Rokerige bars en stedelijke lucht

In het verslag over een recent onderzoek, dat gepubliceerd werd in The Chief Engineer, beweert ‘meeroken-expert’ James Repace dat de lucht in rokerige bars vijftig keer gevaarlijker is voor de gezondheid dan de lucht in de straten van een drukke stad.

“This paper will help localities pass smoking bans,” predicted the author, James Repace, a biophysicist who works as a secondhand-smoke consultant after spending 30 years as a federal researcher. “It shows how beneficial smoking bans are for hospitality workers and patrons.”

Uit een analyse door Norman Kjono blijkt hoe dit onderzoek via een zware subsidies van de farmaceutische nicotine-makers tot stand kwam en op welke manier men in staat was te bewijzen wat men vooropgesteld al wilde bewijzen.

Smoky Story Lights A Fire

Editors Note: In the January, 2005 issue of the Chief Engineer, we published an Associated Press story (Smoky Bars Versus City Streets) which sited a study comparing the health effects of second hand smoking and traffic emissions. We received several letters and emails questioning the findings of the study, including the following rebuttal submitted to us for publication: By Norman E. Kjono

A recent Associated Press (AP) article, “Smoky Bars Versus City Streets,” stated bars and casinos “have up to 50 times more cancer-causing particles in the air than highways and city streets clogged with diesel trucks,” and that “indoor air pollution virtually disappears once smoking is banned.” The AP article, which referenced a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study, included a quote by James Repace: “this paper will help localities pass smoking bans.” AP did disclose RWJ foundation funding of the study, but it did not disclose Repace received a $300,000 grant from that foundation for “Analysis of the effects of secondhand smoke in the hospitality industry,” nor did it disclose that the foundation publishes its own “Model Ordinance” for smoking bans, which Mr. Repace’s “scientific conclusions” are funded to support.

Such statements promote false health risks for hospitality venues and are often used to promote interests of the foundation’s pharmaceutical constituency, including “Smoke Free” nicotine distributors.

Credible facts about alleged dangers of Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) are found somewhere between what constituents are measured and vested interests in doing so.

Repace measured respirable particulates, which are not the only constituents of ETS, nor is ETS the only source of such particulates. Mr. Repace’s study contains information directly contradicted by other onsite air quality measurements. A study of our company’s offices in a Washington suburban office park regarding ETS measured indoor Total Respirable Suspended Particulates (RSP) at a mean of 27.0 micrograms per cubic meter, with smoking permitted at work stations, and an outdoor RSP mean of 22.8 micrograms per cubic meter, an outdoor to indoor RSP ratio of 0.8444. Were we to apply similar ratios to Repace’s findings that indoor particulates of 231 micrograms were “15 times the 15-microgram Environmental Protection agency limit for outdoor air” we would necessarily conclude that Delaware outdoor air was 195 micrograms or 13 times the EPA limit and nearly 9 times that recorded in our measurements. What accounts for the significant disparity in the RWJ foundation’s study indoor-outdoor RSP ratios compared to those measured by others? Why are study data not reported for outdoor areas adjacent to the bar or casino where indoor RSP was measured?

Sensationalist claims in the AP article bear close scrutiny in light of the ETS constituent selected to measure, which can skew study results. Repace could also have measured carcinogenic Nitrogen Dioxide, which is a constituent of both ETS and diesel exhaust. Had he done so in a suburban tavern and at the entrance to the Baltimore toll booths I suspect that precisely the opposite of the foundation’s study could have been reported: diesel exhaust and ETS constituents would be reported as dramatically higher at the toll booth than in the bar and the bar levels of Nitrogen Dioxide would not dramatically change with smoking prohibited.

The AP article about Repace’s conclusions amply illustrates, once again, the unfortunate reality that a “study” is only so credible as the vested economic interests of those funding and conducting it.

Mr. Knono has been involved with Indoor Air Quality and ETS issues since 1994. His activities have included testimony before the Washington Senate and House of Representatives, as well as the King County Council and Washington Department of Labor and Industries, on smoking ban legislation and/or regulations. He has also been in direct communication with Congressional representatives and staff regarding issues such as the recent failed attempt to impose U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory authority over tobacco.

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  • "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