Because of its numerous and notable flaws, the study was discarded for use by the EPA (but it was good enough for the SG to use to get the ball rolling.)

    “Overall methodological shortcomings hamper the interpretation of this study’s results.” A-34

    (ACS) Statistically insignificant RR 1.12, with inverse dose-response . “Compared to nonsmoking women married to nonsmoking husbands, nonsmokers married to smoking husbands showed very little, if any, increased risk of lung cancer.” (A-51

    LEE (1986)
    UK. RR statiscally insignificant 1.0. Same for workplace. Conclusion: “”Among lifelong nonsmokers, passive smoking was not associated with any significant increase in risk of lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, ischemic heart disease, or stroke in any analysis.” A-102

    “…the study’s results are inconclusive.” A-124

    “Overall…provides supportive although not definitive evidence.” A-69 [This study was the Surgeon General’s other great pillar. See below.)

    Japan. Statistically insignificant 1.5. EPA notes: “potential for misclassification and other sources of bias.” “Its interpretation needs to be conservative, taking into account the atypical characteristics of the subjects [all Japanese survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki] and other concerns.” (A-23) (Table 5-11, p 5-41)

    “Overall, presents evidence of a mild duration-dependent association…that skirts statistical significance.” A-46

    “Tier 4: reserved for studies we would exclude from analysis.”

    “…the study’s findings must be viewed as suggestive but not of themselves convincing.” A-31

    PERSHAGEN (1986)
    67 female cases, Sweden. Range of RRs raise eyebrows. RR 1.0 for those living for 30 years with pack-a-day smokers; then (jump) insignificant RR 3.2 for those with (undefined) “high exposure.” Pooled RR: insiginifcant 1.20 (0,70-2.10) Conclusion: ” “the association between lung cancer and passive smoking cannot at present be regarded as causal.”.

    “Overall, this study is not helpful in assessing ETS and lung cancer.” A-109

    “In summary, this large and basically well-executed study observed no significant association between exposure to ETS from cohabitants, spouse, parents, or workplace and lung cancer.” A-137 Excluded by EPA.

    THE SURGEON GENERAL’S STUDIES (and others HE excluded)

    GILLIS (1982)
    Based on 14 cases from an urban Scottish population of 2744 men and women. Statistically insignificant results were nonetheless said to indicate 9 extra deaths per 100,000 non-smoking men married to smokers (based on 6 male cases!) and no increase at all among nonsmoking women married to smokers.

    CHAN AND FUNG (1982)
    HONG KONG .84 female cases. Self-administered questionnaires. RR statisctically insignificant 0.75 (or an apparent 25% decrease in risk.) It also showed similarly negative results for exposure in the workplace.

    KOO (1983, 1984)
    88 nonsmoking female cases. Self-administered questionnaires showed that more of the women who didn’t have cancer were married to smokers than were women who did. “There was no association between involuntary smoking and lung cancer in nonsmoking women. The results were un-
    changed with increasing amounts of exposure or increasing amounts of time.”

    KABAT AND WYNDER (1984, 1987)
    138 female case. Self-administered questionnaires.nonsmoking married women were compared with 78 controls. Study described as “ongoing” but K & W’s earlier findings had shown “no indication at all of an association between ETS exposure and lung cancer for women from exposure at home, at work, or from spousal smoking.” (EPA, 1992, Op cit, p A-82) The RR was a statistically significant 0.79, or a 21% decrease in risk for being married to a smoker.

    WU ET AL (1985) US
    29 female cases. The small observed risk (1.2 for exposure to a pack a day smoker for a span 30 years) was statistically insignificant
    and noted as, at best, a “weak association.”

    A subsequent Wu study (Wu-Williams, 1990) showed a statistically significant decreased risk of lung cancer among women married to smokers– RR: 0.7 (0.6- 0.9)– and similarly found no significant association with exposure from coworkers, cohabitants or parents. The study, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and based on 417 cases was found, by the EPA, in 1992, be “basically well-executed” and yet (amazingly!) they somehow contrived to not use it in the final meta-analysis that served as the basis of its landmark, 1992 Report.

    GARFINKEL 2 (1981)
    American Cancer Society. 564 female cases. RR insignificant 1.12 with a downward dose-response trend. This was also the ONLY study among the group to independently verify cause of death and to confirm women’s status as nonsmokers. It was found that the diagnosis of primary lung cancer had been incorrect for 13% of the cases, and a whopping 40% of the women with cancer (and 9% of the controls) had lied about smoking– as proven by the markers of nicotine in their blood. (81% of the liars were in the group with the smoking husbands.)

    GARFINKEL 1 (1979)
    ACS. Doing a through histological exam of the lungs of thousands of nonsmokers, Garfinkel found “0% atypical cells. If passive smoking does,
    indeed, lead to lung cancer, it would be expected that some of the nonsmokers who had been exposed to the smoke of others would have
    shown histological changes similar to those found in light (less than 10 cigarette a day) smokers,. But no such cases were observed.”

    Greece. 40 female cases of lung or bronchial cancer. Only 10 the cases were histologically confirmed. Statistically significant RR of 2.08 (1.20-3.59). Researcher admits badly matched cases and controls, lack of diagnostic confirmation and “many potential sources of bias” invalidated the study. EPA added that “confounders weren’t addressed.” Gross misclassification was also suspect. Yet this study was one of the 2 pillars of the Surgeon General’s 1986 Report. (Tricholpoulos also admitted that his wife smoked and he’s always hated the smell. Did this bias him? Nah.)

    HIRAYAMA (1981 & 1984)
    JAPAN Prospective cohort study. Married females. Questionnaires (2/3 self-administered) omitted questions that would capture confounders. Over 13 years, from a pool over 91,540 women, there 245 eventual lung cancers, 174 among nonsmokers. Dicing into vague subsets yielded a significant RR 1.8., tho all showed an inverse dose-response (the more spousal smoke, the less risk). Unaccounted-for confounders, pupulation bias, high chance of misclassification. Positing only 10 liars, the RR dropped to less than nothing ( 0.74 – 1,0) Dr. Nathan Mantel, the man who invented the method of statistical analysis used by Hirayama noted that the calculations were wrong and Hirayama’s 1.8 was off by a factor of “1000%” Hirayama refused to reveal his raw data to other scholars. Yet this was the other pillar of the SG 86 Report.

