Sunday, December 31, 2006

Scare mongering is a very effective tool in raising funds, and passing smoking bans

How many people really die from secondhand smoke?
Last edited by: WinstonSmith, Wed December 06 2006 11:45 PM

The number that I hear quoted most frequently is 63,000 deaths a year.

The EPA originally claimed that 3,000 people a year died from lung cancer from ETS exposure.

(Federal Judge William Osteen of North Carolina threw this claim out because the EPA had made the unprecedented move of reducing the "confidence interval" of their epidemiological study from 95% to 90%, didn't follow the agreed standards for the study, and documentary evidence indicated that the EPA had reached a pre-determined conclusion before the study was finished.

Osteen's decision is full of sound reasoning, but anti-smokers dismiss it because Osteen apparently worked for the tobacco industry at some point.)

The 63,000 determination (or other numbers in the 40,000 to 75,000 range) comes from deaths from cardiovascular causes (determined by other faulty studies) being tacked onto the original EPA estimate of 3,000 from lung cancer. I believe the 63,000 number comes from the Centers for Disease Control.

CSPI (The Center for Science in the Public Interest) and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), perhaps the two most overzealous litigate-for-public-health organizations, and the American Legacy Foundation probably provide a great deal of these numbers in the venues where people are likely to see them.

Your question makes me suppose that you are new to the issue, so, with the sincere hope that you look elsewhere for a more comprehensive, specific, and accurate explanation than I am about to provide, I'll give a down and dirty summary of how it all works.

All of these scare numbers come from epidemiological studies that attempt to compare two groups that differ in a studied behavior (e.g. a smoking and non-smoking group). These studies are don retrospectively (basically asking people to cover years of behavior in a survey) and prospectively where each of the populations are followed over a period of time.

So, for example, if I wanted to study how much of an effect exposure to books has on brain cancer, I would find, let's say 100,000 people who read regularly and 100,000 people who never read. After 10, 20, or 30 years, I'll take a look at how many people get brain cancer in each population. Let's say my results come out like this:

100,000 book readers had 1000 cases of brain cancer.
100,000 non-readers had 500 cases of brain cancer.

My God! Book readers are twice as likely to get brain cancer! (forget the fact that I never took any differences between these two populations into account other than book reading).

The results of this would be expressed in epidemiology in "Relative Risk". In this case, my Relative Risk would be 2.0.

I can now extrapolate this information across the say, 80,000,000 book readers in America, do the math, and say that 80,000 people get brain cancer from books every year.

With this "scientific" information in hand, I head on down to my local courthouse because I've got alot of money to get out of those damn, child killing, brain cancer causing booksellers. I sue the largest publishing houses and booksellers in the nation, manage to convince a jury and, Holy Cow, I win! I've got a Billion dollars!

Now, every book comes with a Government Warning on it.

This also opens new markets for products such as translucent reading assistants to block people from the harm of the cancerous effects of the deadly books.

"Reading gloves" are sold to protect people from the deadly books. These are particularly popular because, really, what pretentious, hip, health conscious, pseudointellectual would be caught dead in public without their "reading gloves"?

(They come in multiple styles and colors--for the discerning paranoid! They're great conversation starters; can't you just see yourself sitting in the "look at me, I read" bookstore cafe and having the woman of your dreams sit next to you and asking "Why are wearing gloves to read?...Oh, really; I never knew that!...and IS THAT Chomsky in French translation you're so easily comprehending? My place or yours, Intellectual-Socially-Conscious-Glove Boy?" Okay, I'm straying. Really, though, that's the way alot of these anti-smoking people think.)

With my lawsuit won, my cash in hand, and even more cash in hand from the "book gloves" people I made a deal with before pursuing my case, I head on down to Washington and start talking to some politicians. I'd like to start an organization that protects people from the deadly effect of books, and, in exchange for a nice campaign contribution, I'd like some government funds for my organization. I even have a way of helping this politician get the funds for my organization: a book tax!

After all of this, guess what? Since I convinced a jury that books cause cancer once, I can convince them again! I do yet another study and, Eureka! not only did the booksellers and publishers not take enough necessary measures to protect their customers from books, the books actually got worse! My latest study shows that book cause THREE TIMES the amount of brain cancer instead of two times the amount! I get two billion dollars more!

No one bothered to consider that the book readers in my original study had a tendency towards all kinds of behaviors that could possibly cause a small rise in cancer. No one can prove that I've created a very strong bias in my original lawsuit by putting government labels on books. This affected everyone, including the subjects and researchers of my second study, so it was only natural that there would be an increase in their findings. There better be! I created it!

I now have my 3 Billion Empire and a nice salary that I pay myself through the organization that my political friends and I began, and fund, along with anti-book commercials, through the book tax.

I now dare anyone to say that books don't cause cancer. After all, everyone knows that they do. 20 million owners of reading gloves and 50,000 brain cancer deaths a year from reading can't be wrong.

Repeat cycle as desired………..

Scare mongering by using false and misleading data is very effective in raising special interest funding, and in getting unnecessary laws passed. Pharmaceutical nicotine interests are the special interest funding behind smoking ban ordinances. And lawmakers appear to be the sheeple poised to give pharmaceutical companies unprecedented power in a whole host of issues, from smoking bans, alcohol prohibition, and now to obesity laws.

Unfortunately for lawmakers (and the rest of us), I fear it will be too late to regain the power they relenquished to the pharmaceutical / medical industry, once they realize their mistake.

Update: As an example look at how influential Johnson & Johnson's partner Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) was in getting Obama's government healthcare passed into law:

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2009/08/same-pharma-industry-which-eliminated.html


How hazardous is secondhand smoke?............AQ testing proves shs is 4 to 25,000 times SAFER than OSHA air quality regulations require.

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2010/10/air-quality-testing-of-secondhand-smoke.html

How do smoking bans improve lives?

You may remember the TV commercial which stated: (showing an egg) "...this is your brain.....(cut to pan frying same egg).......this is your brain on drugs....."

Well, this posting is of similar nature in its comparison theme.

This was my life before smoking bans, one in which the free market allowed air filtration equipment to be sold to bars and restaurants so that establishment owners could safely and comfortably accomodate smokers and non-smokers.



This was the home I owned. Paying that mortgage was made possible by my successful career of selling Smokeeter air cleaners for 15 years to bars and restaurants in the Twin Cities and surrounding area.

This was the basement and recreation area my family enjoyed.


Cut to life after the smoking bans:

This is the house I was forced to rent after losing my home to foreclosure when I lost that job of selling Smokeeters after the smoking bans were enacted here.


And this is the flooded rental basement which my family now gets to "enjoy".


So remind me whose life is improved after smoking bans are enacted?..........Oh that's right the pharmaceutical nicotine company and pharmaceutical funded interests which now share the nearly $1 billion annual sales of pharmaceutical nicotine products (link).

