Saturday, April 29, 2006

Effective tobacco advertising....

A rather curious idea is being put forward by Roger Pielke Jr., that

In the battle over smoking efforts to deny a link between smoking and health risks seems to have been completely a lost effort.
This is consistent with Pielke's effort to frame other issues has a huge role in getting a subject onto the "agenda" of decision making, but after that, its role is very much diminished and subsumed to other factors, such as cultural, social, and political. If this is correct, it would require some deeper understanding about the role of advocacy related to scientific issues and the efficacy of using science as a tool of advocacy.
and he continues
This begs the question -- why has anti-smoking advocacy been so successful over time? The throwaway answer that increasing scientific certainly is the key does not seem to jibe with this data.
The problem with this whole line of reasoning is that it is built upon a falsehood. The tobacco industry has used advertising, public relations campaigns, Potemkin science, litigation, and any other method it could find to maintain revenues. Deaths were collateral damage. This is no secret to anyone who reads the newspapers let alone science journals. The mortality data and the data on tobacco use and its relationship to advertising both pro and con is readily available to anyone who makes the smallest effort to search. The Potemkin science ** allowed all of the other efforts to go forward, providing a screen against the imperative necessity of eliminating tobacco that were being uncovered by medical research.

The Surgeon General has been reporting on tobacco use for over thirty years. You can find the reports here, and other information here. In the preface to the 2000 report, the Director of the Center for Disease Control, Jeffrey Koplan writes:
But if the evidence is clear that tobacco use is harmful and if the tools are available to reduce its use, why has the reduction in prevalence been less than would be expected? The answer is very complex. As described in Chapter 1 of this report, numerous forces influence a person’s decision to smoke, or if that person is a smoker, the forces that drive continued use. The most important force for smoking is the totality of industry activity, including advertising, promotion, organizational activity, support for ancillary issues, and political action, which maintains marketability and profitability of the product. Efforts to reduce tobacco use face a more than $5 billion annual budget that the tobacco industry dedicates to advertising and promotion aimed at sustaining or increasing tobacco use. Nonetheless, there is cause for optimism based on considerable public support for efforts to prevent children from becoming addicted to tobacco. If the recent pattern of increases in youth tobacco use can be reversed, we can make progress toward tobacco-free generations in the future.
What exactly have been the effects of advertising. In the introduction to the report, we read
Regulatory Efforts (Chapter 5)
Advertising and Promotion

Attempts to regulate advertising and promotion of tobacco products were initiated in the United States almost immediately after the appearance of the 1964 report to the Surgeon General on the health consequences of smoking. Underlying these attempts is the hypothesis that advertising and promotion recruit new smokers and retain current ones, thereby perpetuating a great risk to public health. The tobacco industry asserts that the purpose of marketing is to maintain brand loyalty. Considerable evidence has accumulated showing that advertising and promotion are perhaps the main motivators for adopting and maintaining tobacco use. Attempts to regulate tobacco marketing continue to take place in a markedly adversarial and litigious atmosphere. The initial regulatory action, promulgated in 1965, provided for a general health warning on cigarette packages but effectively preempted any further federal, state, or local requirements for health messages. In 1969, a successful court action invoked the Fairness Doctrine (not previously applied to advertising) to require broadcast media to air anti-tobacco advertising to counter the paid tobacco advertising then running on television and radio. Indirect evidence suggests that such counter-advertising had considerable impact on the public’s perception of smoking. Not surprisingly, the tobacco industry supported new legislation (adopted in 1971) prohibiting the advertising of tobacco products on broadcast media, because such legislation also removed the no-cost broadcasting of anti-tobacco advertising. A decade later, a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff report asserted that the dominant themes of remaining (non-broadcast) cigarette advertising associated smoking with “youthful vigor, good health, good looks and personal, social and professional acceptance and success” (Myers et al. 1981, p. 2-13). A nonpublic version of the report detailed some of the alleged marketing strategy employed by the industry; the industry denied the allegation that the source material for the report represented industry policy. Nonetheless, some of these concerns led to the enactment of the Comprehensive Smoking Education Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-474), which required a set of four rotating warnings on cigarette packages. The law did not, however, adopt other FTC recommendations that product packages should bear information about associated risks of addiction and miscarriage, as well as information on toxic components of cigarettes. In fact, many FTC-recommended requirements for packaging information that have been enacted in other industrialized nations have not been enacted in the United States.