    MINOWA (1981)
    JAPAN. Concluded: Air pollution, not tobacco smoke exposure, was the crucial factor.

    It was these piss poor SG studies that led to the bonanza in grants to people who promised to confirm the darkest findings.

  48. harleyrider1978 says

    So much for your claim shs harms people…The whole shs/ets claims are so exagerated I wouldnt be surpised if they jailed tobacco control one day as they did in italy here 2 years ago for graft and bribery of political figures.

  49. harleyrider1978 says

    Here a rr above 2 is considered for lower courts with a jury
    to be a preponderance of probability but below 3. 3 is the magic threshold in the legal community as not just a relative risk is enuf,the preponderance of all the studys should show causation.

    In some recent medical malpractice cases, courts have used the concept of “relative risk,” which has an extensive history in toxic tort and product liability cases, when performing a Daubert analysis of the admissibility of causation evidence. Courts have repeatedly held that when epidemiologic studies establish that a relative risk factor is greater than 2.0, a jury can reliably conclude that the exposure caused the injury under the preponderance of the evidence standard.19 As explained by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, “the threshold for concluding that an agent more likely than not caused a disease is 2.0. A relative risk of 1.0 means that the agent has no causative effect on incidence. A relative risk of 2.0 thus implies a 50% likelihood that the agent caused the disease. Risks greater than 2.0 permit an inference that the plaintiff’s disease was more likely than not caused by the agent.”20 On the other hand, if the relative risk is 2.0 or less, then the background risk is at least as likely to have caused the injury as the alleged negligence, and legal causation cannot be found (eg, see ref 21).

    This is why the surgeon general didnt wait for the kabal study and left others out. They were doing there best foot work to create an rr as high as they could from what they had but just couldnt do it. Thats why you see the 10-30% number tossed about so much by the smoke free groups.WHen you add in those other studys the rr is way below 1.

    Those results would have concluded a PROTECTIVE EFFECT to second hand smoke.

  50. virglk says

    Rollo Tommasi, if you are not a paid Anti, you must be an unpaid stand-in for a Christmas Turkey. You are definitely stuffed BS. If you are incapable of honest research you should remain silent and be thought dumb rather than speak and remove all doubt.

    Less than 5 out of over 125 studies found a risk of over 3. Standared practice is nothing under 3 is a health threat. You need to stay off Government approved sites and look for truth instead of something to bolster you’re on opinion.

  51. Rollo Tommasi says

    HarleyRider: So basically you have:

    1. Listed a whole load of cases which the Surgeon General’s report refers to, when I asked you which ones he had supposed left out as a result of “cherry-picking” (classic copy-and-pasting from another thread, by the way – who is “Kevin” supposed to be and where has he covered Enstrom & Kabat?)

    2. failed to source this quote which Greg Watchman is supposed to have given;

    3. effectively admitted through omission that nobody’s health is harmed if someone next to them drinks whole milk (if there is a risk, it affects the drinker only);

    4. referred to aspects of the Daubert judgement. But that rule only applies to court cases looking at individual causation – not cases which consider whether laws to control smoking in public are legal. If I’m wrong, why hasn’t every legal restriction in the US been blocked by successful Judicial Reviews?

    Oh dear. You’re not doing very well, are you?

  52. virglk says

    The problem with the Surgeon Generals astoundingly alarmist statements is that the actual report released by his office doesn’t back up his sensational media claims. The 727 page document catalogs all manner of possible ailments casually linked to secondhand smoke, but provides no evidence to support Carmona’s statements to the press.
    What was studied is chronic exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, such as that experienced by a non-smoker living with a smoker for 30 years. In such circumstances, the report finds an “inferred,” and “casual” relationship between exposure to secondhand smoke and increased risks of coronary heart disease. The actual increased risk inferred in the report is statistically insignificant.

    The demonization of smokers is raised to new heights by Carmona’s statements. His statements suggest that merely passing by a smoker on a sidewalk could have immediate adverse health effects, causing an irreversible chain of biological events to be set in motion, possibly resulting in death. Why, then does he advocate only indoor smoking bans? If no ventilation or separation is sufficient protection, how can the outdoors be?
    If this is what the anti-smoking movement is hanging its hat on, there is little more to fear from them. They have lost any semblance of credibility. When smokers are portrayed as monsters, instantly cursing with disease and death any who lay eyes on them, only the most impaired can take this movement seriously.
    See Dr. Michael Siegel’s blog for the full story.

  53. virglk says

    The WHO has been working on how to fool the people about SHS/ETS since 1975 when they were told the only way to get people to stop smoking was to make the public believe that SHS/ETS was killing their children and all the people around them. So, if Cigarettes were to be introduced now it would take many years to get the people brainwashed to swallow this fraud that SHS/ETS WAS KILLING PEOPLE.
    Anyone over 30 has been raised around SHS. If it were as dangerous as they would have us believe, everyone over 30 would be DEAD.
    The longest/largest studies by the ACS, the WHO and over 250 other studies found no connection to Cancer or Heart Disease. It’s about time people were catching on to the fraud.
    The 1993 EPA report has been vacated as a fraud by Federal Judge Osteen and by two Congressional Committees. Why hasn’t the media exposed this? Could it be that they are paid too well to keep it hidden? IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT PROFIT NOT HEALTH. WAKE UP.

  54. harleyrider1978 says

    ROLLO your losing it dude.A 3 and under rollo a 3 and under…… fail to make the case and your falling back
    on well milk doesnt affect other people……dose makes the poison big boy its the dose……thats where your science failed ya…….you got propaganda to build and thats it.

