The Anti-smoking crusade hits the buffers in England

I asked regular commenter Tony Ward earlier this month if he would like to write a guest post on lung cancer, and he very kindly agreed, and so I now have great pleasure in publishing his contribution:

Has it all been “a catastrophic and complacent howler” as Professor Sir Ronald Fisher, the father of modern statistics, suggested when writing about the “Alleged Danger of Cigarette Smoking” in the BMJ, back in 1957?

60 years on perhaps it is time to find out.

(Unadjusted-‘raw’ figures – see below for age/pop adjusted ones)

Fig 1 (see note 1 for sources).

From 1950 onward, medics such as Doll and Hill in the UK, and Wynder and Graham in the USA, ran surveys that found a striking correlation between smoking and lung cancer.

They became convinced that lung cancer was a preventable disease and that the way to prevent it was to stop people from smoking. Their theory was that lung cancer was caused by smoking tobacco (particularly cigarettes) over decades. Typically stated as a time delay of thirty years or more.

Politicians, initially in the UK, were persuaded that smoking tobacco was the cause of lung cancer and began a crusade against smoking and smokers. It’s a crusade that everybody is all too familiar with. From health warnings in the 1960s complete with TV, Radio and Newspaper campaigns, to advertising bans beginning in the 1970s and completing in 2001, smoking bans on private property by 2007 and medical pornography on packaging soon after, the message about smoking causing lung cancer has been ubiquitous. It has been ramped up year by year and decade by decade. In the 21st century, denying that smoking is the cause of lung cancer became the ultimate heresy.

The crusade initially spread to the US and then to other western countries. Over time it has become a global industry with an income estimated at up to $15 billion annually. It’s been hailed as a great medical success story and regular press releases get printed about the number of lives ‘saved’.

The objective of the crusade was to save lives by dramatically reducing or even eliminating the disease of lung cancer. But because of the time delay, the prevalence of smoking had to be used as a proxy measurement of success or failure.

In 1948, an estimated 63% of UK men and 40% of women, smoked cigarettes (note 2). The crusade dramatically reduced smoking rates and by 2016 the figures for men and women were roughly equal at about 20% (or even less according to anti-smoking claims).

Fig 2 (note 2)

Cigarettes were an estimated four times stronger in the past than today and were smoked almost everywhere. Almost everyone was exposed to tobacco smoke, almost everywhere. The method of smoking was different too. Andy Capp style, cigarette constantly between lips, rather than the more restrained approach common these days.

So on the basis of the proxy measure of smoking rates, the crusade has certainly been a huge success.

But more than half a century on, it is time to examine the success or failure in terms of the true objective. The obvious place to begin is the place where the crusade originated. So has the incidence of lung cancer in England declined in step with smoking prevalence or even at all?

The chart at the top (Fig 1) shows the very latest figures from the official UK Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Reductions in male lung cancer have been relatively small, at 14%, compared to the three fold reduction in smoking.

What is very clear though is that not only has female incidence not fallen in line with the halving of the smoking rate, it has grown enormously. Specifically, an increase of 226%.

To be fair, the population has increased (by 20% – see note 5) over the period and the age distribution has altered with more people in the cancer prone age groups. Fortunately the UK ONS provide age and population adjusted figures.

These figures are only marginally less shocking, showing male cases down by 43% and female cases up by 151%.

Fig 3 (note 3)

To repeat. Male cases down 43%, female cases up 151%.

This flatly contradicts the smoking/lung cancer theory.

Just to clarify, they didn’t say ‘reduce the smoking rate by a factor of 3 and we predict a small reduction in lung cancer’. No. They claimed, typically, that 90% of lung cancer was caused by smoking. And they certainly didn’t say ‘cut smoking rates in half and we reckon lung cancer incidence will increase by 150%’.

