Respectful Insolence

Blowing smoke over secondhand smoke

i-e7a12c3d2598161273c9ed31d61fe694-ClassicInsolence.jpgI’m currently in Las Vegas anxiously waiting for The Amazing Meeting to start. Believe it or not, I’ll even be on a panel! While I’m gone, I’ll probably manage to do a new post or two, but, in the meantime, while I’m away communing with fellow skeptics at TAM7, I’ll be reposting some Classic Insolence from the month of July in years past. (After all, if you haven’t been following this blog at least a year, it’ll be new to you. And if you have I hope you enjoy it again.) This particular post first appeared in July 2007.

“What do you think about second hand smoke?” he asked me. I sensed ulterior motives behind the question, but I wasn’t sure. I suspected that he was just looking for an argument.

“It’s bad,” I joked.

“Some have told me that the studies don’t show any health problems from second hand smoke,” he replied.

“I’m sure ‘some’ have,” I retorted somewhat sarcastically.

“No, really, is there any evidence,” he replied. “I’m open-minded about this topic.”

Somehow I doubted this, but I figured, what the heck, and did a little reviewing. It makes for some interesting reading.

The question of whether second hand smoke (SHS) causes lung cancer or other health problems in people exposed to it on a chronic basis is a tough one to examine epidemiologically because, as with most studies of exposures, it’s difficult to control for other factors. It’s not like studying smoking as a cause for cancer, where it’s relatively easy to examine the exposure. More importantly, whatever the effect of SHS may be, we can, based on the simple principle of dose-response, expect that it would produce considerably less profund of an effect than smoking itself, given the obvious difference between inhaling someone else’s smoke at a bar and inhaling 10-30 cigarettes a day over the course of many years. Moreover, it should be remembered that the science behind whether SHS is a health risk is a distinct from the policy question of what we should do about it as far as indoor smoking bans go. Finally, when millions of people are exposed, small increased risks can lead to many, many additional cases of smoking-caused disease.

Before I get into the studies, as a background, I’d point out that the tobacco industry managed to try to deny and obfuscate for decades over the very real and now indisputable risk of health problems from smoking. How on earth did they manage to do this? One has to remember that most people who smoke will not get cancer. As hard as it is for many lay people to believe, it’s true. A person who smokes two packs a day smoker for 40-50 years will have approximately a 20% chance of dying of lung cancer. True to a dose-response curve, that means people who smoke less (which is most smokers these days) will have even less of a chance of dying of cancer. That means that there are a lot of smokers who never develop lung cancer and a lot of smokers who never develop cardiovascular disease. Indeed, I once said that it’s impossible to tell whether any individual smoker will or won’t get lung cancer; I can only quote the odds. In any case, if it was possible for tobacco companies to obfuscate such a powerful and now indisputable epidemiological risk for so long, imagine how much easier it is to sow doubt over the considerably smaller elevation in risk due to SHS.

I realize that “skeptics” of the health dangers of SHS will immediately start spinning conspiracy theories, but an excellent source of information on the topic is the most recent Surgeon General’s report, released about a year ago, entitled The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. I had thought of plowing through the literature myself without a guide until the hundreds of studies out there convinced me that it was such a massive undertaking that it would be hard to justify it for just one blog article. The report lists many, many studies that support the contention that SHS causes health problems and critically compares them to the fewer studies that don’t support such a link. I realize that to those who don’t accept the science indicating an increased health risk from passive smoke, invoking any government document will be viewed in much the same way as HIV/AIDS denialists view the NIH statement on the link between HIV and AIDS, but keep in mind that this document was a product of the Bush administration, hardly a champion of regulating human exposure to environmental toxins.

Also, such “skeptics” often forget or ignore a key element in making a connection, namely biological plausibility. We already know that smoking causes cancer and heart disease; it is thus plausible that exposure to secondhand smoke would be likely to cause cancer as well, just at a decreased rate because of its much lower dose. This is not like the arguments over mercury in thimerosal in vaccines, where not only is it not biologically plausible that mercury causes autism but the epidemiological evidence does not support such a link. Moreover, “skeptics” also often will point to single studies as “proof” that there is no connection between SHS and human disease. The problem is, for a complex epidemiological problem like whether SHS causes cancer or heart disease, no single study will ever definitively prove or disprove a link. The totality of evidence has to be examined critically. Many “skeptics” that SHS is a danger will cherry pick studies that didn’t find a link, but usually those studies fail to find a link because of inadequate sample size or statistical power.

Because the issue at hand is smoke exposure in the workplace and in indoor spaces, I’m not going to focus so much on the well-known and well-documented harmful effects of smoking on children’s respiratory health. The evidence for this is well-documented in Chapter 6 of the Surgeon General’s report. Suffice it to say that children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for acute respiratory infections, more severe asthma, and a variety of other health conditions.

In adults, numerous studies support the existence of approximately a 25% elevated risk of lung cancer from those exposed to secondhand smoke chronically. The types of epidemiologic studies generally include studies of secondhand smoke exposure in the home, which usually take the form of studies looking at cancer rates in nonsmoking spouses of smokers. Criticisms of these studies generally takes the form of criticizing how well they control for other factors, given that spouses living together generally share more than just exposure to smoke. Even so, the better-controlled studies here consistently show elevated risk of lung cancer in nonsmoking spouses of smokers. There are at least 52 spousal smoking studies, and meta-analysis produces estimates of relative risk ranging from 1.15 to 1.43; i.e., a 15-43% elevation in lung cancer risk. These are summarized in Chapter 7 of the Surgeon General’s report.

The second type fo study tends to look at smoking in the workplace. As of the Surgeon General’s report, there were at least 25 such studies, of which seven were from the U.S., one from Canada, seven from Europe, and ten from Asia. The studies are fairly heterogeneous, but their conclusions are remarkably consistent for such a diverse bunch of epidemiological studies. Not all studies reached statistical significance, namely because of small numbers and inadequate statistical power, but they still came to similar estimates, with relative risks ranging from 1.12 to 1.32, with a pooled estimate of 1.22, or a 22% increased risk of lung cancer. More interestingly, there are studies that support not just a correlation between exposure to SHS and lung cancer but a dose-response effect (Hackshaw et al, 1997; Lubin 1999; Zhong et al, 2000; Brennan et al, 2004). When these studies are looked at, neither confounding factors, publication bias, nor misclassification errors account for the observed increased relative risk.

A number of studies have also looked at the risk of cardiovascular disease due to SHS. As summarized in Chapter 8 of the Surgeon General’s report, they consistently show a roughly 30% increase in risk of cardiovascular events. This data is summarized well in Chapter 8 of the Surgeon General’s report. Epidemiological links are supported also by a wealth of preclinical evidence showing the effect of SHS on vascular tone, endothelial cell function, platelet aggregation, and a number of other markers of vascular injury.

One study that is frequently cited by “skeptics” who don’t accept that SHS can cause health problems is J. E. Enstrom and G. C. Kabat Br. Med. J. 326, 1057; 2003. This study failed to find a causal relation between SHS and tobacco-related mortality. There’s just one problem. The study was crap, and the BMJ was forced to reveal that the authors had accepted money from tobacco companies and that the study had several fatal flaws. In an editorial in Nature recently, this fiasco was recounted:

But top scientists at the cancer society say they repeatedly warned Enstrom of possible deficiencies in his analysis — particularly a 25-year gap in which exposure to second-hand smoke could not be verified. The society also says that when it gave Enstrom computerized records of study subjects, it was not aware that he was receiving funding from the tobacco industry. Later tobacco-related lawsuits revealed he had received money from industry funneled through an organization called the Center for Indoor Air Research. And court records show Enstrom previously did consulting and research for attorneys defending the tobacco companies R. J. Reynolds and Philip Morris.

Perhaps my favorite paper of all is one that I’m saving for last because if I started with it I might have been accused of “poisoning the well.” This one, which appeared in JAMA in 1998, is revealing. It examined review articles, and, well, here’s the abstract:

Why Review Articles on the Health Effects of Passive Smoking Reach Different Conclusions
Deborah E. Barnes, MPH; Lisa A. Bero, PhD

JAMA. 1998;279:1566-1570.

Objective.– To determine whether the conclusions of review articles on the health effects of passive smoking are associated with article quality, the affiliations of their authors, or other article characteristics.

Data Sources.– Review articles published from 1980 to 1995 were identified through electronic searches of MEDLINE and EMBASE and from a database of symposium proceedings on passive smoking.

Article Selection.– An article was included if its stated or implied purpose was to review the scientific evidence that passive smoking is associated with 1 or more health outcomes. Articles were excluded if they did not focus specifically on the health effects of passive smoking or if they were not written in English.

Data Extraction.– Review article quality was evaluated by 2 independent assessors who were trained, followed a written protocol, had no disclosed conflicts of interest, and were blinded to all study hypotheses and identifying characteristics of articles. Article conclusions were categorized by the 2 assessors and by one of the authors. Author affiliation was classified as either tobacco industry affiliated or not, based on whether the authors were known to have received funding from or participated in activities sponsored by the tobacco industry. Other article characteristics were classified by one of the authors using predefined criteria.

Data Synthesis.– A total of 106 reviews were identified. Overall, 37% (39/106) of reviews concluded that passive smoking is not harmful to health; 74% (29/39) of these were written by authors with tobacco industry affiliations. In multiple logistic regression analyses controlling for article quality, peer review status, article topic, and year of publication, the only factor associated with concluding that passive smoking is not harmful was whether an author was affiliated with the tobacco industry (odds ratio, 88.4; 95% confidence interval, 16.4-476.5; P<.001).

Conclusions.– The conclusions of review articles are strongly associated with the affiliations of their authors. Authors of review articles should disclose potential financial conflicts of interest, and readers of review articles should consider authors’ affiliations when deciding how to judge an article’s conclusions.

Indeed. Lest you think that this isn’t still going on, it’s instructive to take a look at a couple of more recent articles that demonstrate the tobacco industry’s favored techniques for denying a link between SHS and health problems: namely, challenging causation of adverse health effects of passive smoking by citing limitations of epidemiologic research, raising methodological and statistical issues, and disputing biological plausibility.

The bottom line is that, although the effect of SHS is relatively small in epidemiological terms because it is a relative risk that is well under 2, namely a roughly 25% increased risk of lung cancer and heart disease, plus lower and less clear associations to a number of other cancers and diseases, it is real. It consistently shows up in multiple studies done using multiple different methods in many different countries. Moreover, even though it is relatively small, because of the sheer numbers of people exposed to SHS, it is most definitely significant. Indeed, in the case of heart disease, which is the most common cause of death, even an increase of risk due to SHS of only a few percent would be significant, although such a small increase would be almost impossible to detect in epidemiological studies. Consequently, a strong argument can be made for indoor smoking bans in the workplace. We may not be able to do much aside from education and the encouragement of smoking cessation to prevent the exposure of children and nonsmoking spouses to the dangers of SHS. Arguments on a public policy basis and a cost-benefit basis about whether banning indoor smoking makes sense, but arguments that the science doesn’t show that SHS can cause lung cancer and cardiovascular disease and adults and a variety of health problems in children are nonstarters. The science doesn’t support them (although ideologues will try to take advantage of controversies over the exact magnitude of the health risks posed by SHS). Indeed, even Penn Jillette has admitted that he was wrong about SHS in an episode of Bullsh*t! in which it was claimed that SHS was not a danger, although he was full of, well, Bullsh*t! when he stated that a “lot of this was very new.”

No, it wasn’t. The data at the time that original episode aired was quite strong. The newer data only confirm the older data available then.

That being said, there is a risk of going too far in legislating smoking bans. Certainly indoor smoking bans at workplaces and in restaurants and bars are defensible on a scientific and public health basis. However, outdoor smoking bans, such as I’ve heard about on many California beaches and a recent law passed by the Beverly Hills City Council to ban smoking in all outdoor eating areas, are just plain stupid and wrong-headed, at least if the rationale is to prevent SHS-caused health problems in the population. This is particularly true since such bans apply to sidewalk cafes, where, in my experience, the exhaust fumes from passing traffic tend to overwhelm any smoke that comes from cigarettes. It doesn’t help the reasonable and scientifically supported cause of indoor workplace smoking bans to overstep and impose bans in cases where the science doesn’t support it.

And here are some studies that I picked almost at random. If anyone doesn’t think they’re enough, you can review the Surgeon General’s report for literally hundreds more, and I could post many more as well.

  1. de Waard F, Kemmeren JM, van Ginkel LA, Stolker AAM. Urinary cotinine and lung cancer risk in a female cohort. British Journal of Cancer 1995; 72(3):784-7.
  2. Johnson KC, Hu J, Mao Y, the Canadian Cancer Registries Epidemiology Research Group. Lifetime residential and workplace exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and lung cancer in never-smoking women, Canada 1994-97. International Journal of Cancer 2001;93(6):902-6.
  3. Zhong L, Goldberg MS, Gao YT, Jin F. A case-control study of lung cancer and environmental tobacco smoke among nonsmoking women living in Shanghai, China. Cancer Causes Control. 1999 Dec;10(6):607-16.
  4. Eisner MD, Wang Y, Haight TJ, Balmes J, Hammond SK, Tager IB. Secondhand smoke exposure, pulmonary function, and cardiovascular mortality. Ann Epidemiol. 2007 May;17(5):364-73.
  5. Venn A, Britton J. Exposure to secondhand smoke and biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk in never-smoking adults. Circulation. 2007 Feb 27;115(8):990-5.
  6. Hill SE, Blakely T, Kawachi I, Woodward A. Mortality among lifelong nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home: cohort data and sensitivity analyses. Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Mar 1;165(5):530-40.
  7. Barnoya J, Glantz SA. Cardiovascular effects of secondhand smoke: nearly as large as smoking. Circulation. 2005 May 24;111(20):2684-98.
  8. Raupach T, Schafer K, Konstantinides S, Andreas S. Secondhand smoke as an acute threat for the cardiovascular system: a change in paradigm. Eur Heart J. 2006 Feb;27(4):386-92.
  9. Brennan P, Buffler PA, Reynolds P, Wu AH, Wichmann HE, Agudo A, Pershagen G, Jockel KH, Benhamou S, Greenberg RS, Merletti F, Winck C, Fontham ET, Kreuzer M, Darby SC, Forastiere F, Simonato L, Boffetta P. Secondhand smoke exposure in adulthood and risk of lung cancer among never smokers: a pooled analysis of two large studies. Int J Cancer. 2004 Mar;109(1):125-31.

Comments

  1. #1 James Sweet
    July 9, 2009

    I’ve always wondered about the smoking bans that apply to outdoor seating in restaurants… I have trouble believing that the concentration level you’re going to experience outdoors could really have any appreciable effect. (Of course, my skepticism about that doesn’t stop me from giving outdoor smokers a very wide birth when I am with my infant son…)

    In NYS, when they first passed the smoking ban, the rule was that only 25% of your outdoor seating can be smoking. Well, that still is the rule, but in my experience, it was only enforced for the first year or so.

    For whatever that’s worth…

  2. #2 jj
    July 9, 2009

    As a dirty smoker myself, I’m all for indoor smoking bans. I’ve lived my whole life in California, and being fairly young when the bans were introduced for restaurants in 95, then in bars in 98 (which was well before I could go into a bar!), I am not used to going to places where I can smoke indoors. The thought of someone smoking in restaurant is disgusting. Or a Mall? Nasty. With the exceptions of a few bars, where they allow it (illegally and legally depending on location). In these places, second hand is not a problem, as everyone in the bar knows everyone is smoking, and all the bar tenders do to (does SHS have an increased effect if you are already a smoker?).

    The one thing that gets me, is the city I live in wants to increase these laws (with pressure from American Lung Association). Looking to ban smoking in outdoor restaurant seating, in cross walks, ATM’s (well that one make sense) and on the sidewalk. Essentially they want to ban any public form of smoking. We already have laws restricting how close to an establishments doors windows one can smoke.

    Anyway, great article, I’ve always been a slight skeptic on SHS, based on dosage. Your conclusion is exactly what I thought – yes SHS has increases the chance of smoke-induced disease, but it’s not as bad as some say. Keep the smoke outside, I say, or in a designated bar.

  3. #3 James Sweet
    July 9, 2009

    As a dirty smoker myself, I’m all for indoor smoking bans.

    I think this is quite common once the bans have been in place for awhile.

    All of my smoker friends — and even me, to a certain extent — were vehemently and angrily opposed to the ban when it was instituted and for several months afterwards. By the time we’d lived with it for a couple years, though, pretty much everyone — smokers and non — were in favor of the ban.

  4. #4 Curt Fischer
    July 9, 2009

    First, as a non-smoker, let me say that as a policy matter, I love smoking bans in bars.

    But I wonder about two things. First, yes, the bias of researchers who take money from tobacco companies is obvious, but what about the bias of researchers who take money from the government? They compete for research dollars not (only) with other second-hand smoke researchers, but with researchers studying a myriad of other health effects. Don’t they have a bias, at least potentially, of overhyping the risks of SHS to secure more research dollars for themselves? Researchers, just like journalists, have a bias towards significance. That’s why I think the point about bias among researchers is not the strongest one in your post.

