Thursday, April 24, 2014

Eli Finds a Toothpick

For some time now, Eli has been carrying around another olive that he plucked from the Tobacco Archives tree (a gift that keeps on giving).  Just the other day, he found the toothpick to spear it with thanks to Climate Change Communications which reposted a letter from Robert Gould and Edward Maibach appearing in a recent issue of Science

IN 1962, LUTHER TERRY, THE SURGEON GENERAL OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, ESTABLISHED the Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health. On 11 January 1964, he released the committee’s report, “Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the United States” (1), which reviewed the existing science and concluded that lung cancer and chronic bronchitis are causally linked to cigarette smoking. 

This landmark report marked a critical pivot in our national response to tobacco products, leading to packet warning labels, restrictions on cigarette advertising, and anti-tobacco campaigns. But it by no means ended the debate about what we now know to be horrifically negative public health impacts of
tobacco use. Instead, it galvanized the tobacco companies, through their industry-funded Tobacco Institute, to publish a large number of “white papers” to rebut scientific reports critical of tobacco (2). The demise of the Tobacco Institute came in 1998, as part of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, where 46 state attorneys general obtained $206 billion dollars over 25 years from the tobacco industry for its culpability in creating a public health crisis (3). 
This bit of history has important parallels to our national discussion of climate change.  .
Concluding, and properly so with a few footnotes and 
Today it’s inconceivable that an American decision-maker would risk the public opprobrium that would result from expressing skepticism that tobacco causes cancer. We believe that it is an obligation of all scientists to hasten the day when the same is true for climate change, where the stakes are even higher.  
1. L. Terry et al., “Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the United States” (U-23 Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Public Health Service Publication No. 1103, 1964).
 2. Tobacco Smoke and the Nonsmoker: Scientific Integrity at the Crossroads (Tobacco Institute, Washington, DC, 1986);  
3. Master Settlement Agreement (National Association of Attorneys General, 1998).  
Which brings Eli to the game plan, perhaps better said, one of many, that is to be found in the Legacy Archives, but a fairly complete one from 1993 when the industry was worried about Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) and the possibility of higher taxes.  The detail and reach of the plan is a fine introduction to the tactics of the fossil fuel industry and their dependents but, of course, there is more.

John Mashey will undoubtedly comment, and Eli may have the details wrong, but the tobacco archives are the ne plus ultra document dump.  So large that no one really knows what is in there.  Those old enough will recall that IBM's tactic to respond to discovery in various anti-trust suits was to provide everything, truck loads of it, knowing that no one could go through the chaff to find the wheat.  Until the day that CDC figured out that if you were a computer company you could build a computerized data base, and document dumps became more difficult.

Anyhow, to whet the bunnies appetites, here are some goodies from the Tobacco Institute game plan
Activate the volunteer "advocates" in our systems and begin phone bank operations to generate calls to Congress on excise taxes.

Develop generic scripts and approve generic scripts for phone backs and letter writing.
Generate news stories, editorials and commentaries critical of the EPA Risk Assessment and unreasonable smoking ban legislation.
Proactive Op-ed placement in selected hometown newspapers of key legislators
Coordinate all tobacco lobbyists through TI . This is no time for anyone to freelance
On the sciency side we have some interesting comments
Scientific organization on how Risk Assessments done : cellular phone, ETS and others. -Stanford Research Institute to review EPA statistics (Steve Parrish to work on who has contacts with Stanford)
Identify one or more scientists willing to speak on the ETS subject in support of our position. Place them in speaking opportunities.
*PM TB - APCO/Burson Marsteller are identifying various environmental symposia where ETS can be raised and various policy group speakers will will be reviewed as possible candidates .
Description: A series of position papers or "White Papers" needed on the ETS and excise tax issues . Assign writers to complete the following :
•Write paper on EPA Science as it relates to electromagnetic fields (EMF), diesel, and chloride in water (in process) . 
 and, just further on, Eli has a hint of whom this was,
PM TB/JB - Will arrange a meeting with RJR to discuss a consultant's proposal that raises the weaknesses and the ramifications of the risk assessment to the EPA. Additionally, we will discuss another proposal for EPA's methodology to be reviewed by an outside statistical group
 Enjoy your assigned reading.


85 comments:

John Mashey said...

"John Mashey will undoubtedly comment, and Eli may have the details wrong, but the tobacco archives are the ne plus ultra document dump. So large that no one really knows what is in there. "

The bunny has the details right, and Luther Terry was a hero, given that the tobacco companies had a veto over members of Terry's commission, half of whom were smokers. Well, at least when they started, not when the report was done.

Indeed, there are a lot of documents, but the LTDL staff works tirelessly to improve searchability, and every year has a Tobacco Documents Workshop, well worth attending to learn better ways to use this terrific resource. I went last year, I don't know if spaces are still available, but anyone interested might ask, quick as this is an invaluable tool. I couldn't have written Fakery 2 or Thinktanks & e-cigs without it.

Sometimes an accident leads to fascinating research, as happened in paper described in TEA Party.

As always, I feel sorry for folks who made the mistake of getting addicted to nicotine as youth ... but zero sympathy for the best marketeers and their helper who do everything to make that happen, and the LTDL is a cornucopia of great data:
paraphrased, often found:

Dear (big cigarette company): we've done good work for you, give us more money, please. (President, tax-exempt thinktank)
Dear (thinktank): yes, we love you, here's some money.
Dear (cigarette company): thanks, and next time you're in Washington, let's do lunch.
(memo inside cigarette company): I was at X, and the folks from (thinktank) were really talking us up!

Every now and then, I pick another thinktank and rummage for more references, and have hundreds of jolly things bookmarked for future use.

David B. Benson said...

I'm going out to have a smoke.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...


Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette

Written by Merle Travis and Tex Williams

Now I'm a feller with a heart of gold
And the ways of a gentleman I've been told
The kind of guy that wouldn't even harm a flea
But if me and a certain character met
The guy that invented the cigarette
I'd murder that son-of-a-gun in the first degree

It ain't cuz I don't smoke myself
And I don't reckon that it'll harm your health
Smoked all my life and I ain't dead yet

But nicotine slaves are all the same
At a pettin' party or a poker game
Everything gotta stop while they have a cigarette

Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette
Puff, puff, puff and if you smoke yourself to death
Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate
That you hate to make him wait
But you just gotta have another cigarette

Now in a game of chance the other night
Old Dame Fortune was a-doin' me right
The kings and the queens just kept on comin' round

And I got a full and I bet 'em high
But my bluff didn't work on a certain guy
He just kept on raisin' and layin' that money down

Now he'd raise me and I'd raise him
I sweated blood, gotta sink or swim
He finally called and didn't even raise the bet

So I said "aces full Pops how 'bout you?"
He said "I'll tell you in a minute or two
But right now, I gotta have me a cigarette"

Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette
Puff, puff, puff and if you smoke yourself to death
Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate
That you hates to make him wait
But you just gotta have another cigarette

(Ah, smoke it! Hah! Yes! Yes! Yes!)

The other night I had a date
With the cutest little girl in the United States
A high-bred, uptown, fancy little dame

She loved me and it seemed to me
That things were 'bout like they oughta be
So hand in hand we strolled down lover's lane

She was oh so far from a cake of ice
And our smoochin' party was goin' nice
So help me cats I believe I'd be there yet

But I give her a kiss and a little squeeze
And she said, "ah, Marty, excuse me please
I just gotta have me another, cigarette"

And she said, smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette
Puff, puff, puff and if you smoke yourself to death
Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate
That you hate to make him wait
But you just gotta have another cigarette

Russell Seitz said...

I can't wait to see what's in the Incense Archives.

To prevent second hand drive by smokings , laws should be enacted banning churches within 1000 feet of roads , and vice-versa

EliRabett said...

Given the parking lots, that is a given

shub said...

The evidence base for the damaging effects of ETS vis a vis carcinogenesis of ETS is weak. It's not a null. But it is very weak.

Everything else is window-dressing.

EliRabett said...

The evidence for a variety of nasty health problems caused by ETS is strong. The major effects are cardiac and lung problems not carcinogenesis, but evidence for carcinogenesis is strong as you would expect from the elevated levels of carcinogens in environmental tobacco smoke.

Read the Surgeon General's 2006 report

Russell Seitz said...

My nose twitches in the presence of second hand paranoiacs , common scolds, one molecule tort totalitarians and all who would presume to felonize their misdemeanors.

It suffices to stand upwind of them, or move downwind of any who politely complain.

John said...

The effort by the tobacco industry to deny that smoking causes cancer served as Round One. Round two is the effort by the fossil fuels industry to deny climate science. I explained this in my review of the book, The Inquisition of Climate Science, by James Lawrence Powell, reviewed here.

Russell Seitz said...

As to solitary brutish, nasty and short-sighted folk of the Prohibitionist persuasion"

he doubteth not to set down, as the ground of all his politics, that some men are by nature worthy to govern, and others by nature ought to serve. Which foundation hath not only weakened the whole frame of his politics, but hath also given men colour and pretences, whereby to disturb and hinder the peace of one another… The breach of this law is that which the Greeks call Πλεοϖεζια which is commonly rendered covetousness, but seemeth to be more precisely expressed by the word ENCROACHING… If there pass no other covenant, the law of nature is, That such things as cannot be divided, be used in common, proportionably to the numbers of them that are to use the same, or without limitation when the quantity thereof sufficeth

Thomas Hobbes, Elements of natural Law

Anonymous said...

John, don't forget leaded gasoline. In fact, I think the previous episode of Cosmos went over exactly this. So leaded gas came before tobacco, and tobacco before climate science.

- WheelsOC

shub said...

"but evidence for carcinogenesis is strong as you would expect from the elevated levels of carcinogens in environmental tobacco smoke."

Evidence is strong? As in weak?

The relative risk of lung cancer from second-hand smoke from spousal exposure studies - the highest of all three exposure categories, i.e., spousal, workplace and childhood - is roughly the same as the relative risk figures derived from meta-analysis for breast cancer development from exposure to second-hand smoke.

Clearly, very strong evidence.

EliRabett said...

A long time ago, Eli stopped visiting bars because he had to take his fur to the dry cleaners to get the stink out. When you think about it, kids and the spouse of a smoker only have at the most one ciggie at a time to deal with, so their exposure is limited. People who work in bars, not so much, and you know, that seems to be the case

---------------------

Taking exposure data from 65 restaurants and bars in Minnesota over an eight-month period in 2007, the researchers found that the lifetime excess risk of lung cancer death was 18 in a million for patrons visiting only nonsmoking sections and 80 in a million for patrons in the smoking section. For servers, the lifetime excess risk was 802 in a million for lung cancer death.

Extrapolating to the entire country, the researchers estimate that the lifetime excess risk for the general nonsmoking population due to exposure to secondhand smoke in restaurants and bars would result in 214 additional lung cancer deaths and 3,001 additional heart disease deaths per year. . .

This was also the first study to look at servers’ risk of asthma initiation due to secondhand smoke exposure. They estimated the risks to correspond to 1,420 new asthma cases per year among nonsmoking servers in the United States.
-----------------

Sorry Shub, the Tobacco Institute closed its doors in 1998 so they are no longer recruiting guys in white coats to smoke Camels. You lose.

John Mashey said...

Eli: why are you going back to 2006? (You are of course right about the cancer versus other diseases.) We just got the latest Surgeon General report a few months ago.

PDF p.,35 has an image with health consequences of secondhand smoke, the new one is stroke.

There are 592 hits for "secondhand" and the language is akin to that of IPCC reports, where statements are calibrated on the strength (or lack) of evidence for each.

shub said...

An attributable-risk study of bar waiters with no actual outcomes or follow-up?

Keep going, Eli. At least you quoted a better document last time. ;)

Mashey, you should just stick to well, something easier. The report you link to does not contain outcomes data on cancer, given that it rarely occurs in adoloscents ... due to smoking.

