Harde aanval Siegel op anti-rokenorganisaties

In een massale mailing heeft Dr. Michael Siegel, dissident anti-rokenwetenschapper, deze week meer dan honderd anti-rokenorganisaties in de VS opgeroepen om de valse en onjuiste informatie op hun sites en uit hun brochures te verwijderen. In de mail, gestuurd naar zijn eigen mailinglijst uit de tijd dat hij nog geaccepteerd werd in het anti-rokenwereldje, somt hij alle onjuiste ‘wetenschappelijke’ claims op die de organisaties over de effecten van meeroken naar het publiek communiceren.

Aan het einde van de week was het aantal reacties nihil. Hij wordt doodgezwegen door zijn ex-collega’s en strijdbroeders tegen roken. Nog sterker: in een mail van Superanti-rokenpaus Stanton Glantz van de Universiteit van Californië (gesponsord door miljoenen farma-dollars) worden alle strijders tegen het rokenfantoom opgeroepen om Michael Siegel te mijden en te negeren. Maar dat kan ook als een goed teken gezien worden. Beginnen ze onderhand echt schrik te krijgen dat ze ontmaskerd worden?!

Uit Siegel’s aankondiging van de mailing:

To me, this is an important moment in the tobacco control movement. While I have been reluctant to, and have not yet, accused anti-smoking groups of intentionally misleading the public, failure to correct their communications knowing that they are wrong would constitute an intentional deception of the public. The response of anti-smoking groups to this letter will go a long way towards indicating the direction that the movement is headed.

Will we pride ourselves on our scientific integrity, or will we put the ends above the means and use unethical tactics to promote our agenda?

Letter Informing Anti-Smoking Groups of Their Misleading Claims About Secondhand Smoke Widely Disseminated; Now It’s Time for Action

Een week later moet hij constateren:

Despite being informed that they were making misleading statements about the health effects of secondhand smoke, not a single one of the anti-smoking groups which received my letter has corrected its misleading claims.

One group – SmokeFreeOhio – did apparently delete from its “fact sheet” one of its misleading statements, but it retained two other ones.

SmokeFreeOhio did eliminate the following statement: “After twenty minutes of exposure to secondhand smoke, a nonsmoker’’s blood platelets become as sticky as a smoker’s, reducing the ability of the heart to pump and putting a nonsmoker at an elevated risk of heart attack.”

However, it retained the statement: “Secondhand smoke can cause the debilitating disease pulmonary emphysema, causing severe damage to the walls of the air sacs, with the lungs eventually losing their capacity to expand and contract.”

And it also retained the statement: “Breathing secondhand smoke for even a short time can have immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and interferes with the normal functioning of the heart, blood, and vascular systems in ways that increase the risk of a heart attack.”

None of the other groups challenged to correct or clarify their misleading claims made any changes in them.

Anti-Smoking Groups Fail to Correct Misleading Statements about Effects of Secondhand Smoke

Dan volgt de genoemde E-mail van Stanton Glantz, aanvoerder van de anti-rokentroepen en lieveling van de farmaceuten:

Please ignore Michael SiegelDate: Tue, 24 Oct 2006 21:05:08 -0700
From: “Glantz, Stanton A”
Subject: Please ignore Michael Siegel

Mike Siegel’s statements below — which he claims intimidated SmokeFree Ohio into changing their ads — are just wrong.

The increase in platelet aggregation after 20 minutes makes the platelets as “sticky” as in a smoker. This DOES put smokers at increased risk of a heart attack.

(Let op hoe hij zich van woede in de laatste zin ook nog verpreekt: ‘smokers’ in plaats van ‘non-smokers’)

Deze mail komt ook bij Michael Siegel zelf terecht en hij reageert daarop zowel furieus als onbegrijpend: zijn dit zijn oude collega’s?

In a message sent to thousands of anti-smoking advocates on a major list-serve, a prominent leader of the anti-smoking movement implored these tobacco control advocates to simply ignore the scientific arguments that I’m making about why a number of claims about the acute cardiovascular effects of secondhand smoke are misleading or fallacious.

The message, entitled “Please ignore Michael Siegel” stated: “Mike Siegel’s statements below — which he claims intimidated SmokeFree Ohio into changing their ads — are just wrong. The increase in platelet aggregation after 20 minutes makes the platelets as ‘sticky’ as in a smoker. This DOES put [non]smokers at increased risk of a heart attack.”

