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Monday, 21 January 2008

HOW ETHICAL IS IT TO LOBBY GOVERNMENT ON EPIDEMIOLOGICAL BASED EVIDENCE?

Using epidemiology to lobby for legislation, is a tactic many organizations use on an ongoing basis. But how reliable or ethical is such a tactic when epidemiology constantly contradicts its own findings? That’s when the tactic of ‘’cherry-picking’’ the studies comes in and how much more honest or ethical is that method?

The Ontario Lung Association, who in an effort to further turn society against smokers, are now using the emotional ‘’for the children’’ card to lobby for banning smoking in cars with children. But how reliable is the ‘’science’’ behind their loaded message?

One of the reasons they give to justify such bans is: "Asthma in children is growing at an unsettling rate. We know that tobacco smoke is not only a known trigger for causing asthma episodes, it can actually cause asthma in healthy children.’’

Not only is this message not consistent with the increase of allergies proportionately to the decrease of smoking for the last 30 years, but the same epidemiology that the OLA uses to justify legislation, has found the exact opposite results. Here’s the conclusion from a 32-year population-based cohort study, published on December 3, 2007 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology ’Personal and parental smoking is associated with a reduced risk of allergic sensitization in people with a family history of atopy.’’

As for some other justifications to legislate against car smoking, the evidence is equally unreliable.

The ‘’increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS);’’ is hardly a true or reliable statement since we have seen how the SIDS statistics were sadly manipulated to suit certain agendas and other bureaucratic purposes as we reported on our article EXPOSING SIDS IN AMERICA .

There are at least one or more studies that don't sustain and even totally contradict the various statements the Ontario Lung Association has made to justify legislation against smoking in cars with children. The bottom line is, science does not conclusively back up any of their claims.

Letting our emotions be manipulated towards granting the state the power to cross that sacred line of parental authority and invasion of private life, on flimsy and conflicting evidence, would be a very dangerous precedent to set towards the loss of even our basic freedoms.

We invite you to also refer to our article on this issue and Dr. Michael Siegel’s take CMA ENCOURAGES A CANADA-WIDE BAN ON SMOKING IN CARS CARRYING CHILDREN .

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