Friday, March 27, 2009

Let's just ban smokers - ASH

My last post (Tuesday, March 23), described a sign on a Lancashire (England) Hospital waiting room which in effect suggested a policy which banned smokers rather than simply banning smoking.

That same day, Dr. Michael Siegel, an anti-smoking activist at Boston University School of Public Health, wrote an article on his blog, Tobacco Analysis, on the same topic. The literary vehicle chosen by Dr. Siegel to denounce the thought (and the reasoning) behind the ban on smokers was sarcasm.

For, example, he made several suggestions including the following. “Perhaps the Oldham City Council should consider banning smokers from going within 20 feet of any infant. Of course, that would mean that smokers must not be allowed to enter the day care profession.

And why stop with infants. Children are also very susceptible to the effects of tobacco smoke. So, Oldham should also prohibit smokers from being teachers, guidance counselors, or librarians, or from working in or entering a school.”

Dr. Siegel even suggested, tongue firmly in cheek, setting up an apartheid system of health care, saying: “You can ban smokers from entering the hospital, but what if they are sick or injured and in need of medical attention.

Not a problem, I say. Simply set up a two-tiered system of medical care. You would have separate hospitals for smokers and nonsmokers. That way, the two would never cross paths.”

It was an excellent article which prompted me to post a comment on his blog stating: "I understand your article was intended as sarcasm, but there’s also a frightening aspect to it. I have no doubt whatever there’s an anti-smoker nut out there, reading some of your suggestions and exclaiming: “Geez, why didn’t we think of that?”"

Well, can you imagine? Sure you can!

Dr. Siegel’s latest article concerns a press release from the anti-smoker group ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) supporting the Royal Oldham policy, and by extension, many of the same proposals made facetiously in his previous column. The press release, posted only 24 hours after Dr. Siegel’s article, was signed by the head honcho over at ASH, Professor John Banzhaf III (or as we say on the East Coast, John Banzhaf da turd).

In his press release, Mr. Banzhaf touts the “hazards” of that newly invented threat to humanity, third hand smoke. If you want to read anti-smoker sentiment at its’ scare-mongering best, you’ll find the text here.

Of course, some very knowledgable people don’t share Banzhaf’s concerns about third hand smoke.

Dr. Siegel notes in his column: “The scientific evidence does not support a conclusion that even secondhand smoke is a cancer risk to children. There is absolutely no evidence that thirdhand smoke is a cancer risk for exposed children.”

But, the following quote from the Banzhaf should give you an idea what the fanatical anti-smoker group and their fearless leader are all about.

"Smokers pollute the air the public and their children are forced to breathe with toxic carcinogenic fumes, inflate taxes and the costs of health insurance, start the blazes which are the major cause of residential fire deaths, kill thousands of their own children every year, and are a major contributor to litter on beaches, streets, and elsewhere. Isn't it time we stopped tolerating if not encouraging this outrageous behavior and harm to the public."

Uh-huh. They’re about hate . . . and right now their hatred is being directed against smokers. (although obesity and drinking are already on their hit list).

I’ve already posted a few articles on the “scientific study” on third hand smoke (January 7 and January 11). John Banzhaf, obviously, was not laughing as hard as I was when I read the story (and the “study”).

Dr. Siegel concluded his article with this statement: “This would be a really funny story, if not for the fact that it may well result in a system of "smoker apartheid," by which smokers need to be banned from public places because of the unrestrained fanaticism and zeal of an increasingly extremist anti-smoking movement that has completely lost its base in science and in reason.”

It sounds like Dr. Siegel, despite being an anti-smoking advocate, is slowly beginning to recognize the frightening level of fanaticism in the anti-smoker cult. Although his interpretation of the studies on SHS may differ from my own, he is (finally) able to see through much of the dishonesty, deceit and gross exaggerations circulated by the cultists.

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