    Instead, the strongest evidence is the preponderance of the evidence in the primary literature, which, apparently, shows a ~25% *increase* in the chance of getting lung cancer. But a key point, one that you brought up in the beginning of your post in reference to first-hand smoking, is that a statistically significant *increase* in the probability of an event and the probability of an event are different things. This is my second concern. It’s the latter that’s most relevant to policy. For example, leaving your house probably increases your chances of being killed by a meteor falling from space many-fold. But since the basal probability is so low, policy wonks don’t worry about it. So what’s the basal rate of getting lung cancer in the general populace? What number is it, exactly, that gets increased by 25%?

    Overall, thanks for a very interesting, thought-provoking post. This post is a place for others interested in the subject to get started on tackling the literature.

  5. #5 John
    July 9, 2009

    First, great post. You clearly have done a thorough job here. As to the smoking bans in outdoor places, they are not intended solely to reduce SHS exposure. These bans also serve the function of reducing areas in which it is acceptable for smokers to indulge. Indoor secondhand smoke bans are no-brainers because non-smokers are involuntarily exposed to smoke. But the smokers can just go outside and smoke, it’s not THAT much of a hassle for them to feed their addiction. If you remove the option of just going outside to smoke, some smokers may be driven to quit. I think of these laws as somewhat analogous to laws banning open containers of alcohol in public places.

  6. #6 John
    July 9, 2009

    First, great post. You clearly have done a thorough job here. As to the smoking bans in outdoor places, they are not intended solely to reduce SHS exposure. These bans also serve the function of reducing areas in which it is acceptable for smokers to indulge. Indoor secondhand smoke bans are no-brainers because non-smokers are involuntarily exposed to smoke. But the smokers can just go outside and smoke, it’s not THAT much of a hassle for them to feed their addiction. If you remove the option of just going outside to smoke, some smokers may be driven to quit. I think of these laws as somewhat analogous to laws banning open containers of alcohol in public places.

  7. #7 Zach Miller
    July 9, 2009

    I’ll never understand why people take up smoking in the first place, but that’s a rant for another day. The legislature just passed an indoor smoking ban (including bars) just two years ago, and people were up in arms. We still get letters to the editor from angery smokers prattling on and on about their constitutional rights and how we’re becoming socialists and next they’ll be banning red meat and other entertaining demonstrates of missing the point.

    As a person with Cystic Fibrosis, I can personally attest to the damaging effects of SHS.

  8. #8 Greg
    July 9, 2009

    Ok

    Smoking bans are like all nuisance laws; they are created not because of health issues but because people are generally too rude to stop doing something that negatively effects someone else without being forced too. The health issue is just ammunition for the lawyers.

    Everyone with a couple of brain cells to rub together knows that lighting up a cigarette not only effects the smoker, but everyone around the smoker as well. Smokers know that it’s unpleasing to have smoke in your face, or to come home smelling of stale cigarettes. You don’t see smokers holding their cigarettes so the smoke drifts in their faces do you?

    So what is a non-smoker to do? Even the most Libertarian of thinkers will acknowledge that it is the smoker, by lighting up, that becomes the acting party and is responsible for any conflicts that arise because of his actions. So the non-smoker has the right to ask the smoker to stop or provide some other form of compensation. If the smoker refuses, or is just oblivious, the non-smoker has a few options, with coercion being one of them. Since we live in a civil society one of those forms of coercion is the law.

    The point being, you the smoker are the active party causing the conflict and if you don’t like the “state” (which is really just those of us who are tired of smoke in our faces and who vote) telling you not to do something, then stop being rude in the first place; smoke were you wont effect anyone else.

    It’s pretty simple really, I mean how many people do you know whip it out and piss in a crowded patio? It’s the same thing really, one person effecting the people around them, while avoiding getting it on themselves it still it stinks and gets on everyone else. So why is it ok to do the same thing with a cigarette? Did you know that most places actually have a law that prohibits pissing in public, and urine isn’t even toxic being sterile and all, go figure.

    As for the argument of public and private places, well no one owns my body so when that smoke reaches it I have a right to make it stop. You have a right to swing that bat until it’s about to hit me, then I have the right to take that bat away from you to keep you from hitting me.

  9. #9 Joe
    July 9, 2009

    First as to Penn&Teller, their skeptical ideas are really spotty. Their program has gone gone way downhill after the first season.

    Second, I think Steve Martin had the best take on second-hand smoke:
    Post-prandial diner- Mind if I smoke?
    Martin- No … mind if I fart? After a good meal I like to relax, sit back and let one out …

    Even al fresco, smoking is a disgusting, malodorous habit for anyone downwind. I knew a guy whose heart disease forced him to stop smoking- then he came to appreciate how impolite he had been all his life.

    Health aside, SHS is as unacceptable as really loud music or painting your house a day-glow color. It ruins the neighborhood.

  10. #10 Robin
    July 9, 2009

    I wonder, too, whether the beach bans have more to do with littering than anything else. Cigarette butts are the number one trash item found on beaches and it is a real problem. The ban may be an attempt to address it.

  11. #11 JThompson
    July 9, 2009

    It’s kinda baffling that anyone could claim second hand smoke doesn’t cause health problems.

    Greg: The more libertarian among us would tell you “It’s his business, not yours. If you don’t like what goes on in it, take your business elsewhere.” and they’re right…up to a point. That point was when there weren’t any non-smoking bars. (Someone could’ve made a fortune on that.)
    I don’t care for people being prohibited from doing something that’s legal elsewhere in their own business. Since that never really worked out, I’m in favor of the bans. As a dirty smoker, but always a polite one.

    Zach: Haha. Constitutional right to smoke. Do you think they’re sufficiently determined to claim freedom of religion?

    John: If every smoker quit smoking people would freak the hell out and taxes would go through the roof from the lost revenue. Several states would go totally bankrupt. My guess is the outdoor bans were more to reduce piles of butts. After all, you didn’t get rid of the inconsiderate ones, you just sent them outside.

  12. #12 Greg
    July 9, 2009

    J~
    The more libertarian among us would tell you “It’s his business, not yours. If you don’t like what goes on in it, take your business elsewhere.” and they’re right…up to a point.

    I agree that they would, but they’d be wrong too. Smoking is not a business issue, it’s a personal one. By saying it is the other guys problem if they don’t like your smoke you actually have it backwards. A lot of people say they are libertarians but they are actually anarchists because they fail to see that the other person has the exact same claim to personal rights as they do, and that when in conflict it’s the acting party, not the stronger party, that is obligated to provide compensation. Libertarianism is about personal rights and responsibilities and respecting the same in your neighbor. The thing is when you lights up a cigarette you become the active party and as the active party you are infringing on someone else’s rights as much as you are enjoying your own. As such that person has a right to demand compensation. Think of it like this: your neighbor can sit on his porch on his property and shoot his gun. However if that bullet leaves his property and hits your porch on you property, who is pays for the damage?

    When you are speaking in terms of people the property line is the interface between your body and the rest of the world.

    This is where Libertarianism falls down when applied to the real world. It fails because unlike anarchy Libertarianism requires that everyone follow the rules but like Anarchy refuses to accept a governing party to enforce this relationship, saying that each individual must negotiate compensation on individual terms. As soon as one person says “It’s his business, not yours. If you don’t like what goes on in it, take your business elsewhere.” and refuses to take responsibility of being the active party and offer fair compensation, the whole relationship becomes a conflict of relative power. Liberty falls to Anarchy.

    ~G

  13. #13 Andrew
    July 9, 2009

    Good post—thank you.

    There is some evidence about outdoor smoke being a problem. A study published in the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association concluded that depending on the proximity, second-hand smoke outdoors can be harmful to public health. Info about the study can be found: http://www.tobaccosmoke.org/outdoor-tobacco-smoke.

    I disagree with the argument that suggests car emissions are more of a problem than smoke on a patio and therefore nothing should be done. Reducing emissions is a good idea but then so is reducing exposure to SHS. Why wouldn’t we avoid exposure to a known pollutant that is easily regulated?

    It is fair to say that the evidence about outdoor smoke is not as developed as indoor; however, in certain cases such as where people congregate in close quarters (e.g. bar patios) restrictions may be in order.

  14. #14 TGAP Dad
    July 9, 2009

    FWIW: The P&T video didn’t play for me. I got an “Invalid Parameter” (???) error in the video window.

  15. #15 CybrgnX
    July 9, 2009

    In this case I am one of those who cares less about the reports…FOR ME it was awful!!! I went through 15yrs of sinus & breathing problems because the daily exposure of 2nd hand smoke. I found out about it not from doctors but because the USAF band smoking in certain locations BECAUSE OF THE HARM IT DID TO THE EQUIPMENT!!! A few months working here and my 15yrs of problems vanished!!!
    I stopped others from smoking around very simply. If they lit up, I started spraying actetone into the air. Most smokers were curious, so they always asked me why? I told them if they can put their shit in the air, I can do mine. Theirs harms me and mine will become cyanide in the heated tip of a cigarette…have a short life. They always left, strange that. Ya I’m an asshole but I believe in self defense. PS: I was really spraying Dihygrogen Monoxide which is another dangerous substance too and was free.

  16. #16 trrll
    July 9, 2009

    If they lit up, I started spraying actetone into the air. Most smokers were curious, so they always asked me why? I told them if they can put their shit in the air, I can do mine. Theirs harms me and mine will become cyanide in the heated tip of a cigarette

    Huh? How can acetone become cyanide? It’s a very simple hydrocarbon with no nitrogen at all; I’d expect it to burn cleanly to CO2 and water. And anybody who has ever smelled acetone-based nail polish remover would not be fooled by dihydrogen monoxide.

  17. #17 Grendel
    July 9, 2009

    I’m all for outdoor cigarette smoking bans, not because I fear the minute particles of smoke that I inhale but because cigarettes smell foul. On the other hand pipe and cigar smokers are more welcome to smoke near me outdoors.

    I find the experience of walking down a street behind a cigarette smoker extremely unpleasant and often wonder why I must endure their choice.

  18. #18 Chris
    July 9, 2009

    I also think the smoke smells foul. I am also not too fond of pipe and cigar smoke, and that distaste also goes to marijuana smoke, overly perfumed candles and incense (even in the 1970s if I walked into a shop burning incense, I would walk right back out, more recently I have avoided a candle store in my local mall).

    What I find particularly annoying are those who smoke inside of the bus shelters when it is raining. They give me two unpleasant choices: stand in the rain or smell the obnoxious smoke.

    I’ve noticed that many smokers have no clue about the smell. After our office building banned smoking inside, I actually encountered someone in the hallway trying to hide the lit cigarette behind his back. He looked at me with true confusion when I asked him why he did not think anyone could smell the odor.

    By the way, I also have trouble standing close to a smoker even when they are not smoking because their clothing reeks.

    My father did smoke the most horrible smelling cigars when I was a kid, while my mother chain smoked cigarettes. I remember the house was often filled with a haze.

    Then my dad quit smoking in the early 1960s. It took a while but he finally forbade my mother from smoking in the house (she finally quit about twenty years later). One thing my father discovered was that he could finally taste food. Since he had always been an adventurous cook, he became an even better cook. He no longer poured on the spices, but started to use them in a more balanced way.

    We benefited in more ways than one after my dad quit smoking.

  19. #19 Basiorana
    July 9, 2009

    I will not tolerate smoking around me. My fiance wants to smoke a cigar and I told him outside only. Why?

    My grandparents smoked before the government came out with the health advisory (they then immediately quit); as a result my father has permanent nasal damage. That was a facotr.

    Mainly it was a friend I had in high school. She lived with her father, stepmother, grandparents, and uncle. All smokers. Her house reeked of cigarette smoke so badly I nearly puked, and that was after they cleaned the place thoroughly, coated it in Febreeze and left all the windows open because they had company over.

    This girl never smoked herself, not once, but she had had emphysema as long as she could remember. We would run outside in the winter in gym class, and she would have to stop and have me pound her back once in a while to loosen the mucus in her lungs that would freeze solid. The gym teacher once joked about her “smoker’s cough” because she would hack up a lung on a regular basis, and he was horrifed when she explained that’s exactly what it was– except she wasn’t the smoker.

    Her poor health finally convinced her to go live with her mother, who was an abusive alcoholic– she had been avoiding it until she was big enough to defend herself. Her doctor actually talked her into it, because living with an abusive alcoholic was better for her health than staying in a home with so much smoke.

    I heard she was doing a little better now, but a lot of the damage is permanent. I’m scared shitless of cigarette smoke now. A fifteen year old girl who will spend her whole life with the health problems of a chronic smoker. She might as well have smoked a pack a day since she was born.

  20. #20 Kathryn
    July 9, 2009

    I’m glad so many of the posters are speaking up for the respiratory, sinus, and other effects besides cancer. There is such a strong causal link between second-hand smoke and respiratory/allergic reactions that the cancer risk seems like a straw man in comparison.

    I grew up with a two-pack-a-day smoker, and neither of us realized that it wasn’t normal for a child to get bronchitis and walking pneumonia every winter (when we were both cooped up inside). Once I left home to go to college, no more bronchitis. However, my sinuses are still messed up because I have the same type of ciliary damage from the SHS as though I’d smoked for years. I get sinus infections at the drop of a hat, which generally cost me a week or more of sick time plus misery and lost productivity for a month or so.

    Now, SHS has become one of my strongest sinus/migraine headache triggers. I will not visit smokers and get sick if a smoker sits next to me in class. (Second-hand marijuana smoke is even worse for me, and a common hazard here in the Emerald Triangle.) Although I live in a non-smoking apartment building, one of my neighbors kept smoking upwind of my apartment until the manager read him the riot act, thank goodness for her taking me seriously.

    I don’t understand why people start smoking in the first place. I mean, they know it makes you sick, they know it’s addictive, they know it’s gross, and it’s very expensive. A lot of smokers know they need to be considerate of others, but a lot of them don’t. Our local paper’s Police Log often mentions the police being called to settle disputes when motel management charges lodgers for cleaning after they smoke in non-smoking rooms. Our panhandlers don’t seem to get the idea that blowing smoke at people isn’t going to help their solicitation rate.

  21. #21 Chris
    July 9, 2009

    Basiorana:

    I will not tolerate smoking around me. My fiance wants to smoke a cigar and I told him outside only. Why?

    Because even if it is “good” tobacco it is still smoke and irritating.

    I have a very vivid memory from childhood. A year or so before my father quit cigars he decided we should drive down Highway 101 north of San Francisco during one of our summer trips. This is a rugged rode with lots of ups and downs, much like a roller coaster. It was fun for a while, except that my father insisted that the windows of the car be kept closed. After a few ups and downs in the haze of tobacco smoke my sister and I became very sick. This was later known as the trip where much of our stomach contents ended up either in the car or off the cliff by the side of the road.

    Kathryn:

    I don’t understand why people start smoking in the first place. I mean, they know it makes you sick, they know it’s addictive, they know it’s gross, and it’s very expensive.

    It is because it is “cool” or because their parents smoke, and they can get addicted after just trying it once. I have been catching up on The Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcasts and one of the quiz questions points out how addictive the stuff is: http://theskepticsguide.org/archive/podcastinfo.aspx?mid=1&pid=102 (listen to the previous episode, 101, it is with our gracious host, Orac!).

  22. #22 Texas Reader
    July 10, 2009

    One point no one has addressed about outdoor smoking – if people are allowed to smoke on the sidewalk or in other public places I guarantee there are going to be cig butts on the ground. I don’t imagine smokers would start carrying metal containers to put their butts in after they finish and we sure don’t want to have to put up a bunch of those things with sand in them and clean them out regularly.

  23. #23 Hittman
    July 10, 2009

    Epidemiology is great for finding large RRs, but very poor at finding small ones. If you’ve got an RR of 2.0 or 3.0 you’ve got something. If you’ve got one less than 1.5 you should be suspicious, and if it’s 1.2 (20%, the most common finding for SHS studies) you can safely write it off. In such studies the lower bounds of the confidence interval is usually very close to 1.0, which means it is barely statistically significant. Epidemiology is too crude a tool to accurately measure such low numbers. It’s like trying to measure millimeters with a yardstick.

    The anti-smoker movement, which is now a billion dollar industry, funds most of these studies. If we are to discount studies that involved tobacco money, wouldn’t a real skeptic apply the same logic to studies funded by anti-smoker organizations? One of the worst offenders is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, whose income comes from dividends on five billion (yes, billion) dollars worth of Johnson & Johnson stock. They use these studies to promote bans, which increases the sales of J&Js very profitable nicotine replacement products, which puts money directly into their pocket. (http://www.davehitt.com/2007/wooden.html ) The American Cancer Society and American Lung association use studies they’ve funded to increase their donations. Why isn’t this considered when evaluating their studies?

    It should also be noted that while occasionally tobacco money is involved in a study, in many cases further research reveals that the connection is quite tenuous. For instance, any researcher who took even a bit of tobacco money in the past is often smeared when independent research they’ve done later, with no tobacco money, reaches a conclusion the anti’s don’t like.

    There have only been two studies where actual exposure was measured by people wearing portable air pumps, one by Oak Ridge National Labs. They found that non-smokers living or working in a smoky environment inhale the smoke of about six cigarettes a year. Is it biologically plausible that 1/8 of a cigarette a week would cause heart attacks or lung cancer? Why hasn’t the anti smoking movement funded similar studies? Are they afraid of what they’ll find?

