From Trust To Distrust

Over on Taking Liberties last night, I read:

“No-one disputes the health risks associated with smoking but there can’t be a sane adult in the country who isn’t aware of them.”

And I immediately wrote: I dispute the health risks! And I didn’t much like the suggestion that anyone who was ‘unaware’ of them must be insane. Talk about ‘taking liberties’!

Of course, I’ve read plenty about the supposed risks. After all, it’s hard not to these days. But just because I’ve read about it umpteen times doesn’t mean I accept it or believe it. I’m not in the habit of believing everything I read. And these days I believe less and less of it.

I suppose that if someone had asked me before the smoking ban about the health risks of smoking, I would have probably conceded that there probably were risks, because enough people were saying so,  but that there were risks in doing more or less anything.

But back then I couldn’t imagine that health professionals and senior doctors would lie straight-faced about the supposed dangers of secondhand smoke. Back then I trusted such people to be honest. It was almost inconceivable that they wouldn’t be.

Now I think that Tobacco Control and ASH and numerous other organisations as well as quite a few senior doctors are part of one big lie machine. It’s not just antismoking either. It’s also the whole of lifestyle medicine that seems utterly corrupt. It’s not just one or two bad apples: the rot even seems to extend to climate science and physics as well.

What I now think is that the propensity of people (like me) to trust authorities and experts and scientists has come to be abused by unscrupulous people. They appear to be people who set out to become experts and authorities so that they could advance some private or political agenda. After all, what better means is there to get your own way than by becoming the sort of expert that everyone automatically trusts, and whose word is accepted without question? And it helps a lot, when you’ve become an authoritative scientist if you’re also a professor in some university, and have a knighthood as well. It adds a little bit of lustre to your credibility. And the experts have all got them. They’re Professor this, or Sir that.

Anyway, the result in my case is that I no longer readily believe experts. And since I found Tobacco Control lying about secondhand smoke, it was only natural to wonder what else they’d been lying about. And now I think that everything they’ve ever claimed about tobacco is one big lie. And it’s a lie that has really only become the unquestionable truth for most people simply because it’s been repeated enough times that any alternative has become quite literally unthinkable. It’s a form of brain-washing.

And for the most part the result is that I have fallen back on what I used to believe before this army of ‘experts’ appeared. And back when I was a boy, I didn’t think smoking was harmful. Nobody did. My strong, robust father (who could run faster than I could when I was 15) was a 40-a-day smoker. And back then nobody worried about sugar or salt or meat or fat. And nobody went jogging, or wore trainers. And nobody worried about whether the climate was getting hotter. Such concerns were restricted to a lunatic fringe. Or to the joyless Dr W, the first antismoker I ever encountered, who I thought (and still think) was quite mad.

Or I’ve fallen back on my own personal experience. Smoking has done me no harm. And it doesn’t seem to have done anyone else I’ve known any harm either. The two people I ever knew who got lung cancer were both non-smokers. And sugar and salt and fat and meat are what I think of as good food, not some sort of poison. And I think the English climate is pretty much the same as it ever was: sometimes hot, sometimes cold – and recently colder than average. And if humans need to do exercises to keep fit, then so must animals. But I’ve never seen cats or dogs or any other animal ever doing press-ups.

If people that I knew gave up smoking, it was never because they’d had some near-death experience that they blamed on smoking. No, it was always because they’d come to trust the medical ‘authorities’ more than their own experience. They’d come to gradually believe that smoking was ‘bad for you’. They’d been successfully brain-washed.

It also helps that I can do a bit of mathematics and science. And the ‘experts’ are always ‘blinding people with science’. It’s meant that I can read research papers with a critical eye. It’s also meant that I’ve been able to write my own simple computer climate simulation model, and demonstrate to myself, if nobody else, that cloud cover is one of the primary factors governing climate. More recently I’ve been using my own solar system orbital simulation model to call into question NASA’s dismissal of any link between the half-megaton fireball over Chelyabinsk and the close approach of asteroid DA14 on the same day in February this year. After all, if people like James Hansen have senior posts in NASA, then the rot looks like it’s spread there too.

I’m more than ready to use my mathematics and science to call experts into question. But most people can’t do this, and so they end up trusting the experts with their incomprehensible equations and graphs.

Nor is it that government by such ‘experts’ is historically unheard of.  A few centuries back, more or less the only people who could read Latin, and so read the Bible, were churchmen. And so, unable to understand its strange language, most people took the church’s word on trust. And some of the churchmen got very rich and powerful, selling indulgences to gullible lay people. The outcome was the Reformation, and the eclipse of the power of the church, and the rise of a Protestantism that rejected church authority. These days we need another reformation, and probably a dissolution of the universities as well, and a restoration of simple honesty and common sense. Because now the strange language is mathematics – or perhaps statistics -, and the experts in the universities use it all the time to sell indulgences like ‘carbon credits’ to gullible laymen.

It might almost be bearable, if the experts actually were expert at something. But these days they more and more seem to be so many confidence tricksters, pretending to understand what they really don’t understand at all.

Taking Liberties took the liberty of supposing that everyone believes what experts tell them. But I think that, these days, more and more people are making the journey from trust to distrust. And so I was gratified when, after I’d posted my objection, several subsequent comments agreed with the objection I posted up, and added their own additional ones. We’re not all sheep who believe everything we’re told. More and more people are learning to dispute the claims of self-styled experts, and there can’t be a sane person who doesn’t.