Lionel A said...

Russell wrote:

'It suffices to stand upwind of them, or move downwind of any who politely complain.'

That is not always physically feasible as anybody trying to negotiate around small groups of smoking refugee shop workers dotted around the columns holding up the external façade of a shopping precinct.

I picked up the habit early on in the RN (Blue Liners anyone?)and quit when I had a cardiac arrest 13 years back, with another 24 hours later whilst in intensive and being plumbed with a plastic box on my chest to facilitate blood sampling. I came too wired and tubed, with cross-overs, like a space shuttle on the launch pad.

And I don't see E-Cigarettes having a nil impact on incidence of accidental fires.

Your arguments are bogus Russell.

EliRabett said...

Eli doth suspect that Dr. Shub is playing the conspiratorial ideation card. So nice to see it spread.

willard said...

It may be worse than that, Eli, as it has been observed that auditors playing the post hoc "not good enough" card may feel self-fulfilling insatisfactions.

We don't know if that hurts, though.

Victor Venema said...

if Dr shub did not exist, we should have invented him. A great ambassador for rational thinking.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

John,

I think you meant to link to this:

http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/50-years-of-progress/index.html

Russell Seitz said...

The clots of smokers of whom Lionel complains are out in the cold (or heat), exposed to the fumes of a thousand times more combustion from vehicle drivers enjoying the open air because some bloody minded prohibitionists have usurped their share of the indoor commons in a most sadistic and Hobbsian way.

This is more about the will to power of social engineers than the realities of air quality engineering- the folks who make it possible to breathe in airplanse are quite capable of isolating and mitigating the air in a room in an office building - were they allowed to try

The abolitionists ever shifting goalposts betray their ultimate goal.

Lionel A said...

'This is more about the will to power of social engineers than the realities of air quality engineering- the folks who make it possible to breathe in airplanse are quite capable of isolating and mitigating the air in a room in an office building - were they allowed to try'

The people who make it possible to breath in hairyplanes use a sources of onboard energy to achieve this - tappings of air from engines & or electrical generators - also driven by the engines. This involves allowing outside air to enter under controlled conditions - filtration, heating or cooling (using things akin to the 'cold air units' with which I was familiar on the military jets I used to fix and modify [1]) pressurization also as appropriate, and then distribution.

Those processes require the expenditure of energy, not a great deal maybe but significant enough to make airlines sometimes cut corners here and simply recycle. This saves fuel which on a long haul wide body can be significant. Every extra pound of fuel carried requires more energy to get it airborne.

So presumable the 'air conditioning units' that Russell envisages will use solar or wind power as an energy source.

In the end, why bother just ban the things, after all are they really necessary? No.

Your arguments are still bogus.

[1] The more advanced military jets with which I was familiar used to have two sets of air conditioning kit, one for the crew and the other for the avionics.

Lionel A said...

Russell,

'...some bloody minded prohibitionists have usurped their share of the indoor commons in a most sadistic and Hobbsian way.'

when I see such statements from you I think that, hang on, this guy is just stirring it and making a good impression of an Edgar Allan in action whilst complaining as if the ghost of J Edgar is abroad.

Russell Seitz said...

Downwinders are invited to bet on whether Lionel or Russell emits more combustion products in a year.

shub said...

And you are the perfect example of a climate scientist Venema.

John Mashey said...

Rattus:
"I think you meant to link to this:

http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/50-years-of-progress/index.html

Yes, indeed, many thanks for the correction!
I'd used the 2012 report in E-cigs,but copied the wrong bookmark.

PDF pp.666-667 gives the all-cause mortality and those for {lung cancer, COPD, total stroke, coronary heart disease and other heart disease} for never-smoker and current smoker.

Many people think of lung cancer, with little regard for the others. TO some extent, that is a reflection of court cases, in that the early ones focused on lung cancer, because of the huge rate differences identified early, i.e., for men 267.24X (ages 55-64). Basically, smoking is overpoweringly the cause for lung cancer, even if attributable heart diseases kill more.
Lung cancer takes a long time.

Some experts gave me a few papers on the relationships of smoking and particulate air pollution contributing to COPD and the others. I haven't studied them enough yet to draw graphs, but the combination of air pollution and Chinese smoking, more than half of the men does not augur well.

Russell Seitz said...

I am curious to know how long term average ambient dust levels vary from place to place, and hence, on a local basis, how many breaths it takes to inhale at least one atom of every element in the periodic table ?

Mal Adapted said...

Russell the conspiracist sez:

"The clots of smokers of whom Lionel complains are out in the cold (or heat), exposed to the fumes of a thousand times more combustion from vehicle drivers enjoying the open air because some bloody minded prohibitionists have usurped their share of the indoor commons in a most sadistic and Hobbsian way."

Aw, poor persecuted nicotine addicts, forced to choose between clean air and their drug-laced smoke. LOL! Shirley, you can't be serious!

"This is more about the will to power of social engineers than the realities of air quality engineering- the folks who make it possible to breathe in airplanse are quite capable of isolating and mitigating the air in a room in an office building - were they allowed to try"

Why would a builder or airplane manufacturer pay additional design and construction costs, just so a smoker needn't go without a fix for a few hours? That would add to the price of office space and airfare without adding any value for non-smokers, who would then switch their custom to a seller who didn't have those extra costs. Blame the invisible hand of the Market!

"The abolitionists ever shifting goalposts betray their ultimate goal."

My own goal hasn't shifted since I quit smoking 31 years ago. It's quite all right with me if you choose to smoke, Russell, as long as no non-smokers are harmed by it. Live and let live, I say.

Of course, the rest of us should be allowed to apply the precautionary principle. Given the known potential for harm to non-smokers from 2nd-hand smoke, the burden is reasonably on you to prove no-one else is harmed by your choice. As long as that burden is met, I feel you should have the freedom to harm yourself. Puff away!

John Mashey said...

Lionel:
1) See the graphs near end of E-cigs.