The role of advertising is perhaps best epitomized by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s Camel brand campaign (initiated in 1988) using the cartoon character “Joe Camel.” Considerable research has demonstrated the appeal of this character to young people and the influence that the advertising campaign has had on minors’ understanding of tobacco use and on their decision to smoke. In 1997, the FTC brought a complaint asserting that by inducing minors to smoke, R.J. Reynolds’ advertising practices violated the Federal Trade Commission Act Public Law 96-252). The tobacco company subsequently agreed to cease using the Joe Camel campaign. Although the FTC’s act grants no private right of enforcement, a private lawsuit in California resulted in a settlement whereby the tobacco company agreed to cease its Joe Camel campaign; notably, the Supreme Court of California rejected R.J. Reynolds’ argument that the Comprehensive Smoking Education Act of 1984 preempted the suit’s attempt to further regulate tobacco advertising.
Among other tactics, the tobacco companies targeted marketing at women. The summaryof the Surgeon General's 2000 report on Smoking and Women includes:
In the 1990s, the decline in smoking rates among adult women stalled and, at the same time, rates were rising steeply among teenage girls, blunting earlier progress. Smoking rates among women with less than a high school education are three times higher than for college graduates. Nearly all women who smoke started as teenagers - and 30 percent of high school senior girls are still current smokers....

...Tobacco industry marketing is a factor influencing susceptibility to and initiation of smoking among girls, in the United States and overseas. Myriad examples of tobacco ads and promotions targeted to women indicate that such marketing is dominated by themes of social desirability and independence. These themes are conveyed through ads featuring slim, attractive, athletic models, images very much at odds with the serious health consequences experienced by so many women who smoke.

....Women have been extensively targeted in tobacco marketing, and tobacco companies have produced brands specifically for women, both in the United States and overseas. Myriad examples of tobacco ads and promotions targeted to women indicated that such marketing is dominated by themes of both social desirability and independence, which are conveyed through ads featuring slim, attractive, athletic models. Between 1995 and 1998, expenditures for domestic cigarette advertising and promotion increased from $4.90 billion to $6.73 billion. Tobacco industry marketing, including product design, advertising, and promotional activities, is a factor influencing susceptibility to and initiation of smoking.
** Something that appears elaborate and impressive but in actual fact lacks substance: “the Potemkin village of this country's borrowed prosperity” (Lewis H. Lapham). After Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin, who had elaborate fake villages constructed for Catherine the Great's tours of the Ukraine and the Crimea (from the American Heritage Dictionary)

Tobacco mortality ........

One of the purposes of this blog is to provide a place where I can store answers to questions that continually arise. Uncle E is becoming involved in the tobacco wars. Two issues have come up recently, the first having to do with mortality rates. The long and short of it is that mortality from smoking is large, accounting for ~20% of male and 10% of female deaths in developed countries. The situation in developing countries is not as well defined because the data is not of the same standard.

A motherload of data can be found at the Oxford Clinical Trial Service Unit site. Richard Peto and his colleagues have been keeping track of tobacco related mortality in developed countries. The seriousness of the situation can be seen in the graphic to the left. For those of you who are chauvinistic, the data from individual countries is available.

Below you will find a couple of abstracts that back up and expand on the information in the graphic. The take home message is that in 2000, 22% of all male deaths and 8.1% of female deaths in developed countries were tobacco related.

Those interested in looking further into this issue are referred to the Oxford CTSU site and to PubMed where you can search on "mortality from tobacco"

From PubMed:

Br Med Bull. 1996 Jan;52(1):12-21.
Mortality from smoking worldwide.

Peto R, Lopez AD, Boreham J, Thun M, Heath C Jr, Doll R.
ICRF/MRC/BHF Clinical Trial Service Unit, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, UK.

