Saturday, 31 August 2013

Exploiting Children, and the basic human instinct to protect them, to serve a Prohibition Agenda (Public consultation- smoking in motor vehicles)

Smoking in motor vehicles containing children

This response was submitted on 30/8/2013 
On the off-chance it doesn't get beyond MSP Jim Hume's inbox, it has been posted here too.

It has been well over five years since I personally discovered that the claims regarding passive smoking harm were grossly exaggerated and were not supported by the scientific research, yet we still see passive smoking cited as a major cause of death today by influential institutions and individuals, despite the dearth of actual verifiable cases (ie. none).  This is serious cause for concern and threatens the very foundations of our society, calling into question the integrity of long respected institutions. If the public are to retain trust in medicine, science and politics then it is imperative that they hold truth inviolate and not allow it to be skewed for some/any ‘cause’ however urgent, compelling or desirable it may appear to be at the time. Unfortunately, the truth has been the first casualty in the anti-smoker assault on smokers, individual liberties and tolerant society.

Frank Davis discusses the problems that arise and potential adverse effects on society when trust is lost and ‘experts' try to ‘pull the wool’ over the eyes of a previously trusting public.

That passive smoking continues to be touted as dangerous is an indictment of the inflexibility of ‘consensus science’ and the associated ‘precautionary principle’. Once the ‘consensus’ on smoking was ‘established’ years ago, the shutters were pulled down, shop closed and no evidence that tended to contradict it has been allowed to enter that hallowed hall of anti-smoker fervor, yet evidence that supports it, however absurd, is apparently unquestioningly welcomed and widely disseminated as fact. The ‘precautionary principle’ allows subjective opinions to be promoted above and beyond their value and dispenses with the need for the conclusive ‘evidence’ that would be required under normal circumstances, while ‘consensus science’ is the antithesis of true science.

Michael Crichton astutely sums up consensus science;
“Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.”  Albert Einstein considers that “a single experiment can prove me wrong”  but consensus science considers that any single experiment or scientific study is basically irrelevant; ‘My gang is bigger than yours, we have more studies than you, we are the ‘experts’, and what we say, goes’.

Passive smoking ‘harm’ is also THE fundamental issue underpinning this call to ‘protect the children’, criminalize smokers, side step long held principles relating to individual freedoms and circumvent private property rights. Everything else is mere window dressing. 

Supporters of extending coercive anti-smoker measures may wish to limit the parameters of any debate on smoking in cars to a narrow range and make the assumption that key factors have already been established, proven beyond doubt , irrefutable, ‘everyone knows’! This is far from the truth but it was a very effective tactic employed in relation to primary smoking, so one can understand why it is being utilised for passive smoking today. No one seems to have considered that this actually calls into question earlier anti-smoker rhetoric, ‘science’ and ‘evidence’. If the passive smoking ‘everyone knows’ is so clearly false, what does that say about the primary smoking ‘everyone knows’?

The ‘smoking in cars with children’ anti smoker initiative is only one small part of a much wider and inseparable issue. With this in mind, it is important (essential) to widen the debate to include as many relevant facts as is possible. I will attempt to cover a few of these in addition to the questions Mr Hume would like to be discussed.

Firstly, I draw attention to the following study results;

Passive smoking research
A comprehensive list of actual studies relating to passive smoking (SHS) (ETS), together with a brief explanation as to how the layman can interpret them, can be found here. Those studies specifically relating to childhood ETS are reproduced here;
It should be noted that of these 25 studies NONE reach the RR 3.0 level where inferences could possibly be drawn regarding increased risk. Only ONE shows a statistically significant risk (RR 2.29) while ONE shows a statistically significant REDUCED risk (RR 0.78) (Suggesting a beneficial effect.) The remainder are NOT statistically significant, suggesting neither risk nor benefit. NINE of these lean toward weak increased risk and THIRTEEN suggest a weak beneficial effect. The overall picture suggests, if anything, that ETS is beneficial to childrens health, but as with all epidemiological study only statistical correlation's can be shown and ‘correlation’ does NOT equal ‘causation’.