Pharmaceutical nicotine products like Nicoderm, Nicoderm CQ, Nicorette, Chantix (all manufactured by Johnson & Johnson Company (RWJF)) are advertised as the preferred nicotine replacement products once smoking bans eliminate the use of tobacco nicotine via smoking bans.

So I hope you'll all excuse me as my testimony against smoking bans seems a little acrimonious. As I see it the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation RWJF and the Johnson & Johnson Company are benefitting from my loss, and since RWJF has funded nearly all the groups which lobby for smoking bans...they ARE directly responsible for job and business losses.

Update: A new study shows children are also harmed by smoking bans.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A New Years wish.......

....if lawmakers are intent upon enacting a municipal, county, or statewide smoking ban, then an amendment needs to be added to the law which sets aside a $100 million dollar fund to compensate for the business and job losses which result from that ban. If there are no business or job losses due to the ban, then the fund contributors will have lost nothing, and the hospitality owners and employees' concerns will be eased right from the beginning.

The fund will be financed by the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, American Non-Smoker's Rights, etc. and especially the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF is the pharnaceutical nicotine organization which funded all of the preceeding groups and RWJF is the private foundation of the Johnson & Johnson Company). RWJF and the Johnson & Johnson Co. derive financial benefits from the passage of smoking bans due to an increase in pharmaceutical nicotine product sales such as Nicoderm, Nicoderm CQ, Nicorette, and the new Pfizer drug Chantix ($500,000,000.00+ benefit annually).

Perhaps holding the pharmaceutical nicotine industry accountable will reign in the New Year without more lies and deceipt.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Is Minnesota poised for a statewide smoking ban?

To hear the local Minnesota media tell it, now that more DFL members are in state office a statewide smoking ban is a sure thing.

It's a classic case of the media attempting to influence lawmaker agenda. But as one political insider recalled to me recently, the issue of smoking ban was never even mentioned during the local Democratic Convention earlier this year.....which is the time that party leaders discuss the upcoming legislative agenda. Furthermore there are many Minnesota lawmakers who have the common sense to see thru the lies and special interests. One particular Minnesota lawmaker was recently published in the Duluth News Tribune.

Excerpts below:

I don’t smoke. I don’t like smoke. But my distaste for the habit doesn’t give me cause to have the state manage individual rights.

The new junta of Democratic legislative leaders has declared a statewide smoking ban as the top priority on their thin agenda for the upcoming legislative session.

That baffles me. How property taxes, education reform, health care reform and funding for roads and bridges do not top that list of priorities is, in a word, outrageous.

A statewide smoking ban in Minnesota is a dangerous constitutional precedent. If the new regime wants the ban to pass, it very likely will pass. But we should at least call it what it is as we plummet further into the nanny-state formerly known as Minnesota.

America was founded on principals of freedom and the right of the individual to self-determine. Every citizen has the inalienable right to life, liberty and property — “We find these truths to be self-evident.” I, for one, believe that “inalienable” means something.

As a free society, the laws we enact must necessarily be directed toward protection of individual freedoms. The freedom to improve one’s self, the freedom to obtain and hold property, the freedom of belief, the freedom of expression, the freedom of association, etc. Our laws must protect the individual’s rights within the community. A tension exists, however, between the individual right to self-determine and our bureaucratic predisposition to control everything and everyone. Simply stated, we all want the freedom to make decisions about personal liberties, but some of us also want to make these decisions for our fellow citizens. Why? Is it because we know better? Is it because we believe only the uneducated would disagree with our enlightened position? Are we convinced that we must intervene with laws to save those who cannot or will not understand?

.....I realize that this train may already be out of the station and that it seems to be picking up steam as we roll down the tracks toward the upcoming legislative session. I only ask that before we set this course we consider the impact on not only the many businesses that will be hurt, but also the dangerous precedent we set for the future of liberty.

Additionally I would add that air quality testing and OSHA regulations of secondhand smoke already safeguard the health and safety of all of us even without smoking bans.

However, if lawmakers are hellbent on enacting a statewide ban, then an amendment needs to be added to the law which sets aside a $100 million dollar fund to compensate for the business and job losses which result from a smoking ban.......that fund will be financed by the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, MPAAT (ClearWay MN) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (the pharnaceutical nicotine organization which funded most of the preceeding groups).

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Eviction hearing courtesy of Minneapolis, Bloomington, and St. Paul smoking bans

To the few of you which voted against enacting a smoking ban I send my heartfelt thank you.

To the rest of you I just thought I'd inform you that the eviction hearing to evict my family from our home took place in Carver County (Chaska), MN. 12/21/06 8:30 AM, during the hearing I explained to Judge Kanning the reason for my home foreclosure. That reason being the job loss due to the local smoking bans.

To refresh every one's memory:

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/09/true-confessions-of-my-reasons-for.html
I explained the job loss to the judge so that the smoking ban damage (home foreclosure) would be a matter of public record.

My disdain for you the pro-smoking ban lawmakers cannot be expressed without serious profanity and hatred. Your selfish and uninformed actions have irrevocably altered my family's and thousands of others' lives here in the Twin Cities:

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/12/how-many-more-bars-and-restaurants.html

The mistake you made was in taking only one side of the issue (pro-smoking ban) into consideration, and that side is extremely well financed by the pharmaceutical nicotine industry.
http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/10/how-drug-industry-uses-non-profits-to.html

Congratulations you have served your master well, your actions have served to increase the sales of pharmaceutical nicotine products ( $500,000,000.00+, annually) over tobacco nicotine products just as the smoking ban lobbyists planned. However, at the cost of many of us in the hospitality and hospitality support industries.

I'd add that I hope your collective consciences' bother you for what you've taken from those of us who used to make a good living, but as typical politicians I fear that hope is lost on hollow souls.

And in case you're wondering why you personally don't know anyone whose "died" from secondhand smoke, the answer is found in air quality testing and OSHA regulations:
http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/11/is-secondhand-smoke-health-hazard.html

I truly hope the only reason for your capitulation to the pharmaceutical nicotine lobby is that you received large personal or campaign contributions from these lying, deceitful organizations. The alternative does not speak very highly of your decision making skills nor your attempt to research the facts.

And before you, Commissioner Opat, chastises me for another email... as an elected official it is important for you to know how your decision has negatively affected our lives... therefore I am unconcerned about offending your delicate sensibilities.

Sleep well you conscience challenged politicos, I am pleased that you can now attend all the
empty bars and restaurants to your heart's content without the fear of smelling like smoke the next day...........You must be so proud.

What is the single greatest impediment to enacting future smoking bans?...........The facts.

There have been few issues in the news over the past number of years that have generated more controversy, disagreement and emotion than whether to ban smoking in public, and even private places. This controversy doesn’t stem from whether smoking is a health risk. There is no disagreement there. Smoking has been proven to significantly increase a person’s risk of cancer, heart disease and other health problems. Rather, the focus has been on the rights of smokers and the risks associated with the secondhand smoke they create. Locally that controversy has been aimed specifically at local bar owners. Should they be forced by law, for reasons of public health, to ban smoking from their businesses in the same way restaurants have? Would doing so improve public health?