    I’ve even seen studies claiming SHS causes cervical cancer, tooth decay and lower IQ in kids. The American Cancer society, as recently as six months ago, was spewing the cervical cancer nonsense, long after we discovered most cervical cancer is caused by a virus. And this nonsense is parroted by a gullible media who gobbles up any numbers, no matter how ridiculous, and barfs them out to the public with the enthusiasm of a stray dog regurgitating diseased rodent parts.

    The tobacco industry has a long history of lying, but so does the anti-smoking industry. The EPA ’93 report was a classic lesson in how to fake and manipulate data to reach a pre-determined conclusion. The WHO did a very thorough study on SHS, then tried to bury it when it showed no increase in cancer and showed a slight protective effect in non-smoking adult’s who grew up with smoking parents. When pressured by the British press, they sent out a press release which admitted the results in the body of the release but lied about them in the headline. The Helena study was also a classic fraud which is still be cited by anti-smokers as if it really proved something. You can find detailed explanations of these studies on my site, The Facts (http://www.davehitt.com/facts/index.html)

    Their habitual fraud is over looked by the mass media, but one of their own, anti-smoking advocate Dr. Michael Siegal, has taken it on himself to provide detailed analysis of it, and as a result has become a pariah among the anti-smokers. Anyone interested in this issue will find spending just a bit of time on his extensive blog (http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/) very enlightening.

    Just as any skeptic would look askance at facts claimed by the tobacco industry, they also owe it to themselves to research the claims of the anti-smoking industry. Anyone who honestly does this will discover that the dangers of SHS are as imaginary as the benefits of homeopathy.

  24. #24 Marshall
    July 10, 2009

    What you fail to mention is the fact that no cause of a disease has ever been proven at the relative risks that you mention. Can you name one?
    http://nasw.org/awards/1996/96Taubesarticle.htm

    You also fail to mention that the vast majority of the studies include 1 in the CI meaning that they are statistically insignificant. You also fail to mention the fact that Meta-analysis allows the author great latitude in injecting their own bias.

    [P]roblems have been so frequent and so deep, and overstatements of the strength of conclusions so extreme, that one might well conclude there is something seriously and fundamentally wrong with the method. For the present . . . I still prefer the thoughtful, old-fashioned review of the literature by a knowledgeable expert who explains and defends the judgments that are presented. We have not yet reached a stage where these judgments can be passed on, even in part, to a formalized process such as meta-analysis.
    John C. Bailar III, Assessing Assessments

    This is especially important when it comes to tobacco control since a lot of the same activist in scientific clothing who got caught faking the 1992 Epa report worked on the Surgeon generals report including the Chief Scientific editor Jonathan M. Samet.

    Fanelli’s study, just published in the journal PLoS ONE, suggests scientific misconduct and outright fraud might be relatively frequent.
    http://www.naturalnews.com/026573_medical_research_drugs_cancer.html

    Perhaps there is good reason that the courts won’t touch a case with a RR of less then 2.
    http://banthebanwisconsin.wordpress.com/2008/09/02/science-and-the-law/

    I could go on and on but you have proven nothing.

  25. #25 Chris
    July 10, 2009

    oh, Texas Reader, do you think smokers really care where the butts go? Also, the issue of out smoking and trash was addressed in comment #10 (“Cigarette butts are the number one trash item found on beaches and it is a real problem.”).

    Actually, one of the reasons my father started to forbid smoking in the car was not only because it made it stink, was because one time my mother flicked her cigarette butt out of the front seat passenger window, which flew back into my face because I was sitting in the seat right behind her!

    Despite being my mother, she was so addicted she did not quite comprehend the horror of a burning bit being blown into a child’s face (I was about twelve years old).

  26. #26 Marshall
    July 10, 2009

    I also submit that if SHS did cause lung cancer you would expect to see a rise in cancer rates corresponding to exposure. Exposure rose throughout the 1900′s peaking in the early 70′s and yet the latest ACS study shows that the lung cancer rates in nonsmokers has remained unchanged since the 1930′s
    http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050185

  27. #27 Marshall
    July 10, 2009

    I also submit that if SHS did cause lung cancer you would expect to see a rise in cancer rates corresponding to exposure. Exposure rose throughout the 1900′s peaking in the early 70′s and yet the latest ACS study shows that the lung cancer rates in nonsmokers has remained unchanged since the 1930′s
    http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050185

  28. #28 Dunc
    July 10, 2009

    I don’t imagine smokers would start carrying metal containers to put their butts in after they finish …

    I do. Well, not a metal container, but one of these. Even though I smoke unfiltered roll-ups which biodegrade in a matter of days, I just don’t drop litter of any kind.

  29. #29 Interrobang
    July 10, 2009

    I was going to say — I think banning smoking on the beach is a great idea, but only because so many jerks think that a beach full of sand is exactly the same as a giant ashtray full of sand, and the beach gets dotted with cigarette butts. Yuck.

    Apparently, cigarette butts are the most-littered item in the world. One negative consequense of tobacco-control laws is the almost complete disappearance of ashtrays in public places (like those cylindrical garbage bins with the tops full of sand for stubbing cigarettes, or those Butt Stop things), which, since smokers don’t stop smoking when there aren’t ashtrays around, leads to an increase in littered butts.

    By the way, second-hand smoke is a business, not just a personal, issue — the presence of secondhand smoke in the workplace is a factor in lost-time incidents and employee absenteeism, and smoking bans in places like restaurants are largely about preventing occupational exposure to smoke.

  30. #30 trrll
    July 10, 2009

    Epidemiology is great for finding large RRs, but very poor at finding small ones. If you’ve got an RR of 2.0 or 3.0 you’ve got something. If you’ve got one less than 1.5 you should be suspicious, and if it’s 1.2 (20%, the most common finding for SHS studies) you can safely write it off. In such studies the lower bounds of the confidence interval is usually very close to 1.0, which means it is barely statistically significant.

    I don’t think you’d find any epidemiologist who would agree with such a blanket statement. There is no “magic number” below which results can be ignored. Certainly, the smaller the relative risk, the more you have to worry about possible biases, and the more careful you have to be to control for confounding factors. A single, small, poorly controlled study with a RR of 1.2 probably wouldn’t convince anybody. On the other hand, multiple large studies, with careful investigation of potential confounding factors, could be pretty convincing. Remember also that “barely statistically significant” still means less than a 5% chance of the results arising by chance. The p < 0.05 cutoff is a convention, not a "magic number."

    Is it biologically plausible that 1/8 of a cigarette a week would cause heart attacks or lung cancer?

    Biologically plausible? It is absolutely plausible that a chronic exposure to low levels of cigarette smoke could trigger heart attacks is a sensitive subpopulation. There are a large number of potentially biologically active compounds in smoke, and it is not at all unreasonable to suppose that some of the compounds could be extremely potent–perhaps much more so in non-smokers than in habitual smokers. Cigarette smoking induces upregulation of enzymes that detoxify some compounds, and which could have a protective effect against the hazards of low-level smoke exposure. For example, it is not uncommon for non-smokers to become acutely ill from merely handling tobacco leaves in harvesting. And that is just from the nicotine–there are many, many more biologically active substances in smoke.

  31. #31 James Sweet
    July 10, 2009

    oh, Texas Reader, do you think smokers really care where the butts go?

    Actually, close to half of the smokers I know have started pocketing their butts — despite this being extremely unpleasant for them — because they actually care very much where the butts go.

    But you know, this whole holier-than-thou posturing is a lot more fun, isn’t it?

  32. #32 James Sweet
    July 10, 2009

    I also heard that Zombie Hitler is a smoker.

  33. #33 trrll
    July 10, 2009

    Perhaps there is good reason that the courts won’t touch a case with a RR of less then 2.

    The reason is quite simple, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the notion that lower RR are unreliable. In a lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that it is “more likely than not” that their injury was caused by the defendant. Mathematically, “more likely than not” corresponds to a at least a doubling of risk, which is a RR of 2.0. Even if it were established as absolutely certain that passive smoking increased risk of disease by 20%, an individual would find it difficult to win a lawsuit against an employer, because there would still be an 80% chance that that individual’s disease could have arisen by another cause.

  34. #34 Danimal
    July 10, 2009

    Umm. This was the post that introduced me to your blog from a link to it from denialism (MarkH’s blog). I have been reading you ever sense as well as denialism and many more SB’s. I am still a denialist when it come to the science of second hand smoke (SHS). I should point out what you thought was a good study has been thoroughly debunked. Christopher Snowdon has finally published his book “Velvet Glove, Iron Fist: A History of Anti-Smoking”. Of interest might be Chapter 10 available online. He also review all the spousal SHS studies and gives their conclusions here.

  35. #35 adina
    July 11, 2009

    Thanks, Orac, for such a well-researched blog post.
    I’d like to bleg for another future post related to SHS. I’ve heard some people make the claim that, while the effects of SHS are real, they are mainly suffered by people with pre-existing respiratory (or some other severe medical) conditions, and that most “healthy people” are spared from the effects of SHS. I am very skeptical of this point of view, but I was wondering if you would be willing to do a post that looks at relative risks in samples stratified by medical histories. Of course, parsing by so many variables only lessens a study’s power, and would require more than one control group (ie, already ill with no SHS and not ill with no SHS), but I still think it would be interesting to see if anyone’s tried to look at the topic.

  36. #36 adina
    July 11, 2009

    To all the libertarian-bashers up there, please do not hyperbolize the sentiments of libertarians, or base your arguments on the beliefs of the worst among us. I believe that my rights end where yours’ begin, but I recognize that there are overlaps of various shades, and that resolving these equitably can be a messy process. I do agree that some libertarians ought to consider the ramifications SHS more seriously. However, if we believe that adults have the right to make informed choices, then the most relevant issues would likely be 1) SHS exposure in publicly owned areas 2) SHS exposure in children 3) Public knowledge about the harmful effects of SHS. It does not make sense that smoking bans were first implemented in indoor, privately-owned facilities, in which SHS overwhelmingly impacted adults who voluntarily entered such facilities.

  37. #37 Leni
    July 11, 2009

    Interrobang wrote:

    I was going to say — I think banning smoking on the beach is a great idea, but only because so many jerks think that a beach full of sand is exactly the same as a giant ashtray full of sand, and the beach gets dotted with cigarette butts. Yuck.

    If we banned everything that people littered what would we have left that could be used in public?
    Littering is illegal. Is there some reason they can’t just enforce the rules? Hmm. I wonder if it’s because it’s not really about littering.

    I’m all for bans in places like hospitals, schools, public buildings, airplanes, or other non-entertainment places of employment that might reasonably be considered necessary places for non-smokers to be. But I do not understand why there can’t be smoking and non-smoking entertainment establishments. Is there some reason that non-smokers can’t just open their own damn bars and restaurants? Some 80% of the population doesn’t smoke, and a large percentage of those people incessantly whine about the fact that others do, so I’m pretty sure there’d be a decent market for it.

    They could issue licenses like they do for alcohol and the limit the number available if there is a concern about not enough non-smoking establishments. 20% of the population smokes? Let 5-10% of the bars and restaurants cater to them. People employed at these establishments would have to accept the risk, just like I and countless others accept the risk of increased health problems due to long-term chemical exposure in the workplace. My employer does what they can to reduce it, but the fact remains that there is still risk.

    (And if you don’t think other people’s actions aren’t a large part of my risk, you’ve probably never been in a lab… And no, I can’t sue them. I just have to live with it.)

    Anyway, I think the reasons these bans exists is so that non-smokers don’t have to feel uncomfortable. Anywhere they might want to go. You aren’t going to get cancer sitting at a restaurant for an hour. You aren’t going to die from going into a smokey bar for an hour or two a few times a year. If you think you might, then don’t freaking go! Is it really that hard?

  38. #38 Danimal
    July 11, 2009

    Orac, I have a post in moderation. How about freeing it up?

  39. #39 trrll
    July 11, 2009

    20% of the population smokes? Let 5-10% of the bars and restaurants cater to them. People employed at these establishments would have to accept the risk, just like I and countless others accept the risk of increased health problems due to long-term chemical exposure in the workplace. My employer does what they can to reduce it, but the fact remains that there is still risk.

    This is clearly a false analogy. The risks of chemical exposure cannot be eliminated from a laboratory; some degree of exposure is an unavoidable consequence of doing laboratory work. But laboratory safety regulations do require reducing chemical exposure to the extent possible, and eliminating all avoidable exposures. Many of the laboratory safety regulations are burdensome and costly, and I’m sure that you could find people who would be willing to accept those risks in order to find laboratory employment, but that is not a basis for exemption. An employee who needs a job in order to make a living cannot be said to have made a genuinely free choice.

    On the other hand, it is entirely possible to eliminate tobacco smoke from a bar or restaurant. It is not necessary to burn tobacco in order to prepare food or serve drinks. Perhaps there is some cost involved, just as there is cost in following laboratory safety regulations, but improving the profitability of the enterprise is not considered an acceptable reason for asking employees to accept avoidable health risks, whether in a lab or in a bar.

  40. #40 Frank Davis
    July 11, 2009

    Consequently, a strong argument can be made for indoor smoking bans in the workplace.

    If that’s a strong argument, then the same argument can be made to ban all forms of biomass combustion, because they all produce the same combustion products as cigarettes. If you’re going to ban smoking, then you should also ban wood and coal fires, charcoal grills, candles, incense – the list is endless. Because they all produce carbon and CO and CO2, and a whole range of other carbon compounds. About the only thing that differentiates cigarette smoke from these other forms of smoke is the presence of nicotine compounds, which include nicotinic acid also known as Niacin. In all other respects, the smoke from one form of combustion is the same as with any other form.

    So if you’re going to say that there’s a good case that tobacco smoke should be banned, then in all honesty you ought to be making the case for all smoke to be banned everywhere.

    However, outdoor smoking bans, such as I’ve heard about on many California beaches and a recent law passed by the Beverly Hills City Council to ban smoking in all outdoor eating areas, are just plain stupid and wrong-headed, at least if the rationale is to prevent SHS-caused health problems in the population.

    Why is it ‘plain stupid’? If SHS is a health ‘threat’ indoors, then it’s a health threat outdoors as well. It’s probably less of a threat outdoors than indoors, but you can set the threat bar wherever you like. You’ve just chosen to set the bar at a level which justifies indoor smoking bans, but which regards outdoor smoking bans as “plain stupid and wrongheaded”. Why set the bar there? Why not set it anywhere you damn well like?

    But what’s really objectionable about your view is that it’s only ‘health’ that matters, and nothing else. I suppose that’s only what is to be expected of a health-obsessed, self-described frikkin’ cancer surgeon, but all the same it would have been encouraging to see some other values other than those of ‘health’ to have been considered. Things like liberty, freedom, choice, community, conviviality, compassion, consideration, tradition, and just about everything which doesn’t fall under the banner of ‘health’. Why the hell is ‘health’ supposed to matter more than anything else whatsoever? It’s just one thing among many things that people care about.

    I have an uncle who fought and died for my freedom in the last great war. He was a volunteer, and he knew perfectly well that he could wind up dead the way he actually did. Was he some sort of fool, that he put his health at risk by fighting in that war? Because it’s pretty obviously a health risk to fight in a war. Isn’t it? Well, isn’t it? If health was all that really mattered, he’d have stayed at home.

    And, guess what, he smoked cigarettes too.

  41. #41 Frank Davis
    July 11, 2009

    Consequently, a strong argument can be made for indoor smoking bans in the workplace.

    If that’s a strong argument, then the same argument can be made to ban all forms of biomass combustion, because they all produce the same combustion products as cigarettes. If you’re going to ban smoking, then you should also ban wood and coal fires, charcoal grills, candles, incense – the list is endless. Because they all produce carbon and CO and CO2, and a whole range of other carbon compounds. About the only thing that differentiates cigarette smoke from these other forms of smoke is the presence of nicotine compounds, which include nicotinic acid also known as Niacin. In all other respects, the smoke from one form of combustion is the same as with any other form.

    So if you’re going to say that there’s a good case that tobacco smoke should be banned, then in all honesty you ought to be making the case for all smoke to be banned everywhere.

    However, outdoor smoking bans, such as I’ve heard about on many California beaches and a recent law passed by the Beverly Hills City Council to ban smoking in all outdoor eating areas, are just plain stupid and wrong-headed, at least if the rationale is to prevent SHS-caused health problems in the population.

    Why is it ‘plain stupid’? If SHS is a health ‘threat’ indoors, then it’s a health threat outdoors as well. It’s probably less of a threat outdoors than indoors, but you can set the threat bar wherever you like. You’ve just chosen to set the bar at a level which justifies indoor smoking bans, but which regards outdoor smoking bans as “plain stupid and wrongheaded”. Why set the bar there? Why not set it anywhere you damn well like?

    But what’s really objectionable about your view is that it’s only ‘health’ that matters, and nothing else. I suppose that’s only what is to be expected of a health-obsessed, self-described frikkin’ cancer surgeon, but all the same it would have been encouraging to see some other values other than those of ‘health’ to have been considered. Things like liberty, freedom, choice, community, conviviality, compassion, consideration, tradition, and just about everything which doesn’t fall under the banner of ‘health’. Why the hell is ‘health’ supposed to matter more than anything else whatsoever? It’s just one thing among many things that people care about.

