DC moves to ban smoking outdoors; Where there’s secondhand smoke, there’s junk science

Annoying to many — but not a health risk to any — secondhand smoke is archetypal junk science.

The Washington Post editorializes:

THE DISTRICT is poised to join the growing number of jurisdictions that have banned smoking near parks, recreation centers, public trails and bus stops. Anything that discourages smoking and protects people from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke is worthwhile. But the city needs to do more than extend outdoor smoking restrictions if it wants a truly effective and comprehensive tobacco prevention program…

The danger of secondhand smoke is lower outside than inside, but there are still risks, with children particularly susceptible. “Let the smokers move away from recreation areas and parks and bus stops,” said Council Member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) in a rebuke of the argument that people who want to avoid secondhand smoke should just walk away.

For the low-down on secondhand smoke, checkout Steve Milloy’s FoxNews.com column, “Secondhand Smokescreen.”

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18 responses to “DC moves to ban smoking outdoors; Where there’s secondhand smoke, there’s junk science

  1. Why not just say, “move away because you’re annoying”?

    There are nuisance laws regulating noise, barking and what not; none of those needed to be justified with junk science.

  2. Zero tolerance is not the way to go with junkscience or with annoyances. They’re already joined at the hip and their applications are completely unlimited.

  3. “Anything that discourages smoking and protects people from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke is worthwhile.” That is a totalitarian comment. The press of all institutions should be jealous of its own liberty and watchful for all liberties.
    Otherwise we have privileges granted by each other through the government, not rights.

  4. Anne McGuinness-Mustafa

    Secondhand smoke outdoors is minimally harmful (if at all) in comparison to the pollution already in the air – why not just stay indoors and keep your kids indoors.
    Truly, this once Great Nation is rearing a bunch of wimps.

    WAKE UP AND SMELL THE SMOKE PEOPLE…. IT’S BEING BLOWN UP YOUR A$$ES!!!!

  5. Click you heels together and salute. This will show they are taking care of the people and get their pesky minds off a sluggish economy and high unemployment. They hope. Smoking is an easy target because everyone knows all the junk science bout it and very few know that actual truth.

  6. Paul Kielpinski

    Cancer is NOT the only effect of second hand smoke! NICOTINE is a deadly toxin and there are a few of us That the medicine community denies) on the highly sensitive end of the bell curve that have had lots of problems from secondhand smoke-even in small amounts.

  7. Sooner or later, there’s going to be ‘smoke-easies’ popping up all over the place. It didn’t work for alcohol, so why should the ‘health nazis’ succed with smoking? If people want to do things, even unhealthful, they’ll find a way!

  8. The whole ‘smoking causes cancer’ is faux science, and certainly second hand smoke is nonsensical, a thirty year study in California found no such connection.

    It could be that this is the real reason smoking was brought in to be the patsy:

    http://www.sott.net/article/226999-Smoking-Helps-Protect-Against-Lung-Cancer

    • Can we have a straightjacket over here?

      Seriously? Heavy smokers are 20 times more likely to get lung cancer than nonsmokers. It’s the second clearest and least ambiguous environmental cancer link in existence (second only to heavy irradiation).

      Secondhand smoke research suffers from a failure to see the dose-makes-the-poison, but smoking in and of itself is unilaterally known to be harmful.What kind of nonsense are you spreading?

      • harleyrider1978

        Proof please Oh there is none,ok

        JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS”
        7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
        November 2004.

        http://cot.food.gov.uk/pdfs/cotstatementtobacco0409

        “5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

        In other words … our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can’t even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact … we don’t even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

        The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

      • harleyrider1978

        JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS”
        7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
        November 2004.

        http://cot.food.gov.uk/pdfs/cotstatementtobacco0409

        “5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

        In other words … our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can’t even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact … we don’t even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

        The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

    • It is enough to go through any lung pathology tissue bank and note how many slides are from non-smokers, and you will need no science to see what causes lung cancer. In the system I worked on, we had a dozen non-smokers out of more than 800. Throat and oesophageal pathologies tell a similar story about tobacco smoke, although there are other stupid things people do to those organs, like drinking hot fluids or having GERD due to lifestyle or obesity.

  9. Migosh, the Post wants even stricter control over peoples’ lives than a simple outdoor ban. Who is going to save us from our saviors?

    • harleyrider1978

      Bob they have lost the moral ground now! It means in effect the holy war against smoking will soon be over………

  10. harleyrider1978

    This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds?lite

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

    146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

  11. Here is what the UK Health and Safety Executive stated in 2007, page 100,
    “For example, smoking alone may be not sufficient to cause lung cancer and those who get it are likely to have been exposed to several lung carcinogens and possess other characteristics such as some form of inherited susceptibility. The mathematical implication of this is that the sum of attributable fractions due to several exposures may be greater than100%, with the amount exceeding 100% being partly due to unaccounted interactions among the risk factors (Vineis &K riebel, 2006)” http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr595main.pdf
    And here is another gem from the HSE on SHS article 9 in OC255/15.
    9 “The evidential link between individual circumstances of exposure to risk in exempted premises will be hard to establish. In essence, HSE cannot produce epidemiological evidence to link levels of exposure to SHS to the
    raised risk of contracting specific diseasesand it is therefore difficult to provehealth-related breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act”.

    http://wispofsmoke.net/PDFs/255_15.pdf

    This is all very much in line with the findings of the OHSA in the USA.

  12. harleyrider1978

    Osha has whats called PEL’S and limits for an 8 hour period of exposure to chemicals in indoor environments…[epa is in charge of outdoor air]some smoke free groups have tried to use 30 minute air samples using epa monitoring to create a air borne healthscare.

    The actual standard to use is OSHA’S

    The EPA standard is to be used for OUTSIDE ambient air quality and it is the average over a period of 3 years.

    The proper standard to compare to is the OSHA standard for indoor air quality for respirable particulate (not otherwise specified) for nuisance dusts and smoke. That standard is 5000 ug/m3 on a time-weighted average (8 hours a day, 5 days a week) and is intended to be protective of health over an average working life of 30 years!

    This is where second hand smoke really becomes a joke,remember its nearly 90% water vapor and air…..now lets get to the facts of toxicology and dose makes the poison:

    According to independent Public and Health Policy Research group, Littlewood & Fennel of Austin, Tx, on the subject of secondhand smoke……..

    They did the figures for what it takes to meet all of OSHA’S minimum PEL’S on shs/ets…….Did it ever set the debate on fire.

    They concluded that:

    All this is in a small sealed room 9×20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

    For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes

    “For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes

    “Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

    Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

    “For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes

    For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time

    The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

    So,OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

    Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA

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