To answer that question, it is important to first get past the emotion surrounding the issue. The welfare of our society should be important to all of us. When we believe something threatens that, we get excited. We get emotional. That’s alright. When properly channeled, emotions motivate people to take action. However, when people react to a problem based on their emotional response, it can be easy to charge ahead to take action with inadequate or inaccurate information.

Smoking, and its related secondhand smoke is just such an issue. Few would disagree that the world would be a healthier place if cigarette smoking simply didn’t exist. Unfortunately, that isn’t the reality. People do smoke and smoking creates secondhand smoke. Furthermore, a significant percentage of people who frequent bars smoke. Those smokers are knowingly taking a health risk, but since smoking tobacco products is not against the law, they are engaging in a legal activity. The controversy comes when people who have chosen not to smoke are exposed to secondhand smoke. Does breathing secondhand smoke put them at risk, and if so by how much? Is there an acceptable level?

According to OSHA there is. In matters of protecting the health and safety of employees, it is not only the responsibility of OSHA to set the standards, but to continually monitor the workplace to assure that employees are not being subjected to undue risk. To test secondhand smoke levels, OSHA measures nicotine levels. Nicotine is the only unique chemical in secondhand smoke. Other chemicals present in cigarette smoke like formaldehyde and benzene can come from other sources such as carpet, furniture, burning foods in the kitchen or diesel exhaust from outdoors. The OSHA permissible exposure limit for an eight hour work day, forty hours per week is 0.5 milligrams of nicotine per cubic meter.

Based on that standard, how do businesses that permit smoking measure up? The American Cancer Society tested the quality of breathable air for workers in western New York state in such varied places as restaurants with an enclosed smoking area, bars and taverns, bowling centers and bingo halls. The results ranged from a low of 20 nanograms of nicotine per cubic meter to a high of 940 nanograms per cubic meter. A nanogram is .000001 of a milligram. The highest concentration of nicotine in the worst of these locations was still 532 times safer than the OSHA limit of 0.5 milligrams of nicotine per cubic meter.

Testing in other parts of the country has shown similar results. In St. Louis Park, Minnesota secondhand smoke concentrations, as measured by the environmental health department, ranged from a low of 500 times safer than OSHA standards at Cafe Europa to 152 times safer at an Applebees, to a worst case of 15.4 times safer than the OSHA guideline at Al’s Liquor.

Regarding secondhand smoke, OSHA’s acting Assistant Secretary Greg Watchman wrote, “Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below (safer than) existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELs) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)...it would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.”


Government officials accept OSHA air quality standards in factories where workers are exposed to welding smoke at concentrations much higher and more carcinogenic than secondhand tobacco smoke. Yet because of the health risk smoking represents to the smoker and the strong negative emotions associated with smoking, the risks of secondhand smoke are exaggerated well beyond what OSHA and even the American Cancer Society have measured and shown to be hundreds of times safer than OSHA standards.

Although air quality testing in restaurants and bars does show trace amounts of nicotine it does not, by OSHA standards, constitute a health hazard justifying a government mandated smoking ban. Because smoking bans eliminate bar and restaurant patrons, establishment owners should be allowed to decide for themselves whether they want to make their establishment smoke free.

What did the World Health Organization's report say about secondhand smoke?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Johnson & Johnson Co., its private foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and GSK guilty of price fixing?

From Forces comes this article:

Excerpt below:

According to Yahoo Finance the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is among the top 5 institutional shareholders of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (Stock symbol JNJ). When marked-to-market as of November 20, 2006 the foundation’s holdings of 66,440,108 shares of JNJ common stock are worth $4.4 billion. The company’s subsidiary ALZA Corp. manufacturers NicoDerm CQ nicotine patches for GlaxoSmithKline. Johnson & Johnson also purchased Pfizer Consumer Healthcare for $16.6 billion in June 2006, which included Nicorette nicotine gum.

Pharmaceutical paid groups, acting as tobacco control advocates – such as RWJ foundation grant recipients the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, and the Campaign for Tobacco Free-Kids – artificially inflate the cost of cigarettes through tobacco tax advocacy GlaxoSmithKline often increases the cost of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products by like amount. For example, from 2001 to 2005 Washington tobacco taxes increased by $12.00 per carton and on a per unit basis the cost of a box of Nicorette increased by $12.06. Increasing the price of one product based on the increased cost of a similar product is referred to as “Parity Pricing.” Cigarette tax increases directly benefit the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation because they create the basis for artificially inflating the price of Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ. As prices for those consumer products are artificially inflated the profits to manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson and distributor GlaxoSmithKline increase accordingly. With Proposition 86 we observe the direct and undeniable phenomenon of a private foundation with a $4.4 billion vested interest in the successful distribution of Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ applying its multi-billion-dollar clout to directly influence state taxes that create artificial profits to its own benefit. When distribution of Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ expands through passing smoking bans corporate sales increase. When Parity Pricing of NRT products occurs increased sales add artificially inflated profits to corporate bottom lines of Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline. Added profits from NRT sales support the stock price of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s stock holdings in JNJ. The more profitable the stock holdings are the more grant money available to finance tax and ban advocacy. The preceding observations were included in my article about Proposition 86 that was published by the Los Angeles Daily Journal on November 2, 2006.

Further proof of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's ties to the pharmaceutical nicotine giant Johnson & Johnson Company can be found here.

The only thing I could add is to this article is that sales of nicotine replacement therapy products is big business indeed, in fact in excess of $500,000,000.00 per year. Which certainly explains why the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation continues to be the driving force behind smoking bans, but it doesn't explain lawmakers' interests in serving as pawns to pharmaceutical nicotine company demands.

More background on secondhand smoke found here.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

St. Paul bar owner describes how Christmas bonuses work at his establishment since the smoking ban has taken effect

Rudy Cervantez the owner of Mr. C's in St. Paul writes this opinion letter to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

......Because of the City Council and Mayor Chris Coleman's healthy decision on the smoking ban, I had to lay off my bartending staff..........I don't understand how a few people can decide for the thousands of good citizens of St. Paul what they can and cannot do in their own business. The citizens of St. Paul elected the City Council and Coleman, and they can remove them. I hope all the bar owners rally against all who voted for the smoking ban.....

In closing, have a Merry Christmas, because my laid-off employees will be having a blue one.

RUDY CERVANTEZ

I am confused, I thought the city council and all the non-profit health organizations banned smoking because they were concerned for the health of Mr. C's employees, how does putting them out of work, and eliminating their health insurance plan help them? Must be some new form of compassionate charity that the rest of us are too stupid to understand...........or more likely smoking bans are really only meant to help fulfill the greed and self interests of the non-profit health organizations who received pharmaceutical nicotine funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with the directive to "educate" lawmakers about the benefits of said smoking bans.