It is tempting to suppose that the female rate will stop rising once it matches the male one but that is wishful thinking. The male rate has followed a fairly classic pattern of disease with a gentle rise, a peak and, so far, a slow decline. The female rate appears to have lagged behind. Nobody knows where it will peak or when, if ever, it will decline.

The smoking/lung cancer experiment has run for more than half a century and the results are now in. As Richard Feynman put it:

“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”

I believe Fisher has been proved absolutely correct and it is to the everlasting shame of the medical establishment that his warnings were shouted down.

Back to Fisher for a moment :

“Your annotation on “Dangers of Cigarette-smoking” leads up to the demand that these hazards “must be brought home to the public by all the modern devices of publicity”. That is just what some of us with research interests are afraid of.”

I suspect he was, correctly, predicting that huge damage would be done to the credibility of medical research, statistical analysis and even to science and mathematics.

It has certainly skewed and probably hindered research into the real cause of lung cancer and potential treatments:

“Lung Cancer Causes 32% of All Cancer Deaths. Why Does It Get 10% of Research Funding?” (Fortune)

But much other harm has resulted too. Families have been broken up, friendships damaged beyond repair, businesses trashed and whole communities destroyed.
All in an utterly futile crusade.

The worry now is that there is such a large industry with attached gravy train that it will be difficult to put it out of everyone’s misery.

Ways in which the anti-smoking industry will handle this issue.

1. Ignore it and hope it goes away.

2. Threaten any news outlet or politician that mentions it. Bear in mind that their billion dollar annual income is purely for advertising and lobbying. The industry does not produce any tangible goods. They also have controlling influence over medical budgets both private and public, and can lean on Government departments to support their boycotts. Boycotts that can destroy any media outlets that dare to dissent.

3. They might try to claim that what matters is the mortality rate (see note 4) rather than disease incidence.

Male lung cancer mortality peaked in 1985 with a slight fall to 1,231 in 1994 followed by a more substantial fall to 694 in 2016.

Female mortality rose and then flattened with 456 cases in 1994 and 474 in 2016.
You could argue that even these figures are fairly damning for the anti-smoking industry although the male rates look encouraging.

But the anti-smoking smoking claim has never been about lung cancer treatment or survival rates. They’ve always claimed that smoking causes lung cancer. They’ve never, as far as I’m aware, claimed that non-smokers survive lung cancer whereas smokers don’t. So what matters for the crusade is the number of cases diagnosed. Here are the latest mortality figurers for England and Wales just for interest.

Fig 4 (note 4)

4. They may claim that lung cancer is only one of many diseases caused by smoking tobacco. Heart disease being the main one. The studies/surveys mentioned above found a correlation (relative risk) of up to around 1.7 between smoking and heart disease. (compared to ~20 for lung cancer). Perhaps surprisingly, this is regarded as very weak and epidemiologists generally advise that relative risks of less than 2 or 3 are not generally worth reporting on let alone making causality assumptions about. Public propaganda about smoking and heart disease only starting appearing in the late 1970s. Since then they’ve been making all manner of ridiculous claims about smoking causing everything under the sun. All without any justification.

But it was always lung cancer that was the only credible, all important and overriding claim.

Why didn’t anyone sound warnings that the smoking causing lung cancer claim was at least potentially unsafe?

The answer is that they did:

Although not as damning as these latest figures from England, this is not the first time that data has cast doubt on the smoking/lung cancer theory. Many articles have shown mismatches between observed and expected lung cancer rates around the world.

alternativeanalysis

alternativeanalysis Norwegians

And here’s an earlier one that sounded the warning about English rates back in 2012:

What’s more, none of this should have been a surprise. Several serious, large and hugely expensive scientific studies have been run to test whether anti-smoking interventions were beneficial for health or not. All of them found no health benefit despite great success in reducing the proxy of smoking prevalence. These results were published over the course of the 1980s although the final, final report on the most important one wasn’t published until the 1990s

NCBI

Dr Johnstone and Professor Finch wrote about this at length:

Several eminent scientists have also put up very strong, reasoned objections. All were shouted down.

