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Old 19th February 2003, 12:39 PM   #1
Dylab
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2nd Hand Smoke

Does anyone know what the studies of the relation of 2nd hand smoke and cancer say? Penn & Teller's show "********" is doing a show on it this week and the preview seems pretty surprising.
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Old 19th February 2003, 01:20 PM   #2
fidiot
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Sorry, I don't have any links to any studies, but I believe that it cannot be linked unless it's indoors.
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Old 19th February 2003, 01:22 PM   #3
Valmorian
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Re: 2nd Hand Smoke

Quote:
Originally posted by Dylab
Does anyone know what the studies of the relation of 2nd hand smoke and cancer say? Penn & Teller's show "********" is doing a show on it this week and the preview seems pretty surprising.
I've always found it bizarre that Penn frowns upon liquor consumption, but then turns around and smokes.

Strange.
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Old 20th February 2003, 02:28 AM   #4
edthedoc
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I don't have time to do it myself but try a search for "passive smoking" at www.bmj.com for a start.

As far as I can remember there have been studies done with conflicting results, none conclusive. This is a particularly difficult problem to study as smoking related illnesses take years to develop and there are many other causes and many other factors involved (family genetics, lifestyle, occupation etc.).

Having your clothes smell like **** and sore eyes and throat are more clear cut reasons to avoid passive smoking, eh?
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Old 20th February 2003, 06:06 AM   #5
LW
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Re: Re: 2nd Hand Smoke

Quote:
Originally posted by Valmorian
I've always found it bizarre that Penn frowns upon liquor consumption, but then turns around and smokes.
In How to play in traffic P&T write that they smoke only on stage, not outside it. Their explanation for this is that there are many good tricks with cigarettes that they want to perform.
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Old 20th February 2003, 08:05 AM   #6
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"Safe" or not, smoking stinks
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Old 20th February 2003, 11:55 AM   #7
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Dear Cecil:

Having recently debunked the Super Bowl Sunday violence story, perhaps you could check into this secondhand smoke business. I seem to remember that after the initial study came out blaming secondhand cigarette smoke for every kind of ill, this study was found to be seriously flawed. Is this another case like the "LSD causes chromosome damage" study? --Rick Remaley, Chicago


Cecil replies:

Sure, what the hell, why not insinuate myself into yet another hot-button topic? Then I'll be ready to take on gun control, abortion, and which are smarter, cats or dogs.

Let me begin by saying that I'm allergic to tobacco smoke, and laws against smoking in public places have personally benefited me. In principle I don't have a problem with banning public smoking: it's an annoyance to nonsmokers and a danger to vulnerable folk such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly. All that having been said, the claim that "environmental tobacco smoke" (ETS) seriously threatens the health of the general public, and in particular that it causes lung cancer, is unproven at best.

...[snippit]...


The Straight Dope, for all your scientific needs!

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/000602.html
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Old 20th February 2003, 12:28 PM   #8
Valmorian
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Re: Re: Re: 2nd Hand Smoke

Quote:
Originally posted by LW


In How to play in traffic P&T write that they smoke only on stage, not outside it. Their explanation for this is that there are many good tricks with cigarettes that they want to perform.
Yeah, I've read that as well, although I'm confused about why Penn is smoking in "Penn and Teller get Killed" even though he performs no trick with the cigarette.
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Old 20th February 2003, 01:33 PM   #9
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Not so much tricks with cigarettes, as cigarettes as tools of misdirection, I suspect.
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Old 20th February 2003, 02:02 PM   #10
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Re: Re: 2nd Hand Smoke

Quote:
Originally posted by Valmorian


I've always found it bizarre that Penn frowns upon liquor consumption, but then turns around and smokes.

Strange.

Is is probably just for his image or persona.
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Old 20th February 2003, 03:40 PM   #11
kittynh
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children and second hand smoke

I knew my daughters pediatrician always asks parents if they smoke. She also asks if the family uses a wood stove. Then she writes it in the kids file. She claimed when I asked her that kids in smoking households have more upper resp. infections. But, I just took her word for it, and didn't ask for proof
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Old 21st February 2003, 01:32 AM   #12
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The health benifits of smoking tobacco are not widely understood. Throughout history man has used tobacco as an important aid to healthy living.