    I have an uncle who fought and died for my freedom in the last great war. He was a volunteer, and he knew perfectly well that he could wind up dead the way he actually did. Was he some sort of fool, that he put his health at risk by fighting in that war? Because it’s pretty obviously a health risk to fight in a war. Isn’t it? Well, isn’t it? If health was all that really mattered, he’d have stayed at home.

    And, guess what, he smoked cigarettes too.

  42. #42 trrll
    July 11, 2009

    If that’s a strong argument, then the same argument can be made to ban all forms of biomass combustion, because they all produce the same combustion products as cigarettes.

    In general, smoke in the workplace is considered a pollutant, with reasonable exceptions for small amounts of combustion products unavoidably produced, e.g. in cooking and heating. However, it is certainly not true that all biomass burning is equivalent. Different types of biological materials contain different compounds, many of which are vaporized rather than being burned. For example, smoke from some plants (e.g. poison ivy) is far more allergenic the smoke from others.

  43. #43 Frank Davis
    July 11, 2009

    trrl wrote: In general, smoke in the workplace is considered a pollutant, with reasonable exceptions for small amounts of combustion products unavoidably produced

    Like with cooking and heating? Why are they unavoidable? We can avoid cooking and heating if we so choose. There’s nothing that says that I have to turn on my heating system when I feel a bit cold. There’s nothing that says that I have to cook food, many of which can be eaten raw and uncooked. I can always eat food that don’t need cooking – like fruits and nuts.

    And there’s nothing ‘allergenic’ about smoke. Allergies require proteins to trigger them, and there are no proteins whatsoever in any sort of smoke.

    I repeat: if smoke is a health threat, then all smoke should be banned everywhere. And that includes the smoke from matches which are used to light more or less everything. And the campfires on which children learn to bake food. And the charcoal grills on which burgers and chicken are grilled. And most of the cooking methods that are employed in any kitchen. And more or less every coal/wood/gas-fired heating system. If smoke is a health threat, then people should be banning fire in every single one of its forms, which are too numerous toenumerate.

    There is another great war coming, between you and me.

  44. #44 HCN
    July 11, 2009

    Frank Davis said “And there’s nothing ‘allergenic’ about smoke. Allergies require proteins to trigger them, and there are no proteins whatsoever in any sort of smoke.”

    Then why am I allergic to the metal nickel? What about pollen and poison ivy?

    Also, cooking fires are usually well vented. Perhaps every smoker should have a place where they can sit under a running vent. That would solve all sorts of problems. Because the biggest effect of prohibiting smoking in our office over twenty years ago is that we did not have to smell it anymore (especially that chain smoker who always managed to burn the filter, which added the less than lovely stench of burning plastic).

  45. #45 Joseph C.
    July 11, 2009

    I have an uncle who fought and died for my freedom in the last great war. He was a volunteer, and he knew perfectly well that he could wind up dead the way he actually did. Was he some sort of fool, that he put his health at risk by fighting in that war? Because it’s pretty obviously a health risk to fight in a war. Isn’t it? Well, isn’t it? If health was all that really mattered, he’d have stayed at home.

    Not only is this argument completely incoherent and stupid, but you’re also a slime ball for dragging the memory of a relative into an Interweb debate in this fashion.

  46. #46 Chris
    July 12, 2009

    Franky, the reason why many of us do not like second hand smoke is not for health reasons, but because you all stink!

    Trust me (and this goes for adina, too), I don’t give diddly squat dingo dong if you really want to inhale smoke into your lungs on purpose with stuff that you paid for at tax enhanced premium prices, just don’t let me get a whiff. And really, truly, after indulging in said “pleasure” please take a shower and change into fresh washed clothes so we don’t have to sniff the stale remnants of the tobacco, because that is actually more foul than the smoke itself.

    I know that this habit you have formed due to succumbing to the lure of tobacco ads has totally annihilated your sense of smell, but the rest of us can sniff you out, and we don’t like what we smell.

    You all stink!

  47. #47 trrll
    July 12, 2009

    Like with cooking and heating? Why are they unavoidable?

    Smoke and combustion products are unavoidable in the business of preparing cooked food. Similarly, some degree of smoke is unavoidable in the business of heating homes using combustible fuels. In contrast, there is nothing about preparing or serving food or drink that inherently generates tobacco smoke.

    And there’s nothing ‘allergenic’ about smoke. Allergies require proteins to trigger them, and there are no proteins whatsoever in any sort of smoke.

    You can test that hypothesis by burning some poison ivy and taking a whiff of the smoke.

    In fact, you are wrong on two counts. It is not true that protein is required for an allergic reaction, as demonstrated by allergies to penicillin. Small molecules that trigger allergic responses typically either are reactive or have metabolites that are reactive with your own proteins, causing them to appear foreign to your immune system. And smoke is not a gas; it contains particulates, which can have unburned biomatter in them, including protein.

    I repeat: if smoke is a health threat, then all smoke should be banned everywhere.

    You are advocating a more stringent standard for smoke than is expected of any other workplace health hazard. For other workplaces, we require the elimination of avoidable hazards, but for those that are inherent in the enterprise, we merely require them to be reduced to the extent practicable. An example already discussed is lab chemicals. We minimize chemical exposure, but cannot eliminate it altogether without making lab work impractical. Similarly, we minimize exposure to the smoke of cooking food, but cannot eliminate it altogether without making food cooking impractical. In the context of food service, tobacco smoke is an entirely avoidable hazard so it is eliminated; cooking smoke is not entirely avoidable, so it is minimized.

  48. #48 fred johnson
    July 12, 2009

    Of course Second hand smoke has little effect on anyone else simple logic is all thats needed to realize that, even if you keep your face 2 inches from a smoker and inhale deeply your exposure is a tiny fraction of that of the smoker.

    Car exhaust and other pollutants should be your concern as your exposed to them constantly a guy having a smoke outside is not going to effect your health and if you think otherwise your a hysterical moron.

    I’m sick of this anti smoking hysteria if an adult can go to war and get killed, letting that same adult have a cigarette
    really pales in comparison and reveals much of the population to be winging, selfish and stupid.

  49. #49 Frank Davis
    July 12, 2009

    Joseph C wrote: Not only is this argument completely incoherent and stupid, but you’re also a slime ball for dragging the memory of a relative into an Interweb debate in this fashion.

    I think you’re going to find out one day that absolutely everything gets dragged into this debate, because the scope of the debate stretches far beyond the narrow concern of public health. This is as much an economic and moral and political dispute as it is a medical debate. This is a debate about absolutely everything, and the real slime balls are those people who attempt to restrict it to a narrow argument about health, and who refuse to consider the wider issues which surround smoking bans.

    My uncle fought and died so that my people could be free, and you people are taking away those freedoms. So now we’re going to have to fight the war he fought again.

    Chris wrote: You all stink!

    Thank you for your honesty. You are eloquently expressing the true core values of antismokers. They hate smoking, and they hate smokers. Everything else, including the epidemiology, is a rationalisation of this hatred. And this is why antismoking epidemiological science is a pseudoscience, in exactly the same way that Nazi racial science was a pseudoscience: it was the rationalisation of ancient prejudices. It is no accident that both of these pseudosciences began life in Nazi Germany. They are pseudosciences because they begin with the conclusions, and then seek evidence to support those conclusions.

  50. #50 Frank Davis
    July 12, 2009

    trrll wrote: You are advocating a more stringent standard for smoke than is expected of any other workplace health hazard. For other workplaces, we require the elimination of avoidable hazards, but for those that are inherent in the enterprise, we merely require them to be reduced to the extent practicable… In the context of food service, tobacco smoke is an entirely avoidable hazard so it is eliminated; cooking smoke is not entirely avoidable, so it is minimized.

    I’m not advocating any standards at all. I’m just pointing out the inconsistency in standards which are applied to one ‘threat’, but not to other equal or greater threats.

    Allow me to temporarily concede that cooking is an unavoidable hazard in a restaurant. But are the candles burning on the tables, the log fire blazing in the fireplace, and the flambé crepes prepared by the tables, also unavoidable hazards? Well, no, they are not. There’s no need for them at all. So ban them too.

    Once you start dividing these things into the ‘avoidable’ and ‘unavoidable’, it becomes all too easy to show that what looked like it is unavoidable is actually perfectly avoidable. There is, as I have already said, no real need to cook food anyway. There are plenty of foodstuffs which require no cooking whatsoever. e.g. fruits, salads, nuts. If restaurants menus were restricted to these foods, there would be no need for a kitchen at all, thus removing a considerable health hazard. So let’s ban kitchens.

    And might it not be asked whether restaurants themselves constitute avoidable health hazards. Is it really necessary for people to all eat together in a single room? No, it isn’t. Is it not the case that most restaurants are selling expensive luxury foods which people don’t really need to eat? Yes, it is. If, as is happening more and more, smokers are being told to restrict their smoking to their own homes, then why not demand that people restrict their cooking, with its attendant unavoidable health hazards, to their own homes as well? So let’s ban restaurants.

    Either ban everything that can possibly be construed as an avoidable health hazard, however small. Or else allow everything.

  51. #51 trrll
    July 12, 2009

    Once you start dividing these things into the ‘avoidable’ and ‘unavoidable’, it becomes all too easy to show that what looked like it is unavoidable is actually perfectly avoidable. There is, as I have already said, no real need to cook food anyway.

    Once again, you are shifting the standards. Essentially you are creating a straw man, arguing that if safety standards were what they are not, then workplace smoking bans would be inconsistent. Current safety standards are not to eliminate any “unnecessary” activity which has any risks whatsoever–they are to eliminate unnecessary risks associated with particular activities. Let me make it simple for you:

    Eliminating unnecessary risks associated with an activity = apples
    Eliminating unnecessary activities that pose risks = oranges

  52. #52 Marshall
    July 12, 2009

    trrll

    On the other hand, it is entirely possible to eliminate tobacco smoke from a bar or restaurant. It is not necessary to burn tobacco in order to prepare food or serve drinks. Perhaps there is some cost involved, just as there is cost in following laboratory safety regulations, but improving the profitability of the enterprise is not considered an acceptable reason for asking employees to accept avoidable health risks, whether in a lab or in a bar.

    First you have to show that second hand smoke is a hazard.
    The activist in scientific clothing apply the linear no threshold model that is highly contested for radioactivity for which it was designed. We simply don’t live in a linear world. Second the RRs for chronic exposure is extremely small, no cause of a disease has ever been proven at such levels. Can you name one? Oric uses the fallacy of bio-plausibility based on the extreme that if something is toxic at high levels that it is safe to assume that it is toxic at low levels. Again it flies in the face of toxicology. Dose makes the poison. The fact is that everything is toxic at a high enough dose.
    The bottom line is that this is junk science that wouldn’t pass muster in a court of law. Should we be striping owners of the right to use a legal product on their own property on junk science that couldn’t pass a sniff test in a court of law!

  53. #53 Chris
    July 12, 2009

    Marshall:

    First you have to show that second hand smoke is a hazard.

    The fact that anyone voluntarily pays a premium in real money to inhale smoke is their own business. Just please, not within any area that I can smell it.

    The health issues are your own, and since there is real evidence that you are cutting your own life short and have more health issues… just please don’t make us pay for it in increased insurance rates.

  54. #54 Chris
    July 12, 2009

    Oh, and Franky, I don’t hate smokers. I hate the smell of the smoke and the harm it has caused in our family.

    Personally, I am not impressed with anyone’s intelligence when they actually spend real money on something as stupid inhaling tobacco smoke into their lungs. You try to claim some kind of superiority, yet you fail at every turn (especially the bit about allergy, hint: not every irritant is a protein especially for the lung, if you need a demonstration look up what happens when you mix bleach and ammonia — read about it, do not actually do it!).

    Do yourself a favor: quit smoking.

    Yes, I know it is hard. It took my mother twenty years of working very hard to quit smoking. My dad quit fairly quickly after a dentist discovered the beginning of mouth cancer. But it improved their lives immensely.

    Now if you come back with some stupid line like I am just an anti-smoker hater, then I will just conclude that not only do you stink, but you are incredibly stupid (well, noticing how you are equating cooking crepes or candles to tobacco smoke, I guess that latter statement was already established).

  55. #55 Joseph C.
    July 12, 2009

    Oric uses the fallacy of bio-plausibility based on the extreme that if something is toxic at high levels that it is safe to assume that it is toxic at low levels.

    But that’s not what plausibility means. Nor is that what Orac intended to say. Biological plausibility, based on dose-response in this case, just lends more credibility to the studies that find toxicity in passive smoking. Nothing is being assumed because they’ve actually studied it.

    The bottom line is that this is junk science that wouldn’t pass muster in a court of law.

    Only cranks talk about scientific questions being answered in the courts.

  56. #56 KristinMH
    July 12, 2009

    Personally, I am not impressed with anyone’s intelligence when they actually spend real money on something as stupid inhaling tobacco smoke into their lungs.

    As I’m sure you already know, coming from a family of smokers, it’s not a question of intelligence – it’s a question of tobacco being an unbelievably addictive substance. I’m married to a smoker who’s quit about every six months for as long as I’ve known him. (He’s just quit again, actually.) He knows that smoking is an idiotic waste of money that makes him smell bad and may eventually kill him. But he keeps going back because that shit is more addictive than heroin.

  57. #57 Chris
    July 12, 2009

    I know that it is addictive, and your spouse has tried. I do hope that this is the last time he quits. It did take my mother over twenty years.

    My problem are advocates like Franky and Marshall who keep defending their addiction. That is their intelligence I am questioning.

    As we all know, the best way to quit smoking is to not start to begin with.

  58. #58 Marshall
    July 12, 2009

    Only cranks talk about scientific questions being answered in the courts.

    Posted by: Joseph C.

    At no time did I make such an assertion. Only a crank with a weak position make such a I said no laws striping property owners of their right to use a legal product on their own property or allow their guest to do the same. No law should be passed based on science that can’t hold up to legal scrutiny.

    There has been no case made for the dose response since even at the high end no cause of a disease has been proven even at the RRs of chronic exposure. And no he was using the surgeon generals statement of no safe level, otherwise if you look at the actual studies and not the Meta’s, 1 is in the CI until you get to 80+ pack years in many cases.

  59. #59 Danimal
    July 12, 2009

    Sorry to say that the anti-smoking movement has become anti-smoker as evidenced in the comments. Orac you still have not released the post I have in moderation.

  60. #60 Marshall
    July 12, 2009

    But that’s not what plausibility means. Nor is that what Orac intended to say. Biological plausibility, based on dose-response in this case.

    If you look at the actual studies and not the Meta analysis. Many don’t show a dose response curve. And many of those that do don’t become statistically significant until 80+ pack years. That can hardly be called a premature death. Even at the high end no cause of a disease has ever been proven at such low RRs. Can you name one. Then you add Meta-analysis on these types of studies you are asking for trouble. Again I quote.

    [P]roblems have been so frequent and so deep, and overstatements of the strength of conclusions so extreme, that one might well conclude there is something seriously and fundamentally wrong with the method. For the present . . . I still prefer the thoughtful, old-fashioned review of the literature by a knowledgeable expert who explains and defends the judgments that are presented. We have not yet reached a stage where these judgments can be passed on, even in part, to a formalized process such as meta-analysis.
    John C. Bailar III, Assessing Assessments. In case you don’t know who he is.
    http://health.bsd.uchicago.edu/People/Bailar-John

    You also ignore the fact that Lung cancer has remained unchanged since 1935 even though exposure to SHS drastically between then and now. If SHS caused lung cancer you would have expected to see an increase throughout the 1900′s peaking in the 70′s or 80′s. You do not!
    http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050185

    Only cranks talk about scientific questions being answered in the courts.

    Only a crank would make such a statement. I was talking about laws being passed striping a property owner of the right to use a legal product on their own property or allowing their guest to do the same. So yes I think that the so called science should be able to pass the legal sniff test before a law is passed. The bottom line is every job has risks and most have risks 100′s of times those claimed by anti-smoking activist. If you go to a bar you will find that most workers smoke. No one forces you to work anywhere, you are free to pick what risks you find acceptable. Same goes for patronage, no one ever forced you into a smoking establishment.

  61. #61 trrll
    July 12, 2009

    If you look at the actual studies and not the Meta analysis. Many don’t show a dose response curve. And many of those that do don’t become statistically significant until 80+ pack years. That can hardly be called a premature death. Even at the high end no cause of a disease has ever been proven at such low RRs. Can you name one.

    To get a dose-response curve, you need really accurate measurement of the dose. This is something that can be done with many drugs, where there is a prescription record of usage. But for smoking, it is notoriously difficult. What is the smoker’s exposure to each of the many potentially toxic compounds in cigarette smoke? That depends upon the number of cigarettes smoked, to be sure, but also on how deeply the smoker inhales, how long he or she holds the smoke before exhaling, etc. So it would be surprising if anybody could come up with a clear dose-effect relationship.

    And 80+ pack-years corresponds to two packs a day for 40 years, not an extraordinarily high level of consumption. Considering that many people start smoking in their teens, that corresponds to lung cancer in their 50′s. Speaking as somebody older than that, who would like to look forward to another decade or two. I’d say that qualifies as premature death. It certainly can be difficult to establish a low relative risk. It requires repeated studies and careful consideration of confounding factors. But the fact that is it statistically difficult to identify a risk of , say 20% does not mean that nothing in existence poses a risk of that magnitude–which most people would consider a fairly severe risk when it applies to a miserable, fatal disease.

