Michael Siegel kondigde het al op zijn weblog aan vóór zijn wintervakantie: als hij op 7 januari weer terug zou komen zou hij opwindend nieuws te melden hebben.
Vandaag werd duidelijk wat dit nieuws inhoudt: hij heeft een nieuwe organisatie opgericht met de naam Center for Public Accountability in Tobacco Control. Onder meer via een nieuwe website maakt hij de wetenschappelijke gefundeerde kritiek, die hij in de afgelopen jaren op zijn weblog tegen de anti-rokenorganisaties publiceerde, beter toegankelijk.
De site beschrijft onder andere de inaccurate wetenschappelijke beweringen van de anti-rokenorganisaties, hoe zij het publiek misleiden, hoe ze pleiten voor regelrechte discriminatie van rokers en toont de onzin aan van rookverboden voor de buitenlucht.
The Center for Public Accountability in Tobacco Control is dedicated to ensuring the ethical and honest practice of tobacco control by anti-smoking organizations in the U.S. It aims to help ensure that efforts to reduce tobacco-related morbidity and mortality are sustainable by a movement that can remain credible and effective into the future. Its premise is that the anti-smoking movement is increasingly becoming more extreme, getting out of control, going too far in its agenda, and losing its solid public health basis. The tactics being used by many anti-smoking organizations have become questionable, including misleading and deceiving the public, improperly attacking individuals, and improperly using kids to promote a political agenda. The agenda itself has become less and less public health-based; it now include efforts to deny employment to smokers, treat smoking parents as child abusers, and ignore basic issues of individual privacy and autonomy to coerce smokers into adopting healthier behavior.
In order to restore the movement, the Center for Public Accountability in Tobacco Control hopes to highlight the tactics currently being used, bringing these tactics to public attention in order to hold public health groups accountable to their primary constituency: the public.
As I describe on the web site: “The Center for Public Accountability in Tobacco Control was founded by Dr. Michael Siegel, a physician with 21 years of experience in tobacco control who recently became disillusioned by the direction in which the anti-smoking movement is going. He has published numerous peer-reviewed scientific papers on the health effects of secondhand smoke, cigarette advertising, and evaluation of tobacco control policies, which have appeared in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, the Journal of Marketing, and the American Journal of Public Health. He has testified in 7 tobacco control cases, including the Engle case which resulted in a $145 billion verdict against the tobacco companies. He has testified in support of smoke-free workplaces at over 100 local and state hearings throughout the country.”
The Center for Public Accountability in Tobacco Control web site serves to compile and organize the various streams of commentaries that have appeared on The Rest of the Story over the past 34 months. I have published over 900 commentaries. The sheer volume of these posts makes it somewhat difficult for an interested reader to find exactly what he or she is looking for. Although there is a search function on the blog, it is not all that easy to find all the commentaries on a particular issue, for example.
The Center for Public Accountability in Tobacco Control web site is organized so that the reader can very easily research a particular issue and can quickly obtain a list with links to all the relevant commentaries on that issue. For example, if someone is interested in the issue of employer discrimination against smokers, one need only click on the relevant button and one is brought to a web page containing a summary of the issue and links to my commentaries about numerous companies that have implemented such policies.