The bonus apparently, is that the laid off employees won't have to inhale secondhand smoke.........but my guess is that they would rather have their jobs.

Here's a reminder of just how unnecessary the smoking bans, and subsequent job losses, are. And here is the list of nearly 90 other twin cities' establishments who've suffered the ultimate fate since implementation of the smoking bans.....then there's MPAAT showing us that smoking bans eliminate business in virtually all bars and restaurants they polled.

In other words the facts are now undeniable smoking bans are unnecessary and eliminate jobs and businesses at an alarming rate. Smoking bans are the hoax we can all live without.

Pharmaceutical nicotine's interest in funding smoking ban efforts and increasing cigarette taxes

From Forces comes this article:

Excerpt below:

According to Yahoo Finance the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is among the top 5 institutional shareholders of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (Stock symbol JNJ). When marked-to-market as of November 20, 2006 the foundation’s holdings of 66,440,108 shares of JNJ common stock are worth $4.4 billion. The company’s subsidiary ALZA Corp. manufacturers NicoDerm CQ nicotine patches for GlaxoSmithKline. Johnson & Johnson also purchased Pfizer Consumer Healthcare for $16.6 billion in June 2006, which included Nicorette nicotine gum.

As tobacco control advocates – such as RWJ foundation grant recipients the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, and the Campaign for Tobacco Free-Kids – artificially inflate the cost of cigarettes through tobacco tax advocacy GlaxoSmithKline often increases the cost of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products by like amount. For example, from 2001 to 2005 Washington tobacco taxes increased by $12.00 per carton and on a per unit basis the cost of a box of Nicorette increased by $12.06. Increasing the price of one product based on the increased cost of a similar product is referred to as “Parity Pricing.” Cigarette tax increases directly benefit the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation because they create the basis for artificially inflating the price of Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ. As prices for those consumer products are artificially inflated the profits to manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson and distributor GlaxoSmithKline increase accordingly. With Proposition 86 we observe the direct and undeniable phenomenon of a private foundation with a $4.4 billion vested interest in the successful distribution of Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ applying its multi-billion-dollar clout to directly influence state taxes that create artificial profits to its own benefit. When distribution of Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ expands through passing smoking bans corporate sales increase. When Parity Pricing of NRT products occurs increased sales add artificially inflated profits to corporate bottom lines of Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline. Added profits from NRT sales support the stock price of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s stock holdings in JNJ. the more profitable the stock holdings are the more grant money available to finance tax and ban advocacy. The preceding observations were included in my article about Proposition 86 that was published by the Los Angeles Daily Journal on November 2, 2006.

Further proof of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's ties to the pharmaceutical nicotine giant Johnson & Johnson Company can be found here.

The only thing I could add is to this article is that sales of nicotine replacement therapy products is big business indeed, in fact in excess of $500,000,000.00 per year. Which certainly explains why the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation continues to be the driving force behind smoking bans, but it doesn't explain lawmakers' interests in serving as pawns to pharmaceutical nicotine company demands.

More background on secondhand smoke found here.

County says no to smoking ban......

As I write this post our local Minnesota media is pushing a smoking ban agenda in the hopes that they will steer state lawmakers toward that end. Many argue that a smoking ban is inevitable "....everybody is enacting a smoking ban......" the activists tell us.

Well, not everybody, in fact only a small percentage have enacted bans......the rest are rejecting them on a regular basis. St. Louis County, MO. is only one of the latest to reject a smoking ban in favor of freedom of choice and free market forces. When a smoking ban is rejected, bar and restuarant owners can still elect to go smoke free on their own.......if going smoke free will increase business, I guarantee bar and restaurant owners would do so voluntarily in a heartbeat.

Apparently however, there is not much of a demand for smoke free establishments in the free market, and those areas which have enacted smoking bans offer the proof to that theory. Nearly 1,000 establishments and tens of thousands of jobs have been eliminated since smoking bans have taken effect. Here is Minnesota, even though the are only a few small local smoking bans, nearly 100 hospitality establishments have gone out of business.

So again if the media and Nicoderm interests have their way, there will be another push to enact a statewide smoking ban, and again I will be there to discuss the facts with lawmakers that the pharmaceutical nicotine profiteers conveniently leave out of their testimony. If Minnesota lawmakers have any common sense and ability to reason as well as the backbone to stand up against the pharmaceutical nicotine interests , which fund all the pro-smoking ban non-profits, then the state of Minnesota will be the latest to reject a smoking ban in favor of freedom of choice, afterall air quality testing and even the World Health Organization have proven that secondhand smoke is not a health hazard requiring government action, because OSHA regulations already safeguard our health.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A killing that would seem unlikely to be condemned by pro-smoking ban groups

Story link here: Man Kills 5, Then Himself in Mo. Spree

Kim Drew, a neighbor whose 13-year-old son was a friend of the slain children, described the shooter as a controlling man who wanted things done his way.

"He didn't want her to smoke," Drew said. "He ran things and he was bossy. That much I did see."

Pro-smoking ban groups are no less controlling and manipulative than this shooter, forcing their uninformed will upon everyone via government mandate.

I can't help but wonder what role the media and smoking ban activists' exaggerations and lies may have played in inciting this man's need to control his former girlfriend and ultimately his outburst of violence.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

OSHA standards and air quality testing enter the secondhand smoke debate

There have been few issues in the news over the past number of years that have generated more controversy, disagreement and emotion than whether to ban smoking in public, and even private places. This controversy doesn’t stem from whether smoking is a health risk. There is no disagreement there. Smoking has been proven to significantly increase a person’s risk of cancer, heart disease and other health problems. Rather, the focus has been on the rights of smokers and the risks associated with the secondhand smoke they create. Locally that controversy has been aimed specifically at local bar owners. Should they be forced by law, for reasons of public health, to ban smoking from their businesses in the same way restaurants have? Would doing so improve public health?

To answer that question, it is important to first get past the emotion surrounding the issue. The welfare of our society should be important to all of us. When we believe something threatens that, we get excited. We get emotional. That’s alright. When properly channeled, emotions motivate people to take action. However, when people react to a problem based on their emotional response, it can be easy to charge ahead to take action with inadequate or inaccurate information.

Smoking, and its related secondhand smoke is just such an issue. Few would disagree that the world would be a healthier place if cigarette smoking simply didn’t exist. Unfortunately, that isn’t the reality. People do smoke and smoking creates secondhand smoke. Furthermore, a significant percentage of people who frequent bars smoke. Those smokers are knowingly taking a health risk, but since smoking tobacco products is not against the law, they are engaging in a legal activity. The controversy comes when people who have chosen not to smoke are exposed to secondhand smoke. Does breathing secondhand smoke put them at risk, and if so by how much? Is there an acceptable level?

