Historical Documents

Today I posted up under the Active Smoking menu page some pdf files sent to me by JLtrader a week or so back. The pdfs are an assortment of historical documents casting doubt on whether smoking causes lung cancer.

One example is a 1963 article by the statistician Joseph Berkson. Here are a few samples from it:


And still hasn’t happened.


Fifty years on, it remains true that animal studies have failed to produce lung cancer. And if the simple theory of a chemical carcinogenic origin of lung cancer had been ‘given up’ by 1963, it is surprisingly alive and well 50 years later. In fact, it’s what more or less everybody believes.


Maybe there never was an increase in lung cancer in the 20th century?


It is interesting, isn’t it, that it’s the medical profession which has been relying on statistical arguments to support its war on smoking, while statisticians (with exceptions like Berkson and Sir Ronald Fisher) are silent? But what do doctors know about statistics?

Anyway, I hope that there’s interesting reading there. And I hope more will be added.

convectionA few days ago I posted up a video showing how convection currents were set up when balloons of air expanded.

Today I have a variant video, in which instead of expanding, packets of air are speeded up on the right hand side of the model, and slowed down on the left hand side.

The same convection currents appear, as can be seen from the motion of the single red packet. The effect is the result of one side of the system being denser and heavier, and the other side being less dense and lighter, causing the unbalanced system to rotate. The difference in densities is apparent in the snapshot above, where there is a dense wedge of bodies in the lower left (coloured blue above), and a larger triangle of more widely spaced bodies (coloured yellow above). These might be regarded as providing on their tops two slopes down which balls can roll.


About Frank Davis

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28 Responses to Historical Documents

  1. beobrigitte says:

    THAT is a good question:
    But what do doctors know about statistics?

    About as much as anyone studying for a degree in science. In short, very little. Absolute basics. No medic will admit that they know nothing about meta-analysis and how it’s done.

    To recap: Meta analysis is a method for systematic literature reviews on a certain substantive question of interest.

    Medics don’t care, they are not paid to ask questions.

  2. cherie79 says:

    That is very interesting, makes you wonder what other nonsense we are being fed.

  3. Smoking Lamp says:

    The Antis must be getting worried about the prospects for Plain Packages. They are starting a smear campaign on the authors of a study from two researchers at the University of Zurich because they received funding from Philip Morris. See: “Row over Marlboro-funded research that undermined plain cigarette packs,” The Guardian, 14 February 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/14/ow-over-arlboro-funded-research-that-undermined-plain-cigarette-packs.

  4. To make it short and sweet Frank the Nazis from the early 1900s were still around in the 1940s and into the 50s to get their bullshit mandated. I have no doubt Luther Terry in 1964 was ORDERED to make his 1964 SG report by none other than the ACS and a few other of the prohibitionist leftovers from the last round of prohibition……….Then the UN charter basically gave them the carte blanche to push their BS off on everyone else and created the LIFESTYLE WARS from the 1950s onward. Its been said Jonas Salks polio team was the last real scientific team put together to actually do real science and develop a cure for a disease. After that epidemiology gave up using toxicology to prove their studies as they no longer wanted to prove anything but simply create a political landscape for the eventual one world order we are seeing now trying to unfold.

  5. Deceptive to the core

    After the smoking ban legislation was passed in February 2006, Deborah Arnott, director of Britain’s Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), boasted about their success in the Guardian (19 July 2006):

    “It is essential that [anti-tobacco] campaigners create the impression of inevitable success. Campaigning of this kind is literally a confidence trick: the appearance of confidence both creates confidence and demoralises the opposition. The week before the free vote we made sure the government got the message that we ‘knew’ we were going to win and it would be better for them to be on the winning side.”

    I wonder how many politicians have been tricked by this bald-faced deceipt?

    • margo says:

      ‘create the impression of inevitable success’ – this is exactly what is now happening regarding booze: just a day or so ago I read the news that the amount of alcohol consumed is vastly decreasing, especially among young people. Since this all comes from self-reporting surveys, I don’t believe it for one minute. If people have learnt anything from the ‘warnings’, they’ve learnt not to admit in surveys the extent of their drinking (or smoking).

