The Value of Children

In the Smoky Drinky Bar last night, Nisakiman remarked that I’d saved myself several hundred thousand pounds by not having any children. He should know: he’s got several. He didn’t like abortion.

It was a quiet night last night at the Smoky Drinky Bar, and after I’d left, I watched Roger Scruton talking about moral relativism for a while. Moral relativism meant everyone having their own opinions, with no one opinion being worth any more than any other. Or something like that.

As I was listening I thought that Idle Theory was an absolute value system. In Idle Theory, the absolute value of anything is the sum of the costs and benefits associated with it, with those costs and benefits measured in idle time. You make some tool, and it costs you some amount of idle time to make it. And then when you use the tool, it saves you idle time in doing something.

Example: You have lots of nuts that need tightening. By hand you never get them very tight, unless you ask Steel Fingers Harry. It takes you ten minutes to tighten a nut on your own, using just your fingers and a piece of rag. Suppose that you could make a simple spanner by cutting up very thin sheets of steel, and gluing them together. It takes maybe 2 hours to make it. And then you use the spanner to tighten the nuts, and you can tighten a single nut in 6 seconds. And you also get the nuts much tighter, so they don’t unscrew after a few minutes like the finger-tightened ones always do. And so if you’ve got 100 nuts to tighten, it would have taken you 1000 minutes using your worn. calloused, bleeding fingers. But with the spanner it takes just 600 seconds to tighten those 100 nuts. That’s 10 minutes. A saving of 990 minutes. If the spanner breaks after every 100 nuts it’s used to tighten, then the value of the spanner is 990 minutes. But it only cost 120 minutes to make the spanner. So the spanner’s net value is 990 minus 120 minutes of work, or 870 minutes. No wonder engineers love spanners, and always keep a couple in a deep trouser pocket. And it doesn’t matter what colour the spanner is, it still works just as well. And it doesn’t matter whether people think spanners are ugly, they still work just as well. It doesn’t matter what anyone’s opinion is.

Part way into his talk Roger Scruton mentioned the subject of abortion. And I immediately connected this to what Nisakiman had said. And I asked: What is the value of children?

In Idle Theory, children are useful tools – just like spanners. And like spanners, they have costs attached to them. The initial costs of making children requires only 5 or 10 minutes of fairly intensive work (which many people greatly enjoy doing). But there then come years and years of nappies, crying, feeding, clothing, housing, schooling, and probably a lot more as well. It takes years of sustained work to turn the child into an adult who can perform useful work.  It took 2 hours to produce the finished spanner. It can take 20 or more years to produce a finished adult. No wonder Nisakiman said that I’d saved myself hundreds of thousands of pounds (sterling) by not having children.

For where’s the value in children? After 20 years of being clothed, fed, housed, schooled, and given pocket money, they leave home and never come back. All the effort is wasted. It’s like making a spanner and never getting to use it to tighten nuts. Or, worse, having someone else use it, and gain all the value without doing any of the work making it.

No wonder people want abortions! They don’t want to spend twenty years of their lives toiling to produce an adult finished product from a mewling, dribbling baby, only to see their efforts wasted.

I once had, for about one day, a 20-year-old girlfriend who’d just had an abortion. Why did she have it? Because she didn’t want to spend the next 20 years of her life as an unmarried mother living in a tower block in Walthamstow, waiting for the cladding to catch fire. She wanted to spend those 20 years dancing and drinking and screwing. Which was how she came to need the abortion in the first place.

It makes you wonder why anyone ever has any children at all. But the answer is that, in the past, people didn’t spend 20+ years producing educated, useful adults. Instead, children were set to work as soon as they could walk and talk. Which is about the age of three or four. Your 4-year-old son or daughter would be sent out to carry sticks or logs home for the kitchen fire. Or they’d be set sweeping floors and mixing ingredients. Best of all, they could be sent up chimneys to clean out the soot – a task that adults were too big to do. So after about 4 years, parents began to see a return on their investment. And the return grew larger as the child grew taller and stronger and abler. Your 10-year-old daughter would be cooking all the dinners, while your 15-year-old son would be chopping down trees, and carrying logs home. And you could just sit in the sun with your pipe, benignly overseeing their industry.