The overall ‘scientific consensus’ on ETS ‘harm’ suggested by the anti-smoker industry, depending upon which studies are included/ excluded from analysis, concludes that ETS raises risk of ill health. There are various ‘consensus’ figures suggested, eg RR’s of 1.16, 1.21, 1.33, equating to between 16% and 33% increased risk (there may be others). To the layman, this may look like damning evidence, but it indicates ‘increased risk’ NOT ‘actual risk’ and many do not understand the difference. A simple analogy explains the principle; If you buy one lottery ticket, your chance (risk) of winning the jackpot is ‘X’, if you then buy another you increase your chances (raised risk) of winning by 100%. The chance (‘actual risk’) of winning is somewhat different. Even If we accept these anti-smoker figures as definitive, the actual risk is minute.

For perspective It is worthwhile to make comparisons with other ‘health risks’ ;
Butter: RR 1.44 (CI 1.16, 1.80)   - 44% increased risk
Eggs:  RR 1.53 (CI 1.02, 2.31)   - 53% increased risk
Liver:   RR 1.68 (CI 1.29, 2.19)   - 68% increased risk
Whole Milk: significant increase in risk up to RR 2.64 - 164% increased risk

Scientific research shows these to be statistically significant lung cancer risks, EVEN after adjusting for smoking status; (Darby et al 2000)

Do we hear shocking figures of how many have died as a result of eating these foodstuffs, (all have greater risks than those claimed to be associated with ETS), or do we hear calls to ban them to ‘protect the children’?

There are many more examples with greater risks than ETS, but are generally considered relatively harmless, eg. here
Childhood leukemia risk from power lines; up to RR of 4.0 - 300% increased risk (many times greater than ETS ‘risk’). Health Minister: “Naturally the health of the Scottish people is of major importance to Scottish Ministers and consent would not have been granted to the application were they not utterly confident that residents along the route of the line will not be threatened.”

It is important to try to gain some background knowledge as to how and why this degradation of ethics and impartiality came about. It is not feasible to fully explain it here, but it is possible to demonstrate the typical culture that pervades the anti-smoker personality, providing some ‘hints’.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is one, if not THE main driver of the anti-smoker agenda. It is they, in light of previous contradictory research, that sponsored one study, carried out at 12 centers in 7 European countries over 7 years, so large and so comprehensive as to clearly prove, once and for all, that SHS was ‘harmful’. It actually proved the opposite and is worthy of specific note for more reasons than one;

Boffetta et al (1998). Most significant finding; Childhood ETS; OR = 0.78;  95% CI = 0.64 - 0.96. (statistically significant - protection). The Author states ; “Our results indicate no association between childhood exposure to ETS and lung cancer risk.” (which is not a lie,  just not the whole truth)!

It appears that the media discovered/claimed that the WHO had withheld publication of this study, but having been exposed by the media, the WHO/IARC were obliged to make the study available to the public and issue a press release.

The WHO press release, entitled “Passive smoking does cause lung cancer, do not let them fool you’ (see WHO press release (1) below) emphasised the insignificant spousal and workplace results (ie. NOT scientifically significant 16% & 17% increased risks) deeming them proof of ETS ‘harm’ BUT tellingly they OMITTED to mention the results regarding childhood exposure and significantly lower lung cancer risks, the most significant finding of the whole study! Remember, this is in a press release where they deny suppressing their own information! 

The WHO / IARC do not specify who ‘them’ refers to in the press release other than ‘opponents’, but the inference is probably to what they believe is the evil invisible hand of the tobacco companies or a recalcitrant section of the media. It is regularly claimed that it is only those affiliated to tobacco companies who disagree with the anti-smoker ‘consensus’, ergo, anyone who disagrees with anti-smoker rhetoric must be an evil tobacco shill and should not be trusted. This is untrue. The tobacco companies only play a minor role in exposing anti-smoker propaganda from what I can see, they were trussed up years ago. In any case, given that In February 2011 it was reported that ‘the FTSE 350 Tobacco returned 539.43 per cent in the last 10 years, outperforming the FTSE All Share by 495 per cent’, why would tobacco companies want to ‘rock the boat’ or ‘upset the apple cart’ that has proven to have improved their ‘bottom line’ so much? This also puts into perspective anti-smoker claims of their ‘unprecedented success’, widespread compliance to their will, and their claimed ‘end game’ inevitability (delusional wishful thinking, but also an uncomfortably similar term to ‘final solution’!)

It is the informed general public who are their real opponents.