  6. The SmokeLess States Program
    Publisher: Jossey-Bass
    Publication: To Improve Health and Health Care

    Author(s): Gerlach KK, and Larkin MA
    Editor(s): Isaacs SL, and Knickman JR

    This chapter describes SmokeLess States®: National Tobacco Policy Initiative, one of the largest investments made by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with $99 million authorized in grants since 1992. Primarily, grants were awarded to non-governmental organizations, with the intention that they would educate the public and policy-makers about the tobacco problem. Two features about the program are significant: (1) the Foundation encouraged its grantees to be activists; (2) advocacy was emphasized to bring about policy change. The program relied heavily on three major health voluntary organizations: the American Cancer Society; the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association. They provided financial support and, in particular, funds to help lobbying efforts which the Foundation could not support directly. In addition to insight on the effects of advocacy, this chapter offers a window into the role of coalitions in bringing about social change. The program ended in 2004 and its lasting impact has yet to be determined.


    Rockefeller also created the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Foundation, and the American Lung Association in this eugenics framework)

    Antismoking is not new. It has a long, sordid history. The three antismoking crusades of the last century have been eugenics-driven. In eugenics, health is erroneously reduced to an entirely biological phenomenon and where a self-installed elite attempt to engineer/breed a “better” human herd. In addition to a genetic aspect, eugenics views tobacco and alcohol as racial poisons needing to be eradicated (negative eugenics). Antismoking was rife in early-1900s USA. Smoking and tobacco sales were banned in quite a number of American states.

    Dillow (1981) notes that the bulk of antismoking claims were fraudulent and inflammatory. Dillow fails to note that the antismoking crusade of the early-1900s USA was eugenics-driven: Eugenics was mainstream in the USA at this time. At the turn of the last century, eugenics was mainstream in the USA, the UK, some European countries, and a number of Scandinavian countries. The USA appears to be the most prominent. The mega-wealthy in the USA (e.g., Rockefeller, Carnegie, Ford, Kellogg) were supporters and funders of eugenics (and antismoking, anti-alcohol) – and still are.

    Prohibitionist groups created to carry on the prohibitions of yesteryear in todays world……..

    • We know it never ended the ACS ALA AHA have all still been lobbying illegally for smoking bans everywhere in America breaking every non profit law there is and getting a pass on it by the democrats………..and even republicans for the most part.

  7. magnetic01 says:

    Simon Crapman links to an antismoking blather-fest that even he, a long-time antismoking basket case, describes as “ugly & nasty”:

    This is the article in question, a hate piece by the vulgar, neurotic, bigoted antismoking nut case, Giles Coren:

  8. mikef317 says:

    Frank, re links in your sub-menus….

    How do you want people to submit these?

    Without looking at all items in the file, how do I know that I’m not submitting something that is already there? (The lists could easily swell to thousands of items.)

    Re the Active Smoking list, I think Brownlee #5 (congressional testimony) is just a simplification of his scientific paper (#18).


    Below is a suggested candidate.


    Alexander Gilliam, MD., article in Cancer 8, 1955.

    Can the historical increase in lung cancer be attributed to improved diagnostics? Were many early 19th century lung cancer deaths falsely classified as tuberculosis?

    From the summary: “It has been shown that all of the increase in mortality attributed to cancer of the lungs since 1914 in United States white males and females cannot be accounted for by erroneous death certification to other respiratory diseases, without unreasonable assumptions of age and sex differences in diagnostic error.”

    Excellent paper, but the author is wrong. Lung cancer is a disease old age; you should find more deaths among older people. There is also a sex difference; men get the disease more frequently than women. This is what the data shows. Improved diagnostics is quite reasonable.

    • mikef317 says:

      Gilliam appears to have written another paper. Trends of Mortality Attributed to Carcinoma of the Lung. Cancer 14, 1961. I don’t have time to look for it, but I suspect it would be worth reading.

      • The ranking goes for all cancer deaths/mortality:

        Per 100,000 population CDC NUMBERS/ smoking rates from tobacco free kids

        Kentucky at 207 Adults in Kentucky who smoke* 29.0% (971,000)

        Miss. 200 Adults in Mississippi who smoke* 26.0% (579,300)

        West Virginia 196 Adults in West Virginia who smoke* 28.6% (420,500)

        Louisianna 196 Adults in Louisiana who smoke* 25.7% (888,300)

        Arkansas 193 Adults in Arkansas who smoke* 27.0% (601,400)

        Alabama 190 Adults in Alabama who smoke* 24.3% (893,100)

        Indiana 187 Adults in Indiana who smoke* 25.6% (1,259,300)

        Maine 186 Adults in Maine who smoke* 22.8% (241,400)

        Missouri 184 Adults in Missouri who smoke* 25.0% (1,149,600)

        Delaware 184 Adults in Delaware who smoke* 21.8% (153,100)

        South Carolina 182 Adults in South Carolina who smoke* 23.1% (831,200)

        Lung and Bronchus. Invasive Cancer Incidence Rates and 95% Confidence Intervals by Age and Race and Ethnicity, United States (Table *†‡

        Rates are per 100,000 persons. Rates are per 100,000 persons.

