November 9, 2007 - Scientists and the population in the U.S.A. are slowly but surely – none too soon -- awakening to the harsh reality that the anti-tobacco movement has become nothing but an opportunistic crusade that serves the interests of the anti-tobacco dogmatists, their partners -- the pharmaceutical industry, and politicians and bureaucrats capitalizing on ''feel good'' laws and policies.
We have seen an explosion of articles on the issue in the last few months, the latest having appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New Scientist and the Reason Magazine, a synopsis of which you will find in Dr. Michael Siegel’s blog where we offer you an excerpt below.
If they wish to preserve some credibility with their readers, we hope that our Canadian media will also start covering the issue from all angles before the general public catches on to how unethical anti-tobacco has become.
Excerpt from Dr. Siegel's blog
The editorial links to a news article which highlights my research demonstrating that many anti-smoking groups are misrepresenting the scientific evidence regarding the acute cardiovascular effects of secondhand smoke.
According to the article:
"California is fast becoming a smoker's nightmare. ... in Calabasas, smoking in public places, including the street, has been illegal for over a year. ... Anti-smoking campaigners argue that the scientific evidence supporting such measures is compelling. For example, Washington DC-based Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), which is frequently quoted in media debates on tobacco control, states in its promotional material that a single exposure to tobacco fumes lasting just 30 minutes can raise a 'non-smoker's risk of suffering a fatal heart attack to that of a smoker.' The British Heart Foundation (BHF) makes similar claims, saying that just 30 minutes of exposure can affect the cells lining the coronary arteries and 'contribute to narrowing the coronary arteries and reducing blood flow to the heart'".
"Can the risks of such a brief exposure really be that high? Not according to tobacco researcher Mike Siegel of Boston University, who examined statements made by nearly 30 anti-tobacco groups including ASH (US) and the BHF, as well as clinical studies upon which the statements were based. He believes the anti-tobacco groups distort the science to make their point. In doing so, he fears the campaigners could undermine public trust in what they say, and in the validity of powerful, legitimate evidence that links chronic passive smoking to heart and lung disease."
"Although a half-hour exposure does cause measurable changes in blood flow, the effects are only transitory and blood circulation returns to normal within hours, sometimes immediately, Siegel says. There is no evidence that a single exposure causes any meaningful damage in the way that the groups claim. 'It is certainly not correct to claim that a single 30-minute exposure to second-hand smoke causes hardening of the arteries, heart disease, heart attacks or strokes,' he says. 'The anti-smoking movement has gone overboard. The ban on streets is not scientifically justified.'"