Vested/conflicting interests are regularly cited to smear anyone even tenuously associated with tobacco companies (to perpetuate the ‘good-versus-evil’ myth), yet few appear to be concerned about the conflicts/vested interests with the pharmaceutical industry by those employed within the tobacco CONTROL industry who regularly cajole, lobby, and advise government on policy etc. 

The WHO it seems, are quite happy to openly admit their unhealthy association with the pharmaceutical industry too. This is the industry that is arguably the current main beneficiary of the anti-smoker agenda and therefore this represents an obvious and serious conflict of interest to the WHO. It is anyone’s guess how much money has exchanged hands between these two and the rest of the tobacco CONTROL industry for their mutual benefit or how much it has improved profits for the pharmaceuticals, but the sums appear to be vast. This is win win win situation for everyone involved, including tax hungry governments. The only losers are individuals, scientific integrity and civil society in general. (see ‘The WHO launches partnership with the pharmaceutical industry to help smokers quit' );

Is it a coincidence that only a few short years later, around 2003, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) appeared? It was signed, sealed and delivered as a fait accompli, before most people were even aware of its existence? Most relevant is Article 5.3 of the FCTC that effectively legitimizes the exclusion of any science that does not support the tobacco CONTROL consensus. Tobacco CONTROL science has been reduced to an advocacy tool, while genuine, unbiased, ethical medical science relating to smoking has been neutralized. It leaves scientists in no doubt as to what is expected from them and the inferred consequences of failure to do so.

Anti-smokers often refer to their crusade as a ‘war’ and tactics such as these confirm that their campaign is indeed run along principles of war; Disarm your opponents, starve them of funding and resources, bombard them and your own supporters with propaganda to demoralize one/engineer consent with the other, then you are free to reign blows down upon them to your hearts content, safe in the knowledge that those opponents have no effective way of fighting back.

In reality, while the FCTC remains in force and those who support it remain in positions of power, any future science that supports any aspect of tobacco CONTROL is invalid. Without any effective checks/balances, they can claim anything they want to, but this results in only ensuring that what they say is not worth the paper it is reported on. They have built an unstable fortress on foundations of sand and bog that will collapse under its own weight in time.

Much worse than that however, is that it has shackled science to dogma and it has prevented genuine medical science from progressing - it has set-back science and prevented research that could have improved health. Any science that concludes with some benefit from smoking or contradicts the consensus in some way, invariably comes with the rider; ‘but smoking is bad’; ‘we don’t condone smoking’ etc. Failure to add this rider would put the scientist’s career on the line, even their personal integrity and credibility is likely to be smeared. (eg. Prof Enstrom, Prof Siegel)

It is fairly clear that while tobacco CONTROL purports to be at war with ‘tobacco companies’ and ‘public ill health’, the evidence suggests otherwise.

This all adds up to the fact that today we can no longer implicitly trust scientific studies relating to smoking and health. Tobacco CONTROL originally drew our attention to this problem of untrustworthy science many years ago. They have long claimed that their opponent’s  ‘science’ is fraudulent (the tobacco industry), while claiming theirs to be irreproachable. But once again, the evidence suggests otherwise. It is therefore imperative that we weigh the scientific evidence (for and against) with common sense using rational and logical thought. No specialist skills are required to identify many of the inherent contradictions and implications in anti-smoker rhetoric and science, or comparison with real life situations.

Smoking prevalence over time is an important factor when evaluating the alleged effects of smoking and health, particularly when viewing the rhetoric/science from a common sense, rational, logical perspective. Smoking prevalence has been reducing in the western world for many years.The CRUK graph below shows GB male cigarette smoking had reduced (1948-2007) from 65% to just over 20%; a two thirds reduction. Female smoking, that peaked at 45% in 1966, had reduced to 20% by 2007; a reduction of over 50%. Logic tells us that relative passive smoking exposure must have reduced substantially over the same period. Common sense tells us that so-called ‘smoke related’ illness should also have reduced too and the graph suggests just that, but there is more to it than this graph would have us believe as discussed later in this document.

 Smoking trends source; Cancer research UK
Note that this graph relates to manufactured cigarette smoking only.
82% of males smoked some form of tobacco in 1948, when smoking surveys began. (CRUK)
The graph suggests that smoking was reducing even before 1948, probably as a result of
Hitler’s earlier anti-smoker campaign

In common with the best snake oil salesmen, anti-smokers list an almost endless number of illnesses allegedly caused by primary and passive smoke on the assumption that at least one of them should resound with most people at some point, relating to some real life situation, and also knowing that if one is exposed as harmless then there are several others left to fall back upon.