The message then included the text of the note I sent to a large list of anti-smoking groups, which is the same as my post from earlier today about the failure to respond to my concerns about the fallacious and misleading claims that are being made, such as the claim that 30 seconds of secondhand smoke exposure can cause coronary artery disease.

In further response to my post, anti-smoking advocates are imploring me to stop expressing my opinions. One advocate and researcher wrote: “I do not understand your position. All the anti-smoking information is medically correct. All information qualifiers cannot be added to every 30 second commercial. Your letters and blogging will only help big tobacco kill more folks. Please stop.”

Anti-Smoking Advocates Told to Ignore the Science and Continue Making Absurd Health Claims; Rest of the Story Author Implored to Stop Speaking Out

In een evaluatie van alles wat er deze week gebeurd is komt Siegel tot de volgende conclusies:

The shocking events of this week have woken me up to what the anti-smoking movement is really all about, at least right now. It was a jarring revelation, but one that substantially changed my view of what we are all about.

Shocking it was. Sure – I’ve known for a long time that anti-smoking groups have been unwilling to enter into a discussion of the scientific basis for their statements. I’ve known that the typical anti-smoking response to questioning is ad hominem attack, rather than substantive discussion of issues.

But it still has to shake you up a bit when you log onto your computer in the morning and find out that a message has been sent to literally thousands of your colleagues stating: “Please ignore Michael Siegel.”

What a nice way to start your day, knowing that pretty much all of your colleagues have been instructed to completely ignore you.

But what an odd response that is. If I am wrong in what I’m arguing, then the last thing we’d want to do is ignore me. We would want to destroy my arguments, show why they are unfounded or not compelling.

If one of my colleagues made an argument about a scientific issue and sent it out to large numbers of tobacco control practitioners and scientists and I disagreed strongly with that argument and thought it might be damaging, then I would prepare a scientific response that presented the scientific reasons why that argument was flawed.

Telling people to simply ignore the person is essentially asking people to have blind allegiance to the dogma of the movement. No questioning of that dogma is allowed. It cannot be challenged. There are no replay officials in the tobacco control movement, and no red flags that can be thrown down to challenge the “official ruling” on the field.

This experience also highlighted the fact that the tobacco control movement almost never responds substantively to an argument challenging its statements, tactics, or actions. The only response in our arsenal is a personal attack against the challenger (even if it is someone within our movement), devoid of any substance.

This is the antithesis of science.

The Antithesis of Science: Blind Allegiance, Refusal to Discuss Issues, and Lack of Interest in Making Substantive Responses to Questioning

Naschrift Forces:

Nog vandaag verscheen er in de NRC een uitgebreid interview met Iain Chalmer, oprichter van de Cochrane Collaboration, een onafhankelijke groep van wetenschappers die bestaand wetenschappelijk onderzoek beoordeelt. Zijn conclusie in het interview liegt er niet om:

“Het publiek zou medisch onderzoek niet meer moeten geloven. […] Op journalisten rust de zware taak om dit aan het publiek duidelijk te maken.”.

Als meneer Chalmer nog een overtuigend voorbeeld wil hebben moet hij eens met Michael Siegel gaan praten….

Geef een antwoord

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd. Vereiste velden zijn gemarkeerd met *

Download poster


  • "Es ist schwieriger, eine vorgefaßte Meinung zu zertrümmern als ein Atom."
    (Het is moeilijker een vooroordeel aan flarden te schieten dan een atoom.)
    Albert Einstein

  • "Als je alles zou laten dat slecht is voor je gezondheid, dan ging je kapot"
    Anonieme arts

  • "The effects of other people smoking in my presence is so small it doesn't worry me."
    Sir Richard Doll, 2001

  • "Een leugen wordt de waarheid als hij maar vaak genoeg wordt herhaald"
    Joseph Goebbels, Minister van Propaganda, Nazi Duitsland

  • "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
    Mahatma Gandhi

  • "There''s no such thing as perfect air. If there was, God wouldn''t have put bristles in our noses"
    Coun. Bill Clement

  • "Better a smoking freedom than a non-smoking tyranny"
    Antonio Martino, Italiaanse Minister van Defensie

  • "If smoking cigars is not permitted in heaven, I won't go."
    Mark Twain

  • I've alllllllways said that asking smokers "do you want to quit?" and reporting the results of that question, as is, is horribly misleading. It's a TWO part question. After asking if one wants to quit it must be followed up with "Why?" Ask why and the majority of the answers will be "because I'm supposed to" (victims of guilt and propaganda), not "because I want to."
    Audrey Silk, NYCCLASH