But you can’t do that any more. Because it’s called Child Labour, and it’s as abhorrent as Slavery. You have to clean out the chimneys yourself. And sweep the floors. And cook the dinners. And carry the logs. Because now chiiiiildren are precious things that are very easily broken, like Ming vases. Even a whiff of tobacco smoke is enough to snuff out their lives in seconds.

But as soon as it became a crime to employ child labour, children became valueless to parents. The whole point of having children – as invaluable mother’s little helpers – vanished. And that’s when women started having abortions.

It’s also why we have an entire generation of snowflakes who’ve Got Rights to a “safe space”: i.e. their own bedroom with Flight Simulator 10 running on Xbox 27. They’ve never had to get logs from the orchard, or coal from the coal shed, or mix pastry for their mum, or make their own beds. They’re Chiiiiildren, and it would be a betrayal of their Human Rights to make them do anything they don’t want to do. And all they really want to do is crash airliners into the Twin Towers. Or any other available high rise buildings, now that the Twin Towers have gone.

I could go on. But I won’t.

About Frank Davis

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33 Responses to The Value of Children

  1. I had five children. The value of children is immense! They are worth the cost. They teach us all sorts of desirable traits, like patience, compassion, humility, responsibility, sacrifice, fortitude, wisdom. And mainly, they give a meaning to a life that could be meaningless if one’s attention was only focused on oneself. I find deciding NOT to have children because they are expensive and a “bother”, SO distressing. It’s to my mind, a bad life choice.

    Some people have no choice – it just happens through circumstances. I’m not meaning them.

    Our children (all middle aged!) are still part of our daily life! We communicate, all of us, on a family group on Whatsapp. Right now we are having a vibrant discussion on why I don’t like Corbyn. We often disagree. But our kids were brought up to understand that our “group” is there as a life-support system to each other. No one has “left home”. We are all of us “home”, loyal to each other.

    It is really sad that children DO “leave home” and fall out with their parents. I do know lonely old parents. That should not happen. There is something wrong with society – the “family” has been downgraded to a “bother”.

    • Frank Davis says:

      There are, of course, all sorts of benefits gained from doing any number of things. As a computer programmer I was hired to make digital kinds of spanners work better. And in the process I also learned patience, responsibility, and fortitude. I also made a lot of friends. And went to interesting places. But I never went looking for work in order to learn a bit more patience. Nor even to visit Paris.

  2. Appositely I am currently waiting for an SMS from Youngest Son as to what sex Grandchild3 will be. They’ve opted to pay for some CGI-3D-Nuclear powered £50 ‘luxury’ scan thingy …hey ho…modern parenting I suppose , personally I never saw any need to know what sex a baby was until the midwife said. Actually I wrote a post for The Raccoon about some of the cost aspects, the self inflicted ones, of today’s Mommies and Daddies to be in this age of tax credits and benefits that offset the basic financial child care costs:
    Anyways yesterday morning , as is my habit on the couple of dry summer Saturday mornings here, I walked down to the local Car Boot to look for interesting object d’arts of tobacciana (I’m a bit of a tobacco geek if you hadn’t noticed) and good quality ELC-type wooden toys for Granddaughter2.
    Quite by chance and unplanned, having just finally found a pipe rack- however naff in the style of a farm gate (first pipe rack I’ve seen on any car boot in the last 12 months since i started pipe smoking) and a Wooden “Noach’s Ark” , I bumped into Youngest, Daughter-in-Law and Granddaughter2 there. Granddaughter2 (here after ‘das Eichkatzl’, she’ll be 2 next week) riding on her Mama’s hip and ‘bump’. Eichkatzl first affirmed I was ‘Opa’ and then asked , using Universal Baby Sign Language., to be transferred on to Opa’s arm/hip so she might snuffle up to my camo jacket and breathe in the tobacco aroma she finds so comforting. Once she’d
    had a quick sniff from the 3rd hand smoke of my shoulder she looked around for the Bestes Frau ,In The Whole Wide World’ because she almost never sees us apart , and she asked after ‘Omi?’ (that’s ‘Gran’ in German).
    I replied: “Omi schläft noch daheim” ( “Grans at home sleeping still”, actually though what I said was “Omi sscchläft noch dehoam”-apologies to Beo and the other native speakers here but you can take the itinerant drunken Brit out of Hessia…).
    Whereupon her little face lit up, she pointed in the general direction of our flat and repeated with all the seriousness of a toddler who has just had imparted the meaning of life, the uiverse and Everything: “Omi schläft Omi schläft Omi schläft “.
    I’m not a man much given to sentimentality but that little ‘moment’ kept me smiling all day, as did recounting it later to The Bestes Frau. All the money we’ve ‘invested’ in Granddaughter2, all the time, the dirty nappies and the WORK (we babysit her often so Mama can go to work) is nothing compared to that moment of pleasure.
    I don’t know how many hours of work, how many hundreds of £s Granddaughter2 has cost us so far but I’d pay it twice over for another such moment.
    As I have said to my own kids many times: “You will, unless you marry Bill Gates’ daughter, never be able to afford to have kids but you will never be able to afford NOT to have kids either”

