Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Heartland Institute disputes the former Surgeon General's claim....."the debate is over...."

Some excerpts from the Heartland's brilliant and insightful article:

Who's Claiming Consensus?

.....The commentators who echo the Surgeon General's claim fall into one or more of five groups:

-Liberal advocacy groups such as the Center for Tobacco Free Kids, American Cancer Society, and American Legacy Foundation, which clearly profit from increased public attention to secondhand smoke.

-Government agencies, including the Office of the Surgeon General, the Department of Health and Human Services, and EPA, which exist largely for the purpose of discovering and publicizing health risks, even if they are backed by dubious research.

-Some corporations--notably Johnson & Johnson, which makes smoking-cessation aids--which give liberal advocacy groups hundreds of millions of dollars to demonize smoking and compel more consumers to use their products.

-The news media, which simply publish the news releases from the first three groups.

-Politicians, who read the newspaper stories and hear from the advocacy groups and rationally calculate their odds of being reelected improve if they proclaim deep concern over secondhand smoke and propose solutions that will cost taxpayers and consumers billions of dollars annually.

The idea that smokers and nonsmokers might solve this problem voluntarily is dismissed out of hand by those who claim secondhand-smoke exposure is a public health crisis. The "solutions" they want all require bigger government: higher taxes on cigarettes, bans on smoking in public, restrictions on advertising and health claims, etc.

Oddly, these solutions all work to advance the self-interest and agendas of the five groups that repeat Carmona's claim of "consensus." What are the odds this correlation is coincidental?

It is particularly satisfying for me to have an organization of clout, like the Heartland Institute, point out the special interest corporate involvement behind the smoking ban movement.

Reading this article reminded me that somebody else recently made the same false claim as former Surgeon General Richard Carmona "..The debate in the scientific community is over......"

However, as I have indicated numerous times, Carmona and Gore cited studies & theories fraught with bias, error, and the deliberate orchestration to support their pre-ordained agenda.

Proper scientific methodology conducts studies and testing to determine the facts, only then can scientists determine the proper response or agenda. Carmona, tobacco control activists, and Gore formulated their agenda first and then cherry picked and manipulated data to support that agenda......that's hardly scientific or a consensus.

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