“Leave Smokers Alone”, my new article at The Commentator

My latest article examining the recent findings on secondhand smoke has been published at The Commentator.

When George Godber spoke at the 3rd World Conference on Smoking and Health in 1975, he gave his vision of the future: “our target must be, in the long-term, the elimination of cigarette smoking…”, he said.

“We may not have eliminated cigarette smoking completely by the end of this century, but we ought to have reached a position where a relatively few addicts still use cigarettes, but only in private at most in the company of consenting adults… The practice ought to be an enclosed one, not to be endured by the non-smoker in ordinary social intercourse; and no one should be allowed to use advertisement or any indirect means to suggest otherwise.”

In 1975, the general public would have scoffed at such a notion, but it was the apparent threat of secondhand smoke to non-smokers that gave anti-smokers the golden key to legislation restricting smoking from any indoor area.

It didn’t matter that the 1992 EPA report first demonstrating harm only managed to do so by cherry-picking studies and lowering the confidence interval – and even then, finding that for every 40,000 worker-years of exposure to omnipresent smoke as in the 1960s, there would be approximately one extra instance of lung cancer – nor that only 15 percent of the studies done on secondhand smoke and lung cancer managed to find any scientifically significant result at all – and even then the results were less “deadly” than wearing a bra.

Click here to visit The Commentator and read it in its entirety.

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