    Why is it that tobacco control nor the sg report ever point out on their web sites that shs/ets is damn near all water vapor and air…..You know rollo Ive met doctors at vanderbilt university that break down laughing when you even ask about shs/ets………why would that be???? My personal physician is a vanderbilt grad, smokes and knows exactly what your game is……he is the one that told me about shs/ets being a joke…..

    Rollo the only reason smoking bans are in place is because of big fat checks from big pharma and the acs…..The 14th amendment calls for equal protection unless due process is met……whats due process? thats the wiggle room that makes the entire 14th basically worthless……it means if its voted on due process is meant…it means you have no 14th amendment rights nor do smokers…….we basically outlaw anything we want to if we got a mob rule mentality…… 9th amend rights is a whole diferent deal………to meet the 9th 2 sitting justices have said if a traditional right is claimed ,one that is ingrained to the society from enception of the founding it meets the 9ths definition as a protected right,but anyone who reads it for what it says. It means we smokers have the right individually to smoke as we always have in public places just as the founding fathers had and smoking bans would be deemed a violation of that right.But nobody has yet sued to the supreme court on that issue.There are also 5th amend rights to look at……..still a matter for lawyers,but will the political will still be here to keep these prohibitions in place for very long……obviously not as without the funds to keep fresh healthscares into the minds of the public they quickly lose the propaganda smoke-free has pumped into them………as they say in politics 6 weeks can make a lie the truth or the truth a the publics memeory is ony about 6 weeks according to pollsters and media blitz guys……so if I had the money I could get smoke free ont he ropes and laws repealed especially in a federal election year like this one. Your lucky we dont have the money as that blitzkrieg media run would end it all for TC.

  55. harleyrider1978 says

    [can HarleyRider help me?). But it is certainly not consistent with Kabat’s – sourced – quote that “As a cancer researcher who has published extensively on the harmful effects of smoking, I am in favor of vigorous smoking bans and feel there is no justification for nonsmok[[ers to have to breathe air polluted with tobacco smoke.”]

    Here you will find kabat states with ventilation there is no need for any smoking bans. note this is july 30th 2009

  56. Rollo Tommasi says

    No he doesn’t say that.

    He says (my emphasis): “IF IT IS POSSIBLE, through segregation of smokers and nonsmokers and the use of air filtration, to reduce all components of environmental tobacco smoke in establishments where smoking is permitted to the level of the air in non-smoking establishments, there is reason to believe that any risk would be undetectable.”

    I also think Kabat was cute in referring to the E&K study. He doesn’t explain that their study yielded a smaller number of lung cancer cases than several other studies – so it was not the largest study done. Also, he justifies use of their data by pooling together both CPS studies undertaken by the ACS. But he ignores the fact that the recognition is principally attached to CPS-II. The version they used (CPS-I) didn’t give them any information about possible changes in levels of exposure to SHS in the intervening quarter century after 1972 until E&K conducted their research.

    It’s also worth noting that he rightly doesn’t try to suggest that the results of E&K’s meta-analysis are more valid than the results of previous meta-analyses.

  57. harleyrider1978 says

    It was the largest concentrate of people from all walks of life. You try and make a point out of number of lung cancer cases found……that sounds like the smaller studies went out of their way to try and prove causation by adding more to cancer victims on purpose……smaller studies are not reliable as are large long term studies……thats a fact.

    Besides your statement about kabat being for all bans is proven wrong…….The end outcome is just as had always been said open a window or turn on the air handlers if it bothers you…nearly all places that have smoking in them have ventilation systems and even ionizers and hepa filtration. You can literally watch the smoke rise and dissipate into nothing in these environments…water vapor quickly turns into nothing the quicker it cools.
    I will say it again 94% water vapor and air isnt going to harm anyone………the smoke free groups make it sound like the smoke itself is some sort of poisonous gas which we all know it isnt……..

  58. Rollo Tommasi says

    Good grief HarleyRider. You really ought to check facts before you spout forth.

    The number of lung cancer cases is CRUCIAL in assessing relative risk levels. If you don’t believe me, why don’t you look at Tables 7 & 8 of the E&K report for yourself, where you will find that their relative risk figures are founded on the actual numbers of lung cancer/heart disease cases within the cohort they surveyed.

    And I take it your attempt to deflect discussion from your claim about what Kabat said is your cowardly way of admitting you were AGAIN caught misquoting someone – as if misquoting the likes of Greg Watchman, Robert Temple and the National Cancer Institute wasn’t enough.

    Your attempts to help dig the Doc out of his hole aren’t working. In fact, they simply reinforce how much your case is built upon conspiracy theory nonsense.

    I see the Doctor has gone quiet. Seems he’s maybe recognised the error of his ways.

  59. harleyrider1978 says

    What is going on is kabat like so many others are afraid of is personal attacks such as what dr siegel has endured and many others that dont tow the anti-smoking agenda.So unless they somehow say the science is sound but flawed even when the evidence states otherwise….second hand smoke is a joke and you know it…I dont see the doc as being in a hole. What I see is you trying to rattle his cage. The point is the RRs are way below 3 and your propaganda is as phony as obamas promise not to raise taxes.

    Please point out where I misquoted anyone….you stated kabat was in total support of smoking bans,which he is not as proven by his own letter.

    Watchman stated open a window in one of his memo’s which I will find……..

    Temples statement was not misquoted one bit as you want to imply……..NCI statement is a direct quote…….You are the one who is having the problem here,that there are people who wont abide tobacco controls twisting of science to establish a defacto control of medical science and all its people as is what happens in climatology.
    I see how fast you went to attack the docs credibility, We cant have dessenters within the medical community as it destroys our attempts at a fraud to the general public.

