When there is no science to back anti-tobacco activists’ claims, generalizations should do the trick. At least this is what two critics of the second hand smoke hysteria are suggesting to the ban smoking in cars proponents.
It appears the researchers of a paper titled ‘’ Second-hand smoke in cars: How did the "23 times more toxic" myth turn into fact?’’ desperately attempted to find the scientific literature backing up the ‘’second hand smoke being 23 times more toxic in a car than in a smoker’s home‘’ claim, but found none. They traced the contention down to a U.S.A. newspaper article that anti-tobacco lobbyists as well as the government picked up and repeated ad nauseam since.
The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) stretched the science even further by claiming that it was 27 times more harmful! The monkey see monkey do mentality was also demonstrated through the Ontario Lung Association, the Canadian Cancer Society and who knows how many more such ‘’me too’’ organizations.
The researchers therefore suggest that any anti-tobacco activist pushing for smoking bans in cars should stop using this argument and use generalizations instead: ''Researchers and organizations should stop using the 23 times more toxic "fact" because of the lack of evidence in scientific literature, the authors suggest. Instead, advocates of the ban should just make sweeping generalizations about the risks of secondhand smoke exposure and mention children if possible. Something like, "exposure to second-hand smoke in cars poses a significant health risk and...vulnerable children who cannot remove themselves from this smoky environment must be protected," would be a good substitute for the bogus statistic.''
As long as we are made to believe that ''it's for the children'' who needs science?