Mr Hume repeats a few of these as “most common illnesses known to afflict children due to passive smoke exposure” ; lower respiratory infections, wheezing, middle ear disease, asthma, modest impairment of lung function, bacterial meningitis and sudden infant death. Let us briefly examine some of these.

Firstly, for those where the operative words are highlighted in bold; Tobacco smoke does NOT contain any bacteria or virus, it is sterile but it may well be possible to identify some correlation with smoking if other factors are not fully taken into account eg social class, diet etc. In the 1980’s there was a strong correlation between the increase in sales of VHS video recorders and the rise of HIV aids, but to conclude that one causes the other is clearly absurd. 

Take meningitis (meningococcal disease);

“Contact with smokers is associated with increased risk of MD in adolescents. This is more likely to be due to higher carriage rates in smokers than to exposure to smoke ...  In epidemiological studies that assess risk from passive smoking, exposure to smoke should be differentiated where possible from contact with smokers.“ (Coen et al 2005)  
So the truth is NOT that exposure to second hand smoke causes meningitis in children. Unsurprisingly, it is contact with people who are carrying the meningitis bacteria that increases the probability of contracting meningitis!

Middle Ear Disease (Otitis media)

Is simply an infection or inflammation that can be caused by viruses or bacteria.
Over the past 2 decades, the number of clinical visits for otitis media has increased dramatically in the United States, from 9.9 million in 1975 to 24.5 million in 1990. (pediatrics aapublications)
During the same period, smoking reduced substantially and therefore children were less exposed to ETS;  Less smoke but more ear infections!

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
The following is a strongly worded letter that the Infant Death Syndrome Alliance sent to John Banzhaf of ASH, USA criticising his use of misleading data and terminology when linking Sudden Infant Death Syndrome to parental smoking.

"The sensational heading for one of your recent Internet reports [07/30] "Smoking Parents Are Killing Their Infants" has gone too far. The fact is, researchers still do not know what causes SIDS...Insensitive generalisations about SIDS broadcast through print or the electronic media serve only to perpetuate the public's misconceptions...Your literature states that smoking 'kills more than 2,000 infants each year from SIDS.' Any published figures are sheer speculation, or guesses, not grounded in actual experimentation...we respectfully request that you adjust your message as far as SIDS is concerned. While we support your cause, we can not do so at the expense of the tens of thousands of families we represent. Thank you for your consideration of our concerns. A copy of our latest information brochure is enclosed. We welcome your reply."

Banzhaf did not reply and ASH continued to quote the statistic.
from:velvet glove iron fist

Common sense;
“...the years between 1970 and 1988, when cot deaths shot up by 500 per cent, coincided with the very time when the number of adults who smoked in Britain was falling most sharply, from 45 to 30 per cent.”
Less smoke but more SIDS!

Lung function
Nitric Oxide (found in tobacco smoke) Can Help Treat Pneumonia, improve lung efficiency in patients suffering from Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). and has proven efficacy in treating "blue babies"
Over the last twenty years or so child asthma has increased 'manifold' in most western countries where smoking and SHS exposure has been reducing. In USA  “asthma  is the leading cause of chronic illness in children. It affects as many as 10%-12% of children in the U.S. and, for unknown reasons, is steadily increasing” (medicine net 2010). Here too, there is a wide margin between what is claimed by tobacco CONTROL sources and reality. Many people of a certain age will remember that child asthma was rare in their childhood, while people smoked everywhere, but I post a few studies relating to asthma that highlight the mismatch scientifically from different perspectives.

Asthma increases;
Brussleton Health study, West Australia
“The prevalence of Doctor Diagnosed Asthma (DDA) was around 6% from 1966 to 1975, 8% in 1981 and rose to 19% in 2005–2007. (James et al 2009)

Passive smoking LOWERS risk of asthma;
In a multivariate analysis, children of mothers who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day tended to have lower odds for suffering from allergic rhino-conjunctivitis, allergic asthma, atopic eczema and food allergy, compared to children of mothers who had never smoked (ORs 0.6-0.7). Children of fathers who had smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day had a similar tendency (ORs 0.7-0.9). CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates an association between current exposure to tobacco smoke and a low risk for atopic disorders in smokers themselves and a similar tendency in their children. (Hjern et al 2001)