Nevertheless, that didn’t deter the last commenter from writing:

“Smoking is not good for one, we all know that,…”

So at least one person agreed with Simon Clark.

About Frank Davis

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70 Responses to From Trust To Distrust

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Simon also crooned we shouldnt call the NAZIS eerrrr NAZIS!

  2. junican says:

    I can understand your irritation, Frank. As you know, I investigated the Doll’s Doctors Study and the McTear Case. In the McTear Case, Doll was an expert witness, but the Judge declared him to be ‘arrogant’. Also, Doll et al refused to bring their evidence that smoking causes lung cancer before the court.
    I studied the Doctors Study for ages, and it took ages to realise what was wrong with it. What was wrong with it was that it offered no explanation as to why so few smokers died from lung cancer. To make things worse, Doll’s Study showed that the likelihood of a person of 53 years old (which was the age at which McTear died) dying of lung cancer was extremely remote. The Defence would have torn Doll to pieces on that alone.
    In other words, everyone shares ‘a risk’, which might be one in a hundred, or whatever, but that does not explain why any particular individual actually succumbs to the risk and the other ninety nine do not. THAT is the important question.
    Tobacco Control have caused the persecution of millions based upon the susceptibility of a few to particular health conditions. How can it be otherwise since Doll’s study proves CONCLUSIVELY that personal susceptibility is the main risk?

    But we must also understand that Simon Clarke must, perforce, operate within certain parameters. He has to operate within the constraints of political LIES. His job is to try to persuade some politicians to lie a little less, if he can, and to persuade some politicians to lie a little more, if he can. I say that because I firmly believe that no politician has ever studied the evidence about smoking harm at all.

    Do not condemn SC. Imagine yourself being condemned for not marching, sword in hand, on ASH’s headquarters.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Do not condemn SC.

      I didn’t condemn him. I made no judgment about him. As I’ve said several times before, I think he’s a nice guy. Perhaps too nice a guy.

      But we must also understand that Simon Clarke must, perforce, operate within certain parameters. He has to operate within the constraints of political LIES. His job is to try to persuade some politicians to lie a little less, if he can, and to persuade some politicians to lie a little more, if he can.

      An interesting point of view. You seem to be suggesting that politicians and anyone involved in politics is obliged to tell lies. Of course I realise that they actually do tell lies. But I don’t see that they are obliged to.lie.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        SC should be a sword bearer first and a kiss assing politician second to woo the ASH operated government. I must say his latest to Blackman actually impressed me a tad……Perhaps he has grown a set!

  3. Iro Cyr says:

    Simon is entitled to his opinion but he’s not entitled to speak for everyone. Something in the lines of ”there can’t be anyone in the country who isn’t aware of the warnings about smoking” would have been both politically correct and less arrogant to those ever increasing skeptics such as Frank.
    For the record and I’ve said this before, I believe the word ”smoking” is too broad. I do believe there are risks to abusive smoking and if they don’t want to create more mistrust towards public health, the no safe level should be recognized for what it is : Total bull. They used to tell us that 10 cigarettes or less per day hardly carried any risks even to pregnant women. They haven’t discovered anything new since those days except how to misuse epidemiology to come to their funders’ desired conclusions in order to keep their job.

    (Hi everyone, sorry for the long absence. I can still only participate on and off. Not only here but everywhere else as well).

  4. In terms of distrust extending beyond ETS frontiers, this entry today over at WUWT is interesting:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/29/how-a-scientist-becomes-a-con-man/

    I’d add some comments on “other” areas where the science has fallen off the edge but the chief admin banned my postings because my wordpress name linked to my “Smoking Ban Lies” booklet. I’d actually spent close to year adding some productive postings to their blog: they’re kind of like “the new kids on the block” just waking up to how science and statistics can be misused. Ahhh welll… they’ll have to learn on their own eventually I guess.

    They DO have some very scientifically literate people participating over there though: worth checking it out.

    – MJM

    • Frank Davis says:

      From the comments under that article:

      The social scientists are the ones who are having the greatest success in predicting and controlling the world.

      They took the ideals of science and applied them to various topics such as communication, persuasion, social trends, and so on. They figured out how society works. They figured out that a message repeated enough becomes believed. They figured out that people want to be correct, and “in the know.” They explored the topic of “values,” and so learned how to appeal to and manipulate values. They figured out the glue of society, our cultural hegemony, and have used that knowledge to unglue us.

      I have heard it said that a very admirable goal in science is to predict accurately, and a higher goal is to control outcomes.

      These educated elistist intellectuals grabbed the ideas of science and have used them to grab hold of our society.

  5. Cookie says:

    You dispute the health risks of smoking? I’d be interested to know your view on whether the moon landings were faked, Diana was murdered by MOSSAD, and the Queen being an alien lizard.

    • Cookie, if I’m not mistaken, I believe the Queen Mother smoked for most of her 101 years. It’s even possible she might have shared a cigar with George Burns or Winston Churchill at some point. Perhaps you should discuss these things with her and then you could add your own query about alien lizards that pop out of cookies…

      – MJM

      • Frank Davis says:

        Mark Wadsworth (who I had the pleasure of meeting a few years ago) says that the Queen is herself an occasional smoker. I wouldn’t know myself, but I’m sure that he does.