    The bottom line is every job has risks and most have risks 100′s of times those claimed by anti-smoking activist. If you go to a bar you will find that most workers smoke. No one forces you to work anywhere, you are free to pick what risks you find acceptable.

    One needs a job to provide for oneself and one’s loved ones, and there are plenty of people who don’t have one, so it is not exactly a free choice. It is certainly true that no job is without risk, and that many people are obliged to accept risk in order to find work. But that does not excuse imposing unnecessary risks on workers. The fact that somebody might voluntarily choose to accept a greater risk for the pleasure (or relief of withdrawal) of smoking is irrelevant–that does not excuse having it forced upon them as a condition of employment. Many people choose to have sex voluntarily (an activity that is also not without risk), but we still do not consider it acceptable for sex with the boss to be a precondition of employment. People may choose to smoke, but that does not excuse potentially adding to their risk, even by a small amount, when that hazard is completely avoidable by prohibiting smoking in the workplace.

  62. #62 Leni
    July 12, 2009

    trlll wrote:

    This is clearly a false analogy. The risks of chemical exposure cannot be eliminated from a laboratory; some degree of exposure is an unavoidable consequence of doing laboratory work. But laboratory safety regulations do require reducing chemical exposure to the extent possible, and eliminating all avoidable exposures. Many of the laboratory safety regulations are burdensome and costly, and I’m sure that you could find people who would be willing to accept those risks in order to find laboratory employment, but that is not a basis for exemption. An employee who needs a job in order to make a living cannot be said to have made a genuinely free choice.

    I find it odd that you’re arguing for “free choice” while suggesting there should be no choice. If you support total bans, then all you are doing is supporting the “freedom” to choose the only option available.

    In any case, a limited number of business (like the 5-10% I suggested, maybe 1-5% would be better?) leaves enough room for people to look elsewhere, or to not stay employed at a business that allows smoking for long if they took the job out of sheer desperation.

    I also mentioned having smoking “times”. Shifts could be arranged around those times. There could be smoking rooms. Look, all I’m saying is that there are more options than the all-or-nothing approach we’ve used so far. I think we could make it work reasonably well if we wanted to, but in the current climate (typified by Chris’ enlightening post) such a compromise is probably not possible.

    This is obviously all hypothetical, but if only a small number of establishments allowed smoking and they gave employment preference to smokers (just like other businesses give preference to non-smokers) and took other precautions, I think it could be a very workable solution in many places, particular large cities. Maybe not in a small town with limited options, but that could be worked around without a great deal of difficulty and without putting undue strain on non-smokers. Maybe those towns just wouldn’t get a smoking option. That doesn’t mean it has to be that way in Las Vegas or New York, does it?

    I don’t really have much to say about your point regarding safety regulations. It’s a fair point, but I don’t think it makes the analogy necessarily false. All analogies suffer from imperfections! My point is just that we all accept risks on the job and that those risks are not equally mitigated. Of course we expect and require employers to reduce those risks as much as possible and bars are no exception, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to reduce the risks of tobacco and to give employees the option of informed consent. We do care about choice, don’t we?

    On quick example of risk reduction: the owners of the bar I worked at in college spent 10K to install an air filtration system that was made obsolete a few years later when a smoking ban went through. After the ban, they spent another 10K remodeling a part of the bar to be an enclosed outdoor seating area. That is a pretty hefty price for a business with 3 employees (who all smoked anyway)! They made every effort to comply with regulations and to make the bar a place people would choose to go to. Why not let them? People are willing to pay for it, willing to accept the risks, and willing to not force non-smokers to work there, why not let them?

    Anyway, I think arguing the validity of studies that show SHS to be harmful is a waste of time. I just don’t think it justifies total bans. We all know alcohol is harmful, yet we find ways to deal with it without banning public use completely. It’s not perfect, but I doubt many of us expect perfection anyway. What bothers me most is that the anti-smoking lobby has framed the debate in utterly dishonest ways. Chris, for all his whinging (gee, maybe we should ban BO and bad breath too!), is at least honest about why s/he supports bans.

  63. #63 Marshall
    July 12, 2009

    And 80+ pack-years corresponds to two packs a day for 40 years, not an extraordinarily high level of consumption. Considering that many people start smoking in their teens, that corresponds to lung cancer in their 50′s.

    That 80+ pack years was for spouses of smokers, You would have to assume that they were present for each and every one of those cigarettes.

    It certainly can be difficult to establish a low relative risk. It requires repeated studies and careful consideration of confounding factors. But the fact that is it statistically difficult to identify a risk of , say 20% does not mean that nothing in existence poses a risk of that magnitude–which most people would consider a fairly severe risk when it applies to a miserable, fatal disease.

    You fail to show one single cause of a disease with RRs that low that have been proven. Again I point to the award winning article in science.

    “If it’s a 1.5 relative risk, and it’s only one study and even a very good one, you scratch your chin and say maybe.” Some epidemiologists say that an association with an increased risk of tens of percent might be believed if it shows up consistently in many different studies.

    That’s the rationale for meta-analysis — a technique for combining many ambiguous studies to see whether they tend in the same direction (Science, 3 August 1990, p. 476).

    But when Science asked epidemiologists to identify weak associations that are now considered convincing because they show up repeatedly, opinions were divided — consistently.
    http://www.nasw.org/awards/1996/96Taubesarticle.htm

    You also fail to show why if SHS caused cancer why didn’t the lung cancer rates change with exposure. The rates have not changed for almost 100 years.

    People may choose to smoke, but that does not excuse potentially adding to their risk, even by a small amount, when that hazard is completely avoidable by prohibiting smoking in the workplace.

    We don’t strip rights from owners on “potentially” at least not in a free society.

  64. #64 trrll
    July 12, 2009

    I find it odd that you’re arguing for “free choice” while suggesting there should be no choice. If you support total bans, then all you are doing is supporting the “freedom” to choose the only option available.

    You are merely playing semantic games rather than addressing my point, which is that the choice is not free, as the power imbalance between employer and employee necessarily imposes a degree of coercion. If there is anything that has been established in the history of labor relations, it is that the need for employment will lead people to accept unsafe–sometimes grossly unsafe–conditions. This is the reason behind the establishment of safety standards, that employees do not have the power to exempt their employer from. There is nothing particularly unique about smoking in this regard–avoidable and potentially hazardous pollutants and other unsafe conditions are not permitted in the workplace, regardless of whether the employees consent.

    In any case, a limited number of business (like the 5-10% I suggested, maybe 1-5% would be better?) leaves enough room for people to look elsewhere, or to not stay employed at a business that allows smoking for long if they took the job out of sheer desperation.

    If everybody always had enough room to pick and choose among numerous options for employment, then there would be nobody out of work and looking for a job. This is demonstrably false.

    This is obviously all hypothetical, but if only a small number of establishments allowed smoking and they gave employment preference to smokers (just like other businesses give preference to non-smokers) and took other precautions, I think it could be a very workable solution in many places, particular large cities.

    A business could give employment preference to smokers, but not on condition that they consent to work in a smoky environment–and if they did give consent, it would have no legal validity.

    Anyway, I think arguing the validity of studies that show SHS to be harmful is a waste of time. I just don’t think it justifies total bans. We all know alcohol is harmful, yet we find ways to deal with it without banning public use completely.

    This is another apples and oranges argument, because the argument against smoking in the workplace is not the hazard of smoking to the smoker, but rather unnecessarily imposing a potentially unsafe pollutant on employees. One could reasonably have a private club with no paid employees at which smoking was permitted.

  65. #65 trrll
    July 12, 2009

    That 80+ pack years was for spouses of smokers, You would have to assume that they were present for each and every one of those cigarettes.

    Is that what was assumed in the study that came up with that figure? If so, the risk could be considerably higher than the figure suggests.

    You fail to show one single cause of a disease with RRs that low that have been proven. Again I point to the award winning article in science.

    The increased breast cancer risk for women on hormone replacement therapy is accepted as established. The risk is about 20%.

    You fail to show one single cause of a disease with RRs that low that have been proven. Again I point to the award winning article in science.

    It is very odd to cite a 10-year old article as indicative of the current state of the art in science.

  66. #66 Marleneb
    July 13, 2009

    Let’s just put it this way:
    (Real) HEADLINE IN A NEWSPAPER
    “Frequent fliers may be getting a dangerous dose” of secondary tobacco smoke.
    A “dangerous dose”? In an airport? An airport where hundreds of planes are freely spewing jet fuel fumes into the terminals’ air intakes??
    Looking at just two of the emissions that jets and cigarettes have in common shows how ridiculous this is. According to the Surgeon Generals’ 1986 Report on Environmental Tobacco Smoke, a cigarette puts out a total of 3 mg of nitrogen oxide (NO) and 40 mg of carbon monoxide (CO). The 1995 EPA study on airplane emissions cites a single 747 takeoff/landing at about 115 pounds of NO and 32 pounds of CO.
    That’s 52 million mg of NO and 14 million mg of CO if you do the math.
    Doing a bit more math for a typical 500 takeoffs/landings per day shows us that
    the nice clean smokefree air being pumped into those terminals has the CO equivalent of over 160 million cigarettes and the NO of Eight and a Half BILLION cigarettes.
    All of which is being shwooshed right into the lungs of travelers who are supposedly
    receiving a “dangerous dose” from a few cigarettes being puffed in secluded and sealed off terminal areas and bars. This would be funny if it weren’t so sad.
    References:
    1986 SG Report pgs. 129, 130, 136
    EPA Report “Technical Data… Commercial Aviation” 09/29/95

  67. #67 Marleneb
    July 13, 2009

    Let’s just put it this way:
    (Real) HEADLINE IN A NEWSPAPER
    “Frequent fliers may be getting a dangerous dose” of secondary tobacco smoke.
    A “dangerous dose”? In an airport? An airport where hundreds of planes are freely spewing jet fuel fumes into the terminals’ air intakes??
    Looking at just two of the emissions that jets and cigarettes have in common shows how ridiculous this is. According to the Surgeon Generals’ 1986 Report on Environmental Tobacco Smoke, a cigarette puts out a total of 3 mg of nitrogen oxide (NO) and 40 mg of carbon monoxide (CO). The 1995 EPA study on airplane emissions cites a single 747 takeoff/landing at about 115 pounds of NO and 32 pounds of CO.
    That’s 52 million mg of NO and 14 million mg of CO if you do the math.
    Doing a bit more math for a typical 500 takeoffs/landings per day shows us that
    the nice clean smokefree air being pumped into those terminals has the CO equivalent of over 160 million cigarettes and the NO of Eight and a Half BILLION cigarettes.
    All of which is being shwooshed right into the lungs of travelers who are supposedly
    receiving a “dangerous dose” from a few cigarettes being puffed in secluded and sealed off terminal areas and bars. This would be funny if it weren’t so sad.
    References:
    1986 SG Report pgs. 129, 130, 136
    EPA Report “Technical Data… Commercial Aviation” 09/29/95

  68. #68 Marshall
    July 13, 2009

    trrll

    The increased breast cancer risk for women on hormone replacement therapy is accepted as established. The risk is about 20%.

    Of course you are talking about drug theropy where confounders can be accounted for. Not based on lifestyle surveys.

    It is very odd to cite a 10-year old article as indicative of the current state of the art in science.

    I notice that you didn’t post a recent one to counter it. The bulk of the studies in the surgeon generals report were older then that. But ok here is one that is newer that essentially says the same thing.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/16/magazine/16epidemiology-t.html?_r=3&pagewanted=1

  69. #69 Leni
    July 13, 2009

    You are merely playing semantic games rather than addressing my point, which is that the choice is not free, as the power imbalance between employer and employee necessarily imposes a degree of coercion.

    First of all, it wasn’t semantics. It was a point about the irony of advocating choice by removing all choice. You are advocating having one choice, which is in fact not a choice at all. I’m offering two. Limited, informed and regulated. How is that semantics?

    Second, if 95% of employers offered an option some 80% of employees would want, I don’t see how this would be a matter of coercion. Particularly if smoking hours or rooms were used.

    I am tempted to say that you just proved my point about the inability of anti-smoking zealots to compromise. There is no compromise, is there? There is only the ban.

    If there is anything that has been established in the history of labor relations, it is that the need for employment will lead people to accept unsafe–sometimes grossly unsafe–conditions. This is the reason behind the establishment of safety standards, that employees do not have the power to exempt their employer from.

    That’s why ~95% of jobs would be available to the some 80% of the population who doesn’t smoke. They could work somewhere else the vast majority of the time. People who like to smoke while they work could do that too.

    There is nothing particularly unique about smoking in this regard–avoidable and potentially hazardous pollutants and other unsafe conditions are not permitted in the workplace, regardless of whether the employees consent.

    Yes, hazards are permitted. That was my point about working in labs. Risks are mitigated to the extent that it is possible and required by law. Beyond that, employees must consent to accepting a certain amount of risk. This is why I work in a lab and not a prison. Chemicals are not as scary as people :)

  70. #70 Marshall
    July 13, 2009

    trrll

    The increased breast cancer risk for women on hormone replacement therapy is accepted as established. The risk is about 20%.

    The ACS says 50%
    http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_6x_Menopausal_Hormone_Replacement_Therapy_and_Cancer_Risk.asp
    And even that is disputed. I would hardly call it proven.
    http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/topic.do?topicKey=~n.00MxZEAlsxI.

  71. #71 Leni
    July 13, 2009

    This is another apples and oranges argument, because the argument against smoking in the workplace is not the hazard of smoking to the smoker, but rather unnecessarily imposing a potentially unsafe pollutant on employees.

    If the employees are by and large smokers who want to work in a place that allows smoking, then what is your point? That we need trail-blazers like you to protect us from the things we’d rather be doing? Diapers, perhaps?

    Please at least consider the fact that maybe it’s not as apples as oranges as you might think. Drunkenness is not an airborne “pollutant”, but it certainly is an environmental hazard that can lead to unsafe conditions with serious health consequences. Other people’s actions can cause harm to others even when there isn’t smoke involved, believe it or not. And since I was a bartender, I can tell you with some certainty that I would much rather deal with a smoker than an angry drunk.

    Again, that was a risk I accepted. My employer mitigated that risk by employing a bouncer, but bouncers can only do so much. The rest of that risk was on me.

  72. #72 Skamandros
    July 13, 2009

    Compare the restrictions on public consumption of tobacco with marijuana, or even alcohol. You people have nothing to complain about.

  73. #73 Lynda Farley
    July 13, 2009

    >Conclusions.– The conclusions of review articles are >strongly associated with the affiliations of their >authors. Authors of review articles should disclose >potential financial conflicts of interest, and readers of >review articles should consider authors’ affiliations when >deciding how to judge an article’s conclusions.

    Very interesting. Did you happen to look at how much of the junk ‘science’ about smoking and second hand smoke is produced by pHARMaceutical company interests? They are attempting to get rid of their biggest competitor, the tobacco industry, with the one of the biggest campaigns of propaganda, disinformation, and outright big fat lies I’ve ever seen in my entire life *(until they came up with the ‘humans are causing climate change’ scam). If you do a bit more research, you will easily find out that Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (www.rwjf.org) has dumped about a billion dollars into the anti-smoking industry over the past 15 years or so. They own a major portion of Johnson & Johnson, who owns the patent for nicoderm, and also nicorette. RWJF pays AHA (American Heart–er hypocrite–Associaion), ALA (American lung..liar association), ACS (American Cancer…CON Society) tens of millions of dollars each year to push for smoking bans, extortionate cigarette taxes, and to SELL THEIR DRUGS.

    >We already know that smoking causes cancer and heart disease

    This is true ONLY becuase you have been told this over and over (and more often than not with financing from big pHARMaceutical). The tobacco companies won for so long because there STILL IS NO actual proof that smokING has caused ANYTHING. Epidemiological studies do NOT prove cause and effect, and never can. There is a logical falacy there – else, I’ve ‘proved’ my rooster crowing ’causes’ the sun to come up – there is a 100% corelation. The tobacco industry finally caved in the Rose Cipalone case only because the judge barred them from presenting ANY scientific efidence to counter that provided by drug company interests. In other words, the judge arbitrarily threw out one side of the case. BTW, a couple of the attorneys for the plaintiff ended up disbarred, and I think one is in jail.

    See what is left if we throw out ALL ‘evidence’ that is funded by ANY group – including those who have a vested financial interest in sales of nicotine replacement products – that might have financial interest. The ‘mountains’ of ‘evidence’ will be no more than a mole hill, if that. There is LOTS more info at http://www.forces.org

  74. #74 Greg
    July 13, 2009

    I mentioned this before but because this article is about medical stuff it tends to get lost. From the reading of the posts there are two main arguments going on here: 1) SHS is unhealthy, 2) “I don like it” vs “I have a right to do it”

    The facts about the health issues are up for debate, but if SHS causes even a 1% rise in incidents of cancer and other health issues, limiting exposure to those who don’t smoke is reasonable. Not because it’s fair or because other things are just as bad and aren’t banned, but because people who don’t smoke have the right to not be subjected to it. As I said in an earlier post in a civil society we use laws to limit unacceptable behavior, smoking in North America is now considered poor behavior (even a lot of smokers admit this “dirty smoker…”).