Professor, Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher FRS – aka the ‘Father of Modern Statistics’

Professor Philip Burch

Professor Hans Eysenck

Professor Phillipe Even (on so called ‘passive smoking’)

What about court cases and justice?

(Note that the “Master Settlement Agreement”(MSA) was an agreement, and a profoundly corrupt one at that, rather than a court case. I won’t attempt to cover it here.)

Over the years, the anti-smokers have won a few court cases where judges accepted the anti-smoking claims at the outset, although these were generally overturned on appeal. Whereas it seems they always withdrew their legal action in other cases whenever the defendant was permitted to mount a defence.

However, there has been one case, possibly the only one in the world, where the anti-smokers tried to make their case in a court of law.

The McTear vs ITL court case has a wealth of information about the key players and gives an insight into the nature of the debate or lack of one. The anti-smoking industry was annihilated to put it mildly.

Notes:

1. Unadjusted Cancer registrations

Most of the data was copied from Table 1 of the spreadsheets linked to here:

For 95-97, google “Registrations of cancer diagnosed in 1995–1997, England”

2. Smoking Prevalence

CRUK

Here are some ONS figures for comparison:

And some further figures from Doll’s Doctors study:

The 1951, an estimated male cigarette smoking rate of 73% derived from here:

12.3% non-smokers in the population giving 87.3% smokers (from Table I). Note that that figure only applies to subjects aged 35 and over and includes an unknown number of ex-smokers.

Of the smokers, 83.3% smoked cigarettes (Table II). So cigarette smoker prevalence in the study population was 83.3% of 87.3% =72.7%

And a 1951, 50% female rate here.

3. Adjusted Cancer registration figures

3a.These are copied from two datasets covering 1971-2015.

Table 2 in ONS (.xls)

Table 11 in ONS (.xls)

Both these datasets can also be obtained via the link in Note 1

(3b.There is a second sequence of adjusted figures from 1986-2011 which appears to have been calibrated with a (male) starting value of 100 (see spreadsheets linked by note 1). There appear to be some slight inconsistencies in this sequence and it is far shorter. It is broadly in line though with: Male –44% Female +25% )

I chose to use sequence 3a which is far longer, up to date and is consistently age standardised based on 2013 EU stats.

4. Mortality Figures

Table 5 in ONS (.xls)

This dataset can also be obtained via ONS:

5. Population Data

ONS

About Frank Davis

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31 Responses to The Anti-smoking crusade hits the buffers in England

  1. Mark Jarratt, Canberra, Australia says:

    Most persuasive, although I could have confirmation bias because I smoke whenever I can. Does the analytical meticulous Tony Ward hold status and qualifications, and the background of one untainted by ‘evil’ Big Tobacco, an industry billions of adults continue to voluntarily patronise daily? Tony’s findings must be publicized by an impeccable source and used to challenge the fabricated ANTZ propaganda.

    • Tony says:

      Unfortunately I don’t have any relevant academic qualifications. Though that shouldn’t matter. Nor should any industry connections matter although as it happens I have none.
      All I have done is to draw attention to the government’s own official data sources. Anyone can do the same and will, I think, agree with my conclusions. I very much welcome any efforts to find errors in my reasoning. It is how real science operates. In total contrast to the ‘secret science’ and ‘cherry picking’ so beloved of the anti-smoking industry.

      Inevitably my voice will be drowned out by the anti-smoking fanatics with their vast funds and vice like grip on the media.

      However they cannot hold back the truth forever. All it will take to defeat them will be a large enough number of people fearlessly pointing out these basic, verifiable facts, no matter what abuse the fanatics hurl.

      But yes, it would help enormously if an ‘impeccable source’ such as a major, respected media outlet was to publish this.

      • Smoking Lamp says:

        In an objective world the data speaks for itself. Most early scientific discoveries were made by lay scientists. The over-reliance on qualifications is a way of building an academic monopoly. Share this analysis far and wide.