      • Cookie says:

        Ah, you know someone that smoked and it didn’t kill them. A dangerous activity may not kill all participants but it does increase the likelihood of dying for all participants. I think you chaps are miscalculating risk on the basis of anecdotal evidence and a bias for what you wish to be true.

        I understand the first links between smoking and lung cancer were made due to statistical correlation. You would be correct to state correlation does not automatically equate to causality. The correlation being noticing the levels of smokers on lung cancer wards were globally statistically abnormal. An observation only possible due to the population being broadly split on smokers and none smokers. An observation that would likely not have been made if smoking was a habit of 90%+ or 10%- of the population. The causality was reasonably inferred due to the stats being global across all developed nations capable of accurately calculating them.

        60 years later, the evidence is in and even Big Tobacco has given up the argument. The only argument you can make is one of personal liberty. The freedom to kill yourselves in your own chosen manner under the promise that you don’t harm the rest of us. Trying to argue smoking is harmless is nutcase quackery.

        • Frank Davis says:

          An observation only possible due to the population being broadly split on smokers and none smokers. An observation that would likely not have been made if smoking was a habit of 90%+ or 10%- of the population.

          And in the 1950 Doll and Hill London Hospital Study. 98% of the sample were smokers. And in the Doll and Hill British Doctors study which began a year or two later, and ran for 50 years, 87% of the doctors were smokers. Therefore, by your own reasoning, causality could not be reasonably inferred. I rest my case.

        • garyk30 says:

          Antis claim that smoking ‘Kills’ and smokers should quit so as to improve their chances of ‘NOT DYING’ from the diseases ’caused’ by smoking.

          Bull Crap, heavy smokers and never-smokers have almost precisely the same chances of NOT dying from those diseases.

          Doll’s doctor mortality report.
          http://www.bmj.com/highwire/filestream/400720/field_highwire_article_pdf/0/bmj.38142.554479.AE

          The table on page 3 shows this:
          Lung cancer deaths per year.
          heavy smokers(25+/day) = 4.17/1,000 = 995.83 did not die.

          never-smokers = 0.17/1,000 = 999.83 did not die.

          999.83 divided by 995.83 = 1.004.

          Never-smokers are only 1.004 times more likey than heavy smokers, to not die from lung cancer!!!

          When you have to go to 3 decimal places to find a difference, that difference is, for all practicality, non-existent.

          Other results:
          mouth/throat cancers = 1.001 times more likely to not die.

          all other cancers = 1.002 times.

          COPD = 1.002 times.

          other respiratory = 1.002 times.

          heart attack = 1.005 times.

          stroke = 1.002 times.

          other vascular = 1.003 times..

        • beobrigitte says:

          Ah, you know someone that smoked and it didn’t kill them.

          Actually, I know many smokers and they all are still happily alive. None of any SMOKER died of the so-called ‘smoking related’ diseases. Actually, these ‘smoking related diseases are nothing more but OLDER PEOPLE’S diseases.

          A dangerous activity may not kill all participants but it does increase the likelihood of dying for all participants.

          Does this mean there IS ONE disease ONLY CAUSED BY SMOKING?
          Surely, if ‘smoking related’ diseases means multifactorial diseases there should be a ban FOR ALL potentially causative factors, shouldn’t there?

          I think you chaps are miscalculating risk on the basis of anecdotal evidence and a bias for what you wish to be true.
          Am I right ‘Cookie’ is in pursuit of this anecdotally evidenced ‘longer life’. May his wish come true – unfortunately this world isn’t particularly kind to the ever growing aged population. If smoking/passive smoking was a ‘killer’ the various governments would not have this major headache of trying to find the pensions for the “baby-boomers”, who, according to anecdotes, have survived the smoke filled 60s, 70s and mostly 80s.
          Our hope that ‘smoking kills’ has long been dashed; a miserable old-age life in a non-smoking establishment that can be compared to “God’s-miserable-waiting-room” awaits us unless we can move to Thailand where older people are still treated with respect.

    • beobrigitte says:

      You dispute the health risks of smoking?

      Yes, until you can mane only ONE disease caused by SMOKING ONLY.

      The list of multifactorial diseases require a ban of EVERY potential causative factor of these diseases, doesn’t it?

  6. Cookie says:

    You may not rest a case by quoting 2 studies, when hundreds if not thousands have been conducted over the better part of a century across the entirety of the developed world.If the argument that smoking is not dangerous is based on a selective look at only the evidence you like and agree with your argument becomes as ridiculous as religious creationism.

    However the study you quoted does not even support your argument. If you take a sample of lung cancer sufferers and it turns out 98% are smokers in a wider population of none sufferers that is nearer 50/50,it shows a correlation. Causality is inferred when that result turns up time and time again across the world

    • Frank Davis says:

      The study I quoted does support my argument.

      So that, in the study as a whole, 97.7% of patients were smokers. This being so, we would expect that 97.7% of lung cancer patients would also be smokers, if smoking was unconnected to lung cancer. Instead we find that 99.7% of them were smokers.

      Show me the “hundreds if not thousands” of studies if you like. But the one above is the first that was carried out in Britain, and is still frequently cited, and is the most influential, and is also manifest claptrap.