    My questioning why would researchers seek out cancer victims to do a study,was implying it could be compared as a stacking of the deck to a conclusion. Finding perfectly healthy individuals at the start and then following them thru decades and then adjusting for other things and the development of cancers later that show up in these individuals should be the only cancer group allowed in the study at all….of course there are to many other things that would have to be adjusted in order to completely include them even later…..but thats what would make a pretty good study to show causation rather than just relative risk…simple questionaires to me are a flawed science in themselves especially when used in small sampling studies…but as kabat has shown the RR is so low why even bother arguing the point unless your bent on a prohibition movement.

  60. harleyrider1978 says

    Secondhand data on secondhand smoke
    October 8, 2006 12:50 am

    HELVETIA, W.Va.–The federal government’s 30-year anti-smoking crusade has been so successful that there are now more ex-smokers than smokers in the United States. But about a quarter of the population continues to smoke cigarettes, and over the past decade a new health hazard has been fabricated and publicized.

    The news media have parroted the idea that secondhand smoke is harmful, and a recent survey finds that more than 80 percent of adults now believe this. But the secondhand-smoke scare is based largely on speculation reminiscent of superstitions from the Middle Ages, before the discovery of the scientific method.

    The 2006 surgeon general’s 709-page report “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke” further promotes this sham. The report claims that even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can cause immediate harm and cites reports that estimate secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths and tens of thousands of heart disease deaths among nonsmokers each year.

    It concludes that there is no risk-free level of exposure, and recommends “smoke-free policies” to eliminate all indoor smoking. Surgeon General Richard Carmona himself stated at a June 27, 2006, press conference, “The science is clear: [secondhand smoke] is a serious health hazard that causes premature death and disease in children and non-smoking adults.”

    The Environmental Protection Agency, American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, and American Cancer Society all concur. The California Air Pollution Authority has labeled secondhand smoke a toxin and the EPA has initiated a “Smoke-Free Home Pledge Campaign.”

    Marriott has announced that its 2,300 hotels will become totally smoke-free by October 15 of this year. In June, a California state Senate committee approved a bill to ban smoking in private cars with children.

    But the science is not “clear.” In fact, there is no credible scientific evidence to support any of this. Whereas the association of cigarette smoking with heart disease and lung cancer in epidemiologic studies is strong–an increase of 100 to 300 percent and 900 percent respectively–the association found between secondhand-smoke exposure and heart disease and lung cancer in the studies cited by the surgeon general is very weak, an increase of about 30 percent for each.

    In addition, the report cherry-picks studies that support its claims and ignores other important ones that do not. For example, it cites a 1993 EPA meta-analysis of 30 studies, that has since been discredited, and ignores an excellent 1998 World Health Organization large single study that showed a reduced association for children of smokers and no association for spouses and co-workers.

    The largest single study of all, a 39-year analysis of over 35,000 Californians published in 2003 in the British Medical Journal, found no connection between passive smoking and mortality. It was not cited.

    Epidemiology is the study of disease in populations. Epidemiologists collect data using poorly controlled observational studies and evaluate it by using statistical methods.

    These methods are not adequate to test the hypotheses required by the scientific method, so epidemiology can never prove or disprove anything. It uses “relative risk” to report its findings of association. An RR of 1.0 is average, while an RR of 3.0 or more–a 300 percent increase–is required to suggest causation.

    The epidemiologic studies cited by the surgeon general’s report cannot determine causation largely because they are unable to control for inherent systematic errors. These include measurement errors, confounding factors, and at least 56 different biases, including “recall bias.”

    In the studies cited by the surgeon general, not only do the researchers have no control over the exposures to secondhand smoke, they don’t even know what the data are.

    A weak association is a fortuitous finding. Converting it into a causal link bypasses the scientific method, and has been termed “statistical malpractice” in the literature.

    This unethical application of statistics to the imperatives of health policy is a common occurrence in politically motivated science.

    The report claims that the weak statistical associations found in the studies “were not determinant” in making causal inferences, but instead, “judgments were based on an array of considerations.” What these considerations were, and why they were more important than the results of the studies cited, is not apparent.

    Finally, a basic principle of toxicology is that “the dose makes the poison.” The surgeon general’s report admits that secondhand smoke “is rapidly diluted as it travels away from the burning cigarette,” and that it cannot be defined or measured.

    It takes many years of persistent exposure for cigarette smoking to cause disease. For example, a patient’s smoking one pack of cigarettes (22 cigarettes) a day for 10 years alerts a physician to search for lung disease. But even in the smokiest of smoke-filled rooms, nonsmokers inhale only a fraction of one cigarette a day.

    To be beneficial, public policy must be based on good science. Bad science inevitably leads to bad public policy.

    All government bureaucracies have one hidden agenda–to increase their funding and power. This leads to misrepresentations like the secondhand-smoke scare.

    The 2006 surgeon general’s report reminds us that one ongoing peril for citizens is being misled by government bureaucrats seeking to expand their power.

    We need to shape our policies on the basis of good science, instead of shaping the science to fit the policies.

    Copyright 2006 The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company.…0082006/227373

  61. Rollo Tommasi says

    Harleyrider – Let me put you straight on all this misquoting.

    1. Relative risk.

    The 1st misquote – Robert Temple said “My basic rule is if the relative risk isn’t at least 3 or 4, forget it.”

    The truth – This quote relates to a discussion about the relative risk required before a “single epidemiologic study is persuasive by itself” ( In other words, Temple’s not suggesting that studies reporting smaller relative risks aren’t relevant – he’s simply stating that a SINGLE study needs to show a large relative risk to be conclusive without the need for further evidence.

    But our understanding about the dangers of secondhand smoke is built upon a large body of evidence, not a single study. So Temple’s quote is totally irrelevant in the context of passive smoking.

  62. Rollo Tommasi says

    I’ve been unable to post my comments for the last 24 hours. It may be that this thread can’t take any more comments, as I can’t get the rest of my remarks on now. I’ll try again later, and can always take over another thread if necessary.