  3. Fredrik Eich says:

    My latest blog post on how Napoleon and Rizla rolling papers didn’t cause a lung cancer epidemic in France!

    • @ Fred Eich If I do start that tobacco blog I have been planning, that post is so going to be nicked! Excellent.

      • Fredrik Eich says:

        Please do! Spread the truth!

        • Smoking Lamp says:

          Excellent analysis that decimates the tobacco control dogma. I found an interesting paper earlier this week that also contradicts the tobacco control thesis on cancers other than lung cancer too,

          “We reviewed 87 epidemiological studies relating environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure to risk of cancer other than lung or breast in never smoking adults… Inadequate confounder control, recall bias, publication bias, and occasional reports of implausibly large RRs in individual studies contribute to our conclusion that the epidemiological evidence does not convincingly demonstrate that ETS exposure causes any of the cancers studied.” Lee PN, Thornton AJ, Haming JS. Epidemiological evidence on environmental tobacco smoke and cancers other than lung or breast. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2016 Oct;80:134-63. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2016.06.012. Epub 2016 Jun 16.

        • Joe L. says:

          Great find to you, as well, SL! Can you reply with a link to that paper for posterity’s sake?

        • nisakiman says:

          Only the abstract, I’m afraid.

        • RdM says:


          The article has a DOI number.
          Entering it returns the pdf.

          I merely demonstrate. Over to you if you want to utilise it!
          You can read about the history of sci-hub on your favourite search engine…

        • RdM says:

          But apart from the brave venture of sci-hub there’s also a growing trend to open-source publications, and indeed even freely accessible full articles in the main journals can be found sometimes, like this perhaps somewhat relevant one re ETS: (in my tabs!)

          Lung cancer risk in never-smokers: a population-based case-control study of epidemiologic risk factors

          A tiny extract from toward the end:

          Our results support the concept that exposure to exhaust fumes and or soot/smoke (from non-tobacco sources) is a source of carcinogenic exposure. A previous meta-analysis suggested that when adjusted for smoking, heavy diesel exhaust exposure was associated with an increased risk (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.3-1.6) [14], and a recent study examining the effects in a similar Canadian population, was also suggestive of increased risk (OR 1.6, 95% CI 0.9-2.8) [15]. With regards to soot and exhaust exposure, these substances contain benzo[a]pyrene, a known carcinogen, and has been consistently shown to increase risk [16, 17]. We observed an increased risk associated with exposure to paints, thinners and solvents, which was in agreement with previous studies [18, 19, 20, 21, 22]. When ingested, these substances can affect the pleural membranes, causing scarring and or mutations, thus increasing the potential for carcinogenesis [23]. Similarly, exposure to welding equipment was associated with increased risk as observed in a meta-analysis of welding and lung cancer [24]. Wood dust is a known carcinogen associated with the development of cancers of the respiratory tract [25, 26, 27]. In this study the estimate for wood dust exposure was suggestive of increased risk among never smokers. While these observations require replication, they are consistent with the overall patterns seen for wood dust, with the potential implication that workplace exposures should be controlled and monitored. Asbestos exposure has been previously shown to have an effect on lung cancer risk [28, 29]; however, no association between lung cancer and asbestos was seen here among never smokers, contrary to previously published results [30]. The discrepancies with the previous studies may be due to an attenuation of the risk estimate as a result of the simple dichotomy used to indicate asbestos exposure which may not distinguish between actual or potential exposure among the small number of individuals reporting exposure in this non-occupational cohort. Overall, these observations provide support for efforts to control, monitor and reduce exposures to potentially hazardous workplace exposures, which in this study are shown to be associated with lung cancer, even among never smokers.

