The Ten Biggest Lies about Smoke & Smoking
By Robert Hayes Halfpenny
- THE LIE: Cigarette smoke and Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) or Second Hand Smoke (SHS) Causes cancer.
THE Truth: Simply stated there is no known cause for any type of cancer. With all the testing that has been done with every type of chemical, gas, inert matter, and substances that have been altered through exposure to heat or chemical reaction, nothing has been proven to cause cancer. NOTHING! In some instances specific substances, in massive quantities, have been administered to laboratory rats. In these cases many of the animals might have developed a cancer. These sorts of tests may be considered Junk Science in that they have no relationship to a real life scenario.
The World Health Organization ran one of the most exhaustive tests on SHS ever done. After years of meticulous record keeping of all the data, their ultimate findings showed no measurable relationship of SHS to any form of cancer or other illness. The only measurable fact they did discover was that of all adult children who came from homes where both parents smoked had had a 22% better chance of NOT contracting lung cancer than did adult children who came from homes where both parents did not smoke. The W.H. O attempted to hid these facts from the public until several astute reporters forced them to make their facts public.
- THE LIE: The desire for smoking bans is a grass roots movement.
THE TRUTH: Smoking bans have almost exclusively been started by organizations such as The John Wood Johnson Foundation, A.S.H., the Heart, Cancer, and Lung Organizations and major pharmaceutical corporations. Over one billion dollars, from the Master Tobacco Settlement has funded the activities of many of these organizations for the past 5 years. Promoting smoking bans is big business for these organizations, especially the drug companies who are reaping huge profits on their almost worthless smoking cessation products.
When all sources of money are added together, nearly $1,500,000,000.00 have been squandered in bring about smoking bans in about 155 municipalities across the nation. The average money spent on each of these municipalities equates to about $9,675,000.00 per location. In simpler terms it will take Jerry Lewis’s Muscular Dystrophy Telethon 30 years to collect the same sum of money at the rate of $50,000,000.00 per Telethon. When a properly informed public is given the opportunity to vote on a smoking ban issue, they invariably will vote the ban down. This has already happened on numerous occasions and it is expected to occur in New York City by 2005.
- THE LIE: Second Hand Smoke is a public health issue.
THE TRUTH: It is impossible for SHS to be a public health issue for the simple reason there is NO proof that SHS has hurt anyone. In fact, according the W.H.O. (see above), SHS may have some beneficial effect on children. The smoke haters like to point out that the Health Departments have a right to control smoking issues for the same reason they have the right to check on health conditions in restaurants and bars.
This is a specious argument primarily because true health issues in food service establishments relate primarily to microbes and organisms that have an absolute direct effect on heath and sanitation. It is the Health Departments’ sole responsibility to see to it that health standards are maintained. If individuals are concerned about SHS a simple notice stating that smoking is allowed is all that is needed for the public to make a decision about patronizing and establishment. This concept is called, PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!
- THE LIE: Smoking bans are good for business.
THE TRUTH: Of all the nonsense put forth by the smoke haters this concept is nearly the most ridiculous. There was no basis in fact for this idea when originally stated. Now that the financial results of the bans are being felt in many different cities it is becoming painfully obvious that many businesses are being irreparably harmed. Many of the smoke haters who not only are experts on SHS would also have you believe they are experts in the field of accounting. They will site tax records and other data to prove the business of bars and restaurants are up since the bans were imposed. Their numbers however are egregiously manipulated and include figures from establishments that normally wouldn’t be part of such a survey.
The fact of the matter is the anecdotal evidence is far more realistic. There is a hardly a restaurant or bar that hasn’t been adversely affected by these bans. Business has dropped off from between 20% and 50%. Many businesses have been forced to close. Jobs have been lost, a life time of work in building a business has been lost, and city tax revenues have been adversely affected.
- THE LIE: Restaurants and bars are public businesses.
THE TRUTH: All restaurants, bars, and any other businesses that have been set up by an individual or group of individuals are PRIVATE ENTERPRISES! There is no getting around this fact. It is carved in granite. Our Constitution mandates the rights of private property as one of the most important rights we have! The fact that anyone should think they have the right to abrogate the very tenets of our Constitution demonstrates a colossal arrogance that we can not afford to have in this country.
When a small group of people attempt to force their own jaundiced views on the citizenry it is called an Oligarchy. Our elected officials are our SERVANTS! They are in office for only one purpose and that is to see to the needs of all the people Henry David Thoreau said in the 19th century, “the government that governs best, governs least”. He was right then—he is right today!
- THE LIE: Technology does not work
THE TRUTH: Dr. James Repace, the self appointed expert on second hand smoke, once stated to the effect that a 300 mile per hour hurricane couldn’t clear out the danger of SHS in an enclosed space. In Atlanta, Georgia there is an organization that deals with some of the most dangerous infectious germs and bacteria in the World. Out of very obvious necessity, the filtration system they use must be 100% effective, 100% of the time. The system they use (which does contain several built in redundancies) is not out of “Buck Rogers” but one that is very similar to the type of commercial systems most restaurants or bars use.