Less asthma in countries with highest male smoking rates;
“The prevalence of atopic symptoms in 6-7- and 13-14-year old children was assessed in 91 centres (from 38 countries) and 155 centres (from 56 countries) respectively in the International Study of Asthma and Allergy in Childhood (ISAAC). ...for the countries that are included in this analysis, countries that have HIGH adult male SMOKING RATES have a LOWER RISK of asthma and rhinitis symptoms in children.” (Mitchell et al 2001)

Hygiene hypothesis
We studied the association between early life conditions and asthma in adolescence - results are consistent with the “hygiene hypothesis,” according to which early exposure to infections provides protection against asthma ... “no association was found between asthma and maternal smoking during pregnancy or between asthma and overall parental smoking” (Ros├óngela da Costa Lima et al 2003)

‘Hard’ clinical science using brown rats
This paper not only concludes that nicotine and hence active and passive smoking actually leads to less incidence of asthma and atopy, but gives you the etiology too. "The results unequivocally show that, even after multiple allergen sensitizations, nicotine dramatically suppresses inflammatory/allergic parameters in the lung” (Mishra et al 2008)

It was not so many years ago that doctors would recommend that patients take up smoking to alleviate lung and other respiratory problems such as asthma. Given the evidence that is gradually being discovered now, it would seem to have been good advice. So what changed? Were doctors incompetent then - OR was It anti-smoker junk science that convinced them they were wrong against their better judgement or maybe a fear of losing their jobs if they deviated from the anti-smoker ‘consensus’?

The window dressing;

The level of ETS exposure in cars is irrelevant given the evidence that it is effectively harmless, even beneficial to children, but does it really take a tobacco CONTROL ‘scientific’ study to show how much ETS is raised or not inside a car?
Do your own test; while driving, switch off climate control etc light a cigarette then open ONE window by ONE inch, preferably next to the smoker, and watch how quickly the smoke is drawn out - it takes seconds. This demonstrates a basic law of physics relating to differing air pressures. Of course it is possible to even out the internal/external pressures by opening more windows or too wide which can negate the effect to a certain extent!

“Parts of Australia and Canada have done it so why don’t we follow the leaders”?
I recall as a child, that my mother would chide me whenever I used this argument, to try and excuse a naughty act “but Johnny did it too mum” to which she would reply “Would you jump in the lake and drown yourself if Johnny did”?

We are then treated to a list of ‘expert’ ‘supporters’ and all the experts agree! ie. the inevitable ‘appeal to authority’, so common in anti-smoker diatribe today. This merely reminds me of the belief that the earth was the centre of the universe over 300 years ago;- “ But Mr Galileo, all the experts disagree with you, and they are the voice of God. They know what they are talking about, the evidence is irrefutable, the Earth IS the center of the universe - now shut up or we will have you tried by the Inquisition!”

In fact there are plenty of experts and scientists who disagree with the anti-smoker ‘consensus’.These and more are listed here;

Professor Philippe Even
Recently retired, world renowned pulmonologist and president of the prestigious Necker Research Institute for the last decade. In 'Le Parisien', May 2010 he comments;
On passive smoking studies; “Clearly, the harm [of passive smoking] is either nonexistent, or it is extremely low”
On The 2002 IARC report on passive smoking;  “ It was creating a fear that is based on nothing… I do not think it is good to legislate on a lie.”
When asked why he was speaking out now, Even replied; "As a civil servant, dean of the largest medical faculty in France, I was held to confidentiality. If I had deviated from official positions, I would have had to pay the consequences. Today, I am a free man."
Professor Romano Grieshaber
The unwavering professor
“At the end the global ‘war on tobacco’ of the WHO will fail – the question is not whether, but only when. It will be doomed to failure not only because of their drift into bottomless pseudo-science, but also because of their self-righteous claim to absoluteness...”

Gabriela Segura, MD;
Nicotine - The Zombie Antidote
“The smartest people on Earth smoke and it is a veritable sign of the times that smoking is so highly discouraged in this modern, zombie culture.”
Dr Segura also advances a very plausible reason as to why the WHO etc would want to blame almost all public ill health on smoking and other personal lifestyle choices.

