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Tuesday, 13 April 2010

THE TORONTO MIRACLE


The latest miracle from a series of miracles that occurred throughout the world in the last few years, comes to us from very close to home this time. Indeed, the epidemiologists of the latest anti-tobacco junk study found that in Toronto "Crude rates of admission to hospital because of cardiovascular conditions decreased by 39% (95% CI 38%–40%) and admissions because of respiratory conditions decreased by 33% (95% CI 32%–34%) during the ban period affecting restaurant settings. ‘’


These allegations clearly don’t fly with common sense and at least two scientists have already spoke out against the findings .


Dr. Samy Suissa, director of clinical epidemiology at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, opined the findings in these terms: ‘’(…)to say that by having a smoking ban you've wiped out 40 per cent of the cardiovascular events, hospitalized cardiovascular events, is I think quite optimistic. (…) it is hard to believe banning smoking in restaurants led to a 17 per cent decline in heart attack rates across the entire population, regardless of whether they smoked or frequented restaurants. The best medications we have on the market are associated with a 10, 12, eight per cent decreases. But not 17 per cent. And these are directly in patients who are taking these medications carefully. (…)"The numbers don't add up. Scientifically they don't add up."

But the most extensive analysis on this study was again done by none other than Dr. Michael Siegel who has debunked every single one of these ‘’miracle’’ studies as they popped up.



‘’ The rest of the story is that we have yet another study purporting to show a dramatic and immediate effect of smoking bans on acute cardiovascular event admissions which turns out to be severely flawed. In this case, the data presented in the paper (or at least in the appendix) not only fail to support the study conclusion, but they actually refute that conclusion. They also refute the findings themselves as presented in the paper.

(…) I believe the actual data is quite clear in showing that this study failed to accurately present the findings and therefore resulted in an unsupported and unjustified conclusion.’’


But as we have grown accustomed to expect from agenda driven tobacco control lobbyists, as long as the results justify anti-smoking policy and their own future funding, it doesn’t matter how we skew the findings to come to these results. Roberta Ferrence executive director of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit at the University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, hazards even as far as comparing it to another piece of junk science - the Bowling Green, Ohio ‘’miracle’’ - which has also been expertly debunked by Dr. Siegel. Clearly, grasping at straws takes its full meaning from these desperate anti-tobacco attempts to defend the indefensible.

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