    The real issue though is personal rights and responsibilities, not just to themselves but to those around them. Unfortunately, for smokers too, smoking is not a solitary activity. Nor is it just an idea, it is a physical pollutant whose affects are immediately noticeable. When someone lights up they are forcing everyone around them to smoke with them. Regardless of the health issues, they are essentially saying that there bit of pleasure (fix) is more valuable that the rights of those around them. They are wrong. Our right to do something does not trump the right of someone else to not have that thing done to them. That is pretty much the basis of all our laws. Since smoking physically effects others and if those that smoke refuse to yield to those that don’t, then those that don’t smoke can and should do whatever is required to either gain compensation or stop the affront. Those that smoke do not have a basis for a claim there rights are being curtailed because what they are doing curtails the rights of others.

    @Adina
    To all the libertarian-bashers up there, please do not hyperbolize the sentiments of libertarians, or base your arguments on the beliefs of the worst among us. I believe that my rights end where yours’ begin, but I recognize that there are overlaps of various shades, and that resolving these equitably can be a messy process. I do agree that some libertarians ought to consider the ramifications SHS more seriously.

    What you’ve said here is exactly the problem. “My rights end where yours’ begin”, this is not an ambiguous statement or idea, it is pretty clearly stated and easy to understand. The messy process you mention is the refusal to acknowledge this by the active party, in this case the smoker, and provide compensation to those affected. The ramifications that you mention is that it effects others, health issues aside, it is unpleasant and damages real property. If you don’t believe that, then try cleaning the tar off the windows in a smokers car, or maybe the dry cleaning bill for their clothing.

    However, if we believe that adults have the right to make informed choices

    I agree, and a growing majority are deciding that smoking is unacceptable and choosing to pass laws to curtail it.

    the most relevant issues would likely be 1) SHS exposure in publicly owned areas

    Exposure is pretty obvious to anyone in a room with or down wind of a smoker.

    2) SHS exposure in children
    Put a kid who in a room with a smoker and they will wave their hands and cough, what else do you need to know?

    3) Public knowledge about the harmful effects of SHS.
    See above, substitute kid with adult.

    It does not make sense that smoking bans were first implemented in indoor, privately-owned facilities, in which SHS overwhelmingly impacted adults who voluntarily entered such facilities.

    By law an employer must provide a safe workplace and provide customers with a safe environment. They cannot discriminate for heath issues either. There is enough evidence that smoking has at least short term negative health effects; difficulty breathing, stinging eyes, etc. This is enough to require that a business comply with a ban.

    Look, I’ve said it before but this is always tough to get some smokers to understand because they have acclimated to their habit. They seem to not realize what the effects of their smoking have on others because they are desensitized to it. The only thing I can offer is an analogy I used a few posts back.

    Smoking in a room or anywhere for that matter is pretty much the same as pissing. If sat down at the table next to you on that nice patio in the sun and started spraying urine all over the place, you would demand that a law be passed to keep me from doing it. Like smoke, urine smells, it gets in your face and food and on your cloths. The only difference is that it is a liquid. The act is basically the same, I get relief and satisfaction by doing it and if you don’t like it them you should go someplace else.

  75. #75 Marshall
    July 13, 2009

    Greg,Greg,Greg

    You have some serious misconceptions about rights and libertarians.

    What you’ve said here is exactly the problem. “My rights end where yours’ begin”, this is not an ambiguous statement or idea, it is pretty clearly stated and easy to understand. The messy process you mention is the refusal to acknowledge this by the active party, in this case the smoker, and provide compensation to those affected. The ramifications that you mention is that it effects others, health issues aside, it is unpleasant and damages real property. If you don’t believe that, then try cleaning the tar off the windows in a smokers car, or maybe the dry cleaning bill for their clothing.

    The big fallacy in your argument is that you assume that your rights are primary. In the case of a business it is private property plain and simple, you have no rights except those granted to you by the owner of the property. You do have the right not to enter that business or to spend one dime on that business. The owner can even restrict what speech he/she deems acceptable even though that would be a violation of your first amendment rights. So it is not exactly true “My rights end where yours’ begin” Property rights trump individual rights. The constitution clearly says in the fifth amendment “nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation” In order for you to ban smoking on private property, even a business you must first declare it public space. Even the supreme court clearly states that a business does not lose private property rights merely because the public is in invited in.

    Held: There has been no dedication of petitioner’s privately owned and operated shopping center to “public use” so as to entitle respondents to exercise First Amendment rights therein that are unrelated to the center’s operations, and petitioner’s property did not lose its private character and its right to protection under the Fourteenth Amendment merely because the public is generally invited to use it for the purpose of doing business with petitioner’s tenants.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0407_0551_ZS.html

    Smoking in a room or anywhere for that matter is pretty much the same as pissing. If sat down at the table next to you on that nice patio in the sun and started spraying urine all over the place

    Again a pretty ridiculous argument and does not go to violating anyone’s rights. For one thing find a place that allows you to piss all over the place. Once you find the place that allows this and I know it and choose to enter anyway, How are my rights being violated. I made a willing choice to put myself in that position. Same with you. If you choose to enter an establishment that allows smoking you are a willing participant not the innocent victim that you pretend to be.

  76. #76 Scott
    July 13, 2009

    The big fallacy in your argument is that you assume that your rights are primary. In the case of a business it is private property plain and simple, you have no rights except those granted to you by the owner of the property. You do have the right not to enter that business or to spend one dime on that business. The owner can even restrict what speech he/she deems acceptable even though that would be a violation of your first amendment rights. So it is not exactly true “My rights end where yours’ begin” Property rights trump individual rights. The constitution clearly says in the fifth amendment “nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation” In order for you to ban smoking on private property, even a business you must first declare it public space. Even the supreme court clearly states that a business does not lose private property rights merely because the public is in invited in.

    Held: There has been no dedication of petitioner’s privately owned and operated shopping center to “public use” so as to entitle respondents to exercise First Amendment rights therein that are unrelated to the center’s operations, and petitioner’s property did not lose its private character and its right to protection under the Fourteenth Amendment merely because the public is generally invited to use it for the purpose of doing business with petitioner’s tenants.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0407_0551_ZS.html

    The fatal flaw in your argument is that the reason for the restriction is to prevent harm to the patrons. That puts it into an entirely different realm than restriction on free speech. Your argument could equally well be applied to claim that a business owner has the right to shoot every third person walking through the door, since after all it’s private property.

  77. #77 Katiwren
    July 13, 2009

    The other thing that some people seem to be failing to realise is that smoke does not stay put very well. I lived next door to a pub until recently and the smoke did not stay in the pub beer garden but also inevitably drifted into my garden and my house. Patrons I never met or saw were causing me to have smoke in my private property. Although I generally supported the ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants when it came in, I did almost begin that the pub next door had been allowed an exemption as it did drastically increase the amount of smoke I had to deal with.

    If there were a way to prevent smoke from fouling the air of people nearby then yes, I would fully support the idea that adults can make their own choices on smoking. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.

  78. #78 Marshall
    July 13, 2009

    Scott

    The fatal flaw in your argument is that the reason for the restriction is to prevent harm to the patrons. That puts it into an entirely different realm than restriction on free speech. Your argument could equally well be applied to claim that a business owner has the right to shoot every third person walking through the door, since after all it’s private property.

    Yet another fatally flawed argument. Shooting people is illegal no mater where you are.

  79. #79 Marshall
    July 13, 2009

    Katiwren

    The other thing that some people seem to be failing to realise is that smoke does not stay put very well. I lived next door to a pub until recently and the smoke did not stay in the pub beer garden but also inevitably drifted into my garden and my house. Patrons I never met or saw were causing me to have smoke in my private property. Although I generally supported the ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants when it came in, I did almost begin that the pub next door had been allowed an exemption as it did drastically increase the amount of smoke I had to deal with.

    If there were a way to prevent smoke from fouling the air of people nearby then yes, I would fully support the idea that adults can make their own choices on smoking. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.

    Problem with your argument is that you chose to live next to the bar. That would be like me moving moving next to an airport and complaining about the jet fumes and noise!

  80. #80 Scott
    July 14, 2009

    Yet another fatally flawed argument. Shooting people is illegal no mater where you are.

    Precisely my point. Physically harming other people is illegal no matter where you are, so claiming private property rights allow you to physically harm other people with tobacco smoke is moronic.

  81. #81 Greg
    July 14, 2009

    I don’t know what the answer to this is, but do property rights include the air? I do know that the government, the people, can and do regulate private business for air and water pollutants, and even noise, based not only on actual harm but for nuisance as well. So if we follow this logic, then even owing a business, regardless of whether you own the building and/or the land (though there is eminent domain to consider), you don’t own the air. The air because it is transient and passes through, well everywhere is considered public. Therefore the public has a right to regulate air quality and restrict smoking anywhere, even private property.

    Anyway that seems like a reasonable argument.

  82. #82 Marshall
    July 14, 2009

    Precisely my point. Physically harming other people is illegal no matter where you are, so claiming private property rights allow you to physically harm other people with tobacco smoke is moronic.

    Posted by: Scott

    The harm done by a bullet is provable in a court of law. As I have pointed out the science can’t even pass a legal sniff test. We are talking about law and striping property owners of their rights so yes I think that the science should have to rise to the level that would be admissible in court!

  83. #83 Katiwren
    July 14, 2009

    No, the problem is that smoke does not stay put. If my neighbours now just happened to be heavy smokers who smoked outside all evening I would have the same problem, would I not? In fact, the problem would be about what it was when we bought our former house next to the pub.

    Ignoring the situation of living next door to a pub, smoke is still going to be an issue for nonsmokers because of the nature of smoke. There are other methods of getting nicotine into your system which do not involve subjecting passersby, other patrons, employees or neighbours to smoke.

  84. #84 Greg
    July 14, 2009

    The harm done by a bullet is provable in a court of law. As I have pointed out the science can’t even pass a legal sniff test. We are talking about law and striping property owners of their rights so yes I think that the science should have to rise to the level that would be admissible in court!

    I don’t think proving short term health effects would be a problem, the lawyer need only light up a cigarette in court and hold it near the faces of the jurors to hear them cough and see their eyes water, obvious signs that the body is trying to purge something noxious. I don’t think it’s necessary to prove more than that to win a case for a nuisance law. So even if you don’t agree there is sufficient evidence to prove long term health effects, you could still enforce a ban as a public nuisance.

  85. #85 trrll
    July 14, 2009

    Yes, hazards are permitted. That was my point about working in labs. Risks are mitigated to the extent that it is possible and required by law

    Correct, no pollutant exposures are permitted in a lab except those that cannot be avoided in carrying out lab work. If exposures can be eliminated by reasonable (albeit sometimes inconvenient) measures (e.g. requiring certain operations to be carried out in a fume hood, and prohibiting some activities–smoking, food consumption–within the lab), that is done. Similarly, in a restaurant, pollutants that are unavoidable as part of the process of preparing and serving food (e.g. cooking combustion products) are permitted but minimized. Those that can be avoided by simple (albeit sometimes inconvenient) safety measures (e.g. requiring people to go outside to smoke) are prohibited.

  86. #86 Rogue Epidemiologist
    July 14, 2009

    I’m a gun-owning, reproductive-choice-defending, free-market capitalist, VOTING libertarian, and here’s my take on it:

    I hate your smoke. Keep it away from me. It exacerbates my asthma, irritates my eyes, and messes up my palate when I’m trying to enjoy wine. Adults have the right to use tobacco, so have a can of Skoal and a spit-cup. Enjoy your increased risk of cancer.

  87. #87 Marshall
    July 15, 2009

    trrll

    Similarly, in a restaurant, pollutants that are unavoidable as part of the process of preparing and serving food (e.g. cooking combustion products) are permitted but minimized. Those that can be avoided by simple (albeit sometimes inconvenient) safety measures (e.g. requiring people to go outside to smoke) are prohibited.

    Again you don’t make the case that ETS is a hazard, you throw out the word potential quite frequently. The fact is that OSHA is the governing body governing worker safety. They have set personal exposure limits for just about every potential hazard known to man and SHS simply does not rise to that level. Every substance known to man is a potential toxin, so simply being a potential risk does not rise to the level as to require regulation. Again you fail to discuss the latest study done by the American cancer society that shows that the lung cancer rates have remained unchanged since the 1930′s one would expect that the cancer rates would have changed with exposure and it did not.
    http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050185&ct=1
    An article in the NY Times said this about the study.

    “What causes the disease in nonsmokers is not known, though researchers suspect genetic susceptibility combined with exposure to cancer-causing substances like asbestos, radon, certain solvents and other people’s tobacco smoke.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/09/health/09canc.html?_r=1

    I am sorry but in a free society we don’t strip property rights based on “potential” or “suspensions”

  88. #88 Robin Levett
    July 15, 2009

    @Marshall et al:

    You keep on referring to “property rights”. What property right do you see as infringed by smoking bans?

  89. #89 Scott
    July 15, 2009

    The harm done by a bullet is provable in a court of law. As I have pointed out the science can’t even pass a legal sniff test. We are talking about law and striping property owners of their rights so yes I think that the science should have to rise to the level that would be admissible in court!

    Questioning the science is one thing. Invoking property rights is entirely orthogonal to that – it’s a completely unrelated argument. Smells like a Gish Gallop, to be perfectly honest.

  90. #90 Marshall
    July 15, 2009

    You keep on referring to “property rights”. What property right do you see as infringed by smoking bans?

    Questioning the science is one thing. Invoking property rights is entirely orthogonal to that – it’s a completely unrelated argument. Smells like a Gish Gallop, to be perfectly honest.

    No rights go right to the crux of the matter. Smoke free advocates keep chanting about the right to smoke free air. The problem is that there is no such right, (either expressly or implied)rights are clearly expressed in the constitution. In this case it is the fifth amendment. The owner gets to decide what legal product can and can’t be used on their property. The founding fathers set up a constitutional republic for that very reason, so that the majority can’t strip the rights of the minority. Smoking may not be politically correct but it is a legal product.

    The same goes for Trrll’s fallacious arguments.

    But that does not excuse imposing unnecessary risks on workers. The fact that somebody might voluntarily choose to accept a greater risk for the pleasure (or relief of withdrawal) of smoking is irrelevant–that does not excuse having it forced upon them as a condition of employment.

    On the other hand, it is entirely possible to eliminate tobacco smoke from a bar or restaurant. It is not necessary to burn tobacco in order to prepare food or serve drinks.

    Regulations are based on a clear and eminent danger, not potential or suspected risks. And the notion that risks be eliminated based on necessity again does not apply to the real world. Eating crabs is defiantly not a necessity and yet crab fishermen (a very dangerous job) are allowed to take that risk, and yes assuming the risk is a precondition for taking the job. Jumping over cars in a motorcycle just for the entertainment of the spectators is a very risky occupation yet the participants are free to assume the risk and is a precondition of accepting the job. I could go on and on but I think the point was made!

  91. #91 Scott
    July 15, 2009

    No rights go right to the crux of the matter. Smoke free advocates keep chanting about the right to smoke free air. The problem is that there is no such right, (either expressly or implied)rights are clearly expressed in the constitution. In this case it is the fifth amendment. The owner gets to decide what legal product can and can’t be used on their property. The founding fathers set up a constitutional republic for that very reason, so that the majority can’t strip the rights of the minority. Smoking may not be politically correct but it is a legal product.

    Utter BS. Property rights are completely irrelevant to the question. If SHS causes significant physical harm, then that trumps property rights. If it did NOT cause significant physical harm, then regulations would fail for lack of justification – again without reference to property rights.

    The legality or illegality of tobacco is also completely irrelevant; the act of using a legal product used to cause harm to another can still be illegal.

    If you want to debate the science, stick to the science. Nothing else you’ve said has even the faintest bearing on the subject.

  92. #92 Marshall
    July 15, 2009

    Scott

    Utter BS. Property rights are completely irrelevant to the question. If SHS causes significant physical harm, then that trumps property rights. If it did NOT cause significant physical harm, then regulations would fail for lack of justification – again without reference to property rights.

    The utter BS is your statement. extremely weak statistical association has never been considered proof anything much less significant physical harm, Again look at the ACS study I posted above. I also clearly showed that people do have the right to determine what risks they are willing to take. If you perceive that SHS is a risk then you are free to make choices to avoid that risk whether the risk is real or imaginary. The bottom line is that we are all free to choose what risk is acceptable, the real question is when did it become acceptable to force your views on others.

  93. #93 Greg
    July 15, 2009

    Regulations are based on a clear and eminent danger, not potential or suspected risks.
    Not all regulations are based on danger, as I’ve pointed out nuisance is also regulated ie. loud noise between 11pm and 6am during the week in many areas. Smoking is easily proven a nuisance to non-smokers.

    And the notion that risks be eliminated based on necessity again does not apply to the real world.
    Eliminating risk is an illusion for sure, however, mitigating risk is profitable for society.