  63. harleyrider1978 says

    This large body of ”cough” evidence is all against you and your claims that shs/ets harms anyone. I was just talking to a councilwoman in radcliff ky. that just out of the blue haze 2 days ago said the council called an emergency meeting over a smoking ban that had always failed in the past.Seems one of the councilmen suddenly at the last minute after always being against a ban decided to vote for one. This councilman immediately stated he was not running for reelection next year and stated if the ban wasnt enacted now it never would be…..needless to say this councilmans financial background is now being checked into for possible sale of a vote to smokefree.

    The council is going to revote this ban in the future because of the sudden change of one member as was told to me.

    She told me how the ACS paraded their sob stories and all theyre supposed evidence. Which wasnt believed by the council.It seems the local holy rollers and smoke free were behind the push for the ban together.Not the local citizens.

    I have a feeling that ellen hahns smoke free money may have found its way into this councilmans pocket or other favors……people dont just change a long standing decision overnite as what happened here. So now its onto the money trail…..wish us luck in a criminal case on these people.

  64. Rollo Tommasi says

    Here’s HarleyRider’s 2nd misquote: The National Cancer Institute said “Relative risks of less than 2 are considered small and are usually difficult to interpret. Such increases may be due to mere chance, statistical bias, or the effect of confounding factors that are sometimes not evident.”

    The truth – The National Cancer Institute quote comes from a press release about a study into the links between abortion and breast cancer. The release does say “relative risks of less than 2 are considered small and are usually difficult to interpret.” But once again the quote is made in the context of a SINGLE study which lacked supporting evidence. Far from stating the results of the study were irrelevant, the National Cancer Institute states “…the findings are not conclusive. Further research is needed to interpret the results”. In other words, the research was valid, but not conclusive in itself without further evidence. Here’s the release:

  65. Rollo Tommasi says

    Marimont and Levy were guilty of misquoting the NCI in the same way as HarleyRider. In a damning indictment of their article, the American Council on Smoking and Health said “The authors mislead readers by misrepresenting a quotation from the National Cancer Institute, which qualifies relative risks, as the agency’s “own guideline.” In fact, the NCI has no such guideline about relative risks, and the quotation cited is taken from a 1994 NCI press release on abortion and the risk of breast cancer. Given its proper context, this so-called guideline makes a much different point from what the authors suggest.”

  66. Rollo Tommasi says

    The website’s not accepting the weblink to the source of the above quote (which explains why I’ve had difficulty in getting the site to accept previous comments). Anyway, you can google for it – the quote comes from “A Critical Assessment of “Lies, Damned Lies, & 400,000 Smoking-Related Deaths” by Robert Levy and Rosalind Marimont, published in Regulation, Fall 1998.

  67. Rollo Tommasi says

    Then there’s the misquote about the volume of contaminants in secondhand smoke….

    The misquote – Greg Watchman of OSHA said in a letter “It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.”

    The truth – That misquote has been used (by the Doc on this Board and by HarleyRider, I see, numerous times) to suggest that SGS is safe because individual PELs are not exceeded. But, in order to make that claim, you ignore Watchman’s next sentence, which is fundamentally important: “The more central concern of the Agency is that synergism of the chemicals in tobacco smoke may lead to adverse health effects even though the PELs are often not exceeded.”

    That statement is made in a formal letter on behalf of OSHA (, which trumps any unsourced quote HarleyRider supposedly has from Watchman. It also undermines HarleyRider’s baseless claim that SHS must be safe because it is mostly air and water vapour. You don’t need much of the remaining contaminants to inflict harm. Vehicle emissions are also mostly air and water vapour – is HarleyRider suggesting they’re safe?

  68. Rollo Tommasi says

    Finally for now, there’s HarleyRider’s misquote about Kabat’s claims.

    The misquote – “kabat states with ventilation there is no need for any smoking bans”. (

    The truth – Kabat actually says no such thing. He actually says “IF IT IS POSSIBLE, through segregation of smokers and nonsmokers and the use of air filtration, to reduce all components of environmental tobacco smoke in establishments where smoking is permitted to the level of the air in non-smoking establishments, there is reason to believe that any risk would be undetectable.” So, in making that statement, he makes clear doesn’t know if ventilation would be able to reduce SHS components sufficiently.

    HarleyRider’s arguments rely on a combination of (1) unsourced and unverified claims, and (2) a continuing pattern of deceit, in order to twist the words of other people in an effort to bolster his case.

    I’ll just stick to reading and assessing evidence for myself, instead of lapping up without a second thought whatever nonsense the pro-smoking conspiracy theorists happen to come up with.

  69. harleyrider1978 says

    Vehicle emissions are also mostly air and water vapour – is HarleyRider suggesting they’re safe””””’

    rollo why dont you go sit in a garage for 15 minutes with one car running,I will go sit in a 20 by 20 room with about 100 smokers……sealed of course lets see who dies….

    Your comparison is so crazy its comical,but then everything smoke free claims is just as crazy…… synergism of the chemicals in shs/ets……The point here is they tested and retested for 40 years in the laboratory and in building settings and could not find enough of anything to cause harm to anyone….synergism a fancy word to claim that chemicals can bond to make other chemicals….dont ya think this would have been observed already and included in the pels……….besides rollo you really should post the entire text

    The more central concern of the Agency is that synergism of the chemicals in tobacco smoke [may] lead to adverse health effects even though the PELs are often not exceeded. The Agency published in a proposed rule in April of 1994 that it is of the opinion that lung cancer and heart disease are major health concerns in nonsmoking workers chronically exposed to ETS. In response to this adverse health risk information, the Agency proposed restricting smoking in workplaces to designated smoking areas that are separately exhausted to the outside. A very large number of comments were received on the proposed rule. The Agency is not yet ready to make final decisions on the resolution of the proposed rule.

    Follow this up at later dates where the EPA report was tossed as junk science and other longe term studies that showed shs/ets doesnt cause cancer or heart disease in non-smokers exposed……you note he says a ventilation system.
    I have in another memo where watchman states if it bothers you simply open a window…….