      • beobrigitte says:

        You may not rest a case by quoting 2 studies, when hundreds if not thousands have been conducted over the better part of a century across the entirety of the developed world.

        I am not interested in the number of studies. I am more interested about the funding of these studies and benefiting companies. Tobacco Control & friends financed studies can be disregarded.
        I only consider INDEPENDENT studies.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Cookie your 100s and 1000s of studies were junk!

      “Junk science” is faulty scientific data and analysis used to advance special and, often, hidden agendas. The junk science “mob” includes:

      The MEDIA may use junk science for sensational headlines and programming. Some members of the media use junk science to advance their and their employers’ social and political agendas.
      PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS may use junk science to bamboozle juries into awarding huge verdicts. Large verdicts may then be used to extort even greater sums from deep-pocket businesses fearful of future jury verdicts.
      SOCIAL ACTIVISTS, such as the “food police,” environmental extremists, and gun-control advocates, may use junk science to achieve social and political change.
      GOVERNMENT REGULATORS may use junk science to expand their authority and to increase their budgets.
      BUSINESSES may use junk science to bad-mouth competitors’ products or to make bogus claims about their own products.
      POLITICIANS may use junk science to curry favor with special interest groups or to be “politically correct.”
      INDIVIDUAL SCIENTISTS may use junk science to achieve fame and fortune.
      INDIVIDUALS who are ill (real or imagined) may use junk science to blame others for causing their illness.

      It gets even more deplorable:

      The below would explain how the mountain of JUNK SCIENCE on shs/ets has been made,especially on the cheap!

      Home » 1a – Epidemiology.The design, applications, strengths and weaknesses of descriptive studies and ecological studies
      Descriptive studies, sometimes known as geographical or ecological studies, can be used to demonstrate patterns of disease and associated factors in a population. The units of study are populations or groups

      Reasons for the ecological fallacy include:

      •It is not possible to link exposure with disease in individuals – those with disease may not be the same people in the population who are exposed
      •Data used in descriptive studies were usually collected for other purposes originally
      •Use of average exposure levels may mask more complicated relationships with the disease
      •Inability to control for confounding
      Strengths of ecological studies

      ?Cheap and simple to conduct.
      ?Utilize routinely collected health statistics.
      ?Exposure data often only available at area level.
      ?Differences in exposure between areas may be bigger than at the individual level.
      ?Utilize geographical information systems to examine spatial framework of disease and exposure.
      ?Generate hypotheses to examine at the individual level.
      Weaknesses of ecological studies

      ?Measures of exposure are only a proxy based on the average in the population. Caution needed when applying grouped results to the individual level (ecological fallacy).
      ?Potential for systematic differences between areas in recording disease frequency. For example there may be differences in disease coding and classification, diagnosis and completeness of reporting.
      ?Potential for systematic differences between areas in the measurement of exposures.
      ?Lack of available data on confounding factors.

      http://www.healthknowledge.org.uk/public-health-textbook/research-methods/1a-epidemiology/descriptive-studies-ecological-studies

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Besides all that they drifted completely away From Hills hardline standards for epidemiology long ago. Then add in Sir Richard Peto’s junk ODD’s Ratio to the mix to pump up weak associations to garner more statistical deaths to the subject matter!

    • garyk30 says:

      Dear Cookie,
      Sooo, you are dismissing the data and findings of studies that are done by Sir R.A.Doll MD ?

      Dr. Doll is a God in the anti-smokers’ Heavens.

      Which ‘experts’ can you quote that are of a comparable stature?

  7. Mr A says:

    I agree with this post. I haven’t come across a single Tobacco Control study or statement in the last 6 years that hasn’t been an outright lie. I see no reason to believe that this is something that they just suddenly started doing so it seems reasonable to assume that the stuff they came out with before I became aware of their true nature was also complete bullshit. Especially when you consider the McTear case where the judge was able to call up all manner of experts, including Doll, I believe, only to be “astonished” at the paucity of actual evidence – I remember the judge expressing surprise that most of the “experts” had done no research themselves but were merely reciting information they had learned at medical school.

    Plus, in 23 years of smoking I have never had a smoker’s cough. And last year I ran a half marathon, and this year I am doing a triathlon. Sometimes people ask me if I have given up and I say “No.” They then say something like, “It must be hard, being a smoker” or “How do you manage it?” And I just say that I do not believe it is deleterious to fitness. And amazingly, when one thinks this way, it suddenly isn’t.

    Funny how suddenly accepting that you’ve been lied to means that you no longer feel unfit because you smoke…. Indeed, I wonder how many people who moan about, “Oh I really must give up” because of being unfit, would feel exactly they same if they did give up because what they are REALLY moaning about is getting older or getting fatter.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Back in the military when we ran our 3 miles 2 times a week we all smoked upwards of 2-3 packs a day………….That depended on if we were deployed or standing duty. We even had some of us that smoked while we ran!

  8. Mr A says:

    Agreed with Frank’s post, I mean. ;)

    • beobrigitte says:

      The point is we are big enough and ugly enough to make our own decisions.”

      AT LAST!!!!! A politician who treats ADULTS as such!!!

      Nigel Farage has insisted he would scrap the smoking ban

      That’s good enough for me.