Estimates are made of the numbers and proportions of deaths attributable to smoking in 44 developed countries in 1990. In developed countries as a whole, tobacco was responsible for 24% of all male deaths and 7% of all female deaths, rising to over 40% in men in some former socialist economies and 17% in women in the USA. The average loss of life for all cigarette smokers was about 8 years and for those whose deaths were attributable to tobacco about 16 years. Trends in mortality attributable to tobacco differed between countries. In some the mortality in middle age (35-69 years) had decreased by half in men since 1965; in others it was continuing to increase. In women, the proportion was mostly increasing, almost universally in old age. Mortality not attributable to smoking decreased since 1955 in all OECD (Organization for European Collaboration and Development) countries, by up to 60% in men and more in women. No precise estimate can be made of the number of deaths attributable to smoking in undeveloped countries, but the prevalence of smoking suggests that it will be large. In the world as a whole, some 3 million deaths a year are estimated to be attributable to smoking, rising to 10 million a year in 30-40 years' time.
Lancet. 1992 May 23;339(8804):1268-78.
Mortality from tobacco in developed countries: indirect estimation from national vital statistics.
Peto R., Lopez AD, Boreham J, Thun M, Heath C Jr.
Imperial Cancer Research Fund Cancer Studies Unit, University of Oxford, Radcliffe Infirmary, UK.

Prolonged cigarette smoking causes even more deaths from other diseases than from lung cancer. In developed countries, the absolute age-sex-specific lung cancer rates can be used to indicate the approximate proportions due to tobacco of deaths not only from lung cancer itself but also, indirectly, from vascular disease and from various other categories of disease. Even in the absence of direct information on smoking histories, therefore, national mortality from tobacco can be estimated approximately just from the disease mortality statistics that are available from all major developed countries for about 1985 (and for 1975 and so, by extrapolation, for 1995). The relation between the absolute excess of lung cancer and the proportional excess of other diseases can only be approximate, and so as not to overestimate the effects of tobacco it has been taken to be only half that suggested by a recent large prospective study of smoking and death among one million Americans. Application of such methods indicates that, in developed countries alone, annual deaths from smoking number about 0.9 million in 1965, 1.3 million in 1975, 1.7 million in 1985, and 2.1 million in 1995 (and hence about 21 million in the decade 1990-99: 5-6 million European Community, 5-6 million USA, 5 million former USSR, 3 million Eastern and other Europe, and 2 million elsewhere, [ie, Australia, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand]). More than half these deaths will be at 35-69 years of age: during the 1990s tobacco will in developed countries cause about 30% of all deaths at 35-69 (making it the largest single cause of premature death) plus about 14% of all at older ages. Those killed at older ages are on average already almost 80 years old, however, and might have died soon anyway, but those killed by tobacco at 35-69 lose an average of about 23 years of life. At present just under 20% of all deaths in developed countries are attributed to tobacco, but this percentage is still rising, suggesting that on current smoking patterns just over 20% of those now living in developed countries will eventually be killed by tobacco (ie, about a quarter of a billion, out of a current total population of just under one and a quarter billion).

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Fred Seitz is not as pure as the driven snow....

Since people keep referring to Fred Seitz as the scientist he was rather than the propagandist he has been for the past twenty or more years, it is worthwhile to bring together several comments on this matter that E has made so that he can simply point to a URL in response.

In another universe, Dr. E was challenged to show that Fred Seitz was not as pure as the driven snow. Seitz, of course, was an eminent condensed matter physicist, President of the National Academy of Sciences and President of Rockefeller University. In the later role he developed, shall we say, a close relationship with the tobacco industry, that somehow, later morphed into a close relationship with the fossil fuel industry. Both were remunerative, both personally and for organizations Seitz was associated with.

There are good sources you can use to show the octopus like reach that Seitz has had on both issues, for example, the disinfopedia, the tobacco document archive, and the Exxon Secrets site and, for those who like their meat red, an ecosyn blog.

Seitz has a very long association with the tobacco companies and their attempts to deny the harm that tobacco does and, of course, this gem which brings the singing Freds, Seitz and Singer, together. Singer is tied back to back with Seitz in a whole bunch of tricky business including the OISM petition (17000 duped dentists deny global warming) and the Heidelberg appeal which was a neat straddle between climate, tobacco and asbestos denialism. I am working on some comments about those after dinner entertainments.

