Respectful Insolence

Mark takes on the smoking cranks

The other day, in the course of posting about some deceptive quote-mining by someone who doesn’t accept the science indicating that secondhand smoke is a health danger, I referenced the uber-crank of crank websites, Forces.org, a website so cranky that it denies not just health dangers from secondhand smoke, but rather that even smoking causes cancer in smokers!

Naturally, such a site was irresistable to Mark over at the denialism blog and he has some fun with it.

Sit back and enjoy.

Oh, and as has happened on my posts about the data supporting health dangers from secondhand smoke and about some dishonest quote-mining on the topic, the cranks have descended en masse. It has to be seen to be believed.

Comments

  1. #1 Joe Camel
    July 18, 2007

    Tobacco people have a vested interest in selling tobacco; medical people have a vested interest in selling prescription drugs instead. Neither can be trusted on their word alone.

    But why do you NEED to trust anybody? A scientific study either meets legitimate criteria or it doesn’t.

    When John Banzhaf says if you can smell it, it’s killing you or Stanton Glantz says it
    takes winds of 300-700 miles an hour to ventilate it or Richard Carmona says it ruins every organ of the body, all you need is a 3-digit IQ to know they’re bald faced liars.

    FORCES materaial meets the criteria of scientific fact AND common sense, and that fact remains no matter how loud you howl,

    If you yourself don’t smoke why are you so obsessed with it, huh? How much is your Robert Wood Johnson check?

  2. #2 khan
    July 18, 2007

    Do cranks have some sort of ‘Bat Signal’ to summon the faithful to do battle?

  3. #3 Orac
    July 18, 2007

    When John Banzhaf says if you can smell it, it’s killing you or Stanton Glantz says it
    takes winds of 300-700 miles an hour to ventilate it or Richard Carmona says it ruins every organ of the body, all you need is a 3-digit IQ to know they’re bald faced liars.

    Based on your rant and your saying that the material on Forces.org “meets the criteria of scientific fact AND common sense,”, I conclude that it is doubtful in the extreme that you meet that particular criterion.

  4. #4 jtdub
    July 18, 2007

    How, exactly, does someone not having cancer benefit this supposed medico-narco-industrial complex? Wouldn’t this conspiracy be better suited by legions of patients suffering from terminal disease instead of speaking out against the potential dangers? It’s not as though it’s an either/or proposition:

    Either you smoke cigarettes

    OR

    You buy prescription drugs

    Seriously, that makes painfully little sense. As in none.

  5. #5 jtdub
    July 18, 2007

    For the record, that was a response to JC above.

  6. #6 Joe Camel
    July 18, 2007

    OK, jtdub, Pay attention.

    Depression is the most common of human maladies: tobacco is the best antidepressant
    known to man and therefore the world’s most valuable drug. Medicine men would love to see it outlawed and replaced with prescription drugs at ten prices. They would lose no cancer,heart disease, flat feet etc income because smoking or smelling it does not cause these or any other malady. If it did, you could bet your arse the World Health Organization would recommend it.

    Howl all you want with derision–these facts are easy to prove, and have been so ,repeatedly.

  7. #7 blf
    July 19, 2007

    Do cranks have some sort of ‘Bat Signal’ to summon the faithful to do battle?

    The cumulative sound of jaws dropping and bouncing off the table when the less credulous stumble upon the crankery?

    Maybe fused irony meters give off a distinctive aroma? Or, more prosaically, they (the cranks) just keep an eye on the sales of replacements?

    Or it’s all a conspiracy: There’s really only one ├╝ber-crank who is omni-everything just like various ancient holy scrolls say?

    There’s an eliza-like program which replies to things found by yer favourite internet search engine?

  8. #8 MikeB
    July 19, 2007

    ‘Depression is the most common of human maladies: tobacco is the best antidepressant known to man and therefore the world’s most valuable drug’ –

    seemingly the Bat signal is very attractive to Camels…

  9. #9 sailor
    July 19, 2007

    The denialists make few good points. One of the best:
    “Some 16 of the studies looked at clinical trials or meta-analyses, and 13 had outcomes favourable to the sponsoring companies. Overall, studies funded by a company were four times more likely to have results favourable to the company than studies funded from other sources.”
    In other words science can in the short run produce unrleliable results due to the motivation/dihonesty of the experimenter or funders of the experiment (I suspect one reason for this big gap is that drug companies were supressing studies that did not give positive results). Science as a method is unassailable, science as done by humans (and it always is) is prone to error. However, luckily in most things that matter, replication of results is required, so in the long run truth comes out.
    As far as second hand smoke is concerned, regardless of the dangers I hate the smell and it makes my eyes water.
    Should I and those like me have any rights in this? If we need to go to an governmentoffice should we have the right to do so without being assaulted by smoke?

  10. #10 Tricia
    July 19, 2007

    I agree with sailor. Second hand smoke is problematic for many people, regardless of dangers to health. Particulary for people (like myself) with allergies or those with asthma or respiratory diseases. It was particularly problematic for me when smoking was widespread in the workplace. I may be able to avoid going to some public places (such as restaurants), but I have to work. People can still smoke outdoors if they want to. Even though there are times when I have to walk through a crowd of smokers at the entrance to the building, that is much preferable to having to spend the whole day with irritated lungs and burning eyes.

  11. #11 Joe Camel
    July 19, 2007

    Sailor/ Tricia:

    You’re right. No asthmatic should be exposed to cigarette or any other smoke against their will, although your complaint about walking through a cloud of it at doorways is a
    bit touchy and I don’t hear you moaning about auto and industrial fumes etc.

    The answer is not smoking bans–the answer is proper ventilation that removes ALL allergens from indoor air, paid for by tax credits. Everyone benefits.

    But this elegant solution is not available to the public because the ruling tobacco nazis claim that a few deadly tobacco molecules are left. So everyone is subjected to every vile air contaminant EXCEPT cigarettte smoke. Whatcha gonna do with ‘em?

  12. #12 D
    July 19, 2007

    Well I don’t think many people have cars running inside public places…. Or industrial fumes for that matter. Although it’s nice that you compare smoking to the two.

    “So everyone is subjected to every vile air contaminant EXCEPT cigarettte smoke. Whatcha gonna do with ‘em?”

    We regulate them, just like we’re doing with cigarette smoke.

  13. #13 Joe Camel
    July 20, 2007

    To “D”

    You, like countless other “authorities” seem to be saying that clean indoor air is not achievable by proper ventilation–all it takes is to ban smoking. Well, it’s a damn good thing that human lungs have a built-in air cleaner or we’d all be choking.

    And what’s this WE business about regulating stuff? Only politicians are in the regulation business and they regulate whatever they’re bribed to regulate, You’re just a loudmouth bystander, taking sides like a soccer hooligan.

  14. #14 kemibe
    July 20, 2007

    “tobacco is the best antidepressant known to man”

    Only in the sense that it weeds denialists and cranks who use it out of the population at a fractionally faster rate, thereby nudging others that much closer to euthymia.

  15. #15 Dan
    July 20, 2007

    sailer wrote. “As far as second hand smoke is concerned, regardless of the dangers I hate the smell and it makes my eyes water.
    Should I and those like me have any rights in this? If we need to go to an governmentoffice should we have the right to do so without being assaulted by smoke?”

    Do not go to venues that allow smoking. Pretty simple. Do you go to bars? I do and those that I do go to over 50% smoke. But there are also those that do not allow smoking. So why go to those that do? You do not have to. If I run a business, which I do, and wish to cater to smokers should I have to worry about you? Go to a bar that caters to folks like you. Or do you believe everyone should cater to you?