2) If acquired during brain development, nicotine addiction is really strong. You were among the fortunate to be able to stop, most adults try for decades and fail. That's why many medical experts suggest addicted smokers switch to e-cigs as being less bad, if they just cannot stop. (The problem of course is the other side, like Gummy Bear vaping fluid.)

3) There is also third-hand smoke; vaping is too new for there to be much research on that, given thge wild variety of chemicals.

Hank Roberts said...

> acquired during brain development,
> nicotine addiction is really strong.

Second hand smoke delivers measurable amounts of nicotine to children. Enough to increase the likelihood of eventual addiction?
I'd bet on it. Im sure the companies know the answer -- how much second-hand smoke it takes to lower the threshold for addiction.

"adolescents experience symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and failed quit attempts even before they have progressed to daily smokers. Some young people report loss of control of their smoking within a day or two of smoking their first cigarette."
http://www.healthline.com/health-blogs/freedom-smoking/how-many-cigarettes-does-it-take-become-addicted

https://www.google.com/search?q=children+conitine+metabolite

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his addiction depends on it."

Lionel A said...

Russell,

'Downwinders are invited to bet on whether Lionel or Russell emits more combustion products in a year.'

This would be too easy for the bet placers, I don't smoke, I don't drive and I don't take commercial flights.

Oh! And I live in a modest semi in England with cavity insulation, double glazing, loft insulation and a condensing boiler.

I have no pretensions of anything grander.

Solar panels not so much - there is a small problem on return of investment and the affordability of such.

John Mashey said...

Hank: minor nit, as you obviously know, but for others, the key word is cotinine, whose study has been incredibly useful to the researchers I talk to.

Russell Seitz said...

Have you ever owned a car Lionel?

Mal, who needs a conspiracy with WHO pounding its international best ? And who asked them to?

Why would a builder or airplane manufacturer pay additional design and construction costs, just so a smoker needn't go without a fix for a few hours? That would add to the price of office space and airfare without adding any value for non-smokers, who would then switch their custom to a seller who didn't have those extra costs. Blame the invisible hand of the Market!

Because more people smoke in this country than voted for either candidtae in the last election.

The visible hand of regulation, having slammed the door on the nation's smoking rooms, now aspires to shorten the lives of smokers by forcing them out into the cold to smoke cigarettes instead of indulging in carcinogen free vaping safely indoors.

Mal Adapted said...

Russell:

"Because more people smoke in this country than voted for either candidtae in the last election."

That should be a matter of concern to candidates for President, but it's irrelevant to this discussion.

"The visible hand of regulation, having slammed the door on the nation's smoking rooms, now aspires to shorten the lives of smokers by forcing them out into the cold to smoke cigarettes instead of indulging in carcinogen free vaping safely indoors."

It would be more accurate (and less conspiracist) to say that your friends and neighbors aspire to shorten your life: as of 2007, at least three-quarters of Americans supported complete bans on smoking in the workplace (here ya go). But of course it's really smokers themselves who aspire to shorten their own lives, since after all they freely choose to smoke or vape.

Now, it seems to me the market could bring about a win-win solution, by producing a self-contained smoker-isolation apparatus (SCSIA). Imagine a helmet-like enclosure placed over the smoker's head, fitting closely on his shoulders, back and chest, with all the air-handling and filtration technology needed to ensure that no harmful compounds escape to the outer air. Doesn't that sound like a money-maker 8^D?

David B. Benson said...

Time to go out for another.

Russell Seitz said...

Malapropted

It is hard enough to keep cigarettes lit while surfing without the encumbrance of a diving helmet.

The apparatus you suggest may appeal more to those fearful of third hand AIDS, or drowning in the rain.

Anonymous said...

Our fine and upstanding Mr. Seitz apparently believes that he has an entitlement to inflict these health risks upon people around him who choose not to smoke. Since second-hand smoke kills more than twice as many Americans every year as drunk driving, perhaps we should also consider loosening our Prohibitionist stance regarding how schlockered someone has to be to operate a vehicle on the public roads... in the interest of being consistent, of course.

I mean, they're both personal choices that put other people at risk and have demonstrable harms with no significant benefits, so what's the difference? I have no doubt that the good Mr. Seitz will back my campaign to reform those draconian, pearl-clutching DUI laws and relax restrictions on the legal BAC limits, to bring this Prohibitionist institution more inline with his stance on smoking and public safety. After all, it's a clear moral failing that society has worked so hard to vilify people who choose to knock back a few and get behind the wheel, when this practice is actually safer than smoking around other people!

And to think, everybody agrees that you shouldn't drive drunk! What a propaganda campaign we must have endured! Where has America gone wrong that such freedom-stealing policies can enjoy such widespread public support when we should be outraged??? I mean, we might have expected this kind of moral panic tyranny from Hitler, but here in the land of the Free and the home of the Bravely Self-Centered? Preposterous! For far too long, piddling concerns about "whether I might get killed by somebody operating a 2-ton battering ram while too drunk to see straight" get in the way of our right to drink booze and drive around! Just as those namby-pamby NIMCPL (Not In MY Child's Pink Lungs) alarmists are trying to do with smoking in public. Well, I know Russell and I won't stand for this totalitarian affront to good ol' 'Murican can-DUI attitudes! Who else is with us?

- WheelsOC

Russell Seitz said...

The Anonymous spokesman for Mothers Against Second Hand Alcohol, Mormons Against Second Hand Coffee , & Brahmins Against Second Hand Ritual Pollution By The Shadows Of Eaters Of Garlic is welcome to bring to the attention of the Association Of State Attorney Generals other public nuisances besides himself.

Mal Adapted said...

Ah, Russell, mon pauvre ami, it's difficult to live in a world that has other people in it, no? "L'enfer, c'est les autres."

Russell Seitz said...

Help yourself to the quango pate' , Mal, there ain't no foi gras in this town.

Susan Anderson said...

