Saturday, August 23, 2008

SHS kills, more or less

The threat of secondhand smoke to the health of non-smokers has been distorted to a point of absurdity. For example, a recent “scientific study” from Australia claimed that, not only was secondhand smoke harmful to children, but the very breath of smoking parents represented a serious health hazard. Uh-huh.

Another study claims that a mere 30 minutes of exposure to secondhand smoke is enough to trigger a heart attack in an otherwise healthy adult. Given that literally millions of non-smokers have been exposed to various quantities of secondhand smoke since the fifties, it’s nothing less than a miracle there are any non-smokers left in the country to whine about the sickening smell of tobacco smoke.

But, blinded by the bullshit and bafflegab inherent in these studies and the statistics surrounding them, the politicians are persuaded to impose draconian bans to demean, denigrate and disenfranchise smokers. And, let’s not forget the punitive levels of taxation designed to keep smokers in a perpetual state of poverty.

To see just how ridiculous some of these claims are, let’s look at the figures from the Health Canada website that alleges 1,000 Canadians are killed annually by secondhand smoke.

The fact, of course, is that a computer program, compiled by person or persons unknown, has been fed data on the estimated number of smokers in Canada (estimated in the millions) and the number of non-smokers who may have been infected by their secondhand smoke (also estimated in the millions).

Then they used a risk factor, based on an unnamed epidemiology study, which may or may not have any statistical significance (the vast majority do not), to generate an estimate on the number of cardiovascular, respiratory and cancer deaths which may have resulted from possible exposure to secondhand smoke.

In simpler language, they plucked the figure from their ass.

But, let’s not question the veracity of the Health Canada estimates. Let’s assume that those figures are absolutely correct. And, let’s also assume that the anti-smoker brigade is telling the pure, unadulterated truth when they quote the US Surgeon General and support his contention that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Yes, I know, it will be a major struggle to suspend common sense and accept the logic of the anti-smoker brigade. But, if the politicians and the press can do it with so little effort, so can you.

If every smoker in Canada infects just one non-smoker with his/her life threatening, stomach turning, foul smelling secondhand smoke, then there are at least five million non-smokers in Canada who are about to die from exposure to secondhand smoke. And at the 1,000 per year estimated by Health Canada, since there is no safe level of exposure, all five million will be dead . . . sometime within the next 5,000 years. Uh-huh. 5,000 years.

I can state categorically that, al the very least, 4.9 million will have to find something to die from other than a smoking related disease.

Do you think the anti-smoker brigade is lying when they insist there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke? And, if they’re lying about that, what else might they be lying about? Surely they’re not lying when they claim secondhand smoke kills. Or are they?

Fear not, brave heart, the answers to all the mysteries of the universe will be revealed in time. So, stay tuned. We’ll be back following the smoke break.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The anti-smoking brigade should change their campaign slogan from
"There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke"
"There is no unsafe level of exposure to secondhand smoke"