      • Mark Jarratt, Canberra, Australia says:

        Totally excellent and I completely agree Tony. Of course the quality of the evidence is much more valuable than the ‘tobacco shill’ insults always used by ANTZ. A most impressive analysis, I stand in awe. Can I ‘rebadge’ your impeccable efforts for publication on the Civil Liberties Australia website? If yes, I can send you a draft. Congratulations for your hard work and tenacity. I am reading the very lengthy McTear legal opinion you linked to as well. A most fascinating work of thorough legal scholarship, regardless of the subject. Annihilated – hahaha – more overdue comeuppance to follow… 👏

        • Tony says:

          Please feel free to spread this far and wide. I’d be interested to see your website draft but please don’t wait on my account.
          The McTear vs ITL judgement is a huge mine of information. Many years ago I created a brief document which highlighted some of, what seemed to me to be, key evidence. http://docrepository.co.uk/McTear
          But the full text is very much worth reading and studying in depth.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      I agree, this data needs to be posted and reposted. The antismoker lock on information needs to be broken. There is ample dissenting evidence to the relentless propaganda but it is routinely suppressed. I hope all reading this share this post. I hope Tony adds to this outstanding analysis and writes supporting pieces expanding this analysis.

  2. Great presentation, Tony, with all the key facts and arguments I would have used myself. Good
    references too, though the final link (‘5. Population Data’) needs fixing: presently leads to a stretch of snow with just “about:blank” in the address bar.

  3. Fredrik Eich says:

    I asked a question “How much lung cancer is really caused by smoking?” on a statistical community Q&A site.

    It was very popular (for about a day and a half) until I added data comparing the former soviet union with the US. It was put on hold the next day and then closed five days later. If I had of got the chance to answer my own question, I was going to point out that the differences between smokers and non-smokers for lung cancer risk is not as high as people think and that the bulk of the difference can be explained by detection bias.

    As far as I can work out , these decades of the anti-smoking industry hyping the risks has only ended in the deaths of millions of never smokers. This is because smokers are more likely to be correctly diagnosed with lung cancer (and therefore receive the correct treatment) where as non-smokers are more likely to not be correctly diagnosed (and receive the wrong treatment ) as can be seen in studies where autopsies are conducted to measure the correctness of diagnoses.

    The perception among health professionals that smoking causes lung cancer creates the statistics that makes health professionals believe that smoking causes lung cancer. The net result is that never smokers and light smokers do not get treated correctly. This also may explain the dose response for smoking and lung cancer which again produces a dose response via false negatives.

    The net result is decades of never smokers and light smokers being killed by the perception that smoking causes lung cancer – which is both ironic and a tragedy.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      It is common for the antismoker dominated media to delete dissenting opinions and research. They often do so claiming it is spam. Alternatively they keep it in a ‘pending’ status and the results never see the light of day. The only solution I can think of is the re-post the censored evidence at another venue. Please consider posting your data elsewhere. The tobacco control lies need to be exposed.

    • Tony says:

      It was your various articles and charts that prompted me to research my article. Thank you. My only regret is that it took me so long.

  4. Smoking Lamp says:

    O/T Hangzhou (a city of 9.5 million formerly known as Hangchow) in East China is reversing its indoor smoking ban. Hangzhou is a sub-provincial city in the Hangzhou metropolitan area which has a population of 21.5 million. This is a significant challenge to tobacco control’s lock on power. Of course the antismoker advocates are in a rage as another challenge to their tyranny emerges.
    Check out Hangzhou’s plan to reverse ban on indoor smoking invites criticism” at http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1108321.shtml

  5. garyk30 says:

    Some of these charts show rates per 100,000, but, the charts are not calibrated to 100,00, but to a much smaller number such as 250.
    Thus, any change is 400 times too great.
    The horizontal lines on the charts are actually flat lines when the left side is graduated to 100,000.
    On a scale of 250,Male incidence change is from 0.4 down to 0.22.
    That is not far enough above the horizontal line of the chart to be readable.