Quoted from "Medicine Through Time, A BBC site.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/medi...am/inamgs.shtml



"Chewing tobacco was believed to protect against the Plague and in 1774 a tobacco resuscitator kit was invented. This was used to blow tobacco smoke up the patient's anus, nose or mouth to revive 'persons apparently dead'. Tobacco enemas to loosen the bowels were popular into the early nineteenth century. they were used to treat anyone who caught the dreaded cholera disease."


From Jarvik, British Journal of Addiction, 1991

"the many positive aspects of this wonder drug. "When chronically taken," it says, "nicotine may result in: (1) positive reinforcement [it makes you feel good], (2) negative reinforcement [it may keep you from feeling bad], (3) reduction of body weight [by reducing appetite and increasing metabolic rate], (4) enhancement of performance, and protection against: (5) Parkinson's disease, (6) Tourette's disease [tics], (7) Alzheimer's disease, (8) ulcerative colitis and (9) sleep apnea. The reliability of these effects varies greatly but justifies the search for more therapeutic applications for this interesting compound."


So Throw off your skeptical thoughts and smoke your way to good health!
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Old 21st February 2003, 08:02 AM   #13
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You know Fool, I have a bone to pick with you. I've been smoking all damn day and I STILL have Plague!
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Old 21st February 2003, 08:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Plutarck
You know Fool, I have a bone to pick with you. I've been smoking all damn day and I STILL have Plague!
Did you read what he said and blow it up your arse?
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Old 21st February 2003, 10:12 AM   #15
Plutarck
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrMatt


Did you read what he said and blow it up your arse?
Well, I figured "If it worked to cure my cholera"...
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Old 21st February 2003, 01:49 PM   #16
DrMatt
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Quote:
Originally posted by Plutarck


Well, I figured "If it worked to cure my cholera"...
A counselor at summer camp tried to send me to the neighboring cabin to obtain a "left-handed smoke-bender." I asked if he was on drugs.
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Old 21st February 2003, 03:08 PM   #17
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I'm interested in the actual detriment of second hand smoke as well. Up here in Canada health services has put out a huge campaign on TV, movie previews about the long-term life threatening affects of second hand smoke. It most likely doesn't do anything positive for you, but I wonder just how dangerous it actually is.
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Old 22nd February 2003, 06:37 AM   #18
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well, according to the Penn and teller show they just did on Second Hand smoke the study that all the anti-smoking groups use as evidence was severely flawed. the EPA (environmental protection agency here in the states) in their report "cherry-picked" information to skew the stats to show 3000 deaths a year due to second hand smoke. Some anti-smoking groups seem to arbitrarily pick a number, say 50,000 or 100,000 deaths a year to put in their literature w/o any science to back it up. More reliable studies say the increase is statistically insignificant, something like 2.5 extra lung cancer deaths per 1,000,000 people. Again, all this info is from the TV show i watched last night.

i hate smoking. detest it. i'm glad here in nyc they are banning smoking in clubs and restaurants. so second hand smoke probably wont give me cancer anyway but i hate coming home smelling like an ashtray. plus it's hard to enjoy food with someone smoking next to you. if i'm wrong for curbing someone's rights for my comfort so be it. i'm sure a lot of smokers would bitch and complain if i lit up a cigar or some incense next to them while theyre trying to eat a sandwich.
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Old 22nd February 2003, 06:57 AM   #19
shanek
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Re: Re: 2nd Hand Smoke

Quote:
Originally posted by Valmorian
I've always found it bizarre that Penn frowns upon liquor consumption, but then turns around and smokes.
P&T only smoke onstage whenever it's part of a trick.
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Old 22nd February 2003, 07:01 AM   #20
shanek
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Re: Re: Re: Re: 2nd Hand Smoke

Quote:
Originally posted by Valmorian
Yeah, I've read that as well, although I'm confused about why Penn is smoking in "Penn and Teller get Killed" even though he performs no trick with the cigarette.
Uh, because it's a movie?
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Old 23rd February 2003, 09:22 PM   #21
teddygrahams
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Does anyone here remember what it was like to fly when smoking was allowed ? Were there non-smoking flights for non-smokers ?