        Note the age where LC is found…………..OLD AGE group incidence hits the 500/100,000 at age 75-85

        AGE it seems is the deciding factor……….

        http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/uscs/… Cancer Sites Combined&Year=2010&Site=Lung and Bronchus&SurveyInstanceID=1

    • Frank Davis says:

      How do you want people to submit these?

      Without looking at all items in the file, how do I know that I’m not submitting something that is already there? (The lists could easily swell to thousands of items.)

      I don’t really know. This is an experiment. All I know is that there are things that I have read over the years which I would like to have had copies of. Particularly if the links are lost/broken. Storing them on the blog is one possibility. Or just putting a link in.

      However, I don’t want to become a librarian. I don’t want to put everything and anything in.

      I think JLtrader’s files are interesting and valuable because they are historical documents which might otherwise vanish. They present a point of view which is no longer heard.

  9. Lepercolonist says:

    Thanks for those Pdf files in the Active smoking menu. Here’s one that I am contemplating::

    14. File name: Statement of Hiram Langston
    Hiram Langston, MD, full statement before US Congress, undetermined date, post 1964. As a thoracic surgeon, argues that the alleged causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer is inconsistent with clinical realities.

    .2. Cancer rarely occurs in the trachea (windpipe).The trachea is exposed to more tobacco smoke than either lung,because all the smoke going to both lungs is inhaled and exhaled
    through it. Also, the material deposited in the mucous lining of the air passages exits through the trachea.The trachea is anatomically, embryologically and physi-ologically identical to the rest of the bronchial airway. There-fore, if cigarette smoke were a cause of lung cancer, one would also expect to see a large number of tracheal cancers. The fact is, however, that tracheal cancer continues to be an extremely rare disease.

  10. Rose says:

    I think Bliley’s condemnation of the EPA is worth a space under Passive Smoking.


    “Mr. Chairman, I am testifying today in order to report to the Subcommittee the results of my extensive investigation of the EPA’s handling of the controversy surrounding environmental tobacco smoke or ‘ETS’.

    AS you know. in the past the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of this Committee has conducted hearings on EPA’s abuses of government contracting requirements.

    So pervasive is the level of abuse that Chairman Dincell has characterized EPA’s pattern of contract mismanagement as a ‘cesspool’. EPA’s Inspector General recently has confirmed that such abuses also have taken place in connection with a number of EPA contracts involving ETS, and the 0 and I Subcommittee’s own investigation is continuing.”

    “EPA’s willingness to distort the science in order to justify it’s classification of ETS as a “Group A” or “known human” carcinogen seems to stem from the Agency’s determination early on to advocate smoking bans and restrictions as a socially desirable goal. EPA began promoting such policies in the mid-to late 1980′s, ostensibly as part of its efforts to provide information to the public on indoor air quality issues.”

    “The risk assessment thus was never intended to be a neutral review and analysis of the ETS science. Rather, it was intended from the start to function as a prop for the Agency’s predetermind policy.”


    And it seems to be a continuing problem.

    Hundreds of EPA Scientists Report Political Interference Over Last Five Years – 2008

    “WASHINGTON (April 23, 2008) — An investigation of the Environmental Protection Agency released today found that 889 of nearly 1,600 staff scientists reported that they experienced political interference in their work over the last five years. The study, by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), follows previous UCS investigations of the Food and Drug Administration, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and climate scientists at seven federal agencies, which also found significant administration manipulation of federal science.

    “Our investigation found an agency in crisis,” said Francesca Grifo, director of UCS’s Scientific Integrity Program. “Nearly 900 EPA scientists reported political interference in their scientific work. That’s 900 too many. Distorting science to accommodate a narrow political agenda threatens our environment, our health, and our democracy itself.”

    “Among the UCS report’s top findings:

    – 889 scientists (60 percent) said they had personally experienced at least one instance of political interference in their work over the last five years.

    – 394 scientists (31 percent) personally experienced frequent or occasional “statements by EPA officials that misrepresent scientists’ findings.”

    – 285 scientists (22 percent) said they frequently or occasionally personally experienced “selective or incomplete use of data to justify a specific regulatory outcome.”

    – 224 scientists (17 percent) said they had been “directed to inappropriately exclude or alter technical information from an EPA scientific document.”