    Also, percentages, of smokers vs total population, are always per 100.
    Instead of raw numbers for incidence rates; to be a true comparison, you would have to show the percentage of the 100,000 base line.
    160/100,000 = 0.0016 = 16/100ths of 1%
    91/100,000(43% decrease) = 0.0009 = 9/100ths of 1%

    On the smoking prevalence chart, the lung cancer incidence would be a line going from 16% of 1 to 9% of 1.
    That is not far enough above the horizontal to be readable.

    Doing otherwise, is comparing apples to liters of water.

    • garyk30 says:

      One might note that lung cancer is a rather rare disease and a death from it is even rarer.

      It does have the virtue of sounding rather scary.

      Fear and scare tactics are the antis only tactic.

    • Tony says:

      Yes, I’ve used various charts for illustrating small proportions of the population. If scaling them to make them readable is chartmanship then I plead guilty. (I’m not referencing the top or bottom in order to claim that rates are rocketing and that we’re all going to die or anything like that.)

      The charts do use different scales but I don’t perform any calculations on the figures that might require uniformity of scale. The only comparisons I make are between figures on the same charts at the same scales. I’ll leave it for others to try to work out proportions of smokers vs proportions of population etc. I don’t need any of that.

      My case rests entirely on trends. So I’m afraid I don’t see any problem.

      • garyk30 says:

        I am trying to point out that the antis use non-existent trend lines to show similarities where none exist.

  6. Tony, beautifully written. Using public sources provides an element of authority that the Ant is can’t match.

  7. Joe L. says:

    Bravo, Tony! An excellent analysis and great presentation! Thank you very much for taking the time to put this together! I also hope to see you expand on this in the future. This deserves and desperately needs widespread exposure.

  8. Philip Neal says:

    I have been continuing my work on Philip Burch, and I recently applied his methodology to reported lung cancer deaths in England and Wales from 1970-2015. His two main results continue to appear in this mass of data which has accumulated since his time.

    1. Lung cancer rates, adjusted for population and age, peak with the onset of old age and then fall. This is strong evidence that only a small proportion of the population is prone to lung cancer, whatever the cause.

    2. Lung cancer rates in men and women continue to accelerate and decelerate in tandem, regardless of absolute numbers. This strongly suggests that the change is an artefact of diagnosis and that reported rates are a very inaccurate reflection of real ones.

    These patterns, neither of which Doll and his associates could explain convincingly, can now be demonstrated in 115 years of data.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      I look forward to seeing your data and hope it is presented far and wide.

    • Tony says:

      These patterns, neither of which Doll and his associates could explain convincingly, can now be demonstrated in 115 years of data.
      Wow! Do you plan to publish at least a preliminary report soon? I hope you’re not going to keep us on tenterhooks for too long.

      • Philip Neal says:

        I am happy to send you, or anyone else, the graphics if you email me at philipneal AT hotmail DOT com.

        As for publication, I could put them up on my website and I may well do so, but it would only be more of the same. Few people read that site and even if they did, it is virtually impossible to simplify Burch in words. You can take a phrase like “morbidity but not mortality rose” and translate it into “more people fell sick but, oddly enough, that did not mean that more people died” – and then what? The real problem is to explain the scientific logic, and that is fiendishly difficult.

        I am looking into ways of animating the diagrams which Burch, and nobody else, found so self-evident. The real problem is that nobody reads the web any more, it is merging with television and you no longer read it,, you listen to it or watch it.

  9. waltc says:

    @Fredrik, re dose/response.
    The ostensible link between secondhand smoke and lung cancer got off the ground with the 1986 Surgeon Generals Report which, in turn, relied almost exclusively on the Hirayama study in Japan. In 1966, questionnaires were handed out at public clinics to over 91,000 women aged 40 or more, asking (among a few other “lifestyle” questions) ) if they or their husbands smoked. In 1979, as the first and only follow-up, the researchers checked to see how many had died and died of what.