Is it OK to lie for a good cause?
Many still believe the increasingly frantic hyperbole that smoking is a genocidal killer and therefore ANY means to prevent smoking is worthwhile. Who cares if bad science is being used to misrepresent the ‘dangers’ of ETS? Who cares if children are being indoctrinated and exploited, they will benefit at the end of the day won’t they? Who cares if a few filthy smokers are de-normalized and de-humanized, we all know it is all for their own good isn’t it? Many lives will be saved -so it is all worthwhile - isn’t it?

The more intellectually alert will already have identified an emerging trend that comes with hindsight - the proof of the pudding is in the eating! While smoking has been declining, the illnesses allegedly attributed to passive smoking that should also be declining are in fact increasing in many cases. The theoretical future reductions in so called ‘smoke related’ illness that would accrue with the success of the anti-smoker agenda predicted by C20th anti-smoker science have NOT materialised.

This is also true in relation to PRIMARY smoking.

“BRITAIN is winning the war on cancer...” - but - “...the number of people found to have the disease has actually RISEN.” 
How does Tobacco CONTROL admit that, despite the reduction in smoking, so-called ‘smoke related’ disease continues to increase, without giving the game away? Well, they emphasize the results of better treatment and, without expressly stating so, infer that it is related to the reduction in smoking. It is ‘spin’ or ‘smoke and mirrors’ rhetoric.

“Our risk of dying from the disease has fallen.” said Catherine Thomson of Cancer Research UK, “The reduction in smoking has helped hugely for many cancers...”
Less smoking - MORE cancers! Quitting smoking does not CURE cancer nor does it appear to prevent it either!

A few more relevant facts and figures relating to primary smoking that should be weighed against the fact that smoking prevalence has been reducing for many decades;

Almost ALL Cancers are increasing in the western world;

England: in 1971 there were 143,763 new cases of cancer, this figure had almost doubled by 2006 - with 243,144 new cases that year. (UK govt. stats- see appendix (1) below)
Macmillan Cancer Support (UK) says the number of over-65s who have received a cancer diagnosis will go up from 1.3 million in 2010 to 4.1 million in 2040.

USA; New lung and Bronchus cancers increased by 31% between 2000 and 2008; almost a THIRD increase in just 8 years;  New Cases; 2000, 164,100 : 2008, 215,020. (American Cancer Society 2010 - Compare Appendix (2) and (3) below) Non-smokers account for 80% of new LUNG cancers in USA today. (Dr L Eldridge, cancer specialist - and others)

Australia;  The number of new cancer cases more than doubled between 1982 and 2007. In 1982, 47,350 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in Australia compared with 108,368 cases in 2007.  
Smoking DOWN- ‘smoke related’ illness UP almost everywhere in the developed world.

Smoking prevalence has been REDUCING for over 60 years in western countries, but many other countries, such as China where 60% of males smoke, little has changed in over 40 years. China has DOUBLE the amount of male smokers than USA but only HALF the amount of new cancers and only two thirds of the lung cancers (in each 100,000 of population). Conversely ONE THIRD OF ALL THE WORLD’S new female lung cancers occur in China, but only 3% of Chinese females smoke ! (Burden of cancer in Asia 2008)

The implications of these facts and figures should be easy to interpret by anyone with a logical brain, but years of anti-smoker propaganda has been indelibly stamped on public consciousness and many are unable to break free from it.

I therefore bring to your attention a Scottish legal case;

McTear v Imperial Tobacco 2005;

Outlined here is the ‘Opinion of Lord Nimmo Smith’,(basically a transcript of the case)

And an informative analysis/summary can be found here.

This case was first intimated in 1992 and eventually heard just over ten years later. Similar to the Boffetta et al study into ETS, this big, big case was clearly considered of great importance to anti-smoker campaigners to try to prove once and for all, in the legal domain, that smoking causes lung cancer. However, In common with Boffetta, They failed to do so!

Lord Nimmo Smith notes;
“Lord Gill said, there had been numerous reports that the present action was being "backed" by an "anti-smoking pressure group", ASH, one of whose spokesmen was reported to have said, with reference to this action, "we just need one breakthrough, we just need one victory. [...] We just have to win one case to win everything".”
A long list of ‘experts’ were wheeled out to give evidence on behalf of McTear including Prof Richard DOLL, the scientist and industry consultant who, in the 1950s, allegedly proved beyond doubt that smoking caused lung cancer using epidemiological (statistical ‘soft’ science).