Ever been in a situation where you could not avoid breathing smoke ? I suppose I could have driven off without paying for that gas... it was my fault for not thinking the cashier could be sitting in there smoking it up...

No matter how wrong I think it is to misuse a study, I have absolutely no sympathy at all for anyone affected by non-smoking laws.

I would like to see one study that shows it is possible to avoid cigarette smoke without laws to prevent smoking.
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Old 24th February 2003, 08:16 AM   #22
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Secondhand smoke health effects

I've actually read the study in question (it's available at

http://www.epa.gov/nceawww1/ets/etsindex.htm

if you want to do so too before you respond to this post). It seems pretty clear-cut to me. The most important message is, if you have children, don't smoke in your home.

This was a study of long-term exposure. Nobody is seriously suggesting that walking past a smoker on the street will do you any serious harm. But if you work in an office with smokers, or if you live with smokers, studies have shown that you inhale almost exactly the same pollutants smokers do, just in smaller quantities.

This is why the adult lung cancer section of the study was so controversial. Because there was already significant evidence of a connection, EPA thought a 90% confidence level was appropriate. In other words, since exactly the same substances are present in the lungs of active and passive smokers, even smaller correlations are likely to be significant.

What's not controversial, and what pro-smoking critics usually ignore, is the rest of the report. EPA reviewed data on children living with parents who smoked. The data, reviewed at a standard 95% confidence rating, was incredibly clear. If you smoke, your children will be more likely to get ear infections, throat infections, pneumonia, and bronchitis. They are more likely to develop chronic athsma. If they already have athsma, their attacks will be more severe and are more likely to be life-threatening. They will cough and wheeze more, and will have diminished lung function. They are more likely to spend time in the hospital than other children. Children of smoking mothers are more likely to die of SIDS, although it's unclear whether this is related to ETS or smoking during pregnancy.

This is a pretty clear signal to anyone who smokes: if you have kids, don't smoke in your home or in your car, and don't allow anyone else to. The numbers are less clear but still suggestive for spouses of people who smoke and for adults who are exposed to secondhand smoke in the workplace. The fact is, this is a difficult area to study, since it's impossible to measure actual exposure, and so scientists must rely on proxies such as how much a spouse or parent smokes, as estimated by a nonsmoker. We can't expect crystal clarity on long-term risks like cancers. But to say that the EPA metaanalysis proves nothing is just plain untrue.

To summarize: secondhand smoke in the home is bad for children, and long-term exposure in the home or workplace seems to be bad for everyone. I'd be glad to hear opposing points of view, but please read the study before you criticize it.
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Old 24th February 2003, 08:32 AM   #23
shanek
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Quote:
Originally posted by teddygrahams
Does anyone here remember what it was like to fly when smoking was allowed ? Were there non-smoking flights for non-smokers ?
Yes. When you were asked for window or aisle seat, you were also asked for smoking or non-smoking.

Quote:
Ever been in a situation where you could not avoid breathing smoke ?
Only because of non-smoking policies in buildings, causing smokers to hang out by the door where I have to walk through them to get in and out. I had no problems avoiding cigarette smoke before these stupid laws.
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Old 24th February 2003, 08:39 AM   #24
arcticpenguin
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Quote:
Originally posted by HarryKeogh

i hate smoking. detest it. i'm glad here in nyc they are banning smoking in clubs and restaurants. so second hand smoke probably wont give me cancer anyway but i hate coming home smelling like an ashtray. plus it's hard to enjoy food with someone smoking next to you. if i'm wrong for curbing someone's rights for my comfort so be it. i'm sure a lot of smokers would bitch and complain if i lit up a cigar or some incense next to them while theyre trying to eat a sandwich.
Me too. I also used to wear soft contact lenses. The smoke would stay in them and irritate my eyes until I could get home to take them out.
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Old 24th February 2003, 08:39 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by shanek
Yes. When you were asked for window or aisle seat, you were also asked for smoking or non-smoking.
Smoking or non-smoking seats. I don't remember the option of non smoking flights

Quote:
Originally posted by shanek
Only because of non-smoking policies in buildings, causing smokers to hang out by the door where I have to walk through them to get in and out. I had no problems avoiding cigarette smoke before these stupid laws.
Surely it was more difficult to avoid smoke when the smokers were smoking indoors?
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Old 24th February 2003, 09:58 AM   #26
Valmorian
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 2nd Hand Smoke

Quote:
Originally posted by shanek


Uh, because it's a movie?
So what? He doesn't shoot heroin in the film. Nor does he drink alcohol or pretend to.