    Kabats statement clearly shows that ventilation is the answer to any concerns where there is no concern to begin with…..IF ITS ALL REMOVED AS HE SAYS whats left except nothing but what was in tobacco smoke to begin with water vapor and air. Everything in tobacco smoke is in the air everywhere naturally because the atmosphere is made up of burned organic material since the world began. A class 3 irritant isnt going to harm you or anyone.

    Kabat himself is in a position that if he doesnt carry the anti-smoking agenda to an extent he will be attacked personally and professionally as has already happened to him. You can ask dr.siegal about that!

    In every study just about you will always find where the authors include a small insurance policy so they dont get castrated by the tobacco control groups….The epa scientists whether its global warming or shs/ets they are always being attacked or threatened if they dont tow the scentific political agenda of the concensus epa wants at the time…Here just last summer one of the lead global warming scientists at epa had his own study rejected from the official record because his study didnt carry the official global warming hype…….He told the truth and was castigated for it………If you dont recall.

  70. Rollo Tommasi says

    So HarleyRider. You have no answer to any of the accusations of misquoting. Your only response is to completely misread Kabat again. He doesn’t say that ventilation removes all contaminants. He says if it was POSSIBLE for ventilation to remove all contaminants, then there would be no need for smoking laws. Something very, very different.

    Your arguments depend on twisting the words of others. Accept it.

    Do you accept that vehicle emissions are a cause of lung cancer? Because it is the same scientific evidence which tells us that as tells us about the hazards of SHS. And yes, contaminants make up just a small proportion of vehicle emissions too.

  71. harleyrider1978 says

    Its quite possible…surgical rooms have had this technology for years and is in most buildings already.

    Point is theres absolutly no need for any ventilation to start with. Thats the issue. Only people who hate smoke that much need that type of ventilation. As far as risk there is none to start with….. If there were risk we’d all been dead long ago……..water vapor and air will not harm you nor will the components found in shs.

    People living in cities is where you find the majority of cancer cases where Emissions are suspected of causing disease,yet unproven. The studies done prove second hand smoke is not a risk factor for disease.

  72. harleyrider1978 says

    I really am not worried about many more bans comming down as the political will for them is about gone……The repeals is what will be forth comming in the next few years,if not sooner as many towns and cities reverse course.

  73. Rollo Tommasi says

    HarleyRider says “The studies done prove second hand smoke is not a risk factor for disease.”

    What absolute nonsense! I know of no study which states what HarleyRider claims. So here’s a challenge for HarleyRider and I’ll make it an easy one for him.

    Where in the Enstrom & Kabat report does it state that their results “prove second hand smoke is not a risk factor for disease”?

  74. harleyrider1978 says

    Environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality in a prospective study
    of Californians, 1960-98 also known as the Enstrom and Kabat Study.

    Objective To measure the relation between environmental tobacco smoke, as estimated by smoking in spouses, and long term mortality from tobacco related disease. Design Prospective cohort study covering 39 years.

    Setting Adult population of California, United States.

    Participants 118 094 adults enrolled in late 1959 in the American Cancer Society cancer prevention study (CPS I), who were followed until 1998. Particular focus is on the 35 561 never smokers who had a spouse in the study with known smoking habits.

    Main outcome measures Relative risks and 95% confidence intervals for deaths from coronary heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease related to smoking in spouses and active cigarette smoking.

    Results For participants followed from 1960 until 1998 the age adjusted relative risk (95% confidence interval) for never smokers married to ever smokers compared with never smokers married to never smokers was 0.94 (0.85 to 1.05) for coronary heart disease, 0.75 (0.42 to 1.35) for lung cancer, and 1.27 (0.78 to 2.08) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among 9619 men, and 1.01 (0.94 to 1.08), 0.99 (0.72 to 1.37), and 1.13 (0.80 to 1.58), respectively, among 25 942 women. No significant associations were found for current or former exposure to environmental tobacco smoke before or after adjusting for seven confounders and before or after excluding participants with pre-existing disease. No significant associations were found during the shorter follow up periods of 1960-5, 1966-72, 1973-85, and 1973-98.

    Conclusions The results do not support a causal relation between environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality, although they do not rule out a small effect. The association between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed.


  75. harleyrider1978 says

    List of all studies on ETS through 2006

    Number of spousal studies: 81.
    Not statistically significant risk elevation: 69
    Not statistically significant risk reduction (protection): 10
    Statistically significant risk elevation: 1
    Statistically significant risk reduction (protection): 1

    Number of workplace studies: 31
    Not statistically significant risk elevation: 24
    Not statistically significant risk reduction (protection): 7
    Statistically significant risk elevation: O

    Number of childhood studies: 37.
    Not statistically significant risk elevation: 25
    Not statistically significant risk reduction (protection): 10
    Statistically significant risk elevation: 1
    Statistically significant risk reduction (protection): 1

    All studies with a 95% confidence level have a 3% margin of error. Therefore only studies that show an elevation of 3.0 or above are of statistical significance.

  76. harleyrider1978 says

    American Cancer Society catches the Surgeon General
    in an outright lie…

    The Surgeon General showed up very regal looking to provide a press release rehashing the tired old argument that secondhand smoke is deadly and must be banned. And with his next statement:

    Separate “no smoking” sections DO NOT protect you from secondhand smoke. Neither does filtering the air or opening a window.

    The American Cancer Society measured the air quality for secondhand smoke in several venues. ACS tested by measuring the “marker” chemical in secondhand smoke -nicotine.* The results are shown above ranging from 20 -940 nanograms / cu. M. A nanogram is 10 (-9) of a gram or 0.000000001 of a gram which is also 0.000001 of a mg (milligram).

    The OSHA safe exposure level to airborne nicotine for an 8 hour per day, 40 hour per week is 0.5 mg/cu. M as per the partial OSHA table above.

    OSHA safe level 0.5 mg divided by ACS result 20 nanograms, which is also 0.000020 of a mg. Thus, 0.5 /0.00002 = 25,000 times safer than OSHA regulations.

