Sunday, March 9, 2008

Faulty science from EPA

The EPA “Study” on secondhand smoke

Most dictionaries define hoax as an act intended to deceive or trick; something that has been established or accepted by fraudulent means. The secondhand smoke frenzy is largely a hoax inspired by anti-smoker fanatics and tobacco prohibitionists. Unable to “encourage” sufficient numbers to quit smoking by educating them about the very real dangers of smoking, or to coerce them through steadily escalating and usurious levels of taxation, they devised a new strategy.

They managed to convince people that smokers were not only hurting themselves, but those around them; their spouses, their co-workers, their children.

The hoax, in North America at least, has been perpetuated by a press dedicated to the sensational rather than the truth. Wild, and erroneous, accusations about the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke are printed daily, unchallenged, with neither serious investigation nor comment.

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s 1993 report has been the basis for most of the smoking bans implemented across North America. The EPA study has been used by the Non-Smokers Rights Association (NSRA) and others to generate public hysteria over the dangers of secondhand smoke (aka ETS).

It's assumed by the public that the EPA report is the unvarnished and universally accepted truth. But that’s an incorrect assumption. There has been a great deal of controversy in the scientific community, the US Congress and the courts, over the EPA report.

In 1994, a Congressional inquiry into the EPA and its methods, specifically as they related to the EPA study on ETS, concluded: "The process at every turn has been characterized by both scientific and procedural irregularities. Those irregularities include conflicts of interest by both Agency staff involved in the preparation of the risk assessment and members of the Science Advisory Board panel selected to provide a supposedly independent evaluation of the document."

And, the EPA conclusion that ETS was a Group “A” carcinogen wound up in court. After four years of testimony a federal (anti-tobacco) judge invalidated their conclusion, calling the report an outright "fraud".

In his final judgment, Justice Osteen said: "The Agency disregarded information and made findings based on selective information... deviated from its own risk assessment guidelines; failed to disclose important (opposing) findings and reasoning; and left significant questions without answers."

Among those important (opposing) findings that the EPA failed to disclose was the largest existing study ever done up to that point, funded by the National Cancer Institute.

But if the United States Congress and a US federal judge found that the study lacked scientific integrity, why is it still being cited by the prohibitionists as the definitive study on secondhand smoke.

And, why does the media allow the hoax to continue?

For more facts on the EPA study, visit: The Hittman Chronicles

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