          Our findings are consistent with the evidence suggesting that a previous history of acquired respiratory conditions is a risk factor for lung cancer [31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41]. Chronic inflammation and airway obstruction may predispose individuals to various types of cancer as the damage created by acquired pulmonary diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be involved in cancer development [42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47]. Proposed biological mechanisms include enhanced effects of carcinogenic exposures in the presence of chronic inflammation or a compromised immune response [48, 49], as well as the possibility of lung cancer evolving directly from the scar lesions created by non-malignant conditions [50, 51]. Although the analyses performed here accounted for active smoking, it is still possible that the relationship between acquired respiratory disease and lung cancer is partially explained by residual confounding from tobacco [52]. In addition, due to the relatively small numbers further investigations among never smokers is still warranted. Further elucidation and characterization of the genetic variants associated with inflammation of the lungs may also help to clarify the role of acquired respiratory conditions in the etiology of lung cancer.

          ETS exposure was not found to significantly increase risk among never smokers in this study, however, several potential explanations are possible. ETS exposure either as a child or an adult in the home or the workplace has been evaluated in numerous studies [53]. The results, however, have been inconsistent as to the significance and magnitude of the effects among never smokers. When estimates were pooled in a meta-analysis of 34 case-control studies of non-smokers, a pooled relative risk of 1.2 (95% CI 1.1-1.4) was observed, although only seven out of 34 studies reporting significantly elevated risk [6]. It was suggested that the inconsistency in the significance of findings across studies could be due to issues of sample size, measurement error, recall bias and confounding [54]. Despite our efforts to minimize misclassification bias by collecting data on involuntary tobacco smoke exposure data for home, work and other exposure locations during both childhood and adulthood, the possibility of these issues cannot be excluded. The main limitation in our study is the lack of power to detect a modest effect. Non-differential misclassification of the dichotomous exposures may also lead to a bias toward to null. We combined hospital and population based controls in an attempt to increase our sample size and in turn the ability to detect significant associations. In order to address any issues created by this pooling we investigated effect estimates among only population based controls. Effect estimates were of a similar magnitude and no significant associations were observed among population based controls that were not observed among the total population.

          Best! ~ RdM

        • Joe L. says:

          Thanks for the sci-hub tip, RdM!

        • nisakiman says:

          Same as Joe L – great link for looking at hidden research papers. Many thanks for that one RdM. I can see that site getting a fair bit of use. Most of those research publications are behind a paywall, which can be a tad frustrating.

    • Tony says:

      You’ve got some powerful evidence there! Thanks. I think we should try to spread this far and wide.
      These stats together with TBD’s tobacco history knowledge would make his a fantastic blog. I look forward to it.

  4. Joe L. says:

    Excellent observations, Frank. It is also important to note that as children have become of decreasing value to their immediate families for purposes of survival (thanks to technology and child labor laws), their value has been increasingly co-opted by “The Powers That Be.” Through unscientific “Progressive” brainwashing campaigns that are being forced upon them by the current curricula of public education systems, such as Healthism and Global Warming, the naïvety of children is being exploited as they are converted into unwitting tools to assist in the advancement of these agendas, not dissimilar to the Nazis’ “Hitler Youth” or “The Spies” of Orwell’s “1984”.

    I briefly discussed this subject with Emily in Smoky Drinky a couple days ago; this shift has caused me to become very reluctant to have children. Thank you for dissecting it further, and applying Idle Theory. I think this post helps explain how this transition has been facilitated.

    • Years ago (1989 or so) someone suggested one should go through a child’s text books with the child and play the ‘who is trying to sell you what?’ game. Even back then I remember being rather shocked at the results.
      Everytime I see some anti-smoker propaganda aimed at children, I am reminded of ‘der Giftpliz’, very often one need only to cross out ‘Jew’ and insert ‘smoker’.

      • Amazing book! I’d never seen it before. :/ At the end all you’d have to change is one word here:

        “Where, in today’s world, is there a similar kind of propaganda? Pick a specific incident and explain.”