The smoking wasn't necessary, and for someone who is proud of not drinking and points it out with regularity, I find it hypocritical that he's practically pimping the use of cigarettes.
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Old 24th February 2003, 10:39 AM   #27
shanek
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Quote:
Originally posted by RichardR
Smoking or non-smoking seats. I don't remember the option of non smoking flights
Why would you need your own flight???

Quote:
Surely it was more difficult to avoid smoke when the smokers were smoking indoors?
No, because most restaurant/office space owners knew of the potential complaints and voluntarily set up designated smoking areas. All I had to do was not go into those areas. When they banned smoking in the whole building, that's when I couldn't avoid it.
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Old 24th February 2003, 10:47 AM   #28
shanek
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 2nd Hand Smoke

Quote:
Originally posted by Valmorian
So what? He doesn't shoot heroin in the film. Nor does he drink alcohol or pretend to.
Nor does he dress in a tutu and dance the cabbage patch while reciting Green Eggs and Ham. What's the point?
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Old 24th February 2003, 11:13 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by shanek
Why would you need your own flight???
The question was "Were there non-smoking flights for non-smokers ?"

Quote:
Originally posted by shanek
No, because most restaurant/office space owners knew of the potential complaints and voluntarily set up designated smoking areas. All I had to do was not go into those areas. When they banned smoking in the whole building, that's when I couldn't avoid it.
But the smoke still travels from one section to another. I specifically remember being in a plane the row in front of the smoking row. I might as well have been sitting next to the guy who was smoking.

Personally, I don't find that I inhale any noticeable amount of smoke when I pass the smokers near the doors. They are outside, and the smoke disperses. But that’s just me – your experience must be different.
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Old 24th February 2003, 11:56 AM   #30
Luceiia
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Re: Secondhand smoke health effects

Quote:
Originally posted by chapka
I've actually read the study in question It seems pretty clear-cut to me.
Yes, but did you understand the methodology? Please refer to This Page to get some facts on how that study was done as well as how studies should be done.

Quote:
Originally posted by chapka
The most important message is, if you have children, don't smoke in your home.

To summarize: secondhand smoke in the home is bad for children, and long-term exposure in the home or workplace seems to be bad for everyone. I'd be glad to hear opposing points of view, but please read the study before you criticize it.
The following link says "********" (just as Penn and Teller did) and you're invited to peruse it.
Quote:
Fact: The press release doesn't mention the one statistically significant result from the study, that children raised by smokers were 22% less likely to get lung cancer.
Whoops, looks like kids are safer living with smokers!
Junkscience.com to the rescue...
A comparison and discussion of the WHO (solid data) and EPA (cherry-picked data) reports, which contradict each other...wonder why!


Luceiia
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Old 24th February 2003, 01:14 PM   #31
shanek
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Quote:
Originally posted by RichardR
The question was "Were there non-smoking flights for non-smokers ?"
And my question is, why would you need your own flight? Would not a separate part of the cabin reserved for non-smokers suffice?

Quote:
Personally, I don't find that I inhale any noticeable amount of smoke when I pass the smokers near the doors. They are outside, and the smoke disperses. But that’s just me – your experience must be different.
Usually I've noticed smoke hanging under the eaves. I've had to go through a visible cloud of smoke sometimes.
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Old 24th February 2003, 01:14 PM   #32
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Quote:
No, because most restaurant/office space owners knew of the potential complaints and voluntarily set up designated smoking areas. All I had to do was not go into those areas. When they banned smoking in the whole building, that's when I couldn't avoid it.
In my experience, non-smoking sections in restaurants don't do any good. I remember one time when me and some friends when to a restaurant with smoking and non-smoking sections. The minute I entered the restaurant it reeked of smoke. We got a seat in the non-smoking section, about as far away from the smoking section as possible, and there was still an overwhelming smell of smoke. Within minutes my eyes were burning, and I had a terrible sore throat. If I wasn't relying on my friends for transportation I would have left immediately. I can't say if this is similar to other places, but in that restaurant at least, I may as well have been sitting next to someone smoking. The non-smoking section didn't do any good at all.
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Old 24th February 2003, 01:55 PM   #33
chapka
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Re: Re: Secondhand smoke health effects

Quote:
Originally posted by Luceiia
Yes, but did you understand the methodology?
Yes, I did. Did you read the study? The lung cancer results, which are what the site you posted deals with, did show the weakest correlation to ETS. The non-cancer disease findings were not subject to these criticisms, and the studies are pretty damning in most areas, especially athsma effects and lung capacity.