Very uncomfortable having a foot (boot) in both camps, bashers and bashees. Cigarettes very poisonous and addictive, but smokers overly villainified. Hence the insider tradition of never putting them out, which causes fires, but I'm not unsympathetic to the rebels either except in this case. Not putting them out when finished is inexcusable and dangerous.

But, I meant to introduce, now a mite late, a note of dissonance, as Earth Observatory has some great new pix of amazing dust clouds in China in response to Russell's dust query:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/event.php?id=83558

Have a look. Pretty spectacular.

Anonymous said...

" The Anonymous spokesman for Mothers Against Second Hand Alcohol, Mormons Against Second Hand Coffee , & Brahmins Against Second Hand Ritual Pollution By The Shadows Of Eaters Of Garlic is welcome to bring to the attention of the Association Of State Attorney Generals other public nuisances besides himself."

I'm sure I'd be devastated if you had managed to wedge an actual rebuttal in there somewhere.
Perhaps you mean to imply that I was being too cute for my own good. Fine, let me put it more plainly.

- We enforce strict limits on people's behavior regarding drunk driving because it is widely acknowledged as a risky behavior which kills practitioners and innocents alike.
- Likewise, smoking is widely acknowledged as a risky behavior which poses a similar risk to both smokers and the non-smokers around them.
- Second-hand smoke actually kills multiple times as many people every year as drunk driving. Yet public laws and restrictions on smoking are comparatively lax, or (in some places) totally nonexistent.
- Your apparent revulsion at public smoking restrictions is expressed in terms and considerations that would seem to apply equally to drunk driving if we put them together in the same room, regarding issues of safety and personal liberty. But I don't see you railing against DUI laws at all, let alone with the same kind of vehemence.

It seems to be an inconsistency in the application of the principles that drive you to react against public smoking bans. Perhaps you could explain where the comparison falls apart in such a way that the apparent inconsistency disappears? Would you also be in favor of less strict DUI laws the way you seem to be against smoking restrictions? Or do you instead think there are differences in circumstance or the nature of the risks which make the comparison invalid?

-WheelsOC

Hank Roberts said...

Russell, exposure to sidestream smoke -- measurable as nicotine metabolite levels in children -- is tobacco pre-marketing. That's why they defend it.
That's also part of the push at other ways to protect their right to put nicotine into the air, with "e-cigarettes" for example.

Do you know of another source of nicotine besides the tobacco companies? Maybe it'll be an air freshener ingredient next.

"The proportion of nicotine absorbed from that available in environmental tobacco smoke during childhood is associated with subsequent smoking in adolescence."

http://www.cmaj.ca/content/173/4/377.short
Becklake, M.R.; Ghezzo, H.; Ernst, P., "Childhood predictors of smoking in adolescence: a follow-up study of Montreal schoolchildren," CMAJ 173(4): 377-379, August 16, 2005.

http://www.cmaj.ca/content/173/4/382.full
"... early childhood exposure to tobacco smoke may enhance the likelihood of adolescent smoking. The proposed pathway is physiological, a link between evidence of nicotine exposure in early childhood to an increased risk of nicotine dependence in adolescence....."

Subsequent research has supported this in various ways; see the citing papers.

Anonymous said...

At the local community college it was decided to ban smoking on campus. The only place where one could smoke was in one's car. As a result every winter numerous students are to be found in idling automobiles having a smoke. What is worse, an idling automobile or a student just outside the lecture hall having a quick smoke?

Bemused Baby Bunny

Hank Roberts said...

p.s.: doi:10.1186/1477-7517-7-26
DiFranza: Thwarting science by protecting the received wisdom on tobacco addiction from the scientific method.
Harm Reduction Journal 2010, 7:26.

John Mashey said...

Hank: thanks for
See also Suegeon General 50th, 2014.
PDF p.145 section "Trajectory of Addiction" refers to the 2012 report, of which highlighted excerpts are attached to e-cigs blog post. See the graph at end, which summarizes the data ... well, actually nicotine vendor biz plan:
a) Get youth to try.
b) Some susceptible fraction will get addicted, and of those, I think maybe 10-15% will be able to quit (see excerpt PDF p.16).

Excerpt PDF p.13 has "Transitions and Trajectories in Smoking",
"Chassin and colleagues (2000), for example, identified six subgroups: (1) abstainers, (2) experimenters, (3) early stable smokers, (4) late stable smokers, (5) quitters, and (6) erratics." That starts a long, detailed discussion. The excerpt covers this pretty thoroughly, and the highlighting may save you time.

The full 2012 report has 66 hits for DiFranza, so he's clearly relevant.

My take is that the mainstream tobacco researches had developed fairly sophisticated models, they were well-baked into the SG reports, and from a quick look, seems that these had not propagated into the DSM, which of course is for clinical psychologists / psychiatrists.

Again, from a quick look, it seems like the Dar & Frank piece was a bit of a strawman, compared to the modeling that was actually going on.

Russell Seitz said...

Is the Anonymous spokesman really addicted to the view that vehicles with sober operators emit fewer carcinogens than those driven by drunks?

Extending the precautionary principle to the atomic level , eg. " there is no such thing as a non-toxic level of lead " or "one atom of plutonium can kill you" may call the numeracy, physical intuition and knowledge of natural history of those who do so into question, but they remain less a danger to themselves than the civil liberties of others--

Over to the dodo in Hell



David B. Benson said...

Generally quite clean air in these parts:
http://lar.wsu.edu
which makes a difference, yes?

Anonymous said...

"Is the Anonymous spokesman really addicted to the view that vehicles with sober operators emit fewer carcinogens than those driven by drunks?"

You know what emits fewer carcinogens than smoking + cars?
Just cars.

Is the dapper fellow in the stripy bow tie ever going to answer a direct question?

(By the way, I'm not anonymous. I'm pseudonymous, much like our esteemed hostbunny.)

-WheelsOC

shub said...

" Second-hand smoke actually kills multiple times as many people every year as drunk driving."

Where are you getting this from?

Russell Seitz said...