      The antis are out in full force; whatever they write won’t matter on the day people cast their vote. Perhaps this is what scares them the most. People VOTING for UKIP, thus ending this smoking ban nonsense, along with the persecution of law abiding citizen who happen to be a smoker.
      Throwing out the quangos also provides the government with more cash.

  9. gimper30 says:

    Cookie—–Please explain the smoking /lung cancer rate in Japan and how it proves your argument.
    This is NOT anecdotal evidence. And if science could explain how even one case of lung cancer was CAUSED by smoking it would be front page headlines for a year! This is the 800 pound Gorilla in the room that nobody talks about. 50 years ago it was drummed in to me not to try to prove my hypothesis by twisting around my data and ignoring relevant factors. That’s called the SCIENTIFIC METHOD!

  10. Kin_Free says:

    I noticed in a recent article that Simon Clark was described as “director of smokers’ group Forest”, and Forest describes itself as ‘voice and friend of the smoker’, but that is not altogether true is it?

    Forest is funded by tobacco companies and while there is much overlap in the views and objectives of smokers and Forest, its first loyalty is to the tobacco companies – Forest doesn’t really represent smokers, it represents tobacco companies.

    Unfortunately, tobacco companies have been trussed up like turkeys over the years by litigation, smear campaigns and they have been widely promoted as murderers, cads and criminals. Tobacco companies have been forced to publicly state that smoking is harmful whether they believe it or not. They have even been ordered to publicly confess to being scumbag racketeers, con men etc. in true Orwellian style public humiliation ceremonies! How can Forest truly represent smokers with all this baggage they have to carry around?

    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/11/27/judge-orders-tobacco-companies-to-tell-public-about-dangers-of-smoking/

    Simon is a good man and has done some sterling work, but he is limited to treading a moderate path, a position that is determined by the tobacco Companies and indirectly, anti-tobacco groups. He is unable to be radical in any way and hence the appearance of statements such as the one you outline above, or the one where he more or less accepts SHS is harmful, and that adults should not smoke in front of children or in cars. “its a matter of good manners” The inference is that smokers who do are bad people and those who don’t are good citizens – but the law should not be involved! No mention is made of the research that shows SHS is not harmful and can be beneficial to children.

    I have increasingly been wondering if Forest is the ‘acceptable opposition’ to tobacco CONTROL. Forest has no teeth, it cannot raise uncomfortable points or questions that Tobacco CONTROL would have difficulty responding to. It maintains the ‘everyone knows’ argument that has immeasurable benefits for tobacco CONTROL – merely engaging in debate on that point undermines their agenda! What’s more it gives the not-altogether-true impression to smokers and the general public that smokers are fully represented! Could it be that tobacco CONTROL likes Forest and fully supports this arrangement? Simon is indeed the ‘voice’ of the smoker’ 90% of the time in the MS media, and isn’t that just perfect for Tobacco CONTROL?

    I value Simon’s input and I don’t wish to devalue him or his work, but Isn’t it time smokers had a truly representative voice in the media! Someone like yourself Frank? Your common sense, easily understood views are rarely, if ever, opposed to mine and from what I see, you represent the views of many others too!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      No proof exists…………..just old age diseases nicely dressed up as smoking related!

      JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS”
      7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
      November 2004.

      http://cot.food.gov.uk/pdfs/cotstatementtobacco0409

      “5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

      In other words … our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can’t even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact … we don’t even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

      The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

  11. Cookie says:

    Let me tell you all a story about a strange land where hundreds of years ago a man returned from the sea and popularised a strange habit called “necking turds”. Not everyone liked it but some did and most thought it harmless even if it made your breath smell. A generation or 2 later a doctor on a ward wondered whether any environmental factors could be related to why people on his ward were ill. He noticed about 98% of them necked turds. In society in general only about 50% of people necked turds. Surely if turd necking were harmless only 50% of his patients ought to be turd neckers? Some were not turd neckers, how did they get ill? Could there be many factors at play but he had discovered one important factor? Was this just a statistical anomaly? A red herring?

    He published his findings. Other doctors read about it and noticed on their wards similar correlations between necking turds and being ill. Not just in the strange land but across the whole strange world. The doctors thought this correlation must indicate causality. The turd industry disputed these findings and for the next 50 years there was much debate about whether necking turds made you ill and lots of money was spent researching it. Eventually a consensus was arrived at. Necking turds was bad and increased your risk of being ill.

    Now the lesson, children, is to be on the safe side you don’t want to be necking turds in the strange land but there is more interesting things to tell about the strange land. Some people actually enjoyed necking turds and wanted to continue. Rather than just accept that necking turds made you ill and that was the choice they made, they decided to deny it and ignore all the people that died young and point out the odd statistical anomaly of the person that necked turds and lived to be old. A group of risky activity doesn’t mean all will die young, just that more will than a lower risk group. But they decided to continue anyway, They accused the doctors of lying to them. This made them feel better about necking turds, which was for them nice but generally utter bollocks.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Thats your rebuttal a fantasy. I knew TC believed and created myths but this one is beyond compare. You truly are writing from the KOOL-AIDE STAND!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      People ask for Proof Cookie not sesame street stories.