    – Of the 969 agency veterans with more than 10 years of EPA experience, 409 scientists (43 percent) said interference has occurred more often in the past five years than in the previous five-year period. Only 43 scientists (4 percent) said interference occurred less often.

    – Hundreds of scientists reported being unable to openly express concerns about the EPA’s work without fear of retaliation; 492 (31 percent) felt they could not speak candidly within the agency and 382 (24 percent) felt they could not do so outside the agency. ”


  11. margo says:

    Very interesting, Frank. I remember the early ’60s and many conversations and debates like this about whether smoking caused lung cancer. The suggestion that there wasn’t really a ‘phenomenal increase’ in lung cancer (as Doll says) is particularly interesting.

  12. jltrader says:

    Regarding Doll, here’s a quote from McTear case:
    [6.94] It was because of the need to consider all the relevant surrounding facts and circumstances that it was appropriate to examine Sir Richard’s dismissal of anybody who sounded a word of caution as worthy of no note. The opinions he expressed were forthright and definite. He was committed to his own view as early as 1949. This was on the basis of the one retrospective epidemiological study on hospital patients that he was conducting with Hill, and also on his own conviction that some of the apparent increase in lung cancer incidence was real. There was no evidence that when he formed these views he had considered that the statistical association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer might be accounted for by some confounding element. It was clear that he did not consider the constitutional hypothesis, even as a possibility to be excluded. It was plain also that nothing anyone had ever said had caused him to doubt his conviction that the statistical association between smoking and lung cancer was causal. He was scathing about those who sounded a note of caution about accepting causation as proved on the statistical evidence alone and without testing competing hypotheses. Their views were dismissed as eccentric, bizarre, nonsense or dishonest. In cross-examination he was asked about Fisher, Berkson, Seltzer, Yerushalmy, Eysenck, Burch, Oldham, Stern, Gwynne Jones, Feinstein, Passey, Little, Tokuhata, Hueper and Rosenblatt. Counsel reviewed Sir Richard’s cross-examination about the views expressed by each of these individuals. He submitted that no proper reasons were given by Sir Richard for rejecting the views of any of them.

  13. Rose says:

    Logically, if the government will insist on the EPA designation of tobacco smoke as a “Group A” or “known human” carcinogen, which of course is the sum of it’s chemical parts especially nicotine, but presumably does not include the government permitted food additives then it stands to reason that all enclosed public restaurants must be banned from cooking nightshade vegetables to protect the staff.
    We have been repeatedly told that ventilation doesn’t work.


    “Many plants of the Solanaceae family, which includes the genus Nicotiana, of which the tobacco plant is a member, contain solanesol; particularly those that contain trace amounts of nicotine.
    These include the tomato, eggplant, potato, and pepper.

    The potential interference due to these sources is negligible, cooking being the only likely potential source of interference. An interference of this type would bias results high, overestimating the contribution of ETS to RSP.


    This is why non smoker’s homes register for cotinine and it can also be found in the water supply.

    It is unfair that 20% of the population should be punitively taxed to stop them consuming nicotine in one plant while the rest of the population including the children, continue to consume it in others without publicly funded government interventions and entirely tax free.

    It’s not like the possibility of banning nightshade vegetables hasn’t been considered.

    Australia 2004


    “Many commonly and widely consumed vegetables of the nightshade family (Solanaceae) such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and capsicums naturally contain low levels of nicotine. Nicotine has also been detected in cauliflower and tea – two non-solanaceous plants. Recently there have been a number of attempts overseas to deliver nicotine medications presented as food, such as in bottled water or in lollipops.

    A concern expressed by health authorities is that the addition of tobacco or nicotine in food may promote or legitimise the smoking of tobacco or the use of smokeless tobacco products.

    VicHealth proposed a modified Option 2 – Allow the use of Nicotiana species in all foods but restrict the level of nicotine to the level demonstrated to be safe and not to be therapeutic or psychoactive.”

    “The option was raised to prevent foods such as the nightshades, known to naturally contain low levels of nicotine, from being banned.”


    It just goes to prove how silly all this has got.

    • Some French bloke says:

      Cf. Haveeru Online Dec 24, 2012: “The new tobacco control Act would ban cultivation of potato and tomato in the Maldives as cultivating any species of the tobacco family is prohibited under the Act.

      The Article on cultivating and producing tobacco prohibits cultivation of any species of the tobacco family in the Maldives. There are about 90 genera and about 2,600 species in the tobacco family known as ‘Solanaceae’ which includes important vegetables such as potato, brinjal, tomato and peppers.”


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