    Of the 174 nonsmoking women whose unconfirmed death certificates said they’d died of lung cancer, this was the breakdown of dose/response :

    32 were married to nonsmokers OR occasional smokers. (lumped together as a single subgroup)
    86 were married to ex-smokers OR smokers of 1 to 20 a day. (Again, in one subgroup)
    56 were married to men who smoked more than a pack a day.

    From which one might conclude that it’s more dangerous to live with an ex light smoker than a 2 pack a day man.

    Not considered was whether– or how much– the men smoked at home;, how long before 1966 the ex-smoker became an ex; the possible difference between the husband’s smoking one vs a pack a day; nor was there any clinical confirmation that the nonsmoking women were really telling the truth; nor mention of the fact that the clinics were in Japan’s most densely polluted area where the major industry was ship-building with its heavy use of asbestos.

    But “secondhand smoke causes lung cancer.”

  10. Lepercolonist says:

    Excellent work, Tony. The Norwegian data is strong.

  11. Lepercolonist says:

    Quote from director David Lynch :

    “I’m a Democrat now,” he continued. “And I’ve always been a Democrat, really. But I don’t like the Democrats a lot, either, because I’m a smoker, and I think a lot of the Democrats have come up with these rules for non-smoking. And I don’t think that that’s necessarily so bad, but they have to give the smokers a place.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2018/06/24/david-lynch-trump-could-go-down-as-one-of-the-greatest-presidents-in-history/

    • Joe L. says:

      According to the article, that quote is from back in 2006. Here’s another quote from Lynch in an
      interview from 2011 when asked if he still smokes:

      I quit smoking in December. I’m really depressed about it. I love smoking, I love fire, I miss lighting cigarettes. I like the whole thing about it, to me it turns into the artist’s life, and now people like [Michael] Bloomberg have made animals out of smokers, and they think that if they stop smoking everyone will live forever.

      From recent photographs, it appears as though Lynch has resumed smoking since this interview. I wish he’d speak up more about the mistreatment of smokers today like he did then. Maybe he does, but the media refuses to mention it?

  12. Rose says:

    Thank you very much,Tony.

    “Since the effect of the anti-smoking campaign has been to prevent the genuine cause from being publicly acknowledged, there is a very real sense in which we could say that the main reason for those 30,000 deaths a year from lung cancer is the anti-smoking campaign itself”. Kitty Little

    National Cancer Institute
    Diesel Exhaust Exposure in Miners Linked to Lung Cancer
    2012

    “For never smokers and light-to-moderate smokers, the risk of lung cancer death increased with more diesel exhaust exposure. Non-smokers with the highest level of diesel exposure were seven times more likely to die from lung cancer than non-smokers in the lowest exposure category.

    In contrast, among miners who were heavy smokers, the risk of lung cancer death decreased with increasing levels of exposure

    “The researchers offered possible explanations for the tapering off of risk at high levels of diesel exhaust exposure. Heavy smokers might be more likely to clear diesel exhaust particulate matter from their lungs than non-smokers, a phenomenon that has been reported previously among coal miners who smoke.”

    “Although the researchers studied miners with very high levels of exposure to diesel exhaust, the results may be applicable to other workers with similar levels of diesel exposure and may extend to people living in urban areas with high diesel exhaust levels. Environmental exposures to average respirable elemental carbon levels in the range of 2 to 6 μg/m3 over a lifetime, as is typical in some highly polluted cities, are similar to the cumulative exposures experienced by the underground miners with the lowest exposures in the study. Even underground workers with low exposure levels experienced about a 50 percent increase in lung cancer risk.”
    https://dceg.cancer.gov/news-events/linkage-newsletter/2012-07/research-publications/diesel-exhaust

    2nd World Conference on Smoking and Health
    The Cigarette – Enemy or Red Herring?
    By Dr. Geoffrey Myddelton

    “The other theory is that the increase in lung cancer has been due to motor exhaust fumes; which are known to contain carcinogens, especially those of the diesel engine. I estimate roughly that the petrol engine is only about 6 % as dangerous as the diesel, and that if one adds.6 % of the petrol used to the diesel fuel consumed on the road’s in each year, one gets a graph of the huge rise in carcinogenic pollution of the atmosphere in Britain in the last 50 years .