Interestingly DOLL [6.86] did not produce any data for the court to examine and Nimmo Smith comments;

[6.162] I can say with confidence that no evidence was led about the primary literature which was sufficient to impart to me special knowledge of the relevant subject - matter and to enable me to form my own judgment about it and the
conclusions to be drawn from it [...] so that I could see for myself whether these
conclusions were soundly based. The opportunity was there, with Sir Richard Doll in the witness box,...Warning had been given on behalf of ITL, as early as the specification of documents referred to at para.[1.24], that Sir Richard Doll’s data were of potential interest to the court. But in the event no attempt was made to show me the data.”

Why did Doll NOT produce the data that was crucial to the anti-smoker case?  Of course, if it had been produced then he could have been cross examined on that data and any flaws would have been exposed.

A further very interesting issue was raised in this case relating to ‘hard’ experimental science and proof of causation. A statistical association may point to experiments that will help to determine whether there is cause involved but it is important that that suspected cause is isolated and ‘hard’ science used to confirm it as a cause. This has NOT been possible despite many years of experimentation to try to confirm that epidemiological (soft) science and corroborate its findings.

In the evidence of Prof James Friend it was pointed out;

[5.176] In Furst 1982 Dr Arthur Furst, Director Emeritus of the Institute of Chemical Biology at the University of San Francisco, said at p.512:
"For many years, I tried to induce lung cancer in animals with cigarette smoke, with no success, despite the most sophisticated smoking machines available. Not only were my colleagues and I unsuccessful, but so was every other investigator...”


[5.177] “...I have concluded that no reliable, reproducible animal studies have shown that the inhalation of cigarette smoke causes lung cancer...”

"The animal data are significant negative evidence. They basically contradict the popular interpretation of the epidemiological data."
Yes, that’s right - No ‘hard science’ research has been successful in inducing lung cancer in animals, The closest they got to success was by painting tar (tobacco smoke condensate) on the skin of mice (discussed in [5.636]) but they have not been uniform and these experiments were not designed to answer, and could not answer, the question of whether or not cigarette smoking was the cause of human lung cancer.

Tobacco CONTROL may want to forget this case - it was roundly defeated!

Result; [9.15] In my opinion therefore, for all the foregoing reasons, the pursuer’s case
fails on every issue on which I would have needed to find in her favour were I to
hold the defenders liable to her in damages.

It must also be mentioned that whenever the ‘protect the children’ plea is deployed, as is increasingly the case in the current anti-smoker campaign, then you should know that this is invariably not an ‘appeal to reason’, but a much more effective mass ‘appeal to emotion’ that requires very little evidence to back it up. Cultivating the ‘perception’ is all that is needed to induce a ‘better safe than sorry’ response. It is one of the central tenets in psychological manipulation and propaganda dissemination, identified many years ago. Relevant quotes from one infamous man;

"The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation."

“I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.”

I vehemently reject Mr Hume’s proposals in its entirety, together with most of the evidence he quotes to justify his ‘case for change’. I should not need to remind the consultation that the burden of proof lies with the prosecutor if the weight of the law is to be used for coercion. In criminal law, proof must be ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ and in civil law the less demanding ‘on the balance of probabilities’. I suggest that neither level of proof has been satisfied in this case, nor can it ever do so. Mr Hume quotes opinion polls that, if they are to be believed, even negate any suggestion that this proposed legislation is ‘necessary’. He points out that; “in 2013, support had increased to 81.5% with opposition falling to 7.4%.” (ASH Scotland). Contradictions aside, one would logically conclude from this that only a tiny fraction smoke in cars. In effect, there appears to be no problem even if ETS was a hazard, people are already complying without the need for coercion.

Any resulting legislation will NOT be fit for purpose, it will not be easily enforced, nor will it improve health. It will result in an unwanted incursion by the state on individual freedoms, that will lead to even more loss of liberty as the next ‘logical step’ will be to call for legislation that will allow the state to invade private homes - to ‘protect the children’ of course!
The anti-smoker campaign has already encouraged the bigot and bully resulting in discrimination and callous acts such as this! Do we really want to live in such an intolerant society held together only by threats, fear, and lies, or to exacerbate such attitudes of intolerance even more?  