According to OSHA there is. In matters of protecting the health and safety of employees, it is not only the responsibility of OSHA to set the standards, but to continually monitor the workplace to assure that employees are not being subjected to undue risk. To test secondhand smoke levels, OSHA measures nicotine levels. Nicotine is the only unique chemical in secondhand smoke. Other chemicals present in cigarette smoke like formaldehyde and benzene can come from other sources such as carpet, furniture, burning foods in the kitchen or diesel exhaust from outdoors. The OSHA permissible exposure limit for an eight hour work day, forty hours per week is 0.5 milligrams of nicotine per cubic meter.

Based on that standard, how do businesses that permit smoking measure up? The American Cancer Society tested the quality of breathable air for workers in western New York state in such varied places as restaurants with an enclosed smoking area, bars and taverns, bowling centers and bingo halls. The results ranged from a low of 20 nanograms of nicotine per cubic meter to a high of 940 nanograms per cubic meter. A nanogram is .000001 of a milligram. The highest concentration of nicotine in the worst of these locations was still 532 times safer than the OSHA limit of 0.5 milligrams of nicotine per cubic meter.

Testing in other parts of the country has shown similar results. In St. Louis Park, Minnesota secondhand smoke concentrations, as measured by the environmental health department, ranged from a low of 500 times safer than OSHA standards at Cafe Europa to 152 times safer at an Applebees, to a worst case of 15.4 times safer than the OSHA guideline at Al’s Liquor.

Regarding secondhand smoke, OSHA’s acting Assistant Secretary Greg Watchman wrote, “Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below (safer than) existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELs) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)...it would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.”

Government officials accept OSHA air quality standards in factories where workers are exposed to welding smoke at concentrations much higher and more carcinogenic than secondhand tobacco smoke. Yet because of the health risk smoking represents to the smoker and the strong negative emotions associated with smoking, the risks of secondhand smoke are exaggerated well beyond what OSHA and even the American Cancer Society have measured and shown to be hundreds of times safer than OSHA standards.

Although air quality testing in restaurants and bars does show trace amounts of nicotine it does not, by OSHA standards, constitute a health hazard justifying a government mandated smoking ban. Because smoking bans eliminate bar and restaurant patrons, establishment owners should be allowed to decide for themselves whether they want to make their establishment smoke free.

Update: Smoking bans have a very detrimental effect on jobs and the world economy.

RWJF moves on to its next fight....to eliminate alcohol consumption across the globe

In this grant research study the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation concludes:

Alcohol's contribution to global disease and disability exceeds that of tobacco, and its contribution to disability outstrips both malnutrition and occupational hazards.

They also note:

While alcohol provides employment and revenue, it also imposes considerable costs to societies .........

Thus, just as RWJF was happy to eliminate jobs in the hospitality industry by funding smoking bans.........it also has no compunction to eliminating jobs created and / or dependent upon the adult beverage industry.

To the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) the ends justifies the means, especially if it sells more pharmaceutical products for its parent company the Johnson & Johnson Company. RWJF owns 80,000,000 shares of Johnson & Johnson Co. stock, a $5.4 billion dollar stake.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Before the Mpls. Star Tribune attempts to use its bully pulpit to steer state lawmakers' agenda......it should investigate the facts

Regarding the latest Star Tribune article:

The left wing media newspaper ought to investigate for instance whether secondhand smoke is a health hazard at all:

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/11/is-secondhand-smoke-health-hazard.html

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/12/thought-i-would-remind-lawmakers-and.html

Investigate how many bars and restaurants locally have been put out of business due to the bans:

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/11/state-funded-anti-tobacco-group-proves.html

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/12/how-many-more-bars-and-restaurants.html

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2005/11/updated-hennepin-ramsey-hospitality.html

Investigate how employees lives are impacted after smoking bans:

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/09/true-confessions-of-my-reasons-for.html

http://www.smokersclubinc.com/banloss3.htm

Until the Star Tribune looks at the other side of the issue to explore the facts, it is apparent that they are merely a propagandist media outlet with an agenda.....an uninformed agenda.

Here is a research study which the pro-smoking ban movement kept silenced for obvious reasons, it did not support their agenda

Thanks to Kevin, a regular commentator from Dr. Siegel's website, who reminded me of this research study:

Toxic Toxicology

Placing Scientific Credibility at Risk

Littlewood & Fennell is an independent public and health policy research group, with no ties whatsoever to industry or any government agency. I am here today on my own time and at my own expense to address the clear possibility that the National Toxicology Program has actively undermined the process by which risk assessments should be conducted. NTP overlooked a substantial body of evidence showing uncertainty, vagueness, and lack of statistical support of what is and is not carcinogenic. In addition, NTP conducted its assessments in a manner reminiscent of a rubber stamp proceeding, which favored politics over science.

I have included a history of our involvement with the NTP carcinogen listing process as an addendum to this paper. Briefly, we became interested in the topic of environmental tobacco smoke (or ETS) during an ongoing study of increasing rates of asthma in the U.S. Because a review of the literature indicates a negative correlation between ETS and asthma, and because ETS is physically and chemically quite different from mainstream tobacco smoke, we were curious about NTP’s decision to list ETS as a carcinogen.

This research article calculated the number of cigarettes which would have to be simultaneously lit in order for secondhand smoke to be a health hazard. Oh, one other minor detail, these cigarettes would have to be smoked in an unventilated room 20' x 9' x 9' for secondhand smoke concentrations to approach hazardous levels:


(Click to enlarge)

Example:

For acetone levels from secondhand smoke to be a health hazard it would require 118,700 cigarettes being simultaneously smoked in our 20' x 9' x 9' unventilated room , an impossible feat to be sure.

Or for toluene levels to reach hazardous concentrations it would require 1,000,000 cigarettes being simultaneously smoked in our 20' x 9' x 9' unventilated room , an unlikely event even in a pro-smoking ban activist's wildest exaggeration.

No wonder pro-smoking ban activists are not interested in science or facts......neither supports their exaggerations and lies about secondhand smoke.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Federal government to start prosecuting scientists who mislead officials by accepting funds from pharmaceutical interests

Federal prosecutors and congressional leaders are beginning to see that government policy officials who accept funding from pharmaceutical interests represent a serious conflict of interest.

From this article comes the following:

A senior government scientist who was a focus of a congressional probe into conflicts of interest in medical research admitted in federal court yesterday that he improperly failed to disclose payments of $285,000 he received as a consultant for the pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer Inc.

The concern, no doubt is that health hazard claims will be exaggerated or misrepresented in order to bolster sales of new pharmaceutical products.

Hmmm, where else have I come across a similar breach of ethics, and /or the law?

Oh yes now I remember, smoking ban laws:

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/10/how-drug-industry-uses-non-profits-to.html

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/06/cdc-study-which-claimed-3000-people.html

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/01/will-there-be-investigation-into-this.html

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/09/now-that-rwjf-has-put-smoking-bans-in.html

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/08/its-time-for-full-scale-congressional.html

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2005/07/why-is-pharmaceutical-company-funding.html

Thought I would remind lawmakers and pro-smoking ban activists what the World Health Organization said "..secondhand smoking doesn't cause cancer..."