By going through the tobacco documents archive, I was able to piece together a rather damning sequence of documents which shows exactly what Seitz has been about.

Seitz signs on:

May 1979
Pg 1
There are abundant reasons for R-J-R to place a priority on research, particularly on smoking and health research. One is that our sense of integrity dictates that we respond directly to a fundamental attack on our business. Another is that if we can refute the criticisms against cigarettes, we may remove government's excuse for imposing heavy taxes on the product. …… A third reason is that there are a large number of crucial questions that need scientific answers in the area of smoking and health.

Pg 7
In evaluating and monitoring the special projects that we fund -- particularly the sole-sponsorship programs -- R.J. Reynolds Industries has secured the services of a permanent consultant -- Dr. Frederick Seitz, former president of Rockefeller

Seitz’ role

June 1980
Procedures for Managing and Progress Monitoring of R.J. Reynolds .Industries Support of Biomedical Research .Management -
The following procedures govern the commitment of funds to biomedical research and the role of various individuals and authorities in considering requests and granting approvals:

Requests for funding support will be referred to Dr. Frederick Seitz

Dr. Seitz and other members of his advisory panel will review fund requests and prepare recommendations based on these criteria: Project viability, Researcher' s qualifications,

Adequacy of facilities, Consistency with overall program objective

Prior to presentation to the Contributions Committee-for disposition, Dr. Seitz will informally discuss recommendations with Mr. H.C. Romer, general counsel. His comments will be appended to the written evaluations and recommendations presented to the Contributions Committee

How much did Seitz get:
July 1986

Dear Dr. Seitz: We should like to renew the letter agreement dated July 12, 1978 between you and RJR Nabisco, Inc. (formerly R.J. Reynolds Industries, Inc.) for six months commencing July I, 1986 at an annual fee of $65,000 which shall be paid in equal monthly installments on the last day of each month. In all other respects the agreement will remain in full force and effect.

And just a pointer to the most amusing document in the entire tobacco archive.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Tim Curtin insists on topping himself.....

Not only does he start by blowing two orders of magnitude in his favor....

Industrial production of CO2 at 100 million tonnes in 2005 growing at 10% pa (your figure) will overtake fossil fuel emissions of 25 billion tonnes of CO2 growing at net 0.005% pa (the actual rate of growth of CO2 at Mt Louai in Hawaii) by 2067.fossil fuel emissions of 25 billion tonnes of CO2 growing at net 0.005% pa (the actual rate of growth of CO2 at Mt Louai in Hawaii) by 2067
Only to catch himself half an hour later
Re Eli again, a correction, I mistyped the CO2 growth rate at the Hawaii station, it is 0.5% p.a. ( which is what I used in my extrapolation). Apologies.
But he can't figure out how to spell Mauna Loa (nice picture here).

He can't figure out that when the hare of the day (Happy Easter to all) said:
Yes, if you have one buck to your name and your money grows by 10%, while Bill Gates' money grows by 5%, your money is growing faster than his. And at the end of the day you got $1.10, and he got several hundreds of million $ in extra interest.
The 10% rate of increase did not refer to the growth of CO2 production for industrial gases. That looks to be ~3% or so (at least in the US).

As Chris O'Neill pointed out on Deltoid II even the correction is a bit shifty
BTW, the atmospheric CO2 is growing at 2% of the atmosphere's anthropogenic CO2 per year. If you want to model atmospheric CO2 with an exponential growth curve, try to remember that it didn't start at zero as an exponential growth curve does.
But wait, there is more, on an absolute basis, the rate of increase is closer to 0.7% than 0.5% (2.6 ppm/381 ppm current) and if you look at it as a percentage of preindustrial (280 ppm), then it is close to 1%.

Ian Gould is starting to make the point that most of the CO2 used for industrial purposes, ends up, guess where, in the atmosphere......

However there is another important question to ASK Tim Curtin: Where did that 100 million ton figure from, and in what sense it is using production. A lot of CO2 is produced in various industrial processes (brewing beer being my favorite) but very little of it is captured for industrial purposes.