    If the curve of the rise in male lung cancer mortality is plotted beside it, one can see that there is a close relationship between them.
    I believe that this correlation is more than mere coincidence.
    The diesel’ theory needs to be thoroughly investigated’ by a crash programme of research, and the cigarette theory needs to be checked and the figures on which it is based audited by independent statisticians.

    The cigarette theory has been used as a red herring to distract attention from the horrible pollution of the atmosphere by the diesel engine. all we’ve had up till now has been a flood of propaganda and the virtual suppression of all criticism and discussion.

    I appeal to the Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians to have the courage to support a fresh and unbiased investigation.
    Somebody dies of lung cancer in England and Wales every 18 minutes. I believe that a complete mis-diagnosis of the cause of the increase in lung cancer has unfortunately been made, and that suffering humanity has the right to a second opinion.”
    https://www.industrydocumentslibrary.ucsf.edu/tobacco/docs/#id=mgff0115

    “He was trying to read an unscheduled paper on “‘The Cigarette — Enemy or Red Herring?” and it became obvious that he felt cigarettes were being used as a scapegoat for alleged dangers of diesel engine fumes.” – at the 2nd World Conference on Smoking and Health in 1971 and got booed and clapped down for his trouble.

    Graph comparing the rise of lung cancer and diesel against the consumption of tobacco and cigarettes on page 3

    Why Study Diesel Exhaust? 2012

    “Researchers first raised the possibility that diesel exhaust might cause cancer in humans in 1955, after discovering components of diesel exhaust that were known to cause tumors in experimental animals. In 1989, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified diesel exhaust as a “probable” carcinogen based primarily on data from animal studies; data from humans were considered too limited to establish causality.”

    Kitty Little

    “One would have expected the results of such definitive experiments to have been published by 1957 or 1958, or by 1960 at the very latest.
    Instead, publication of papers on the subject suddenly ceased; funds for research on the effects of diesel smoke were withdrawn; lawyers issued instructions on how to confuse a court should an action for damages be initiated; and articles on diesel fuel tended to have the unsupported statement “diesel smoke is harmless” as a frequent non sequitor.

    If it had not been for this cut off of information, together with the brainwashing techniques of the anti-smoking campaign, all lung cancer of the type under discussion could have been eliminated by now.

    The cut off of information about the carcinogenic action of diesel smoke seems to have coincided with the availability of final proof that smoking was not, and could not be, responsible for the rise in lung cancer; with an acceleration of the campaign to make industrial nations more dependant on oil as a source of energy; and with the EEC decision to rely primarily on road transport for the carriage of industrial products.”
    Legacy

    2017
    “Plans to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2040 in a bid to encourage people to buy electric vehicles are a “tall order” and will place unprecedented strain on the National Grid, motoring experts have warned.

    Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, has warned that Britain “can’t carry on” with petrol and diesel cars because of the damage that they are doing to people’s health and the planet. “There is no alternative to embracing new technology,” he said.”
    Telegraph

    But that’s more about Global Warming, governments work in mysterious ways.

  13. Mark Jarratt, Canberra, Australia says:

    Excellent – thanks to all. I have laboriously extracted and reformatted your unassailable analysis Tony, and sent to the Civil Liberties Australia webmaster. Once posted (CLA is very much opposed to coercive paternalism) I shall include a link in the comments on Frank’s fine thought provoking blog. Most encouraging to have such an accessible analysis, outing the wowsers as the rent seeking fraudsters they are. 🤓

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