In addition to clinical studies, we know that smoke ends up in the lungs of nonsmokers, that secondhand smoke causes cancer in lab animals, and that secondhand smoke causes noncancer diseases.

Quote:
Originally posted by Luceiia
The following link says "********" (just as Penn and Teller did) and you're invited to peruse it.
Again, please READ THE STUDY. The page you post is about cancer risks in children of smokers. The EPA study was about non-cancer risks in children of smokers. The link you posted doesn't address these issues, because there's no way to address them. The studies are clear: SMOKING PARENTS HAVE SICK KIDS. Arguing about whether they also have cancer is important, but doesn't change the basic message that smoke is bad for kids. The critics of the study consistently blast the lung cancer findings, because there is no way to dispute the other findings, namely that children of smokers will get ear infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma. The page you linked to doesn't refute this; it doesn't even address it. In addition, the EPA has posted a detailed response to criticisms such as those you cite, at:

http://www.epa.gov/smokefree/pubs/strsfs.html

Finally, may I note that the website you linked to is run by someone who has a serious agenda of his own, as he admits, and who doesn't list any degree or formal science education among his credentials. The EPA study was a peer-reviewed synthesis of peer-reviewed studies.
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Old 24th February 2003, 04:05 PM   #34
Valmorian
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 2nd Hand Smoke

Quote:
Originally posted by shanek


Nor does he dress in a tutu and dance the cabbage patch while reciting Green Eggs and Ham. What's the point?
*Sigh* Apparently it eludes you. Penn and Teller often make it a point to bring up that they don't drink unsolicited. I've seen them do this quite a few times. When smoking, however, the only time I ever see them mention why they seem to have a hypocritical stance on drugs is when they are specifically questioned about it.

I find their stance on cigarette smoking to be hypocritical, basically. You don't agree, apparently. To which I say: So what?
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Old 24th February 2003, 04:33 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by shanek
And my question is, why would you need your own flight? Would not a separate part of the cabin reserved for non-smokers suffice?
My response would be "no". (See my anecdote, above.) I forget who it was who said "having a no smoking section is a restaurant (or a plane) is a bit like having a no p*ssing section in a swimming pool", but I think he had a point.

Quote:
Originally posted by shanek
Usually I've noticed smoke hanging under the eaves. I've had to go through a visible cloud of smoke sometimes.
You have a more developed sense of smell than me, then.

Here in CA there are some buildings where they forbid you to smoke within 50 feet (or something), of the doorway. I think this is a bit silly, but that's what they are doing.
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Old 24th February 2003, 07:04 PM   #36
spoonhandler
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As someone with hyper-responsive airways who cannot tolerate any kind of smoke let alone tobacco smoke, I can assure you the non-smoking section on a plane, bus or train or in a restaurant, pub, movie theatre or other public venue is a sad joke. My life has improved immeasurably since smoking in public transport and many public venues has been banned.

However, I still have problems when forced to walk the gauntlet of smokers loitering near doorways of the buildings in which I work. In the opinion of most smokers, I am overreacting. Tell that to my stupid lungs!

It amazes me that as a non-smoker, I am supposed to feel bad for asking a smoker to move away or stop. They feel permitted to impinge on the life and comfort of non-smokers and resent having any restriction on their choices. I don't choose to be an asthmatic. There's a good chance I wouldn't be asthmatic if I hadn't grown up in households with smokers.
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Old 25th February 2003, 01:10 AM   #37
Luceiia
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 207
Re: Re: Re: Secondhand smoke health effects

Quote:
Quote:
Originally asked by Luceiia
Yes, but did you understand the methodology?
Originally posted by chapka


Yes, I did.
I'm skeptical of your claim. In fact, I disbelieve it entirely.

