Friday, April 25, 2008

The Ministry of Health Propaganda

The Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion, in a letter responding to an inquiry about the proposed ban on smoking in motor vehicles with children present, claimed: "Clearly, medical science shows that children who breathe second-hand smoke are more likely to suffer Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, asthma, and cardiac arrest."

Dr. Michael Siegel, an anti-smoking advocate, took issue with this claim from the Liberal propaganda ministry, saying: “I do not understand why the Ministry of Health Promotion would fabricate such a claim.”

In his blog, The Rest of The Story, he says, “There is simply no way to justify or explain the statement that secondhand smoke causes cardiac arrest among exposed children. There is no degree of leniency on the terminology that we can allow that would enable us to interpret that statement as being anything other than blatantly inaccurate.”

“Children's hearts do not stop beating suddenly because of exposure to secondhand smoke. There is no evidence that secondhand smoke exposure causes acute coronary events of any kind among children. This claim seems to be pulled completely out of the blue. It's not like the claim is even an exaggeration of a claim for which there is evidence. In other words, this is not merely an exaggeration, it is a complete fabrication.”

Earlier this year, in March, Ontario Premier Dalton McGinty claimed publicly that “being exposed to one hour of secondhand smoke in a car is the same for a young child as smoking an entire pack of cigarettes.”

Dave Orazietti (Saulte St. Marie MPP), and sponsor of the bill, claimed during a press conference last December that “young people are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of second hand smoke and as a result they are more likely to suffer from cancer, heart disease, asthma and a number of other respiratory problems."

Mr. McGinty’s remarks were labelled “inaccurate” while Mr. Orazietti’s comments were labeled “irresponsible and unethical”.

The politicians get their information exclusively from the anti-smoker brigade.Their outrageous claims are based on seriously distorted science and statistics passed off as “fact”. Contrary opinions are simply ignored; their authors disparaged as “tobacco stooges”.

The press ignores the distortions of fact, perhaps too lazy, or maybe too gullible, to investigate the claims being made by such august bodies as Health Canada, non-smokers rights groups, Dalton’s Ministry of Health Propaganda and others.

The politicians take their cue from the fanatics in the anti-smoker brigade whose goal is to vilify and demonize smokers so that the public will accept any degree of blatant discrimination directed against smokers without resistance.

The “loyal” opposition in the Ontario legislature is loyal to no other interests, save their own. They’re all afraid of questioning the dishonest claims being made from the government bench lest they be seen as opposing efforts to “protect our children”.

The politicians can make their wild claims knowing there is no effective opposition to challenge their outlandish claims.
Check out Dr. Siegel’s latest post, “Ontario Health Ministry Tells Public that Secondhand Smoke Causes Cardiac Arrest Among Children” on his blog: The Rest of The Story

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