        Of course a number of the details would be different (e.g. Instead of “hooked nose” you’d have “yellow teeth.” The money thing might be inverted with the “sick smokers” demanding money from “healthy citizens”, etc. But a VERY similar booklet could probably be made from actual images and characterizations of and about smokers taken from the various antismoking materials that ARE used to poison children’s minds today. As laws and regulations are set up banning smoking in apartment blocs we probably WILL be seeing children turning their parents in since they’ve been told that the parents are “poisoning” them and that it’s their duty to report on them already on various forms they have to fill out at school.


  5. nisakiman says:

    In the Smoky Drinky Bar last night, Nisakiman remarked that I’d saved myself several hundred thousand pounds by not having any children. He should know: he’s got several. He didn’t like abortion.

    I should point out that I’m not anti-abortion per se; it has its place in certain circumstances. I just don’t feel it is something that should be used as a form of post-coital contraception. All my kids were ‘accidents’, none of them planned, but I didn’t feel comfortable with the moral ramifications of abortion (which I see as in a different league to most other medical procedures) as a means to change things merely to suit my convenience. Although I would describe myself as an atheist (small ‘a’), I have a well defined moral compass, and part of that moral compass tells me that abortion should only be used as a refuge of last resort when all other options have been exhausted.

    It’s a complicated subject.

    What Frank says is true, kids are no longer an asset; more of a liability. However, along with the angst and expense, they also bring much joy and fulfillment to life . And on a more esoteric level, they represent, in a way, one’s immortality.

  6. Smoking Lamp says:

    That smoking bans are killing pubs and bars is nothing new to smokers. Despite the devastation of public houses the antismokers repeatedly insist the imposition of bans has no negative economic consequences. That is and has always been a lie. Now from Sydney, we once again see a classic tavern destroyed by smoking bans. The Piccolo Bar, a standard for 65 years in Kings Cross, Sydney’s night club district is closing.

    The legendary owner Vittorio Bianchi sad ‘It is very sad.But the Cross is so quiet now, it’s dead after the lockout laws and the ban on smoking inside, and outside, cafés. The politicians have done a good job of killing the place.”

    Of course the tobacco control cult and their acolytes will insist the smoking bans and lock out laws had nothing to do with it. See “Sydney’s Most Iconic Bar Has Closed For Good”

  7. RdM says:

    Children increase in value as taught or as learn by their elders, as well as parents.
    And we would hope that adults would still learn from older adults, and history…

    On a frivolous but apposite note, nowt, but I’d mentioned to Frank the single track (~ 1:30m long) entitled “O, Metaphysical Tobacco!” in renaissance Tudor music.
    (but find the whole album on youtube with the last two words, you’d have to find the song!)

    and since then found a Tobias Hume, who also wrote an ode to tobacco…

    Captaine Tobias Hume (1569 – 1645) – Tobacco, No.3 the Musicall Humours (1605)

    Tobacco, Tobacco Sing sweetly for Tobacco, Tobacco is like love, O love it
    For you see I will prove it.
    Love maketh leane the fatte mens tumor, So doth Tobacco,
    Love still dries uppe the wanton humor, So doth Tobacco,
    Love makes men sayle from shore to shore, So doth Tobacco,
    Tis fond love often makes men poor So doth Tobacco,
    Love makes men scorne all Coward feares, So doth Tobacco,
    Love often sets men by the eares, So doth Tobacco.

    Several renditions on youtube, some more clear, some more appealing…

    Here’s a clear if formal yet perhaps portentously worthy one with an intro:

    You will see others off to the sidebar, and exploring further, find more…

    Like a much livelier and even clearer one here:

    And there’s a great acted young folk live one,
    LŠBH 2011 – Tobias Hume – Tobacco
    (a little low in volume, clearly an audience camera.)

    Well, a little history re-enlivened!

    • RdM says:

      I wrote:

      And there’s a great acted young folk live one,
      LŠBH 2011 – Tobias Hume – Tobacco
      (a little low in volume, clearly an audience camera.)


      • RdM says:

        OK, it has been a bit of a tangent about tobacco or smoking related music; I hope it has been enjoyed despite that, but I can’t resist this last one – an hours worth of music!

        Theme Time Radio Hour (TTRH) was a weekly, one-hour satellite radio show hosted by Bob Dylan originally airing from May 2006 to April 2009.