THE world's leading health organisation has withheld from publication a study which shows that not only might there be no link between passive smoking and lung cancer but that it could even have a protective effect.

The article goes on to state:

The findings are certain to be an embarrassment to the WHO, which has spent years and vast sums on anti-smoking and anti-tobacco campaigns. The study is one of the largest ever to look at the link between passive smoking - or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) - and lung cancer, and had been eagerly awaited by medical experts and campaigning groups.

Yet the scientists have found that there was no statistical evidence that passive smoking caused lung cancer. The research compared 650 lung cancer patients with 1,542 healthy people. It looked at people who were married to smokers, worked with smokers, both worked and were married to smokers, and those who grew up with smokers.

The results are consistent with their being no additional risk for a person living or working with a smoker and could be consistent with passive smoke having a protective effect against lung cancer. The summary, seen by The Telegraph, also states: "There was no association between lung cancer risk and ETS exposure during childhood."

Keep in mind this study was conducted when the were many more smokers, so presumably the "hazards", if they existed, would have been greater than they are today.

The other thing to realize is that this study took place before pharmaceutical companies started to finance the smoking ban movement. Funding smoking bans has been a good investment for pharmaceutical companies who manufacture alternative nicotine products like the Johnson & Johnson Co. which manufactures Nicoderm and Nicoderm CQ through its subsidiary ALZA. Johnson & Johnson does not fund smoking ban efforts directly, rather their private foundation RWJF does. RWJF's ties to the Johnson & Johnson Company can be found here and here. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) funding to smoking ban groups to influence policy changes are found here.

As I stated earlier funding smoking bans has been a good investment for pharmaceutical companies .......the proof comes from industry publications which track over the counter alternative nicotine product sales including Nicoderm and Nicoderm CQ, sales which exceed $500,000,000.00 + annually according to this report.

The facts which help explain WHO's findings of no harm, can be found in these three air quality studies which found that secondhand smoke is up to 25,000 times SAFER than OSHA air quality regulations.

Clearing the Air predicts that the hoax about secondhand smoke, perpetuated by the scare-mongers, will soon come to an end, but not before a full scale congressional investigation.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dr. Siegel of Boston University discusses his concerns regarding ClearWay MN (MPAAT) and the Association of Nonsmokers - Minnesota's intentional lies

In this article titled:

Minnesota Anti-Smoking Organizations Fail to Respond to Challenge; What May Have Been Simple Mistake Now Appears to Have Become Intentional Deception

Dr. Siegel writes:

Last Tuesday, I issued a challenge to two Minnesota anti-smoking groups to retract or correct inaccurate public statements that they made or were making about the acute health effects of secondhand smoke. This challenge was communicated directly to representatives of both groups via email.

The first challenge, issued to the Association of Nonsmokers - Minnesota, was to retract its fallacious (and absurd) claim, issued in an August 30 press release, that just 30 seconds of secondhand smoke exposure causes damage to the coronary arteries of nonsmokers that is equivalent to the damage suffered by active smokers:

"Research studies have shown that even just thirty seconds of exposure to secondhand smoke can make coronary artery function of non-smokers indistinguishable from smokers.

"The second challenge, issued to ClearWay Minnesota, was to retract or correct its fallacious claims that: (1) brief exposure to secondhand smoke causes decreased coronary artery blood flow in healthy young adults; and (2) eating in a smoky restaurant increases the risk of fatal and non-fatal cardiac events in nonsmokers by 30%:

(1) "Blood flow in the coronary arteries is decreased in healthy young adults exposed to secondhand smoke."

(2) "Current scientific data suggest that eating in a smoky restaurant can precipitate myocardial infarctions in nonsmokers and increase the risk of fatal and non-fatal cardiac events in nonsmokers by about 30 percent.

"In response to this challenge, neither the Association for Nonsmokers - Minnesota nor ClearWay Minnesota took any action of which I am aware.

Nowhere on the Association for Nonsmokers website can I find a retraction, correction, or apology of any kind for it deceiving the media and potentially the public into believing that the coronary artery function of an active smoker is no worse than that of a nonsmoker who is exposed to tobacco smoke for just 30 seconds. And I am similarly unaware of any subsequent press release issued by the group to correct its original press release.

ClearWay Minnesota did not correct either its inaccurate and deceptive claim that a healthy young nonsmoker exposed to secondhand smoke will suffer a decrease in coronary blood flow or its claim that a nonsmoker who eats in a smoky restaurant will suffer a 30% increased risk of a heart attack. The smoking ban manual retains the original fallacious claims.

Dr Siegel goes on to conclude:

But most importantly, it means that we don't have scientific accuracy and integrity anymore. This is very sad and discouraging for me. But I won't say that I'm surprised. I've seen enough of the anti-smoking movement's lack of interest in the scientific accuracy (link mine) of its statements over the past few months to have expected both of these groups to fail to respond to my challenge.

The movement is rapidly losing its scientific accuracy and scientific integrity and frankly, I don't think any group in tobacco control really gives a damn.

Certainly I don't expect ClearWay MN (formerly MPAAT) or the Association of Nonsmokers - Minnesota to stop their deceitful, lying statements.......but I publish this article so that lawmakers realize how foolish they are to believe anything the pro-smoking ban activists have to say.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Have the smoking ban activists worn out their welcome?

We knew it was just a matter of time before the public woke up to the truth. From USA Today comes this editorial lambasting the smoking ban movement for what it is, an out of control, arrogant, manipulative, controlling, punitive mindset; bereft of any scientific merit.

What would you expect from a
money grubbing, power hungry movement with no facts to support their cause?

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/11/is-secondhand-smoke-health-hazard.html

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/11/dr-siegel-demonstrates-that.html

How many more bars and restaurants will go out of business because of the smoking bans in the Twin Cities?

It seemed like as good a day as any to update regular readers of this site about the (500+) bars and restaurants which have gone out of business since the smoking bans started here in the Twin Cities on 3/31/05.

Any Twin Cities readers who are familiar with other closings not reported at the above link please contact us so we can update the list.

There is no longer any doubt that smoking bans eliminate business, especially since even the state funded anti-tobacco group MPAAT, now ClearWay Minnesota, proved in this newspaper published report that smoking bans eliminate business in virtually all bars and restaurants.......the question now is how much business is eliminated due to the bans?

And the bigger looming question remains, are smoking bans justified in the first place?.......Not according to government and American Cancer Society air quality testing.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Digging up an old post from December 2005 I found a conversation I had with a RWJF executive whose identity I kept secret....

