Tuesday, March 24, 2009

No smokers allowed at Royal Oldham Hospital

Anti-smoker extremists are no longer content just to ban smoking in public places; now they want to ban smokers even if they don’t light up. Freedom2Choose reports that the Royal Oldham Hospital in Lancashire, England, has posted the following sign in the waiting room of the maternity ward in that institution: “In the interest of others, smokers are not allowed in this room.”

The sentiment expressed goes far beyond the typical “No Smoking” sign. And, it shows just how far the anti-smoker cult is willing to take its outrageous, discriminatory crusade against smokers.

How will they enforce such a rule? Will they demand that all visitors pee in a bottle so their urine can be analyzed for cotinine? Will they have smoke-sniffing dogs at the door, ready to be loosed on any smoker who might try to evade their “No Smoker” ban?

What began many years ago as a legitimate public health issue, to reduce smoking prevalence and protect people from the potential adverse health risks of smoking, has turned into something vile and loathsome.

With the invention of second-hand smoke, the fanatics discarded science in favour of a public relations campaign designed to “de-normalize” those who choose to smoke. It is a deliberate and disgraceful attempt to vilify a large minority within the population. And it was built on a foundation of deception and deceit.

The deception and deceit continue unabated, as does the vilification of smokers.

The Royal Oldham is apparently using a “study” by Dr. Jonathan Winickoff to justify this latest outrage. Winickoff’s study, widely circulated by the media, claimed that third hand smoke is hazardous to the health of both adults and children, but mostly children.

But, on closer examination, the study wasn’t really a study; it was a telephone survey which asked people if someone smoking in a room yesterday could hurt them today. And, third hand smoke, as it turns out, isn’t really smoke at all, it’s residue left over when the smoke dissipates. Winickoff coined the term “third hand smoke” to foster a public perception of an imminent threat to health.

He managed to convince the press, and I suspect a small segment of the public, that the health hazards were real. And, he obviously convinced the folks at Royal Oldham.

But, Dr. Michael Siegel, of Boston University School of Public Health said: “The tobacco control movement's warnings to the public about the dangers of thirdhand smoke highlight once again that science is no longer driving the movement.” He added later in an article on his blog: “There is no evidence that such very low levels of exposure to tobacco smoke residue constituents is harmful”.

You’ll find an excellent analysis of the study on Christopher Snowdon’s page, Velvet Glove, Iron Fist.

Hell, even Stanton Glantz, arguably the most fanatical anti-smoker on the planet, said in an interview with Scientific American that he is not aware of any studies directly linking third-hand smoke to disease.

And yet we have supposed medical professionals at the Royal Oldham Hospital, brain-washed by the bullshit and bafflegab of the anti-smoker cult, putting up a blatantly discriminatory sign telling smokers they’re not allowed in their damned waiting room. And if they can disallow smokers in the waiting room, why not the whole damned hospital?

What’s next; forcing expectant mothers who smoke to undergo decontamination before letting them into the delivery room? Will they rope off a special area in the parking lot, next to the garbage dumpsters, for mothers-to-be who might smoke?

I suspect this shameful exhibition of malice is less about protecting public health than it is about the promotion of hatred against smokers?

Will the lunacy ever stop?

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