Stephen Berg ASKS an important question:
Why are we squabbling over such a minor detail when there is a lot of work to be done to save our planet from ecological catastrophe?
To which the obvious answer is that when folk like Tim Curtin start throwing sand in the air, you need to show their propaganda up for what it is so that folk like Stephen Berg will see them for what they are, and what they are is not making any kind of contribution to an honest discussion.

Off to deliver......

Friday, April 14, 2006

More spag thrown on the wall....

We have a new winner for the most meaningless statement of the week on climate change. This, courtesy of Tim Curtin on Deltoid.

Neither is aware that the demand for industrial CO2 is growing faster than the production by AGW.
First of all, AGW (anthropic global warming) is a RESULT of increased human emissions of CO2, although there is some positive feedback as temperatures rise, increasing the rate of vegetative decay, and shifting of the CO2/H2CO3/HCO3-/CO3 2- equilibria in the oceans.

Second, comparing rates, when the magnitude of the two processes differs by several powers of 10 is more than a shade dishonest. Yes, if you have one buck to your name and your money grows by 10%, while Bill Gates' money grows by 5%, your money is growing faster than his. And at the end of the day you got $1.10, and he got several hundreds of million $ in extra interest.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


UPDATE: For those coming in from various places we have posted an update on 1988 and all that for those who want to look behind the thick black RSS line, and there is a whole series of Rabett Run posts, perhaps the most relevant of which is No More Mr. Nice Bunny where Jim Hansen shows the rubes the trick (esp. if you are reading Climate Audit). Well Lookee That and Business as Usual in 1988 are also worth a look. You can find more of these by searching this blog on "1988"

A rather strange push back has developed centering around Jim Hansen's Congressional testimony in 1988. In that testimony he presented a graph with three scenarios which he labeled A, B, C, and predictions of global temperature based on each of these scenarios

In 1998, Patrick Michaels in testimony before congress, also presented this graph, but erased scenarios B and C. He claimed that,

That model predicted that global temperature between 1988 and 1997 would rise by 0.45°C (Figure 1). Figure 2 compares this to the observed temperature changes from three independent sources. Ground-based temperatures from the IPCC show a rise of 0.11°C, or more than four times less than Hansen predicted. Lower atmosphere temperatures measured by ascending thermistors on weather balloons show a decline of 0.36°C and satellites measuring the same layer (our only truly global measure) showed a decline of 0.24°C.
The statements about satellite and weather balloon measurements have now been shown to "inoperative" (e.g. wrong, they are now are calculated to be consistent with surface measurements )**. Hansen was a mite peeved at Pat's erasing. He has put his take on this and other acts of denial on the GISS site.

However, a bunch of very strange spaghetti is being thrown against the wall with respect to Hansen's 1988 testimony and the paper upon which the testimony was based (J. Geophys. Res. 93 (8) 9341-9364 (1988). Some of them are very simple to deal with, others are more complex. Finally, I do want to check in the Library of Congress to see if the written and oral testimony is available.

Eli was able to find the abstract for this paper at GISS, and posted it into the maelstrom at R Pielke's place (towards the bottom) where he has become an unfavorite for pointing out that the Emperor is wearing some interesting togs. One of the weird claims was that Hansen had never said that Scenario B was the most probable in his testimony or in the abstract. This was a VERY serious issue for Paul, just Paul. To which we say RTFR (p9345 2nd paragraph)
These scenarios are designed to yield sensitivity experiments for a broad range of future greenhouse forcings. Scenario A, since it is exponential, must eventually be on the high side of reality in view of finite resource constraints and environmental concerns, even though the growth of emissions in scenario A (~1.5%/yr) is less than the rate typical of the past century (~4%/yr). Scenario C is a more drastic curtailment of emissions than has generally been imagined; it represents elimination of cholorfluorocarbon emissions by 2000 and reduction of CO2 and other trace gas emissions to a level such that the annual growth rates are zero (i.e. the sources just balance the sinks) by the year 2000. Scenario B is perhaps the most plausible of the three cases.
2. But wait, there is even more amusement in the comments, one of the Ethonettes, Jim Clarke (in reference to the very warm El Nino year 1998, where the global temperature was so high that we are just reaching it again ) said:
I would also like to point out that you will not find a 7 year period of 'flat' temperatures in any of Hansen's forecasts with increasing CO2. Even with ENSO cycles, his graphs show a net warming over any seven year period.
Actually you can, the period between 1974 and 1982 in Scenarios B and C. But there is a VERY interesting little wrinkle in Scenario A. I've taken the liberty of isolating Scenario A between about 1995 and 2005

[insert tongue in cheek] As you can see, the GISS model found the 1998 Super El Nino, ten years before it occurred, and as you can see, in this exponential forcing model it took five years for the temperature to exceed the global temperature in the Super El Nino year. Another triumph for GCMs!