Q: Does the fine and upstanding Anonybunny who apparently believes that he has an entitlement to his own rhetorical questions while denying smokers any right to public accomodation recall the civil rights movement?

A: Evidently not.


I wish he would dream up some questions of his own , but that might be a two pipe problem for someone oblivious to how the Jim Crow laws postulating separate but equal public accomodations have been eclipsed by he sadistic and illiberal desire of tobacco prohibitionists to extirpate smoking entirely by incremental regulation.

One might as well ask him who but a conspiracist could object to hate campaign paid for out of tobacco taxes and appobated by those seeing to profit from the transfer of nicotine from public sale to the pharmaceutical sphere?

Here's some remedial reading for the Pseudonymous Prohibunny

Anonymous said...

Invoking Jim Crow does nothing to hide the weaknesses of your arguments no matter how you try to dress this turkey. Stop making game of us and beating around the bush.

The message in the smoke signals, Crow or Blackfoot, is clear.

Mal Adapted said...

Russell:

"Over to the dodo in Hell."

The dodo observes that you employ the reductio ad absurdum fallaciously:

"Extending the precautionary principle to the atomic level , eg. 'there is no such thing as a non-toxic level of lead' or 'one atom of plutonium can kill you' may call the numeracy, physical intuition and knowledge of natural history of those who do so into question."

Maybe, but no-one here is extending the precautionary principle that far. And my knowledge of Natural History is just fine, thanks, notwithstanding Shub's misapprehension of the personal history I disclosed in another thread.

Completing the context of your argument:

"but they remain less a danger to themselves than the civil liberties of others--"

Civil liberties are distinct from private license. Got anything less transparently self-serving?



Kevin O'Neill said...

Russell - as a fellow smoker that grew up in a cigarette smoking household, indeed in a cigarette smoking world, I am slightly amused by your attitude.

I see yellowed curtains in my house.

I see non-smokers unconsciously recoil when I pass them by - even though I may not have had a cigarette for hours.

I know what our house smells like when I return after a day without smoking.

That these effects would somehow *not* be manifested into poorer health for the recipients of passive smoke is simply not believable - even without reference to a single study of second-hand smoke.

If you accept that these effects are real, then it is perfectly reasonable to legally curtail them. In fact, I think a very good case can be made that even in the absence of such laws one has a moral obligation to personally limit exposing others to passive smoke.

I just returned from a week of travel for work. I could not smoke in airports or on airplanes. I could not smoke in the hotels or restaurants. I could not smoke in my rental car. The only place i could smoke was outside, regardless of the weather. My response? Great ... too bad they can't force me to give it up 24/7.

John Mashey said...

Kevin: seriously consider replacing smoking with vaping.

Although the chemicals in those vary and are too new to have been researched much, all the experts I know think they'll people will lower their risk if they switch to vaping, i.e., they are less bad.

The challenge is the use of vaping to get youth started.

Russell Seitz said...

I find absurd those whose conditioned phobia drives them to express metaphysical indignation at the sight of smoke regardles of which way the wind is blowing, and the view that :

"There are powers only governments can exercise, policies only governments can mandate and enforce and results only governments can achieve. To halt the worldwide epidemic of non-communicable diseases, governments at all levels must make healthy solutions the default social option. That is ultimately government's highest duty.

We have a responsibility ... to save the lives of ourselves, our families, our friends, and all of the rest of the people that live on God's planet, and so while other people will wring their hands over the problem of sugary drinks, in New York City, we're doing something about it."

Inspires in me warm feelings of contempt.

Mal Adapted said...

Russell, what you find absurd, and what inspires in you warm feelings of contempt, are nobunny's problem but yours. You are simply on the wrong side of history, mon pauvre, and your protests will avail you nothing. FWIW though, I still think your comments on topics other than this one are worth considering.

Mal Adapted said...

"Kevin: seriously consider replacing smoking with vaping."

Kevin: seriously consider quitting. Do it for your loved ones if not for yourself. Cold turkey, because tapering off never works, and forget vaping. Consider hypnosis under professional supervision. I'm here to tell you it can be done. It's not easy; I quit for 4-1/2 years, then took it up again for 2 years before quitting for good at age 30 when my sister begged me to. That time, I had to eat lunch by myself for three weeks, but by then the worst was over. Chewing on round wooden toothpicks helped. I dreamed about smoking for years afterward, but that too eventually passed. Take from me, it's worth the effort.

John Mashey said...

Mal:
Well, of course cessation is always #1, but from Kevin's comment I assumed he'd tried quitting and just couldn't. My comment is driven by frequent interactions with the resarchers @ UCSF and other places, including folks who do smoking cessation programs for people who want to stop.

The problem is that the strength of addiction varies tremendously, and it is easy for some to quit, possible for some, but very hard, and essentially impossible for others - their brains just got wired too strongly. Most people over 30 want to quit, but offhand, I recall that only 10-20% succeed (Surgeon General report probably has current data).
You were fortunate to have been able to quit.

Vaping of course is promoted as a way to stop, but early evidence seems otherwise. If people are interested in this, see a symposioum I attended, The Vapor This Time? to see videos/Powerpoints by researchers.

Anonymous said...

"Q: Does the fine and upstanding Anonybunny who apparently believes that he has an entitlement to his own rhetorical questions while denying smokers any right to public accomodation recall the civil rights movement?
A: Evidently not."

Is this really what you want to argue? You want to appropriate the memory of people like the Missippi Burning three in service of an argument for turning public places into potential deathtraps against the innocent, and protecting a practice that kills tens of thousands of Americans without their consent every year? You seriously want to argue against people's rights to bodily integrity for the mere convenicence of those who make bad choices? Do you honestly think there's no good reason for creating laws against fist-swinging when somebody's nose comes away bloodied? Do you simply not consider how wide-reaching your arguments, as presented, actually are? How they would apply to everything from drunk driving to workplace hazards to industrial pollution?