......this time however, I will name that individual.....it was Richard Toth. To understand their thinking and motives behind funding smoking bans I now republish that post from a telephone conversation a year ago:

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation......the ends justifies the means

I had a conversation today with someone from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (no lie) who confided to me that even they did not believe secondhand smoke was harmful........however, if claiming that it was harmful led to smoking bans, the Foundation was satisfied that those bans would eventually lead to people quitting smoking (and people quitting would increase sales of pharmaceutical nicotine products for their parent company J & J). Therefore the hospitality industry and you as a vendor, Marcus Aurelius, are the expendable pawns in our agenda. (paraphrased) (cell phone records confirm this conversation took place)

So in their mind the ends justifies the means............. I wonder if my creditors are ok with that explanation? Original post can be found here.

These arrogant, selfish, greedy, lying activists need to be and will be exposed for what they are......if I have anything to say about it........and I do.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

RWJF funding smoking bans for their "Social Engineering" agenda

According to this Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) funded policy manifesto comes this excerpt:

Social change happens when you change internal attitudes, external structures, and/or work to make behavior unnecessary. Let’s use the example of highway traffic safety. You can try to change internal attitudes about seat belt use by convincing people through education and persuasion. You can try to change external structures, those outside the individual’s control, by using public policy to mandate seat belt use.......or raising cigarette taxes to increase the financial costs of smoking.

Armed with this new self appointed sense of importance, RWJF began implementing this social engineering agenda in the form of smoking bans not for any "public health" reason, rather as a profit motive. RWJF owns $5.4 billion dollars worth of Johnson & Johnson Company stock.......and J & J manufactures Nicoderm / Nicoderm CQ...... alternative nicotine products. Demand for pharmaceutical nicotine products increase as smoking bans are implemented.....or at least that is the hope of the pharmaceutical interests who fund smoking ban activities.

Spreading lies about secondhand smoke to further an agenda of increasing pharmaceutical profits, makes smoking bans one of the worst hoaxes perpetuated upon society. And as more and more people are exposed to the truth, it is less likely that RWJF and Johnson & Johnson Company's maniacal plans will be met with blind acceptance.

The newest get rich quick scam for the pharmaceutical companies and interests.

Filing medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors or medical professionals who don't prescribe pharmaceutical nicotine products is the latest tactic by tobacco control groups. And since most tobacco control groups are funded directly by pharmaceutical nicotine interests like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), (the private foundation of the Johnson & Johnson Company) their interests are purely profit motivated.

Dr. Siegel discusses this latest tactic of forcible coercion in his article Tobacco Control Research and Education Center Suggests Malpractice Lawsuits as a Way to Get Physicians to Prescribe Pharmaceuticals to Smokers.

It's very interesting to me how the tobacco control and pro-smoking ban groups are openly exposing their for profit agenda, yet the media and lawmakers refuse to call them on this blatantly selfish, ethically challenged, and potentially illegal activity.

Thankfully the internet is providing the counterbalance to the lies and deceipt.

Clearing the Air would like to welcome a new group from across the pond, Freedom to Choose UK






Their website is http://freedom2choose.co.uk/index_sub.php. Stop in to provide support or just see how the smoking ban in the UK is affecting businesses and employees.

We have a link for future reference in our column to the right.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Atlantic City NJ city council is now pushing for a smoking ban in the casinos

........Even though they originally claimed they would exempt casinos from the smoking ban.

From
this article the pro-smoking ban activists claim "...Casino employees bitterly complained that the state law sacrificed their health in the interest of gambling profits......"

A claim that is pure exaggerated hype, as even American Cancer Society testing proved that secondhand smoke levels are up to
25,000 times SAFER than OSHA permissible exposure limits for secondhand smoke.

If a smoking ban passes, Atlantic City casino employees will be complaining about job losses and personal financial harm just as they have in
Washington State where tens of millions of dollars in losses occurred after just 9 months of their smoking ban, or in Minnesota where $14.1 million dollars in gambling revenue losses were recorded in just two counties after just 6 months of a local smoking ban.

The only ones who profit from a proposed smoking ban are the
pharmaceutical nicotine interests like (RWJF) which fund the non-profit groups who demand such a ban from lawmakers. We'll see if lawmakers have the backbone to stand up against the special interests.......if not, then the least lawmakers can do is to ensure that the pro-smoking ban groups put up a $50 -$100 million bond to compensate the employees and business owners who WILL suffer financially.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mall of America needs taxpayer financing for expansion, but after losing all their 4th floor tenants due to the smoking ban, it's the least we can do

Mall of America owners want to expand their facility by an additional 5.6 million square feet, even though the entire 4th floor sits empty after hospitality businesses closed their doors due to business losses from Bloomington's smoking ban.

Perhaps the loss of tenants explains the need for taxpayer funding. But Clearing the Air would like to suggest that the non-profits and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation take responsibility for their anti-business smoking bans and subsidize the construction costs themselves.

State funded anti-tobacco group proves that smoking bans eliminate business....will lawmakers heed the lesson

Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco (MPAAT) now ClearWay MN, proved that smoking bans eliminate on average nearly 40% of a private businesses' customers; with the most dramatic decrease in business of nearly 90%.

click to enlarge
"customers before" was count before smoking ban
"customers after" was count after smoking ban

Clearing the Air covered this story a few months back, but as more cities, counties, and states cave in to extortion-like tactics by the non-profit special interest smoking ban groups; it is important to remember the lessons that even the activists can't deny.

What's even more incredible is that air quality testing of secondhand smoke proves the "heath hazard" claim is a bold faced lie, and international hoax. Couple that with the new revelation by Dr. Siegel, that epidemiological studies which smoking ban activists' based their very existence upon were manipulated and/or fixed to support a pre-determined agenda, and you've got very sound reasoning why lawmakers should send the smoking ban charlatans not only packing, but making reparations to all the individuals and businesses harmed.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The media finally gets it right, tobacco control activist's involvement in a scam that's criminal.

From the Calgary Sun comes this story about a tobacco control activist's criminal activity and his involvement with the Alberta Lung Association.

It sounds like business as usual in the tobacco control movement to me.

Thanks to Robin Gaison for the tip.

Friday, November 24, 2006

KGB agent's death being used to demonize tobacco in the media, ...talk about pushing an unrelated agenda

Recent events, specifically the former Russian KGB agent who allegedly was assassinated by exposure to a massive dose of polonium 210, have brought polonium 210 to the forefront of news headlines worldwide. One reporter, E.D. Hill from Fox News Friday 11/24/06 AM spoke of the KGB agent's death from radioactive polonium 210 and stated in the same breath that it's "...also found in the bloodstream of smoker's......" Another media attempt to demonize tobacco in an unrelated and out of context manner.

Tobacco control activists love to use the "4000" chemicals scam as proof that evil tobacco companies "add" all sorts of dangerous chemicals to their product. However, the fact of the matter is that polonium 210 and all of the other alleged "4000" chemicals are found not only in tobacco plants, but also lettuce, carrots, potatoes etc. etc......anything grown from the soil......or any animal or human which ingests the plants grown from the soil, because polonium 210 is found naturally along with arsenic, formaldehyde.....etc....etc. From this website you can get all the basic facts about polonium 210.