  77. harleyrider1978 says

    There is no scientific evidence that second hand smoke causes a significant health hazard to nonsmokers; indoors, outdoors, or cars in the Commonwealth of Virginia, or that prohibition of ETS will improve public health.

  78. harleyrider1978 says

    What some authorities have to say about relative risks

    National Cancer Institute – “In epidemiologic research, relative risks of less than 2 are considered small and usually difficult to interpret. Such increases may be due to chance, statistical bias or effects of confounding factors that are sometimes not evident.” – National Cancer Institute, “Abortion and possible risk for breast cancer: analysis and inconsistencies,” October 26, 1994.

    Sir Richard Doll – ” … when relative risk lies between 1 and 2 … problems of interpretation may become acute, and it may be extremely difficult to disentangle the various contributions of biased information, confounding of two or more factors, and cause and effect.”
    “The Causes of Cancer,” by Richard Doll, F.R.S. and Richard Peto. Oxford-New York, Oxford University Press, 1981, p. 1219.

    WHO/IARC – “Relative risks of less than 2.0 may readily reflect some unperceived bias or confounding factor, those over 5.0 are unlikely to do so.” – Breslow and Day, 1980, Statistical methods in cancer research, Vol. 1, The analysis of case control studies. Published by the World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Sci. Pub. No. 32, Lyon, p. 36

    FDA – “My basic rule is if the relative risk isn’t at least 3 or 4, forget it.” – Robert Temple, director of drug evaluation at the Food and Drug Administration.

    “An association is generally considered weak if the odds ratio [relative risk] is under 3.0 and particularly when it is under 2.0, as is the case in the relationship of ETS and lung cancer.” – Dr. Kabat, IAQC epidemiologist

    “As a general rule of thumb, we are looking for a relative risk of 3 or more before accepting a paper for publication.” – Marcia Angell, editor of the New England Journal of Medicine”

  79. Rollo Tommasi says

    Yip – I was right. You copy and paste part of the Enstrom and Kabat report. But note that NOWHERE does it state that the results of their study prove second hand smoke is not a risk factor for disease.

    So HarleyRider is deceiving others as well as himself by thinking E&K (or another study) proves what he claims they prove.

    As for his collection of figures, they say absolutely nothing. HarleyRider relies on his deceitful claims about relative risk and statistical significance.

    His claims about relative risk depend on wicked misrepresentations of people’s statements (which I have asked him to defend but he never has).

    Equally his claims about statistical significance are fabrications of the truth and dalliances with fantasy. Note how he has NEVER given any evidence to support his claim that something is proven to be of no risk if a result is not statistically significant.

    As for that last comment, what was that about?

    HarleyRider – you can copy and paste as much as you want. But when are you going to defend your ridiculous misquotes about relative risk and your nonsensical assumptions about statistical significance?

  80. harleyrider1978 says

    rollo you live in a world of fiction.I suggest you stop drinking the smoke free koolaide….this political psuedo-science ride of tobacco control has just about run its course right along with climategate………november 2010 expect to see great changes and smoke free on the run for the hills………We may even see smoking back on capitol hill………the games up,ya made the voters mad.

  81. harleyrider1978 says

    Btw rollo EPA is being attacked to make claims on tap water now……….its gonna be real funny when they are forced to make it a carcinogen as they did shs/ets…….when shs’s rr is below that of tap water……..that ones really going to come off the top……..cant wait to see that!!!!

  82. Rollo Tommasi says

    I knew it. Absolutely no answer.

    You came in to try to help the Doc, who had chosen to reel off nonsense created by pro-tobacco interests and didn’t know how to respond when asked to account for his claims.

    You have a different approach. You just ignore the challenges and cut and paste some new stuff in the hope that it might help your case. But you’re still spouting nonsense.

    And you still have absolutely no idea of how to validate the ludicrous claims you’ve been making.

    That’s what happens when you fall for the conspiracy theorists’ nonsense and don’t think their claims through properly for yourself.

  83. harleyrider1978 says

    The only conspiracy going on is in tobacco control and the united states government of which top progressives now control and have been of governmental depts of science and health using those positions to create scientific fraud and determinations to further the prohibition movement now in america and around the world….closely tied to the united nations and the world health orginization that is funded big time by nicoderm pharmecuetical companies…yet the who will not release just how much money that is,but is suspected to be nearly 60% of their operating budget along woith bloomberg and gates funding. You want conspiracy dig into those!!

  84. harleyrider1978 says

    Add in the FDA gets 100’s of millions a year from the big pharma companies too….collusion you know it

  85. Rollo Tommasi says

    HarleyRider enters into a wider world of conspiracy theory.

    Because he doesn’t know how to verify his claims that secondhand smoke is harmless.

  86. harleyrider1978 says

    The world health orginizations anti-tobacco treaty……..collusion and forced international treaties.
    Sign or lose world bank loans………
    Tobacco companies forced to say nothing against tobacco control wild claims………

    Scientists and professors and doctors rediculed and publicly slandered because they dont tow the anti-tobacco line………..

    Just what I would figure denial from one who espouses made up science……….

  87. Rollo Tommasi says

    HarleyRider – I am not espousing made up science. I have read the evidence and counter-arguments and have interpreted them properly.

    You are the one who espouses made up science.

    Because you claim “The studies done prove second hand smoke is not a risk factor for disease.” Yet you can’t find a single study which corroborates your claim. Not even Enstrom and Kabat say that.

    Because you claim that secondhand smoke must be harmless if the results of studies are show an increase in risk which is not statistically significant. Yet you have failed to provide any evidence that “not statistically significant” means “no risk”.

    And because you claim studies need to show a relative risk of 3 or more to demonstrate cause. Yet the “quotations” you provide are in fact cynical and disgraceful misquotations. You have been found out spreading these outrageous misquotations – and you have no answer.