      Cookie if your wandering where it all began,the junk science and lowered standards look no further;

      The precautionary principle itself is a catch 22 argument. It entails giving no proof the same standing as actually having positive proof. In essence it makes a negative a positive which we all know you can never prove a negative. By using this principle we might as well all just kill ourselves as chance living with possible threats that might harm us. Its actually created to let the nazis claim whatever they want and get away with it! Its use must be destroyed as its led to total destruction of the scientific process trying to create proof where none exists to begin with,hense the mountain of evidence we hear the nazis preach all over the place without actually being held to any proof at all!

      The principle itself cannot stand, it means an end to all we hold dear TRUTH.

      Without truth we have no meaning,we have no future,we have no life,no culture. We have only created hazzards that never existed,a culture defeated by fanaticism and led by radical nut cases passing laws based upon NOTHING! It gives basis to outlawing anything based upon nothing,it lowers the standard of proof in court to that of hearsay evidence to now convict!

      How did it happen,quite simply ENVIROMENTALISM!

      Precaution as Customary Law
      The question whether the precautionary principle is a principle of customary international
      law has received a great deal of attention, particularly since the principle’s inclusion
      in the Rio Declaration.

      Click to access 82.pdf

      Rio Declaration on Environment and Development

      The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development,

      http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?documentid=78&articleid=1163

      Having met at Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992,

      Yes indeed the precautionary principle is an intregal part of GLOBA GOVERNANCE

    • Cookie, I obviously don’t know your background. You might be a Chocolate Chip Cookie, in which case I’d like you, or you might be a Jelly-Coconut Cookie, in which case I wouldn’t. Would you care to reveal your anonymous nature so I can better judge?

      I ask because you display a striking characteristic common to professional paid Antismokers. I.E., you miss the point completely. You left out the entire point of creating a turd-necking analogy: namely that after making those observations on the turd-neckers and reaching a stage where virtually no one out side the turd industry disagreed with them, the docs in that strange world were still unhappy: too many people were still necking turds.

      So, what did they do? They began cooking up phony studies trying to show that smelling turd-neckers (secondhand turd-necking) or maybe even just smiling at turd-neckers (thirdhand t-n) could kill you. They had lots and lots of money to do this, and cooked up lots and lots of studies ( See a hundred or so at:
      http://www.nycclash.com/Philly.html#ETSTable ) but the studies were so uncertain, and in some cases, so outright bogus that most sensible people who read the research knew these secondhand and thirdhand turd claims were nonsense.

      And **THAT** is primarily why turd-necking-lovers themselves began to sometimes seriously doubt the validity of the original turd-necking studies.

      Personally, I don’t argue with the primary smoking and lung cancer link. It’s possible it’s incorrect, and Junican and others have done some very interesting research questioning it. But it’s a difficult case to argue, and it’s irrelevant to smoking bans — a situation in which the research is quite easy to argue and quite easy to refute in terms of any real general need for such bans.

      So Cookie, tell us, do you manufacture turds? Are you trying to make a living off them? All I do is occasionally try to make a living writing about the turd-obsessed.

      Michael J. McFadden
      Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains” (There. I’ve shown you my turd. Will you show me yours?)

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Mike I think she pretty well flushed herself…………….when she brought up turds!
        Selling manure can be quite lucrative if one is in the fertilizer business, ie PROPAGANDA MILL!

    • Marie says:

      Some people are so scared of being ill, that it become the main purpose of their life, and they think it is the same for anybody else.

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Who among us always thought they had proof positive of disease causation. I would think all of us after 6 and 7 decades of daily propaganda.

    The main concern here is that science and medicene itself have been usurped to the point of being nothing more than a political sales platform for whatever the latest healthist craze is.

    When did we stop demanding ”PROOF POSITIVE” of actual disease causation….

    Im simply glad that its out in the open now that NO PROOF EXISTS of their claims. Now maybe Science and medicene will be able to return to the lab and do real research not based upon producing the next one liner for whatever group with grant money needs it but produce real science connecting the dots and producing results that lead to real cures and causes.

    This anti-tobacco movement and many others like the climate change wagon have set us back 100 years in real science. Its time to kick these radicals out and install REAL SCIENTISTS for a change. Its the only way public trust will ever be regained after this run of decades long JUNK SCIENCE!

  13. Kin_Free says:

    … And the anti-turd neckers who were full of shite, were believed by many, and many turd neckers quit necking turds and swallowed the shite that the anti turd neckers fed them.

    Forty or Fifty years went by and the anti-turd neckers got to be quite rich and powerful on feeding shite to anyone who would swallow it, but the illnesses that were once correlated with turd neckers continued to get worse and worse even though there were very few turd neckers and many more shite swallowers. The correlation became an inverse one as more and more shite swallowers were dying and it became obvious that shite swallowing was more dangerous than turd necking.

    The anti-turd neckers didn’t want to lose their wealth, their power and they even realised that if their shite was exposed, they could even go to jail for deceiving everyone about turds and extorting loads-a-money from neckers, using the lie that the smell of their breath was strong enough to kill good compliant shite swallowers. How could they solve this problem in this strange world?

    They got some old cookie dough, the mindless sort that was pliable, easily kneaded and manipulated into whatever shape they wanted, filled it full of the best shite they could find and made a big batch of cookies. (a bit like chocolate chip, but not as tasty) The cookies were bulled up by the anti-turd, shite feeders to mindlessly believe they were superior cookies, rather than drones, promised a big share in any more money they could filch off turd neckers, and sent out into the strange world to defend anti-turd crimes and attempt to try to justify the deaths toll of so many neckers and shite swallowers alike.