Quote:
The non-cancer disease findings were not subject to these criticisms
Yes, yes they are.

Quote:
In addition to clinical studies, we know that smoke ends up in the lungs of nonsmokers,

that secondhand smoke causes cancer in lab animals,

and that secondhand smoke causes noncancer diseases.
Obviously yes;

anything can cause cancer in rats...at least as far as the countless absurd studies I've read over the past 35 years that have shown a concrete carcinogenic effect of <insert latest fad here> on lab animals (such as saccharin given to rats at a human consumption rate of 4 tons per day was it?);

I've seen zero studies proving SHS causes anything but political windbags to come out of the woodwork.

Quote:
The page you post is about cancer risks in children of smokers. The EPA study was about non-cancer risks in children of smokers. The link you posted doesn't address these issues, because there's no way to address them.
It does address them, quite clearly. It debunks them soundly, too.

Quote:
the EPA has posted a detailed response to criticisms such as those you cite
Uh-huh, the EPA fudged numbers, meta-analyzed cherry-picked studies, and concluded hysterical (yet politically powerful) falsehoods...and now they wish to defend it all. I'll rush right over there to see their latest drivel with an open mind. Or maybe not.

Quote:
Finally, may I note that the website you linked to is run by someone who has a serious agenda of his own, as he admits
Yeah, he says just about the exact same things most of the forum members here say -- that he wants honesty and reality instead of hype and bs. I rather respect that agenda of his.

Quote:
[He] doesn't list any degree or formal science education among his credentials. The EPA study was a peer-reviewed synthesis of peer-reviewed studies.
Yeah. Kinda sad a non-credentialed commoner like ourselves can so easily and thoroughly debunk an EPA study isn't it? I guess they were banking on the hysteria to sweep any scientific scrutiny under the rug. I suppose, for the most part, their gamble paid off.


Luceiia
Chocolate pummels Hysteria!
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Old 25th February 2003, 03:10 AM   #38
Iconoclast
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 1,784
Quote:
Originally posted by spoonhandler
My life has improved immeasurably since smoking in public transport and many public venues has been banned.
If your life has been changed immeasurably, then how can even you tell it's changed at all?
__________________
A gun is not a weapon Marge, it's a tool, like a butcher knife or a harpoon or... ah... ah... an alligator. You just need more education on the subject.

-- Homer Simpson
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Old 25th February 2003, 06:00 AM   #39
Supercharts
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Posts: 1,181
True Story:
Went to a play last weekend. One of the characters in the play smoked. Sign out front stated that the character smoked Herbal cigaretts. BFD.
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Old 25th February 2003, 07:04 AM   #40
chapka
Student
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 37
EPA ETS Study

Quote:
Originally posted by Luceiia


Uh-huh, the EPA fudged numbers, meta-analyzed cherry-picked studies, and concluded hysterical (yet politically powerful) falsehoods...and now they wish to defend it all. I'll rush right over there to see their latest drivel with an open mind. Or maybe not.

An open mind? God forbid.

Again, the EPA did not fudge numbers. They performed a metaanalysis on existing data. This means that, even if individual studies found data below the threshold of statistical significance, the fact that all studies did show smaller increases is significant. If you have a study of fifty people, a small increase in risk is not going to be significant. If you combine 30 studies of 50 people each, it might be.

Quote:
Originally posted by Luceiia


Yeah, he says just about the exact same things most of the forum members here say -- that he wants honesty and reality instead of hype and bs. I rather respect that agenda of his.

No, what he says is that he believes that the risks of smoking have been overstated and that he created his web site to prevent evidence for that opinion. Just like he accuses his opponents of prejudging the issue. Elsewhere on his site, he also says:

Quote:

when it comes to those carrying out the current war on smokers, no other group matches their tactics, approaches and arguments as well as the Nazis._ It?s a damn near perfect fit.
Is this the openminded source you trust without actually reading the study yourself? Or might this explain why his web site essentially parrots the tobacco industry campaign against the study?

Once more, let me point out that NOWHERE on that web site does he address the noncancer risks data, which was carried out with a more conservative methodology. This is because the data is incredibly clear to anyone who is willing to READ THE STUDY.

It's been said before, but the plural of anecdote is not data.
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