One problem (for us anglo-saxons, at least) is that we don’t get to hear much of people who don’t speak or write in English. One of these is Professor Robert Molimard, whose video interview (in French) with Dr Glub I watched 2 or 3 years ago, uncomprehendingly until a translation appeared.
And this (I believe) is the English translation. Lots of wry humour, and insight:
Pr Molimard: I never succeeded to get rats to push on a lever to get them to maintain their nicotine levels. We install a lever, when the lever is pushed, it activates a syringe. With cocaine, the rats would go at it, toc, toc, toc , 300 times a day. With nicotine? Never.
There’s also a translation of Molimard’s Critical Analysis available. And, more recently (December 2010) Beliefs, manipulation and lies in the tobacco issue:
These activists have abandoned logical reasoning and replaced it with faith and passion. Anything goes when it comes to pursuing the triumph of their such “good cause’’, and “white lies’ are a perfectly acceptable tool. Any open debate and any valid scientific research is therefore precluded. We do find of course some pure idealists, survivors of former “virtuous movements’’among them. Be that as it may, there are unfortunately a great number of self-interested do-gooder apostles fueling and exploiting to their advantage this blind militant force in an effort to assert their own power and fame, not to mention more tangible benefits.
For these knights of purity, tobacco is the absolute evil, thedevil. It must be eliminated, eradicated. At the very least, it must be hidden or sold “under the counter’’, much like porn magazines (sic). The tobacco industry is diabolical. It must be destroyed, made to disappear, bankrupted through litigation.
The problem is that if the tobacco industry exists it is because it responds to a demand. If tobacco has spread around the world since Christopher Columbus, it is because there is something attractive about the product that causes people to crave for it. During an era when there was no other means of advertising than word of mouth and when tobacco was cultivated by primitive means. The industry responded to the demand, it did not create it. If the industry were to disappear, the demand would remain and would require to be fulfilled.
I’m sure there’s more out there by Professor Molimard. He’s clearly someone who has been trying to vault over the language barrier, because the first English translation I read was his own. All the translations linked to above have been carried out with the assistance of Iro Cyr in Canada (with whom I had the pleasure of working a month or so back).
There are others, like Dr Philippe Even, whose interview in Le Parisien also exists in translation (by Iro Cyr, once again): ‘’They have created a fear that is based on nothing’’
What do the studies on passive smoking tell us?
PHILIPPE EVEN. There are about a hundred studies on the issue. First surprise: 40% of them claim a total absence of harmful effects of passive smoking on health. The remaining 60% estimate that the cancer risk is multiplied by 0.02 for the most optimistic and by 0.15 for the more pessimistic … compared to a risk multiplied by 10 or 20 for active smoking! It is therefore negligible. Clearly, the harm is either nonexistent, or it is extremely low.
There are probably quite a few more such figures, unheard because they don’t speak or write English, and because nobody has yet translated them.