One of the accidental themes of Rabett Run has been the smokescreen that a few scientists have put up to limit regulation of tobacco. Anyone paying attention knows that a rather small number of well paid scientists coordinated a campaign to provide cover for Big Tobacco. Strangely in large part they were the same people who now are out front on climate change denial.
The last refuge of the tobacco scoundrels was slipstream, or passive smoke. they spent considerable time denying that passive smoke was a problem, indeed, the the misleading sign up list strategy originatedwith the Heidelberg Appeal, which was designed as a three-fer to oppose regulation of tobacco smoking and disease causing substances legislation and acknowlegement that people were changing the Earth's climate. The Alexis de Tocqueville Institution took $20,000 for Fred Singer to produce a screed against passive smoke regulation
Today, the US surgeon general issued a report conclusively stating that passive smoking is extremely dangerous. The report, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General can be read on line, along with the press release, remarks by the SG and the executive summary. The six major conclusions of the report are:
- Many millions of Americans, both children and adults, are still exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes and workplaces despite substantial progress in tobacco control.
- Secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke.
- Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more severe asthma. Smoking by parents causes respiratory symptoms and slows lung growth in their children.
- Exposure of adults to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and causes coronary heart disease and lung cancer.
- The scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Eliminating smoking in indoor spaces fully protects nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke. Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposures of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke.
"Smoking by parents causes respiratory symptoms and slows lung growth in their children," the report added. "The scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke."Of course, the tobacco companies provided their usual denials
"Nonsmokers need protection through the restriction of smoking in public places and workplaces and by a voluntary adherence to policies at home, particularly to eliminate exposures of children,"
Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA unit said people could choose whether to be around smokers.Phil might consider the babies whose moms and dads smoke.
Eli would like to ask Seitz and Singer and their fellow travelers on a very well paid road what they intend to do to make up for the harm they have caused? Those who have contributed to the smog machine have to ask themselves the same thing. On the other hand, it would really do the heart good to see them chased down by a mob of tort seeking lawyers. Were the world just, Singer, Seitz and Co. would spend the rest of their days in jail. Eli would settle for watching them spend the rest of their days in court.