I wish there were more substance to be had in this discussion, but you keep posting the most patently ridiculous things and so I'm almost obligated to ridicule them. Where's your reasoned defense? Where's your rational rebuttals? Where is a single straight answer to the issues I've raised? Why can't you lay out your position by itself, without invoking the aura of those fight for equality regardless of intrinsic characteristics? (Nota bene: smoking is not an intrinsic characteristic, like race or sex)

What you're doing is not just ethically questionable, and not just in service of a bad idea: it's shameful conduct by itself, totally unbecoming someone of your achievements and standing. If you think my points are flimsy and full of holes, why not strike at them with an actual and honest response instead of deflecting, dodging, and misappropriating more honorable causes to cover yourself with? You can and should do better than this.
Stop pounding the table and start pounding out a real argument, please. It should be trivial. You could have done it in less words than your blatant displays of deflection and distraction above. You could have changed my mind by now if you'd even exerted the least bit of effort to explain your position.

You seem to think that existing (let alone proposed expansions of) restrictions on public smoking are too onerous and deprive smokers of their freedom. Why is that? Why does their "right" to smoke in public outweigh the rights of other people to protect their own health and the health of their families? Why do smokers get to override their decisions? Why do smokers get to make workplaces and public accommodations into potential deathtraps for everyone else?
Please take care also to frame your arguments in the context of other restrictions on people's behavior, like those concerning drunk driving and industrial pollution.

Note that this is the second time I've put aside the sarcasm to discuss this plainly, something you have not done even once yet. The way it seems to me: either you have trouble putting it plainly without it sounding as ridiculous to you as it does to everyone else here, or you simply aren't interesting in a good faith effort.
And no, linking to a bunch of search results on Reason.com does not constitute a good faith effort. I don't give a flying feather what Reason.com has to say, I am trying to engage YOU. Don't try to foist me onto somebodies else when I am at least giving you the courtesy of direct engagement and links to specific, useful sources in my relevant points. Otherwise I could simply condense my replies to snark and this, leaving you no room to complain.


- WheelsOC

Russell Seitz said...

" The wrong side of history ?"

When's the launch party for Mal's new book, Brezhnev: My Role In His Downfall?

Lionel A said...


Wheels OC, your well rasoned argument written before Russell launched this;

'When's the launch party for Mal's new book, Brezhnev: My Role In His Downfall?'

has gone over Russell's head. Maybe it is because of the smug fug he is in and maybe where we should leave him, on this topic at least.

BTW that 27/4/14 1:00 PM above was I.

Sorry did not intend to go anymouse but am trialling a different OS which is not quite optimised screen real-estate wise as yet.

Russell Seitz said...

"I don't give a flying feather what Reason.com has to say, I am trying to engage YOU. Don't try to foist me onto somebodies else when I am at least giving you the courtesy of direct engagement and links to specific, useful sources in my relevant points."

OK- try reading what I've published in Reason.

Available at better newstands $3.95

Anonymous said...

"OK- try reading what I've published in Reason.
Available at better newstands $3.95"

This can be paraphrased as 'Go spend money to look for the thinking behind my claims because I'm not going to support them otherwise.' Apparently, you believe that's a satisfactory defense when someone tries engage you. Imagine the uproar if climate scientists acted that way on the issue they believe is important for society to deal with.

What a disappointing pattern of behavior, especially given your somewhat more lucid and compelling arguments on climate change (or at least your willingness to engage). Seems tobacco isn't just your Idiot Ball, it's also your Drop The Burden of Proof Like a Hot Potato Ball.

I've seen better behavior out of the Wattsians. At least they'll sometimes try to support their arguments, giving us all manner of bullshit about how global warming is a Liberal hoax and the temperatures aren't really rising because of GHGs. And if I didn't already know better, if this was my very first encounter with you, I would come away with the impression that you have absolutely nothing more to offer that the average climate troll clogging up in the comments on a mainstream news thread. Hope you're proud of yourself for eliciting the comparison.

Since you're not interested in any real depth of dialog on the topic, thinking instead that you can just post whatever provocative crap tingles your scalp at the moment and be satisfied to leave it at that, perhaps I should go back to simple ridicule of your patently ridiculous tobacco rants. Maybe I should approach your spittle-specked claims of protecting smokers' rights the same way I deal with the willfully stupid on climate: make fun of you for saying dumb things and provide better, accurate information for the benefit of the audience. There's little sense in wasting diplomacy on the intellectually feckless.

-WheelsOC

Mal Adapted said...

John Mashey:

"The problem is that the strength of addiction varies tremendously, and it is easy for some to quit, possible for some, but very hard, and essentially impossible for others - their brains just got wired too strongly."

Well, yes. My brain wiring was very difficult to overcome, confirming the addiction theory persuasively. The first time I quit, I allowed my University Health Service shrink (this was in the 70s, after all) to hypnotize me. During the procedure, I didn't notice anything remarkable, and I left his office thinking that it hadn't worked, but I didn't smoke again for 4-1/2 years. The desire to smoke was still very strong, but I didn't have to keep making an effort of will to abstain. It was as if the choice to smoke was simply not available. That accords with what I've read about hypnotic suggestion; "re-wiring" also seems an appropriate description.

Whatever mechanism was responsible, it didn't survive the stress of leaving my hometown 4-1/2 years later, when I resumed smoking. I didn't undergo hypnosis when I quit the second time, but I "psyched" myself to quit for weeks before the date I set for my last smoke, and I had my sister's wishes in mind. I did have to keep making an effort of will this time, and I was so irritable that I avoided other people, but there was an inflection point at three weeks after which it became much easier.

So, I'm not convinced it's actually impossible for anyone to quit, unless like Russell they're so addicted they're not in possession of themselves. I believe hypnosis worked for me the first time around. Without that, it may be a matter of having a strong enough incentive to keep making the effort. OTOH, people vary a great deal, and I won't generalize my own experience to everyone.

Regardless, the least I can do is wish Kevin luck.

EliRabett said...

Mal,

Take a look at this article by Drug Monkey

http://scientopia.org/blogs/drugmonkey/2014/04/27/aspet-2014-vaccinating-against-the-effects-of-nicotine/

shub said...