    Eating crabs is defiantly not a necessity and yet crab fishermen (a very dangerous job) are allowed to take that risk, and yes assuming the risk is a precondition for taking the job. Jumping over cars in a motorcycle just for the entertainment of the spectators is a very risky occupation yet the participants are free to assume the risk and is a precondition of accepting the job. I could go on and on but I think the point was made!

    All of your examples are of risks in which only the person taking them is affected. Smoking affects others as well.

    The owner gets to decide what legal product can and can’t be used on their property.
    Society, the people, has the right and the authority to determine what is and isn’t legal as well as to impose restrictions on products and their use. In this case a growing majority is choosing to restrict the use of smoking because is has a positive impact on that majority. Welcome to modern representative democracy. It is clear that those in favor of restricting smoking have been able to convince more people that their position in correct, or at the very least smokers are feeling the backlash of people who have for too many years had to put up with smoke in their faces whenever they wanted to go anywhere. If some smokers hadn’t been such jackasses about their habit they wouldn’t be in this position.

    The thing to consider about the whole rights issue is this, what has greater weight? The right to do something or the right to not be subjected to that something?

    Like the development of every law there is a time where the specifics of that law is worked out. In this case smoking a cigarette is legal, we are now going through the process of whether or not it is legal to subject another to SHS. Prohibitions in public and publicly accessible private businesses is part of the process. Smokers should be glad that it has yet to be ruled that although you have a right to smoke, you do not have the right to subject another to that smoke, when/if that happens then you will be truly and royally screwed. When that day comes I plan on suing the richest looking smoker that passes by… (not really but you can see it happening)

  94. #94 Michael Ralston
    July 15, 2009

    Smoke free advocates keep chanting about the right to smoke free air. The problem is that there is no such right, (either expressly or implied)rights are clearly expressed in the constitution. In this case it is the fifth amendment. The owner gets to decide what legal product can and can’t be used on their property.

    So you’re saying that it’s unconstitutional to put in any kind of pollution regulations?

    Or, since the “right to smoke” is precisely as clearly expressed as “the right to not breathe other’s smoke”, are you saying it would be okay for Congress to just forbid it entirely, but not in part?

  95. #95 Greg
    July 15, 2009

    The bottom line is that we are all free to choose what risk is acceptable, the real question is when did it become acceptable to force your views on others.

    Which case are you trying to make here? When someone lights up a cigarette they are forcing others to accept their choice or go somewhere else are they not? How is that different than those others passing laws to keep you from forcing them to make that choice?

    If, as a smoker you kept your habit to yourself then no one would be forcing anyone to do anything. But this not the case for the majority of smokers. In essence the smoker forces themselves into a box created by their own actions.

  96. #96 Scott
    July 15, 2009

    The utter BS is your statement. extremely weak statistical association has never been considered proof anything much less significant physical harm, Again look at the ACS study I posted above. I also clearly showed that people do have the right to determine what risks they are willing to take. If you perceive that SHS is a risk then you are free to make choices to avoid that risk whether the risk is real or imaginary. The bottom line is that we are all free to choose what risk is acceptable, the real question is when did it become acceptable to force your views on others.

    You would be well served to learn to read. If you did, you might notice the following:

    If you want to debate the science, stick to the science. Nothing else you’ve said has even the faintest bearing on the subject.

    IOW, the argument you’ve fallen back on to claim mine is BS is the one I said is the only one with any *potential* validity! You have signally failed to produce the slightest bit of argument to refute the point that talking about property rights or the legality of tobacco is meaningless.

  97. #97 Marshall
    July 15, 2009

    In this case a growing majority is choosing to restrict the use of smoking because is has a positive impact on that majority. Welcome to modern representative democracy. It is clear that those in favor of restricting smoking have been able to convince more people that their position in correct, or at the very least smokers are feeling the backlash of people who have for too many years had to put up with smoke in their faces whenever they wanted to go anywhere. If some smokers hadn’t been such jackasses about their habit they wouldn’t be in this position.

    We don’t live in a democracy, that is the point that you don’t get. The noise law you refer to the noise is excessive and can be heard way beyond your property. Educate your self on what type of government we have.
    http://veritasvincitprolibertate.wordpress.com/constitutional-republic/

    All of your examples are of risks in which only the person taking them is affected. Smoking affects others as well.> Only if you choose to enter an establishment that allows smoking. If you chose to enter an establishment that allows smoking you are a willing participant. Quit acting like someone tied you down and forced you to breath it. Kind of backpedaling aren’t you
    from claiming that the science is conclusive to claiming that the law is justified because you claim the majority doesn’t like it?

  98. #98 Marshall
    July 15, 2009

    Or, since the “right to smoke” is precisely as clearly expressed as “the right to not breathe other’s smoke”, are you saying it would be okay for Congress to just forbid it entirely, but not in part?

    Neither smoking or smoke free is a right. But yes if tobacco was an illegal substance then property rights would not be an issue. But neither bans or prohibition has ever worked. The war on drugs has been a rip roaring success hasn’t it!

  99. #99 Marshall
    July 15, 2009

    Greg.

    Which case are you trying to make here? When someone lights up a cigarette they are forcing others to accept their choice or go somewhere else are they not? How is that different than those others passing laws to keep you from forcing them to make that choice?

    If, as a smoker you kept your habit to yourself then no one would be forcing anyone to do anything. But this not the case for the majority of smokers. In essence the smoker forces themselves into a box created by their own actions.

    Greg, Your point would be valid if through force of law the smokers forced all business to allow smoking. But since any business always had the option of going nonsmoking any time they want. Without the bans most businesses went nonsmoking on their own. Do you see the smokers demanding the right to smoke in these establishments. No they either do not smoke or they don’t patronize that business. The only force is coming from the antismoking activist!

  100. #100 Robin Levett
    July 15, 2009

    @Marshall et al:

    Would you please answer the question – what property right do you se as infringed by smoking bans?

  101. #101 Marshall
    July 15, 2009

    Robin Levett

    @Marshall et al:

    Would you please answer the question – what property right do you se as infringed by smoking bans?

    As the owner of the property I have the right to use any legal product that I choose I also have the right to allow my guests to do the same. If it is your property you make those decisions. It is part of the fifth amendment. “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” in essence the anti-smoking activist are calling on the government to call a business a public space and regulate what legal product the owner can use on his own property.

  102. #102 Robin Levett
    July 15, 2009

    @Marshall #101:

    That ain’t a property right – it’s a personal right. What’s the property>/u> right you’re relying on?

    Do bear in mind that we’re talking about public spaces here.

  103. #103 Marshall
    July 15, 2009

    Greg

    I don’t think proving short term health effects would be a problem, the lawyer need only light up a cigarette in court and hold it near the faces of the jurors to hear them cough and see their eyes water, obvious signs that the body is trying to purge something noxious. I don’t think it’s necessary to prove more than that to win a case for a nuisance law. So even if you don’t agree there is sufficient evidence to prove long term health effects, you could still enforce a ban as a public nuisance.

    Greg the point you keep missing is that you volunteered to enter a smoking establishment. That would be like stepping into a boxing ring and try to sue because you got your nose broken. Not to mention that watery eyes and a cough do not prove harm.

  104. #104 Marshall
    July 15, 2009

    Robin

    @Marshall #101:

    That ain’t a property right – it’s a personal right. What’s the property>/u> right you’re relying on?

    Do bear in mind that we’re talking about public spaces here.

    Robin somehow you have the conception that because the public is invited in that it becomes a “Public Space” It is private property plain and simple and as such the rules are at the discretion of the owner. Now if you prefer that business be owned by the government I can suggest several socialist countries.

    If the value of a business goes down because of a ban the state could be held liable.

    Held: There has been no dedication of petitioner’s privately owned and operated shopping center to public use so as to entitle respondents to exercise First Amendment rights therein that are unrelated to the center’s operations, and petitioner’s property did not lose its private character and its right to protection under the Fourteenth Amendment merely because the public is generally invited to use it for the purpose of doing business with petitioner’s tenants.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0407_0551_ZS.html

    OUCH THERE’S THAT PUBLIC USE THING AGAIN.
    The difficult cases are generally those where government regulations, enacted to secure some sort of public benefit, fall disproportionately on some property owners and cause significant dimunition of property value.

    The Court has had a difficult time articulating a test to determine when a regulation becomes a taking. It has said there is “no set formula” and that courts “must look to the particular circumstances of the case.” The Court has identified some relevant factors to consider: the economic impact of the regulation, the degree to which the regulation interferes with investor-backed expectations, and the character of the government action. Still, as our cases suggest, there is a lot of room for argument as to how these various factors should be weighed.

    http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/takings.htm

  105. #105 Marshall
    July 15, 2009

    Robin

    @Marshall #101:

    That ain’t a property right – it’s a personal right. What’s the property>/u> right you’re relying on?

    Do bear in mind that we’re talking about public spaces here.

    Robin somehow you have the conception that because the public is invited in that it becomes a “Public Space” It is private property plain and simple and as such the rules are at the discretion of the owner. Now if you prefer that business be owned by the government I can suggest several socialist countries.

    If the value of a business goes down because of a ban the state could be held liable.

    Held: There has been no dedication of petitioner’s privately owned and operated shopping center to public use so as to entitle respondents to exercise First Amendment rights therein that are unrelated to the center’s operations, and petitioner’s property did not lose its private character and its right to protection under the Fourteenth Amendment merely because the public is generally invited to use it for the purpose of doing business with petitioner’s tenants.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0407_0551_ZS.html

    OUCH THERE’S THAT PUBLIC USE THING AGAIN.
    The difficult cases are generally those where government regulations, enacted to secure some sort of public benefit, fall disproportionately on some property owners and cause significant dimunition of property value.

    The Court has had a difficult time articulating a test to determine when a regulation becomes a taking. It has said there is “no set formula” and that courts “must look to the particular circumstances of the case.” The Court has identified some relevant factors to consider: the economic impact of the regulation, the degree to which the regulation interferes with investor-backed expectations, and the character of the government action. Still, as our cases suggest, there is a lot of room for argument as to how these various factors should be weighed.

    http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/takings.htm

  106. #106 Leni
    July 15, 2009

    Ignoring the situation of living next door to a pub, smoke is still going to be an issue for nonsmokers because of the nature of smoke. There are other methods of getting nicotine into your system which do not involve subjecting passersby, other patrons, employees or neighbours to smoke.

    You mean like car exhaust?

    Anyway, you can thank the people that approved the smoking bans for your new problem. If they could smoke inside, the air filtration would take care of that problem for you :)

    Correct, no pollutant exposures are permitted in a lab except those that cannot be avoided in carrying out lab work.

    That isn’t what I said. Let me repeat: I said the risks are mitigated to the extent that it is possible. Pollutant exposure is permitted because that’s the nature of the job.

    Exposure to smoke could be easily mitigated by giving people the choice of whether or not they want to be exposed. You restrict the number of places with permits and the number of people who work in such environments, and when the exposure can take place. Labs do this, too. They must have licenses and permits to even obtain certain substances, and those licenses are expensive and limited and come with responsibilities. Employees know about the risks and agree to it. Smoking is not so different. In the case of entertainment establishments ONLY there could be limited allowance. Such that non smokers are not “forced” to do anything.

    For example, I live in a city with 100-150 bars in about a 20×5 block area (yes, I checked). Are you seriously telling me that if 5 or 10 of these bars allowed smoking it would pose an undue burden on the non-smoking community?

    That strikes me as absurd. In fact, it sounds like total bullshit.

    I offered several reasonable (and inconvenient) options for mitigation that would be acceptable were we discussing any other topic than smoking. It seems abundantly clear that there is no option for compromise in this case. There is only the ban.

    But hey, while your at it, perhaps you can think of some ways that I, as an innocent passerby, might not be “subjected” to your (I’m assuming you drive, but even if you don’t most everyone else does) car exhaust pollution.

    The point is not that cigarette smoke is ok because worse things exist. The point is that compromise is possible and could exist without much undue burden. The only reason it doesn’t is because smokers are a minority and drivers are a majority.

    Greg, that pissing analogy was already dealt with, but let me just pile on: If I knew there was a bar where people were going to be pissing all over the place, what do you suppose I should do?

    Shall I go in, lie down in a puddle and then DEMAND that this abhorrent, smelly, unhealthy practice be immediately banned so that “my children” may be free of the horror of being forced to recline in other people’s urine puddles? Should we ban all indoor pissing so that the pissers could be driven out into the street where innocent children and seniors might be given unwanted golden showers?

    Wouldn’t it just make more sense to let a small percentage of establishments cater to the pissers? The could even post signs, yellow triangles or something, to let the non-pissers know what fate awaited them should they enter.

    Although I have to say it would probably be funnier if there weren’t any signs…

  107. #107 Robin Levett
    July 15, 2009

    @Marshall:

    Perhaps I can help; the answer to the question might start with the words: “The property right I am relying on is…”.

    And don’t assume that your favourite case about a shopping centre would be decided identically across all jurisdictions.

  108. #108 Marshall
    July 16, 2009

    Robin

    And don’t assume that your favourite case about a shopping centre would be decided identically across all jurisdictions.

    That is a Supreme court case so yes it is safe to assume that it would be decided identically across all jurisdictions and it clearly shows that the rights are retained by the owner. The second link shows the latitude the courts can use in determining whether a regulation can be considered “taking for public use” Smoking bans fit into that category by their very nature they are calling private property “quote public space” One of the criteria is if the regulation dimunition of property value. Since a businesses value is a direct result of the income it generates the case has been made. It is just a matter of time and one of these will make it to the supreme court.

  109. #109 Robin Levett
    July 16, 2009

    @Marshall:

    That is a Supreme court case so yes it is safe to assume that it would be decided identically across all jurisdictions

    The leftpondian Supreme Court only has persuasive authority in my jurisdiction.

    And you still haven’t identified the property right you’re relying on. Would you please do so?

  110. #110 Marshall
    July 16, 2009

    Robin

    What do you have a reading deficiency. The right to use a legal product and to allow others to use a legal product on their own property.

  111. #111 Marshall
    July 16, 2009

    Robin

    The right to use a legal product and to allow others to use a legal product on their own property. Since I was quoting the fifth amendment you can safely assume that I was talking about the United States, I am sorry if you don’t have property rights where you are!

  112. #112 Robin Levett
    July 16, 2009

    @Marshall:

    And you still haven’t identified the property right you’re relying on. Would you please do so?

    Just to clarify – I see where you’re going, but I want you clearly to articulate your claim before I dump on it.

  113. #113 Robin Levett
    July 16, 2009

    @Marshall:

    I see where you’re going

    In fact, I was wrong, you doubled back from your rather interesting “taking” argument…

    The right to use a legal product and to allow others to use a legal product on their own property.

    That rather begs the question of whether it is legal to use the product on your property, doesn’t it? If it isn’t, then it is not a “legal product” in that context.

    Breaking down the claim, you have a right to the enjoyment of your own property as you see fit within the law; I see that. That’s pretty uncontroversial, and is a property right. The “right to use a legal product”; not so much. Adding “on your own property” doesn’t convert a personal right into a property right; it merely defines the venue.

    Moving on to “to allow others to use a legal product”; that’s not a property right in any way shape or form. You can license others to use your property – that is clearly an inseparable incident from your ownership of the property. But any right you have as to use of legal products is in relation to prohibition. You are entitled to prohibit, as a term of the licence you give others to use your property, their otherwise lawful activities. Apart from that, allowing their lawful activities is the default position.

    You have however agreed that you cannot either use a legal product, or license others to use a legal product, so as to cause harm to a third party lawfully present on the property (post #78).

    Bars are public spaces, notwithstanding Lloyd v Tanner; whether a mall is a public space for the purpose of the exercise of First Amendment rights is irrelevant to the question of whether a bar patron exercising his rights of entry to the bar as a member of the public is entitled to protection from harm in so doing. Bar-owners do not individually invite customers to enter the bar – they open their doors to the public and allow access to each and every member of the public (legally entitled to be there) unless they specifically bar him or her. Bar-owners by the way are not entirely free to choose their customers; notices such as “no blacks or Irish” are quite properly things of the past. Note I am not claiming that the bar is public property; but that the bar is a public space, a space which the members of the public enjoy as such.

    Smoking causes harm. It causes bodily harm (irrespective of the merits of the studies of the long term effects of SHS, it causes tangible bodily harm) to all those exposed to it, and damage to their property. A bar-owner is not entitled either to inflict that harm, or to license others to inflict that harm, on members of the public lawfully present on their property, or indeed on his employees. He has no such right, “property” or otherwise.

  114. #114 Marshall
    July 16, 2009

    Robin

    Bars are public spaces, notwithstanding Lloyd v Tanner; whether a mall is a public space for the purpose of the exercise of First Amendment rights is irrelevant to the question of whether a bar patron exercising his rights of entry to the bar as a member of the public is entitled to protection from harm in so doing. Bar-owners do not individually invite customers to enter the bar – they open their doors to the public and allow access to each and every member of the public (legally entitled to be there) unless they specifically bar him or her.

    You couldn’t be more wrong. For starters your statement “irrelevant to the question of whether a bar patron exercising his rights of entry to the bar as a member of the public” There is no such right, as a matter of fact most bars have signs that state ” we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” and can be barred from entry for any reason other then being a member of a protected class.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_class
    So your assumption that you have a right to enter is patently wrong, as a matter of fact if you are told you can’t enter and you do so anyway you can be arrested for trespass.