Appendix (1)

Appendix (2)

Appendix (3)

Update December 2014;

I also submitted a response to the English (August 2014) and Welsh (October 2014) public consultations regarding smoking in cars with children present, both similar to this one above. I have yet to see any Scottish or Welsh government conclusions as a result of these consultations but I have just read the UK government’s consultation response (pdf now posted on the internet).

This document makes it fairly clear that the government no longer represents the people and has become nothing more than the voice of the tobacco control industry or ‘healthism‘ fanatics in general. Somewhere down the line democracy and government by the people, for the people has been usurped!  We now have government by the ‘experts’,  for the ‘experts’! The ‘experts’ deem their ‘expert’ word to be unquestionably definitive, the government and public just have to comply and that’s that!

This consultation on smoking/cars was supposed to be a public consultation whereby interested parties could submit their views and evidence on the proposal.  It seems however that this was nothing more than a cynical exercise to give the impression that we live in a working democracy, when all along, the outcome had been pre-determined from the outset.

Appendix B in the consultation response document lists, in over six pages, 111 respondents to the consultation, but it reads like an A to Z of anti-smoker activist organisations, the overwhelming majority almost entirely funded by public money! Mine was NOT listed. No doubt others who did not agree with anti-smoker ideology were similarly dropped down the memory hole!

As Dick Puddlecote points out in his blog today, ‘ The public are elbowed out of public consultations’
Quoting Eric Pickles in August 2010;
"Government agencies and councils in England that spend public money on lobbying ministers face a crackdown. 
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said it was wrong that taxpayers' money was being spent on political lobbying."

This highlights just how much contempt is shown to our elected representatives and how they are just ignored. Government funded lobbyists, continue to lobby government unhindered, while the public is also ignored! That ‘crackdown’ worked really well didn’t it! Has our government been totally compromised?

“The roads to unfreedom are many. Signposts on one of them bear the inscription HEALTH FOR ALL’. The pursuit of health is a symptom of unhealth. When this pursuit is no longer a personal yearning but part of a state ideology, healthism for short, it becomes a symptom of political sickness.” (Petr Skrabanek. Death of Humane Medicine and rise of coercive healthism 1994)


  1. As you are an occasional poster, I don't check your blog on a daily basis; hence my belated response to this post.

    This is a masterful refutation of the anti-smoking orthodoxy, and you are to be congratulated on a concise and articulate summary of the current situation.

    I have bookmarked it for future deployment.

  2. Thanks nisakiman - but will they take any notice?

  3. That's debatable, but I will be linking back to this post at every opportunity if it appears to be relevant, so as to bring it to the attention of as many people as possible (I've done so once already). It's all we can do.

    We just have to keep chipping away at the false edifice that is Tobacco Control, in the hope that our pebbles cast into the pond of the internet will generate ever expanding ripples. I know it's a "We are few, but they are many" situation, but when I read the comments sections in the likes of the Daily Telegraph (which I read daily) and the Daily Mail where smoking is the subject matter, I see a trend towards scepticism of the orthodoxy, just as happened with AGW. So I consider any comments I make (anywhere in the world) which link to the debunking of the anti-smoker lies will get at least a few people thinking. And maybe they will quote those links to others. And thus we struggle against the self-assumed omniscience and omnipresence of the zealots.

    To be honest with you, mate, I actually have a small glimmer of optimism. I really think that they have reached a point where they are overreaching themselves; their claims by necessity are becoming ever more outlandish, and many people, even those who were fully in thrall to the propaganda are realising that the hyperbole doesn't match the reality they see around them. All it needs is that seed of suspicion, that niggling doubt, to undermine all the bullshit they've previously accepted.

    I'm 64 now, so I doubt that I'll be alive to see them completely routed, but if I live to see their impregnable fortress breached, then I will die a happy man! :)

  4. You only have a couple of years on me but I hope to see that fortress collapse into the fetid bog it was built on - long before I go! Other than that, I agree with everything you say.

    I also think that the majority who comment in support of the anti-smoker agenda are on the payroll of the tobacco CONTROL industry in one way or another. It is a money-driven attempt to control the internet but this will only continue IF the money keeps flowing. I think that it is inevitable they will overreach themselves financially too. What with growing manpower costs, inventing new newsworthy stories, expensive media campaigns, junk science funding etc. etc. They will have to spend more and more money just to stand still.

    Provided we keep 'chipping away' and snapping at their heels, never allowing their propaganda to go unchallenged, they will have no option but to spend more!