    I suppose it was inevitable that one would eventually appear here trying to offload some of their shite onto others!

    • Heya Kin! I think you were in my Cookie Baking class at Culinary School!

      :>
      Michael

    • magnetic01 says:

      Kin_Free, beautiful job! LOL

      Oh, yeah. The neurotic antismoking bigots just can’t help themselves. Along comes Kookie – the grand intellect – who’s going to straighten out any of those smoker “deniers”. And what does Kookie pull out of his top hat? The “deniers” must also believe that the moon landings were faked, etc, etc. Not content with these stupid, incoherent analogies, dear Kookie then goes for the stupidity Kewpie Doll award, conjuring up some “turd” analogy….. the Kook pulls a “turd” out of the top hat. Kookie, you stand alone on the stupidity dais. Take a bow: The Kewpie Doll is all yours. You’re Mr. Stupid.

      Kookie, regardless of your vulgar, arrogant, antismoking supremacism/bigotry, you hold no definitive position. Anti-smoking/tobacco is not new. It has a long, sick, 400+ year history. The bulk of what we hear now has all been heard before. The “anti” position represents an extremist view peddled by fanatics/zealots. Fanatics/zealots/extremists don’t do “reason”, “coherence”, or “compromise”. Look at the history of antismoking. Where the zealots have been let loose in the past, they quickly degenerate to inflammatory propaganda. Consider the recent antismoking crusades early last century in America and Germany. There were a plethora of baseless “causal” claims – many made by so-called “doctors”. It was a constant fear and hate-mongering.

      There is a very small group [of nitwits] that hate [tobacco] smoke/smoking/smokers. Given their disproportionate reaction to smoke, these minds harbor considerable mental dysfunction; they have to constantly rationalize their reactions, i.e., they lie profusely. Smoke is simply a projection point for their considerable mental conflict. Their [deranged] goal is to rid society of smoke/smoking/smokers, typically through inflammatory propaganda (i.e., promoting mental, social, and moral dysfunction) and to steam-roll anyone who dares disagree with their delusional supremacist view. Sounds a bit like you, Kookie.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Excellent Kin……………my turd blossoms are blooming now!

      Perhaps I can offload some of my shite now!

    • beobrigitte says:

      8:30AM GMT 08 Jan 2011
      see below; it could just be that the smoking ban was a complete and utter failure. But worse even, it was also an even greater waste of public money.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/22/number-children-smoking-rises-year

      The plan? Neither. It looks like Tobacco Control will be assigned back to where they came from.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      World Atlas: More People Smoking Cigarettes than Ever

      There are more people smoking now than ever before, despite health warnings and the rising price of cigarettes. In 1980, 4,453 billion cigarettes went up in smoke, which increased to 6,319 billion in 2010. By 2020, you can expect to find nearly seven billion cigarette ends littering the world.

      Top of the charts in terms of nicotine addiction are Asia and Australia, which is where 57 percent of cigarettes are smoked today.

      These alarming statistics are among many of the intriguing facts laid bare in the ninth edition of Dan Smith’s The State of the World Atlas.

      Elsewhere, the book reports that 19 percent of Americans say they could not feed their families in 2011, despite living in one of the world’s richest countries. Meanwhile, 20 percent of India’s population remains undernourished, despite its Gross National Income rising by 450 percent since 1990.

      An even more shocking revelation is that 2.5 billion people live on less than £1.25 a day, which represents one in three of the global population.

      http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/421066/20130106/population-statistics-state-world-atlas-dan-smith.htm

    • margo says:

      Cookie, I suggest you do what many of us who contribute to this blog have done (some of us years ago): go and find the original anti-smoking studies (the Doll ones are available, but you will have to search), sit down and really study them. Draw your own conclusions. (If you want an easier ride, there are a few books by people who have done just that, such as ‘Velvet Glove, Iron Fist’ by Christopher Snowdon).
      Other interesting statistics you could look at: longevity by country, incidence of lung cancer by country, tobacco consumption by country, etc, etc. If smoking a lot causes lung cancer, you’d expect to find that countries with the largest tobacco consumption also have the most lung cancer. Go and look – you might get some surprises.
      Don’t just believe what you’re told – that’s not intelligent. Go and do your own research and come back and tell us what you discovered.

    • magnetic01 says:

      Kookie, I thought you may have reached the pinnacle of stupidity with your previous posts. But, I stand corrected. Your citing of this asinine article indicates that you’re capable of far greater stupidity. Congrats!

      • Magnetic, indeed! A study that sets a date 267 years in the future predicting the behavior of the average German! It ranks right up there with worrying about the floor-licking OCD babies who’ll get polonium poisoning after 2.7 trillion years of licking smokers’ floors every day!

        Cookie, btw, since you contribution on turds actually WAS sort of original I didn’t cite “McFadden’s Law” at you. But you might want to be aware of it for the future:

        http://tinyurl.com/McFaddensLaw

        – MJM

        • margo says:

          That is lovely – hadn’t seen it before.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Sorry Mike I had to post it,I havent even read it before:

          McFadden’s Law

          McFadden’s Law states, “As an online discussion on smoking grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving urination or defecation approaches 1.”