Several St. Louis Park food service establishments had their air tested by an independent organization. The results of these tests showed favorable results and the overall effectiveness of properly maintained filtrations systems. If Atlanta, Georgia can have an organization that deals with Anthrax, Small Pox, Bubonic Plague and other organisms that could kill people by the 100’s of thousands with no fear of exposure, common sense dictates that similar filtrations systems should work on the relatively benign particulates of SHS.
- THE LIE: 3000 lives a year are lost due to SHS.
THE TRUTH: Originally the number that was first generated by the E.P.A. was 53,000 deaths per year. They published this number before even running their “test”. The “test” is in fact not a test, but rather what is called a META survey. This survey took 31 different reports and compiled all the data to come up with a figure of only 3,000 deaths that were attributed other undefined causes. The first number E.P.A. published was a piece of hypothetical misinformation. The second number of 3,000 they put forth was a deliberate lie. A Federal Judge by the name of Osteen ruled the 3,000 deaths attributed to SHS by the E.P.A. was a deliberate lie foisted on an unsuspecting public. Judge Osteen determined the number of 3,000 deaths was not attributable to SHS and that the E.P.A. told this lie in the expectation to harm the legitimate business pursuits of the tobacco industry. Judge Osteen completely vacated the findings of the E.P.A. So that there is no misunderstanding as to this decision, it should be noted that another court partially overturned Judge’s Osteen decision for purely judicial reasons. THEY DID NOT, in any way, repudiate Judge Osteen’s basic premise concerning his comments about the E.P.A. or their motives.
- THE LIE: Most people approve and support smoking bans.
THE TRUTH: most people who do not smoke really don’t care one way or the other about the smoking issue. It is only a very small but well funded group of smoke haters who want to see these ban invoked. When these bans are ultimately passed and the true effect of them is fully realized, then people start to speak out against them. In New York a poll was taken to see how the people felt about the ban. 86% of those polled stated the ban went way too far. At this point in time there is reason to expect the New York may be rescinded in part or in full sometime in 2005.
Canada, one of the most strident nations in attempting to enforce a smoking ban nationwide, is currently facing wide spread rebellion against their Draconian measures. The reports of businesses being financially ruined run rampant. Politicians who supported the bans are being voted out of office. Cigarettes, which are now literally worth their weight in sterling silver,
are being stolen with increasing regularity and then sold on the black market. These very same actions will and indeed are occurring in the United States as well. If the bans were truly supported would such occurrences happen?
- THE LIE: Smokers and smoking impose a heavy cost on society.
THE TRUTH: Of all the lies told by the anti smoke haters this one has to be the most ludicrous. For example, if smoking kills people well before their time, the saving of Social Security and Medicare benefits would be significant. The extra medical costs to the “State” are more than exceeded by the outrageous taxes currently paid by smokers. Contrary to reports that smokers miss more work time than non-smokers is a completely unsubstantiated number. Indeed, there are so many variables as to why people miss work, it would be impossible to determine whether smoking was a significant cause or not.
Furthermore, it has been a policy of long standing that insurance companies assess smokers a higher rate for insurance premiums. This has been done in spite of a lack of any definitive proof that smokers, because of smoking, contribute to higher medical costs. It is astounding that an otherwise healthy person who watches his weight, exercises, eats a healthy diet, and drinks only in moderation if at all, has to pay a higher insurance premium than an obese person who eats and drinks to excess and doesn’t know the meaning of the word exercise, but does not smoke.
- THE LIE: Smoking statistics do not lie.
THE TRUTH: In this World there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Never has an argument been won based on statistic alone. They can serve only as a point of departure. In a free and open society people must be allowed to operate as free agents without the fetters of the doomsayers. Life is a risk, but it is that risk which gives it zest. When we allow ourselves to sacrifice our freedoms for the sake of safety, we deserve neither safety nor freedom. Accepting statistics at face value will lead us down that garden path. There are many statistics that can be sited that make the danger of smoking seem mild by comparison.
For example, the use of cell phones, hair dryers, and electric blankets have higher risks that SHS. About half of the smoking population has quit over the past 30 years, yet there has been no comparable increase in life expectancy. The smoke haters will quickly tell you this is because of the effects of second hand smoke. The fallacy of their argument is that if there has been smoking there has also been second hand smoke. In spite of the decline of smoking, childhood illnesses such as asthma, ear infections and A.D.D are rapidly increasing. Cigarettes and/or smoke have about 4,000 identifiable chemicals. Your daily diet has about 10,000 such chemicals. Arsenic which is considered a leading cause of lung cancer is found in significantly larger quantities in a glass of water than in a cigarette.
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