Polonium-210 is naturally present in all environmental media at very low concentrations. In soils, the concentration is similar to that of uranium, averaging about 1 pCi/g (or one trillionth curie per gram). Because polonium-210 is produced from the decay of radon-222 gas, it can be found in the atmosphere from which it is deposited on the earth’s surface. Average annual air concentrations range from 0.005 to 0.04 pCi/m3. Polonium-210 is also emitted to the atmosphere during the calcining of phosphate rock as part of the production of elemental phosphorous. Although direct root uptake by plants is generally small, polonium-210 can be deposited on broad-leaved vegetables. ...........It is estimated that the average Western diet includes from 1 to 10 pCi of polonium-210 per day. Polonium-210 can be significantly elevated in residents of northern lands who subsist on reindeer that consume lichens, which absorb trace elements from the atmosphere.

Polonium can be taken into the body by eating food, drinking water, or breathing air. Between 50% and 90% of the polonium taken in by ingestion will promptly leave the body in feces. The fraction remaining in the body enters the bloodstream. In general, the spleen and kidneys concentrate polonium more than other tissues except for temporary deposition in the lung after inhalation of an insoluble form. It is estimated that approximately 45% of ingested polonium will be deposited in the spleen, kidneys, and liver, with 10% deposited in bone marrow and the remainder distributed throughout the body. The amount of polonium in the body will decrease with a half-time of 50 days.

-Armed with this new information it sounds to me as though lawmakers should ban food, air, and water........afterall what did surgeon general Carmona say? "....there is no safe level...."

Tobacco control activists' demonization, lies and half truths about tobacco don't necessarily surprise me any longer.......what surprises me is that the media, especially FOX News, is now leading the charge.......and as Dr. Siegel has pointed out.......tobacco control activists' lies are beginning to erode their credibility.......so too will it erode the medias' credibility.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Dr. Siegel demonstrates that epidemiological studies showing a very minor risk from SHS were cherry picked to arrive at a pre-determined conclusion

Here Dr. Siegel re-examines a 1997 Study on Secondhand Smoke and Heart Disease. And finds that data which did not support the pro-smoking ban agenda was omitted so as not to taint the findings to what scientists wanted the studies to reveal. In other words the data was manipulated or fixed to arrive at a pre-determined agenda.

Now combine that manipulation with the fact that most of these pro-smoking ban researchers and groups received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) which has direct ties to the Nicoderm manufacturer Johnson & Johnson Company, and you have an indictable offense worthy of an international investigation.

By the way, you probably noticed I used the words "very minor risk" in the title, here's the 1997 study's relative risk ratio and my question to Dr. Siegel:

"....a pooled relative risk of 1.30 (95% confidence interval, 1.22-1.3"

Dr. I have heard from several experts that a relative risk ratio of less than 2.0 is typically not published in a medical journal such as BMJ or the JAMA. In fact what I've heard is that unless a relative risk ratio is 3.0 or higher it is not deemed a credible finding worthy of publishing in either medical journal. Could you comment on any other issue, besides tobacco, which was given "credible finding" status even though the risk ratio was less than 2.0?

Any of you in the pro-smoking ban movement are free to answer the question above.......if you can.

Update: GreatScot, a regular contributor to Dr. Siegel's website, provides some additional information:

Risk Ratio's less than 2. Interesting reading.

http://www.amlibpub.com/

Excerpt:

A 30 percent increase means a relative risk (also known as risk ratio, or RR) of 1.3. (On the risk scale, zero risk is set at 1.0, not 0.0.) Actually, the American Heart Association website lists the following RRs: 1.25 for cardiovascular heart disease, 1.18 for ischemic heart disease, and 1.13 for arrhythmic heart failure or coronary arrest mortality. The RRs for cell phones, computers, hair dryers, and electric blankets are all between 3.0 and 4.0. The risk of getting cancer from drinking municipal tap water that tens of millions of Americans drink every day is 2.0 to 4.0. So why be concerned about a relative risk of 1.3 to the heart from ETS? It so happens that 1.3 is the exact RR for shortening your life by drinking three cups of coffee per WEEK. That will give you some perspective on the severity of the alleged heart “danger.”

Both the World Health Organization and the American Cancer Society have clearly stated that RRs below 2.0 are too low to be relied upon. And a report by the independent health consulting firm Littlewood and Fennell characterized RRs less than 2.0 as “dancing on the tiny pinhead of statistical insignificance.” Compare this to the claim of “rapid and large” harmful effects from an RR of 1.3. A wealth of published literature dismisses relative risks less than 2.0 (100%) as being insignificant. And Dr. Eugenia Calle, Director of Analytic Epidemiology at the American Cancer Society, has stated the RRs below 1.3 are too low even to be realistically identified, much less be dangerous.

Why aren’t RRs less than 2.0 significant when they can represent impressive sounding percentage increases? The main reason is confounding variables. There are at least 20 of these that have been identified for ETS and heart disease, including: heredity, consumption of fat, consumption of fruits and vegetables, exercise and physical activity, type of employment, ethnic background, cholesterol, socio-economic class, etc. Any one of these could account for an impressive percentage increase in disease, yet no study of ETS has ever come close to controlling for even a large share of these variables. And there could be others that haven’t yet been identified.

It is no wonder, therefore, that Dr. Marcia Angell, editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the world’s leading medical journals, says, “As a general rule, we are looking for a relative risk of 3.0 or more.” Dr. Robt. Temple, director of drug evaluation for the FDA, says, “My basic rule is if the relative risk isn’t at least 3 or 4, forget it.” And the EPA declined to regulate high-voltage power lines because it said the RRs seldom exceeded 3.0.

Hmm... one can only conclude that smoking bans, financed by some very powerful special interest groups, wouldn't even be considered if it weren't for the money.

Also visit our sponsors at bottom of webpage
  • Why a Non-Smoker Fights the Pro-Smoking Ban Lies
  • Is RWJF, a 501(c)3, violating IRS rules by funding pro-smoking ban lobbyists?
  • RWJF funds and promotes universal healthcare policies which are the basis for and primary objective of Obamacare
  • Boycott these special interests (J & J) who destroyed the hospitality industry & jobs
  • Is the smoking ban movement fueled by pharmaceutical nicotine interests?
  • Now that smoking bans have been implemented, what can be done?
  • How do smoking ban lobbyists profit from smoking bans?
  • Pharmaceutical interests project the alternative nicotine marketplace to be $4.6 billion +
  • WHO report secondhand smoke doesn't cause cancer
  • Do smoker's cost society more money than non-smoker's? NO
  • Do smoker's cost society more money than non-smoker's? Part 2
  • Why does UCSF researcher Stanton Glantz support smoking bans?
  • OSHA standards prove SHS is not a health hazard
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