  88. harleyrider1978 says

    you have been found out to be a fraudster…….you try and make claim that rr’s of 1 to 1.2 are significant….if thats the basis to your interpretations ive got 50 acres of fur bearing troutland in iceland I will sell ya…….your science is fake as well as your claims…….water is more harmful,milk is more harmful…….good grief the air outside is probably more harmful……..You remind me of the lil boy who yelled the sky is falling…….another Al gore

  89. Rollo Tommasi says

    All your last post shows is that you do not understand the difference between statistical significance clinical significance in scientific research results.

    And you throw around relative risk numbers in a way no serious scientist would. Relative risks mean nothing unless you understand what the risk is of, how many people might be affected by the heightened relative risk and how much exposure the stated relative risk relates to.

    A high relative risk means little if the practical likelihood of people facing that risk is minimal. On the other hand, in certain circumstances even a relative risk of 1.2 to 1.3 has serious public health implications. Passive smoking is one of those circumstances Because even that level of relative risk for passive smoking and lung cancer and heart disease is enough to result in many more deaths than road traffic accident fatalities each year.

    You’ve a lot of proper reading and learning to do.

  90. Rollo Tommasi says

    Of course, if you want to claim that a relative risk of 3 or more is required, all you have to do is provide some PROPER evidence (not blatantly deceitful misquotations) to prove your case.

    Can you????

  91. virglk says

    I think all on this forum have caught on by now, that no matter what kind of proof you submit to Rollo, he will not get the truth of what you present. This is why.

    As humans became more autonomous, a brain operation called “Confirmation Bias,” has evolved to maintain internal harmony within the mind. Studies have shown that when Confirmation Bias is at work the brain area ordinarily associated with rational decision-making are inactive. By contrast, an elaborate network of brain structures that process emotion and conflicts are highly activated. In short, confirmation bias has its own brain resources that shut out the reasoning parts in order to protect the already in-place beliefs and preferences.

    In short, he hasn’t got a clue but will never admit it.:)

  92. Rollo Tommasi says

    You should be looking at your mate HarleyRider for confirmation bias. Judging by the Doc’s continued silence, he may have seen the error of his ways and realised he needs to challenge his prejudices properly.

    But HarleyRider claims “The studies done prove second hand smoke is not a risk factor for disease.” Yet he can’t find a single study which corroborates his claim. Not even Enstrom and Kabat say that. Can you help him?

    He also claims that secondhand smoke must be harmless if the results of studies are show an increase in risk which is not statistically significant. Yet he has failed to provide any evidence that “not statistically significant” means “no risk”. Can you?

    And he claims that studies need to show a relative risk of 3 or more to demonstrate cause. Yet the “quotations” he provides are in fact cynical and disgraceful misquotations. He has been found out spreading these outrageous misquotations – and he has no answer. Do you?

    If you make claims in the way the Doc and HarleyRider have, but you are unable to back those claims up, then it is you who is suffering from “confirmation bias”.

  93. harleyrider1978 says

    rollo I suggest you play straws………..with your tobacco control friends……theyre moneys drying up….the media hyped trash propaganda their throwing is phone surveys done by tobaacco control people…….thats a good sign they are broke…… you have a day job…..I sepnt my time defending the country from its enemies,enemies like al quieda and the taliban that instituted smoking bans and cut peoples hands and arms off for smoking in their controlled territory…..rollo you are the american taliban.

  94. Rollo Tommasi says

    A true sign that HarleyRider has lost the argument and is unable to back up his claims.

    He simply resorts to personal abuse like calling me “American Taleban”.

    Wow bro, your biting, incisive debating prowess cuts so deep….

  95. harleyrider1978 says

    rollo the comparison of you to al gore and the american taliban…..Are right on target…Willfully criminalizing smokers with trash science and laws, Then trying to make claims like al gore does and climate with the sky is falling propaganda.You try and make out that shs harmful when in fact your attempting to make everyone believe a candle is the sun……thats about the best comparison there is for the insignificance of shs harming anyone.

  96. harleyrider1978 says

    But then again I am sure some tobacco control nut is trying to claim even a candle will cause skin cancer…….

  97. Rollo Tommasi says

    That’s right Harleyrider. Why use supporting evidence and reason, when you can use a combination of ad hominem attack and conspiracy theory?

    Says it all, really.

  98. 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

  99. 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.

  100. 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?

  101. 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.

  102. 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” (

    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: 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?

  103. 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

  104. 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.

  105. 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.

  106. 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.

  107. 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?

  108. harleyrider1978 says

    what you mean they didnt contact the same people from the original study participants…..Oh but they did… 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… any and all studies that didnt produce results that they wanted……..

  109. 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.

  110. 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

  111. 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.

  112. 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.

  113. 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.

  114. 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.

  115. 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.

  116. 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?

  117. The Doc says

    Second hand smoke has to be thought of in terms of dose and exposure time. We know that smoking has a dose curve for issues: when I was doing vascular surgery we would see issues with people with as little as twenty pack years — someone who smoked a pack a day for twenty years. At that point we would see changes that began to cause problems in their vascular system. With lung cancer we would see issues at a higher level.
    Lets go to second hand smoke– what is the exposure of that smoke to a person who is around it- and when do we get to the twenty pack year place. When the dilution factor for mainstream and sidestream smoke is put into place, the math shows that we would begin to see the twenty pack year equivalent – assuming you were in a room with a smoker smoking a pack a day – and that room were no more than twenty by twenty feet without ventilation — and you were in there for all cigarettes smoked for the entire time smoked– we should see that twenty pack year equivalent in about 4,000 years.
    This is different than asthma- which is reactive airway disease, and small amounts of noxious ingredients in the smoke can set off asthma. The data for increased ear issues was poorly done, and not reproduced – but was a poor population study.
    Bottom line: second hand smoke is bothersome- and you should not smoke around kids, or people with asthma- but when it comes to vascular, heart, or lung cancer the math and science is clear – you probably will die from something else and not second-hand smoke