Meeroken berokkent wetenschap schade
Het onderzoek van Enstrom en Kabat, dat in mei werd gepubliceerd in de British Medical Journal, blijft de gemoederen bezighouden.
In de Modesto Bee analyseert Michael Fumento, ‘senior fellow’ van het Hudson Institute wat er gebeurde na publicatie van een van de grootste onderzoeken naar de effecten van meeroken van de afgelopen jaren. De uitslag van het onderzoek zélf was niet verrassend, maar de emotionele reacties van de meeste wetenschappers op het onderzoek geeft te denken.
“Looking for a surer method of being ripped apart than entering a lion’s den covered with catnip? Conduct the most exhaustive, longest-running study on second-hand smoke and death. Find no connection. Then rather than being PC and hiding your data in a vast warehouse next to the Ark of the Covenant, publish it in one of the world’s most respected medical journals.”
At this writing there have been over 140 responses on www.bmj.com, and if made into a movie they would be called “The Howling.” Many are mere slurs several grades below even sophomoric.
Een glas helder bronwater bevat ook cyanide en arsenicum maar in zulke kleine hoeveelheden dat het niet gevaarlijk is. Hetzelfde geldt voor omgevingsrook.
“It is astounding how much of the criticism springs from (personal attacks) rather than from scientific criticism of the study itself,” observed one of the few supportive writers. Said another: “As a publisher of the leading Austrian medical online news service, I feel quite embarrassed following the debate on this article. Many postings look more like a witch hunt than a scientific debate.”
Sadly, one of the most pathetic responses came from Dr. Michael Thun, vice president for epidemiology and surveillance research at the American Cancer Society. The ACS started the study and formerly collaborated with the authors. Thun claimed that since there was so much exposure to smokers back in the 1950s and 1960s that essentially everybody was a second-hand smoker.
This logic puts the wife of a two-pack-a-day husband in the same category as somebody who once stumbled into a smoky bar. It negates ALL ETS studies based on spousal exposure including those serving Thun’s purposes. But based on the subjects’ own recollection decades later in the UCLA study, spousal smoking was indeed a good indicator of their total exposure to second-hand smoke.
One refrain running through the attacks is, “Why take seriously a study that contradicts what everyone already knows?” But “what everyone knows” is wrong. It’s the UCLA study that’s very much in the majority.