        Some years ago I stumbled on an archive of mp3s that some guy had made after recording all of them, and (over time – took 3 DVDs as mp3s!) downloaded them.

        I think that website’s down now, but I found this afternoon an archive of all the episodes that streams them (1 hr each) from each episode page, with show notes.

        Anyway, one of the episodes is “Smoking” ;-)

        Check this out!

        (Not a complete written transcript, just highlights, but tracklist & podcast is complete)

        It’s at 192kB/s, same as the individual track and in between announcements files in my archive (the podcast is one large single file!), and sounds pretty good.

        The wonderful thing about them all is that – while for years we’ve heard Bob sing – it’s probably been rare to hear him speak!
        The intros & commentary parts are delightful!
        Plus there’s always a different ‘noir’ beginning, voiced by Ellen Barkin.

        If you like what you hear, check out the home page and all the episodes of Season 1,2,3.

        If you have some sort of video/media downloader extension for your browser, you could even download it (& others) for later listening, although listening from the page gives you the track names.

        I did, just to check that the bitrate was the same as in my archive (it was) and it took about 4mins for the hour-long show (~ 85MB).


        • RdM says:

          Hmm, I don’t know why the poster didn’t load… maybe they don’t allow hot-linking?
          (if that’s the term… )

        • RdM says:

          Ah, I hadn’t realised it was in moderation, as a result of > 2 links.
          Great to see it up now, and I hope people will enjoy the show(s)!
          (There’s another on drinking;- all sorts of subjects, Wikipedia lists all the separate seasons shows on other pages if you look at that initial link.)

    • Emily says:

      It starts here at about 6:48!

      • RdM says:

        That’s the one I was referring to, and that I have a copy of…
        Ah, found the LP cover notes! (It’s only 1 min 12 seconds long!)

        “O Metaphysical Tobacco”
        Michael East, The Second Set of Madrigales (1606)

        O Metaphysical Tobacco
        fetcht as far as from Morroco
        thy searching fume,
        exhalls the rume,
        O Metaphysical Tobacco.


        O Metaphysical Tobacco
        fetched as far as from Morroco
        thy searching fume,
        exhales the rheum,
        O Metaphysical Tobacco.

        Apparently Rheum is ultimately derived from Latin rheuma which itself is a borrowing from Greek rheuma (ῥεῦμα), meaning that which flows, has current, or is in flux, such as in, e.g., a stream or fortune. (!)

        Hmm, Morroco… I wonder if that was ahem a rather special type of “tobacco”! ;=})

        Elsewhere on the web I see a version is also on what could be an interesting CD, a collection of musical pieces entirely about smoking, or tobacco, from the late Renaissance to the early 20th century.
        (there’s a 30 sec extract of that here)

  8. Mark Jarratt, Canberra, Australia says:

    My fine 18yr old son is on school holidays and had the task of choosing and buying the evening meal. Rather tasty beef, cheese and jalapeno sausages with mash. No other vegetables to be seen. I worked all day but still cooked (cue: sound of tiny violins).

    Concerning the “value” of children, my son now works well, given folding money, when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.

    Seriously though, the declining perceived utility of the family, and other intrusive government measures such as obscene taxation and petty regulation of tobacco are related. Both proceed from the arrogant we know what is best for you mindset of ruling elites, determined to inflict correct thinking on the unwashed peasantry.

    Across the Anglophone world, anti family “family” law rules abound, rewarding parents (usually the mother) for abandoning marriage vows with crippling child $upport, collected from the estranged natural father in peonage by the new omnipotent father – the bully state.

    Like smokers, separated fathers are viewed as nothing more than a target for institutionalised extortion and demonisation, penalised for failing to conform to prevailing orthodoxy. That is aside from the children who have been removed from loving parents because they dare to smoke! Anti tobacco extremists define that as child abuse, and seem to have convinced many prodnose legislators, predictably by the usual evidence free emotive claims.

    • RdM says:

      A very fine post…

      A friend of mine is still paying off child support arrears, even though she left him, and now the grown 22+ son is living with him, by mutual choice.

      He’s turned out fine and working well, despite earlier youthful focus on video games, although I’m not sure if he realises how much his Dad has paid & is still paying, and values still providing for and keeping him yet!