"So, I'm not convinced it's actually impossible for anyone to quit..."

Hehe, True. I smoked for a few years. 3-4 cigarettes a day. Just quit cold for 4 years. Never felt the 'urge'.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBYmiYnFg4M

John Mashey said...

Mal: as with most else in this turf, nobody can predict who , it's essentially an issue of statistical impossibility. Ie, with known approaches, only a small fraction of people who want to stop are able to, and if you talk to pro's, they tell about trying all sorts of methods ... And they still get people smoking through holes in their throats.

EliRabett said...

Mom Rabett quit cold after being told it was her eyes or her smoking, but she never lost the urge.

Russell Seitz said...

ABC News:

New York City 29 April

More than 300 e-smokers showed up for a "vape-in" at Manhattan's Museum of Sex Monday night to protest a New York City ban on indoor e-cigarette smoking. They thumbed their noses at e-cigarette prohibitionists by dancing and vaping the night away until well past midnight, when the ban went into effect. [

Tara Lober, a 21-year-old from Brooklyn who attended the event, said she thinks the ban is silly.

"This is a health issue, yes, but I see it as closer to a civil rights issue," Lober said.

Anonymous said...

Well when you put it that way, I have no choice but to concede!

Oh wait, that's not a compelling contribution at all. Would you care to try again, this time aiming a little higher?

-WheelsOC

Mal Adapted said...

Addiction makes strange bedfellows. It seems Russell and his fellow deluded druggies have the support the disinformers-for-hire at Heartland, heirs to the doomed struggle to protect the profits of oppressed tobacco corporations. Will the dwindling remnant of desperate nicotine addicts sign up for the whole denialist program? Stay tuned! We'll return after these messages.

Ian Forrester said...

Here is a video of Joe Bast denying that he is a tobacco denier then being shown that he lied.

bill said...

Speaking of dear old Heartland, did we all see this - rather revealing - snippet?

chek said...

Cheers Bill.
Willard had flagged it a couple of days ago but it probably got lost in the noise of the Keyster saga.

Russell Seitz said...

Mal is having a bad Darwin day- the interests of the tobacco companies that pay Heartland are wildly at variance with those of smokers, as is the Baptists and Bootleggers collusion between antismoking quangos and big Pharma.

Here's a ( free ) sample of what ( and how ) nicotine fans think.

Mal Adapted said...

Russell:

"Mal is having a bad Darwin day- the interests of the tobacco companies that pay Heartland are wildly at variance with those of smokers,"

ORLY? Vapers too, I suppose.

"...as is the Baptists and Bootleggers collusion between antismoking quangos and big Pharma."

Why, that's exactly what the CEO of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association would have us believe! Anti-vax opinion leader and Blu eCigs celebrity-spokesmom Jenny McCarthy surely agrees.

You are known by the company you keep, Russell.

Russell Seitz said...

Who fears the company of advocates of freedom of assembly?

Lionel A said...

Indeed Mal, does that E-Blue dame not realise that addiction is not freedom?

It is quite right that the FDA should regulate these devices, after all do we know what the long term effects are likely to be from using these non-essential items with their undeclared ingredients. Many molecule types + heat = carcinogens.

I suppose, lung cancer aside, smoking and by extension quite probably e-puffing can produce throat and mouth cancer. I know people to whom this has happened.

And don't come the old blarney Russell about other nasties already in the atmosphere. If you want to increase your own risk fine but don't go on as if there is no extra danger in adding to risk for others.

Mal Adapted said...

Russell: "Who fears the company of advocates of freedom of assembly?"

Oh yass, who could doubt that Heartland Institute "experts" Steve Stanek and Matthew Glans, not to mention vaccines-are-ebil "expert" Jenny McCarthy (cuz having an autistic child makes her an expert, right?), shill for nicotine pushers purely for the sincere love of freedom?

I'm beginning to suspect you're having us on, Russell. Really, it's OK if you tell us you've just been playing with us all along. The alternative is too disturbing.

Russell Seitz said...

" don't go on as if there is no extra danger in adding to risk for others."

Whence your curious indifference as to how many tonnes of combustion products your cars have left in your wake

Run the numbers and get back to us.

Kevin O'Neill said...

Russell - I'm unclear on your,
"Here's a (free) sample of what ( and how ) nicotine fans think." link.

I didn't watch the video - all I needed to see was the blurb below it: "Matt Welch is editor in chief of Reason magazine and co-author with Nick Gillespie of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America, now out in paperback with a new foreword.

This is the same Matt Welch that has spent inordinate time puffing up Donald Luskin. Donald Luskin is the man Brad DeLong has titled The Stupidest Man Alive. Hmmm ... I'm not sure where that leaves Welch or why I'd be interested in *anything* he has to say or promote.

I see 'libertarian' and I immediately think of the John Rogers quote: "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

Anonymous said...

"Whence your curious indifference as to how many tonnes of combustion products your cars have left in your wake
Run the numbers and get back to us."

No matter how I run the numbers, Cars is still less pollution and carcinogens than Cars + Tobacco. Perhaps you should get back to me on that, since I've already said it halfway up the thread?

-WheelsOC

Lionel A said...

-WOC

'No matter how I run the numbers, Cars is still less pollution and carcinogens than Cars + Tobacco. Perhaps you should get back to me on that, since I've already said it halfway up the thread?'

Absolutely, and to persist in trying to repeatedly finesse around that Russell appears to be suffering from that cognitive dissonance thing,

I guess he will keep digging that hole.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it seems unfortunately to be the case that he's got his "witty" slogans and is going to keep playing them up to the end, facts be damned.

I mean, it's not even as if we don't do anything about pollution from cars. We're continually tightening emissions standards, are we not? We're introducing new technologies that pollute less, and it's recognized as a worthwhile goal that we can legitimately enact laws and regulations to encourage.

But apparent Mr. Seitz's rhetoric is too shallow to admit this kind of facts-based nuance without crumbling.

-WheelsOC