**an important point to remember is that the satellite does not measure temperature directly, but microwave emission from the atmosphere and this must be converted to temperature by a rather involved calculation).

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Good news....Bad news....

Both from EOS. The good news is the new NASA media policy
(You need a subscription, but AGU dues are low)

NASA scientists will be able to speak freely about their work to the media and the public, under a newly revised policy announced 30 March by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin......

The policy is intended to establish a ‘culture of openness,’ in which scientists may communicate the results and conclusions of their scientific research to the public without hindrance. However, NASA scientists will be required to distinguish personal views from those of the agency. The revised policy also outlines the responsibilities of the public affairs staff, who will be prohibited from altering or editing scientific information.
The proof, of course being in the eating.

Bad news....
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not investing enough money in the science needed for the agency to make sound environmental policy decisions, according to several witnesses who testified before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on 16 March....

EPA has proposed cutting funding in a number of areas, including research about mercury, ecology and ecosystems, global change, and sustainability. Meanwhile, the agency would spend more money on homeland security issues......

Jeffrey Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER, a non-profit organization seeking to uphold environmental laws), said that unlike the situations with NASA and NOAA, the most frequent complaint about EPA is that the agency keeps research locked in draft reports so that it can never be used in decision-making. For example, a report on dioxins has been in draft form for 12 years. EPA’s Gray said that reports such as the
one on dioxins were kept in draft form for so long because of the agency’s “rigorous peer review process” and that “it takes time to get science right.”

Ruch also noted that, in contrast with recent ‘open science’ policies announced by NOAA and NASA, EPA has reiterated its policy of requiring scientists to get prior approval for all communications with the media. Ruch said, “Until EPA offers its scientists some meaningful protection for discussing emerging issues or reporting findings without prior political vetting, the agency’s entire science program will be tainted in the eyes of both the scientific community and the general public.”

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Nothing here, keep moving......

The last three posts on Real Climate have dealt with how newspapers, by publishing fallacious (e.g. lying) op-eds, have distorted the climate debate. They have really come down hard on the Washington Post. This comes on top of the whoo hah about the Bush administrations "massaging" (scary quotes) of the climate debate by controlling access of the press to scientists at NASA, NOAA and other agencies.

Roger Pielke Jr. has claimed that tempest that Jim Hansen stirred up is over, history, shove it down the memory hole (about half way down in the comments):

Eli, you're sharing dated materials. Both NASA and NOAA obviously have had some problems. I am sure they will continue to do have issues on the PR front, but Jim Hansen has gone back to work satisfied with NASA's response, and since Lautenbacher's statement, no one in NOAA I have spoken to has complained. Those earlier news articles will be online forever, but reality will move on.

Evidently he has not spoken to a large number of people at NOAA including

Pieter Tans said

"that although he often "ignores the rules" the administration has instituted, when it comes to his colleagues, "some people feel intimidated -- I see that.

Christopher Milly, a hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, said he had problems twice while drafting news releases on scientific papers describing how climate change would affect the nation's water supply.

(Conrad) Steffen studies the Greenland ice sheet, and when his work was cited last spring in a major international report on climate change in the Arctic, he and another NOAA lab director from Alaska received a call from Mahoney in which he told them not to give reporters their opinions on global warming.

Ronald Stouffer, a climate research scientist at NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, estimated his media requests have dropped in half because it took so long to get clearance to talk from NOAA headquarters. Thomas Delworth, one of Stouffer's colleagues, said the policy means Americans have only "a partial sense" of what government scientists have learned about climate change.

"American taxpayers are paying the bill, and they have a right to know what we're doing," he said.

Once more a large gulf opens.