De Grote Leugen
Een gepensioneerd analytisch scheikundige, met een meer dan 25 jarige ervaring op het gebied van epidemiologisch onderzoek, toxicologie, statistiek en overheidsregulering, analyseert de achtergronden van de meeroken leugen.
Secondhand Smoke: The Big Lie
The Delaware smoking ban, like all similar bans across the country, is based on a lie—a Big Lie. Over sixty years ago, Adolph Hitler and Joseph Goebbels used the technique of the Big Lie to brainwash the people of Germany and to demonize Jews, other non-Aryans, homosexuals, and Communists. The technique of the Big Lie was to repeat it incessantly in the Media and make it clear that it was supported by government agencies and the political leaders of the country. In recent years the technique of the Big Lie has been used to demonize smokers and to indict secondhand smoke as a disease-causing health threat.
Anti-smoking zealots had been ranting about the health threats of direct smoking for years. Their efforts led to warnings on cigarette packs, pronouncements by the Surgeon General, extensive negative advertisements in the Media, and numerous suits against the tobacco industry. When these efforts failed to achieve the desired reduction in the number of smokers, anti-smoking forces sought another approach. Help arrived in 1989 when the EPA issued a public notice that secondhand smoke was a Group A human carcinogen and a “known cause of lung cancer”. Here was the tool that the anti-smoking forces needed to show that smokers were not only killing themselves but indeed were threatening the lives of people around them. This statement by the EPA was immediately seized upon by anti-smoking organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Society, and the World Health Organization as a means of furthering their agenda. It apparently did not matter that the EPA statement was a Big Lie unsupported by any scientific data. In the minds of the anti-smoking groups the end justified the means regardless of the truth.
Initially the EPA did not present any analysis of the published studies to support their claim. As a result the Agency was pressured to conduct its own risk assessment to save face. In 1992 the EPA published its report that was then challenged in Federal court. After a thorough review, the Court determined that the EPA had knowingly and willfully disseminated false information based on hand-picked data and manipulated statistics. Thus the Court ordered a summary judgement against the EPA and nullified the Agency’s risk assessment. Since this time many retrospective epidemiological studies of the potential effects of secondhand smoke on human health have been reported. A recent overall review of 119 of these studies conducted in several countries over the past 17 years concluded that 77 studies showed no statistically significant risk, 16 studies showed a measurable positive risk, and 30 studies showed a negative risk. These studies included a WHO study covering 21 countries over 10 years and a massive recent study of over 100,000 California individuals from 1960 to 1998.
A basic tenet of toxicology is that “the dose makes the poison”. There is no valid scientific method to determine the amount of secondhand smoke that any individual is exposed to under normal living or working conditions. Research has been carried out during the 1990s using employee-monitoring techniques to evaluate the exposure of non-smoking bartenders to secondhand smoke. Results showed that the bartenders inhaled the equivalent of 2 to 6 cigarettes per year. Even the EPA’s assessment of the effects of direct smoking concluded that the smoking of less than 5 cigarettes per day posed no significant health risk. In 2001, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) dropped plans for setting Federal Standards for indoor smoking in the work place. On the basis of all of the above facts, it must be concluded that there is no credible scientific or epidemiological evidence that secondhand smoke poses a significant threat to human health.
But what effect has all this factual information had on the general public, the Media, the health organizations, and the politicians? Virtually nothing! The Big Lie has triumphed once again. The above groups having little or no knowledge of epidemiology, statistics, or toxicology have been brainwashed into accepting the anti-smoking propaganda. In addition, the huge influx of cash to the states from the tobacco company settlement, and the major financial contributions from the large pharmaceutical companies who profit enormously from the sale of anti-smoking medications have compounded the felony. As a result, a rash of baseless smoking bans has erupted across the country causing countless social, economic and political problems and seriously violating the rights of private business owners. Secondhand smoke does not kill and does not pose a significant health threat to the citizens of Delaware or anywhere else. Contrary to the scary statistics appearing in the Media almost every day, not one single death has been proven to be caused solely by exposure to secondhand smoke.
Albert Z. Conner