      • Mark Jarratt, Canberra, Australia says:

        Thank you very much RdM, and for your other erudite and scholarly links. I and many men I know have been at the least fiscally challenged by decades of child $upport, at similar excessive rates to tobacco taxes (e.g. 36% of gross salary, payable from net, while the mother who in 3/4 of cases initiated separation, often ejecting the dad from the house he’ll still have to pay for, remains eligible for a raft of public funded benefits). Separated fathers who like tobacco are doubly extorted by the paternalistic bully state as they are not members of ‘approved’ groups.

        The punitive and sexist nature of the child $upport system is well illustrated by certain US cases, where minors subject to statutory rape by teachers have been ordered to pay their abusers.

        Deviant females, like anti smoking extremists, are often rewarded for sociopathic behaviour. 😐

        • RdM says:

          Thanks for your kind comments MJ ;- more autodidact.
          it’s easy to copy & paste, one must or should give attributions, joy in passing on info.
          With some consideration!

          Hope you’re having a good time, and will show up in SDB sometime ! ;=})

  9. Smoking Lamp says:

    Here are some links to the entire paper: Lee P, Thornton AJ, Hamling JS, “Epidemiological evidence on environmental tobacco smoke and cancers other than lung or breast” Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 80 (2016) 134e163

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      RdM interesting paper. Note they nearly buried the finding “ETS exposure was not found to significantly increase risk among never smokers in this study.” Then they go to great lengths to show all of the potential reasons this may be (other than there is no causal chain).

      As a follow-on the my initial post see the following on breast cancer and lack of proof of a link to ETS:

      Lee PN, Hamling JS,Environmental tobacco smoke exposure and risk of breast cancer in nonsmoking women. An updated review and meta-analysis. Inhal Toxicol. Vol 28, No 10, 431-454,

      Conclusion: “Increases mainly derived from case-control studies are prone to recall bias. Study weaknesses and possible publication bias limit interpretation. Considering also the weak association of smoking with breast cancer, and the much lower exposures from ETS than from smoking, our analyses do not clearly demonstrate that ETS exposure increases risk of breast cancer in nonsmokers. More research is needed.”

      This study updates an earlier 2006 review which also fond no evidence that ETS caused breast cancer. That study is behind a pay wall, but the citation/abstract follows:

      Lee PN, Hamling J. Environmental tobacco smoke exposure and risk of breast cancer in nonsmoking women: a review with meta-analyses. Inhal Toxicol. 2006 Dec;18(14):1053-70.

      Abstract: “Recent authoritative reviews consider smoking has no effect on breast cancer risk, but some studies report an increase from environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). We reviewed the overall evidence on ETS and breast cancer in nonsmoking women. We extracted details of available studies, derived relative risk (RR) estimates with confidence intervals (CIs) for various ETS exposure indices and conducted meta-analyses. Using an index for each study most closely equivalent to “spouse ever smoked,” a weak, but significant, association was seen (random-effects RR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.02-1.24, n = 22). However, the estimates were heterogeneous: close to 1.0 for prospective, North American and larger studies, and those adjusting for many potential confounders, but significantly (p < .05) elevated in case-control, European, and smaller studies, and those accounting for fewer potential confounders. Risk was increased in premenopausal women (RR = 1.54, 95% CI = 1.16-2.05, n = 10), but not postmenopausal women. Dose-response findings were similarly heterogeneous. No significant increase was seen for ETS in childhood or the workplace or from the spouse specifically, but an increase was seen for total exposure (RR = 1.54, 95% CI = 1.17-2.04, n = 6). Increases mainly derive from case-control studies asking detailed ETS histories, where RRs depend heavily on who is classified in the totally unexposed reference group, and may be prone to recall bias. Results from prospective studies using similar histories are needed. Study weaknesses and possible publication bias also limit interpretation. Because of the inherent implausibility that ETS exposure might cause breast cancer, given the similar risks of smokers and nonsmokers, one cannot confidently conclude ETS exposure increases risk in nonsmokers."

      Their key finding was: "Because of the inherent implausibility that ETS exposure might cause breast cancer, given the similar risks of smokers and nonsmokers, one cannot confidently conclude ETS exposure increases risk in nonsmokers."

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