Monday, 16 December 2013

Passive smoking and lung cancer.

One or two of you may have missed the headline news about passive smoking:

The article describes a large prospective study that "confirmed a strong association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer but found no link between the disease and secondhand smoke." The study tracked more than 76,000 women, 901 of whom eventually developed lung cancer. Although "the incidence of lung cancer was 13 times higher in current smokers and four times higher in former smokers than in never-smokers," says the JNCI article, there was no statistically significant association between reported exposure to secondhand smoke and subsequent development of lung cancer

In some ways the findings aren't a big surprise, the link between passive smoking and lung cancer has always been more emotional than scientific. However, the obsession with this single risk factor has meant that lung cancer receives the smallest amount of research spending of any major cancer - just five per cent of total research spending into the 20% plus of cancer deaths that are from lung cancer. The research bodies have chosen instead to direct resources into campaigns for smoking bans, advertising bans, higher duty and now plain packaging.

The problem isn't that people want to reduce deaths that result from smoking but that they do so knowing that what they say is inaccurate, even incorrect:

...the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will tell you that "secondhand smoke causes an estimated 3,400 lung cancer deaths among U.S. nonsmokers each year," scientists have long understood that the actual number might be closer to zero.

All those smoking bans - whether you agree with them or not - were introduced on the basis of, at best poorly understood epidemiology and probably with the absolute knowledge that the claims for passive smoking and lung cancer simply weren't true.

It was always about denormalising smoking:

"The strongest reason to avoid passive cigarette smoke is to change societal behavior: to not live in a society where smoking is a norm."

Of course they didn't give that as the reason when they kicked you out from the bar and onto the pavement, did they!

....

7 comments:

Kin_Free said...

This is not about passive smoking per se (as you and others have emphasised). There are already over a hundred studies where, taken together, it is clear that SHS is harmless, even beneficial. The SHS deception has already served its purpose and can now be carefully dropped.

This is about trying to support the original claim than smoking is harmful as per 1950s Doll. It is about bolstering old primary smoking propaganda.

"Look, we are now telling the truth about SHS, so, trust us, we must be telling the truth about primary smoking"

They know that only the gullible and those who are paid to believe are left fully believing the SHS con and they have seen that the 'smoking kills' propaganda is now being seriously questioned.

They know that the public are becoming aware, in greater numbers, that cancers and other so-called smoking related illness are continuing to increase despite the reduction in smoking over recent decades. eg USA lung cancer increased by over 30% between 2000 and 2008 and 80% of new lung cancers are now being diagnosed in NON smokers (Dr L Eldridge etc.) OR that heavier smoking nations have LESS cancers than those countries where the smoking prohibition agenda is the most advanced - OR that there are more cancers and less smoking in urban areas compared with rural areas etc.

I'm sure you are aware that tobacco CONTROL, to put it mildly, are pretty devious - this new revelation about SHS harmlessness is no exception!

Anonymous said...

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23631237

"Passive smoking causes a wide range of diseases from membrane irritation such as sore throat or nasal symptom, to fatal diseases such as lung cancer or heart attack. Extensive epidemiological studies have revealed that passive smoking at home or at workplaces raises the all cause mortality of nonsmoking family members by 14-75%. Moreover, many people in Japan are suffered from chemical hypersensitivity due to chronic persistent passive smoking at workplaces. Most critical diagnostic clue of passive smoking caused disease is the temporal relationship of tobacco smoke exposure and disease onset. One hundred percent smoke free workplace or environment is the only effective measure for curing and preventing illnesses caused by passive smoke exposure."

Twenty_Rothmans said...

Anonymous at 10:13 makes an extremely valid point.

The scandalously low life expectancy of the Japanese is clearly a result of passive (and active) smoking.

Anonymous said...

(updated comment)
This is not about passive smoking per se (as you and others have emphasised). There are already over a hundred studies where, taken together, it is clear that SHS is as good as harmless, even beneficial. The SHS 'harm' tactic has already served its purpose and can now be carefully dropped. This is about bolstering old primary smoking propaganda. It is about trying to support the original claim than smoking is harmful as per 1950s Doll, using similar tactics.

"Look, we are now telling the truth and being realistic about SHS, so trust us, we must be telling the truth about primary smoking".

Richard Doll was the scientist, employed by an asbestos company to prove that asbestos was not dangerous to health, but he found that it was indeed dangerous. He is more famous for pioneering epidemiology research, carried out almost simultaneously with the asbestos study, that ‘proved beyond doubt’ that smoking was the cause of lung cancer, and was allegedly a much greater risk than asbestos.

Tobacco CONTROL know that only the gullible and those who are paid to believe are now the only people left who fully believe anti-smoker claims re. SHS and they have seen that the 'smoking kills' propaganda is now being seriously questioned.

They know that the public are becoming aware, in greater numbers, that most cancers and other so-called smoking related illness are continuing to increase despite the reduction in smoking over recent decades. eg USA lung cancers increased by over 30% between 2000 and 2008 (ACS 2010) and 80% of new lung cancers are now being diagnosed in NON smokers (Dr L Eldridge etc. 2012) OR that heavier smoking nations have LESS cancers than those countries where the smoking prohibition agenda is the most advanced (Burden of cancer in Asia 2008) OR that there is less smoking in urban areas compared to rural areas (ALA 2012), but we have known for years that cancers are more prevalent in urban areas.

Science can confuse the layman, but common sense is all that is needed to understand the implication of these facts.

I'm sure you are aware that tobacco CONTROL, to put it mildly, are pretty devious - this new revelation about SHS harmlessness is no exception!

Kin_Free

Kathryn said...

Simon's post refers to an article recently published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute by Oxford University Press. It publishes peer-reviewed original research and is internationally acclaimed as the source for the most up-to-date news and information in the field of cancer research. It is ranked as one of the most-cited cancer journals.

Personally, I would give the JNCI article greater credence than the article referred to above - while the abstract is in English the article is published in a Japanese journal of clinical medicine, not widely cited and not specifically related to cancer research.

Anonymous said...

I see that my comment has not been posted. Did you receive it? (I sent two) or have you moderated it out?

If the latter, do you disbelieve or disagree with me? Do you need any verification? Do you think I am some tobacco company shill? Some other reason? I would be obliged if you would let me know.

I can assure you that I have no connection with any tobacco or pharmaceutical company. What I say is the result of my own research over the last six or seven years and the conclusions I draw are mine and mine alone. (ie no outside vested/conflict of interest).

Many references can be found on my blog site if you wish to check;
http://kin-free.blogspot.co.uk/

Kin_Free

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