          McFadden’s Prime Corollary states, “The use of such excretory comparisons in the context of arguments about secondary smoke exposure effectively exposes the lack of scientific basis for any real arguments to be made in favor of smoking bans, effectively ‘losing’ the argument for ban-supporters.”

          The necessity for the creation of McFadden’s Law and its Prime Corollary can be seen simply by Googling the term: smoking AND “peeing section in a pool” and then realizing that although the two are usually stated as being co-equal, in reality, since the water in a pool is changed about 1x per year while the air in a decent bar/restaurant is changed more than 50,000x in a year, the two actually have no equality at all. Similar Googling with various forms of “smoking” and defecatory products will bring up countless further examples.

          Antismoking advocates often cite “Godwin’s Law” (i.e. “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”) and Godwin’s Prime Corollary (also similar to McFadden’s Prime Corollary above) whenever Free Choice advocates point out the authoritarian nature and slippery slope dangers to freedom of antismoking policies. But, as you’ve seen from the suggested Googling, they are at least as guilty of violating “McFadden’s Law” within the subset of internet smoking discussions.

          A Smoking Section vs. A Peeing Section:
          Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a pool.
          – Unknown

          Godwin’s law:
          Godwin has stated that he introduced Godwin’s law in 1990 as an experiment in memetics.
          Godwin’s law does not claim to articulate a fallacy; it is instead framed as a memetic tool to reduce the incidence of inappropriate hyperbolic comparisons. “Although deliberately framed as if it were a law of nature or of mathematics, its purpose has always been rhetorical and pedagogical: I wanted folks who glibly compared someone else to Hitler or to Nazis to think a bit harder about the Holocaust,” Godwin has written.
          While falling afoul of Godwin’s law tends to cause the individual making the comparison to lose their argument or credibility, Godwin’s law itself can be abused as a distraction, diversion or even as censorship, fallaciously miscasting an opponent’s argument as hyperbole when the comparisons made by the argument are actually appropriate.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

          If you are tired of an argument that you know you’ve lost because you can not win it with facts, resorting to a stupid statement is not a good idea. You didn’t win because you shut the other person up. You lost. You only got the last word because your opponent realized he was having a battle of wits with an unarmed man.

  14. beobrigitte says:

    “No-one disputes the health risks associated with smoking but there can’t be a sane adult in the country who isn’t aware of them.”

    Firstly; Simon Clark is entitled to his opinion and this I do not dispute this. Many, many years ago I actually did accept that ‘smoking would carry health risks’ and if Tobacco Control & friends had used every lie under the sun to lobby for smoking bans, I probably still would believe it.

    When I discovered that ‘the tar-stained’ lungs shown to any population (which started in the 1970s) is nothing more than a pig’s lung combined with paint, I started to look a bit closer into this whole issue.
    When labour dictated the death of e.g. pubs by enforcing a smoking ban, I read much more; the “denormalisation-programme” is a plain INHUMANE piece inciting HATRED amongst a population and infantizises it’s adult citizen.
    Ventilation/air cleaning systems were a real danger to Tobacco Control who reacted by delaying/harming valuable research efforts in this – valuable! – technology.

    By now we have had “reasearch” (not worth the paper it is written on) about ridiculous “third-, fourth-, idiotic – hand ‘smoke damage’. It is time to end this utter waste of public money; for as long as ANY GOVERNMENT has the cash to throw at Quangos, “austerity measures” the public is being hit in order to sort out labour’s mess with, will cause resentment which will be reflected in the results of next general election.
    A lot of smokers have hope for UKIP to amend the smoking ban.

  15. Zaphod says:

    Cookie, you’re wasting your time in here!
    These are people who have studied the actual science, not the propaganda. Studied it deeply. And they understand it.
    You won’t get anywhere by arm-waving. Go and bother some uninformed people.

    • Wiel Maessen says:

      Item starts at 11m16s

      • Kin_Free says:

        Be careful with Ben Goldacre and his ‘bad science’ (or promoting bad science!) website Weil!! I’m not sure who is pulling his strings. There is a big media blitz going on in the UK now over the MMR vaccine and a measels outbreak. It has all the signs of a propaganda fear campaign to socially stigmatise those parents who refuse to give their children the vaccine – not unlike the campaign to de-normalise smokers. They are subtly promoting a public discussion about whether these vaccines should be compulsory in law – f’or the good of the people’ of course.

  16. raymond barfoot says:

    dear frank, and all my regular smoking pals, first I am very sorry to not have posted anything here for a while. I smoke on average 40 cigs a day and have done so for at least 30 years. secondly I am an adult and I do not accept the nanny Nazi propaganda. They are as full of excrement as a Christmas goose. They lie at every chance and they should be ignored as much as possible. oh and btw cookie you are not only not well informed you are a boring person I would venture to say as you cussing a lot just confirms my opinion that your parents have let a five year old play with their computer shame on them!!!! you believe in tooth fairies do you not???? come on back when you can discuss things like an adult. by the way I do not cuss when I am losing my side of a discussion .Frank I am proud to call you, Harley, and junican and julia. m. as well as many others my friends. may we smoke forever.you too mike McFadden. later my friends Raymond t. barfoot

  17. harleyrider1978 says:

    Tom Purcell: Nanny-state policies generate unintended outcomes

    http://www.omaha.com/article/20130502/NEWS0802/705029951

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