    Then to your statement that, “Smoking causes harm. It causes bodily harm (irrespective of the merits of the studies of the long term effects of SHS, it causes tangible bodily harm) to all those exposed to it,”

    No it is not irrespective of the merits, if you claim harm, that harm has to be with evidence in a court of law. If the studies can’t hold up in a court of law then neither can your claim of harm.

    Not to mention the foolishness of your argument. In a free society we allow people to partake in risky behavior, did you go to that bar because it was a health club?

    But the main flaw in your argument is claiming that a business is a public space. Again from Lloyd v Tanner and pay attention to the key words. “and petitioner’s property did not lose its private character and its right to protection under the Fourteenth Amendment merely because the public is generally invited to use it for the purpose of doing business with petitioner’s tenants.”

    Again in a free country you are allowed to partake in behavior deemed risky or even hazardous under law if you enter someones property knowing of the hazards you are assuming the risk.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assumption_of_risk

  115. #115 Greg
    July 16, 2009

    Smoking causes harm. It causes bodily harm (irrespective of the merits of the studies of the long term effects of SHS, it causes tangible bodily harm) to all those exposed to it, and damage to their property. A bar-owner is not entitled either to inflict that harm, or to license others to inflict that harm, on members of the public lawfully present on their property, or indeed on his employees. He has no such right, “property” or otherwise.

    I’d like to re-state that “Harm” does not need to have long term or permanent effects, being noxious only during exposure is enough to be considered harmful. It is provable beyond any reasonable argument that SHS is noxious, even to smokers.

  116. #116 Marshall
    July 16, 2009

    Robin

    Bars are public spaces, notwithstanding Lloyd v Tanner; whether a mall is a public space for the purpose of the exercise of First Amendment rights is irrelevant to the question of whether a bar patron exercising his rights of entry to the bar as a member of the public is entitled to protection from harm in so doing. Bar-owners do not individually invite customers to enter the bar – they open their doors to the public and allow access to each and every member of the public (legally entitled to be there) unless they specifically bar him or her.

    You couldn’t be more wrong. For starters your statement “irrelevant to the question of whether a bar patron exercising his rights of entry to the bar as a member of the public” There is no such right, as a matter of fact most bars have signs that state ” we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” and can be barred from entry for any reason other then being a member of a protected class.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_class
    So your assumption that you have a right to enter is patently wrong, as a matter of fact if you are told you can’t enter and you do so anyway you can be arrested for trespass.

    Then to your statement that, “Smoking causes harm. It causes bodily harm (irrespective of the merits of the studies of the long term effects of SHS, it causes tangible bodily harm) to all those exposed to it,”

    No it is not irrespective of the merits, if you claim harm, that harm has to be with evidence in a court of law. If the studies can’t hold up in a court of law then neither can your claim of harm.

    Not to mention the foolishness of your argument. In a free society we allow people to partake in risky behavior, did you go to that bar because it was a health club?

    But the main flaw in your argument is claiming that a business is a public space. Again from Lloyd v Tanner and pay attention to the key words. “and petitioner’s property did not lose its private character and its right to protection under the Fourteenth Amendment merely because the public is generally invited to use it for the purpose of doing business with petitioner’s tenants.”

    Again in a free country you are allowed to partake in behavior deemed risky or even hazardous under law if you enter someones property knowing of the hazards you are assuming the risk.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assumption_of_risk

  117. #117 Danimal
    July 16, 2009

    Bar-owners by the way are not entirely free to choose their customers; notices such as “no blacks or Irish” are quite properly things of the past.

    As a hypothetical bar-owner, I can hire only smokers as employees just as currently some businesses refuse to hire smokers. I can put a sign on the door “smoking is allowed here, enter at your own risk.” You as a non-smoker can choose to enter or not. I would serve smokers or non-smokers drinks all the same. As the owner of the bar, you as a non-smoker should not be able to insist that I not allow smoking because you object to it. Just like if I opened a gay bar and you as a non-gay may enter, just don’t be surprise if you are hit on by a member of you own gender. Likewise, entering a smoking bar do not be surprized if you are exposed to smoke. If you object to smke to not enter, go to one of the other bars where smoking in not allowed. Everyone is then happy.

  118. #118 Marshall
    July 16, 2009

    Robin

    Bars are public spaces, notwithstanding Lloyd v Tanner; whether a mall is a public space for the purpose of the exercise of First Amendment rights is irrelevant to the question of whether a bar patron exercising his rights of entry to the bar as a member of the public is entitled to protection from harm in so doing. Bar-owners do not individually invite customers to enter the bar – they open their doors to the public and allow access to each and every member of the public (legally entitled to be there) unless they specifically bar him or her.

    You are wrong on just about every point. First public space = public use. You freely admit that a person can be barred from entry so admission is not a right it is a privilege granted by the owner. The only exception to that rule is if they are denied entrance because they are a protected class. From the court case, listen to these key words “petitioner’s property did not lose its private character and its right to protection under the Fourteenth Amendment merely because the public is generally invited to use it for the purpose of doing business with petitioner’s tenants.”

    You also claimed “You have however agreed that you cannot either use a legal product, or license others to use a legal product, so as to cause harm to a third party lawfully present on the property (post #78).” Kind of twisting the words aren’t you. I stated that the act of shooting people was illegal everywhere. That includes your own home. Not the same thing. You people are using a very loose definition of harm and the law was never intended to be used in that manner. ETS does not rise to any significant risk and as I repeated several times risk is subjective and up to the individual to decide what risks they are willing to take and yes there is precedent in law it is called assumption of risk.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assumption_of_risk

    The government is not your nanny, it is up to you to decide what risks you are willing to take. I can go on but you get the gist.

  119. #119 Robin Levett
    July 16, 2009

    @Marshall:

    I’ll come back at more length, but for the moment, hold two thoughts. First, Lloyd v Tanner was fact- and right-specific. It was distinguished from, in particular, Amalgamated Food Employees on the basis of the specific facts involved. Even within US law (and the libertarian analysis doesn’t depend upon the law of the jurisdiction involved) First Amendment rights can be exercised on private property against the wishes of the property owner.

    Secondly, I am not relying upon long term effects of second hand smoke. Your smoking in my presence causes me direct and immediate bodily and property harm.

  120. #120 Marshall
    July 16, 2009

    Robin

    Remember that case was about collective bargaining and some exceptions are made in that instance. But also under those conditions can they enter the building. As far as your statement “Secondly, I am not relying upon long term effects of second hand smoke. Your smoking in my presence causes me direct and immediate bodily and property harm.” If you have a condition that may be exacerbated by anything the burden is on you to avoid those circumstances. Example if you are allergic to animal dander the burden is on you to avoid pet stores. With freedom comes responsibility. We are all responsible to take care of ourselves. It is not the responsibility for others to look out for your well being and that includes the government.

  121. #121 Danimal
    July 16, 2009

    @Robin: “Secondly, I am not relying upon long term effects of second hand smoke. Your smoking in my presence causes me direct and immediate bodily and property harm.”
    Then do not enter my hypothetical bar. Only go to bars where smoking is not allowed. Easy isn’t it? Why enter a smokers bar? There are more options available to you then smokers. However, smokers are more fun to party with, you might just happen to hang in the boring non-smoker bars. Live with it. At least you won’t have to deal to the problems you have and there in no reason everyone should have to accommodate you, is there?

  122. #122 Robin Levett
    July 17, 2009

    @danimal, Marshall:

    Again, only a quick one for now.

    danimal. I go into a bar and order a drink. I sit down with it. Another customer then comes over to me and hits me in the face with his fist. When I remonstrate with him, he points out the sign on the door that says “The owner of this establishment authorises any patron to strike another in the face”. Do I apologise to him and leave, or do I go to the police? Does it make a difference whether I actually saw the sign as I arrived?

    I repeat; smoking in my presence directly and immediately harms my person and my property. Think of a cigarette as a combination of a mace spray and a frightened skunk, heavily diluted in each case.

    And “smokers are more fun to party with”? The same as non-smokers, I’d say; but smoking is no fun to party with at all.

    @Marshall: you’re still not getting it. There is nothing magic about cigarette smoke that makes it less of an irritant to mucous membranes and eyes than any other smoke; similarly, there is nothing magic about cigarette smoke that stops it getting into clothes and making them smell of smoke.

    I wear contact lenses; before smoking was barred in pubs in England, if I went to the pub after an evening’s fencing, i could expect to leave with my eyes stinging and obvious yellow deposits on the lenses – and that’s after an hour and a half or so. Not everyone wears contact lenses, and so don’t suffer as much – but this does show quite how much crap cigarette smoke will put into people’s eyes in a comparatively short exposure.

    Again; stop with the “privilege” talk. A bar-owner doesn’t invite me onto her premises out of the kindness of her heart; her entire business model depends upon getting enough people through her doors and buying her product for her to make a profit. Lloyd v Tanner says I (may) leave behind (some of)_my First Amendment rights as I enter a bar; it says nothing about my rights to be free from direct and immediate harm.

  123. #123 Marshall
    July 17, 2009

    Robin

    danimal. I go into a bar and order a drink. I sit down with it. Another customer then comes over to me and hits me in the face with his fist. When I remonstrate with him, he points out the sign on the door that says “The owner of this establishment authorises any patron to strike another in the face”. Do I apologise to him and leave, or do I go to the police? Does it make a difference whether I actually saw the sign as I arrived?

    Again the act of punching someone in the face is an illegal act no matter where you are.

    Marshall: you’re still not getting it. There is nothing magic about cigarette smoke that makes it less of an irritant to mucous membranes and eyes than any other smoke; similarly, there is nothing magic about cigarette smoke that stops it getting into clothes and making them smell of smoke.

    And all of this could be avoided if you chose a place that was nonsmoking, again no one forced you into a smoking allowed establishment. As far as your comment “Again; stop with the “privilege” talk. A bar-owner doesn’t invite me onto her premises out of the kindness of her heart” It does not take away the fact that it is a privilege granted by the owner and not a right. And yes a smart businessman will cater to the crowd that will bring them maximum profit. When it comes to bars that is the smoker. If you visit states that do not have a ban you will find that the majority of restaurants went nonsmoking on their own. Why? there was enough demand for a smoke free environment. The same can’t be said about bars, smoking bans have killed business. So yes they tend to cater to the customers that bring them a profit, is that not the way it is suppose to be?

  124. #124 Robin Levett
    July 17, 2009

    @Marshall:

    Again the act of punching someone in the face is an illegal act no matter where you are.

    You’re very legalistic for a libertarian.

    Smoking in a bar is now illegal throughout much of the Western world. By your logic, that suggests that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with smoking bans in bars; once enough jurisdictions pass smoking bans, your libertarian calculus shifts.

    A fist in the face harms me; so does your cigarette smoke in my face. Give me a principled libertarian reason why the two should be treated differently. Saying one is illegal, one is not, is irrelevant – we are discussing whether both should be illegal.

  125. #125 Robin Levett
    July 17, 2009

    @Marshall:

    One other short point; if bar owners took account of externalities in their profit calculations, they’d be less keen on allowing smoking…

  126. #126 Marshall
    July 17, 2009

    Robin

    You’re very legalistic for a libertarian.

    Smoking in a bar is now illegal throughout much of the Western world. By your logic, that suggests that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with smoking bans in bars; once enough jurisdictions pass smoking bans, your libertarian calculus shifts.

    Not really again this boils down to property rights and the use of a legal product. If tobacco were outlawed property rights would not be an issue. Just because something is law throughout most of the western world does not make it right. Yes I am against bans of any kind including the ban on drugs. I do not use drugs but the so called war has been a dismal failure. Tell us how many pubs have gone out of business because of the ban in England? You can’t deny it because it is well documented. The fact that you go to the pub shows that you are not as health conscious as you claim, you just wish to control others drug of choice! Or were you under the mistaken conception that a pub was a health club.

  127. #127 Marshall
    July 17, 2009

    Robin

    A fist in the face harms me; so does your cigarette smoke in my face. Give me a principled libertarian reason why the two should be treated differently. Saying one is illegal, one is not, is irrelevant – we are discussing whether both should be illegal.

    Punching someone in the face is a deliberate act intending to inflict harm on another. Your claim of immediate harm from tobacco smoke is subjective and avoidable. Most reasonable people do not feel the same as you. Most nonsmokers may find tobacco smoke an annoyance but would not put it in the same classification as an assault.

  128. #128 Greg
    July 17, 2009

    Punching someone in the face is a deliberate act intending to inflict harm on another.

    I’m unaware of any evidence that cigarettes spontaneously ignite. I have, however, observed many cigarettes lit deliberately, so it is reasonable to assume that most, if not all, are deliberately lit. I am open to examining any articles to the contrary.

    Your claim of immediate harm from tobacco smoke is subjective and avoidable.

    The claim of immediate harm is not a claim at all but a fact. One you can test yourself: hold a lit cigarette in any persons or animals face and observe the effects. Even smokers feel the effects of smoke in their face and to refute this is shear nonsense.

    Most reasonable people do not feel the same as you. Most nonsmokers may find tobacco smoke an annoyance but would not put it in the same classification as an assault.

    Apparently the distinction is irrelevant because it seems as though “most” nonsmokers disagree with your statement. The proof is in the rising tide of smoking regulations. Best to not assume that because nonsmokers go to places where smoking is permitted that they would rather you didn’t smoke. They may not say it too your face because they likely have no desire to hear your prattle of how your rights are superior to theirs, they instead just use their vote to elect representatives to pass laws to stop you.

    Analogies aside, anything that “annoys” enough people enough to have get act on mass to restrict that something must be really very annoying.

  129. #129 Greg
    July 17, 2009

    Your claim of immediate harm from tobacco smoke is subjective and avoidable.

    Sorry I missed the “avoidable” part; don’t want to be accused of sidestepping anything because i don’t have a reasonable response.

    SHS is avoidable, and so is the cause of that smoke. I like going to bars, and I did go to bars before smoking bans were in effect. I did not like the smoke, but there were no bars that didn’t have smoking. It had nothing to do with business but social acceptability. Is was acceptable to smoke so people did. If anyone ever asked them to stop the said they had a right to smoke and too bad if you don’t like it. Bar owners wouldn’t risk business by telling patrons to stop even though nonsmokers likely provided as much of their revenue than smokers did. So nonsmokers only choices were to accept the smoke (which they did for a long time), not go to bars, or begin the process of eliminating the problem altogether. Over the last couple of decades as more and more people got fed up with the effects of smoking on their lives the social acceptability of smoking has diminished, but some smokers have refused to accept it and self regulate by not lighting up next to nonsmokers, or even asking, so nonsmokers have had to resort to coercion through the law.

    So in essence nonsmokers are “avoiding” SHS, by eliminating it. Smokers have had plenty of opportunities to acknowledge that their habit negatively affects those around them and to take high ground and self regulate around nonsmokers. But they mostly refuse too. So now the rest of us are taking the low road as well and are going to force you too.

  130. #130 Robin Levett
    July 17, 2009

    @Marshall:

    It is neither; irritation of mucous membranes is hardly “subjective”. And it is indeed avoidable – I can seek to ensure that people do not smoke in my presence.

    Firstly, I wouldn’t be so sure of that if I were you. Secondly, argumentum ad populum hardly counts as a principled libertarian analysis. Quite aprt from the obvious fallacy, one reason for hesitancy on the issue is that current attitudes towards smoking are inevitably conditioned by the smokers’ former virtually complete colonisation of the public space; there is still a sense that allowing someone to pollute your air and property with tobacco smoke is the default setting. A smoker’s tobacco smoke causes me harm, for the purpose only of deliberately pursuing his or her own pleasure/feeding his/her addiction – that is with no countervailing social good to compensate me for the harm caused to me by that deliberate act. It is for him/her to justify that harm, not for me to justify preventing that harm. Whether you classify the harm legally as an assault (and once again you are, ironically in this discussion, showing pretty extreme legalism) is neither here nor there.

  131. #131 Greg
    July 17, 2009

    I wish there was an editing feature, I’d really like to fix those grammar errors…

  132. #132 Marshall
    July 17, 2009

    Greg,

    The immediate harm you claim is subjective, I challenge you to go to the police and try to claim that someone assaulted you with cigarette smoke. See how long it takes them to laugh you out of the station. As far as your statement “Apparently the distinction is irrelevant because it seems as though “most” nonsmokers disagree with your statement. The proof is in the rising tide of smoking regulations.” The regulations were not a result of grass roots efforts by nonsmokers but government funded activist that used questionable science, the fact that so called activist at the EPA had to repeatedly change their standards and finally had to lower the CI to 90% to get the results that they wanted. And one of them that worked on that fiasco was none other then the Chief scientific editor for the SG report. I point again to the latest study done by the american cancer society.
    http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050185

    They make claims that the majority favor smoking bans but they use marketing groups like the Mellman Group that use every trick in the book to get the result that the customer wants.
    http://banthebanwisconsin.wordpress.com/2009/03/24/smoke-free-wisconsin-cheats-again/

    They also use bogus non peer reviewed tests bastardizing outdoor EPA/DNR standards and applying them indoors.

    http://banthebanwisconsin.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/smoke-free-wisconsin-is-at-it-again/

    So don’t try to claim that the bans are the result of popular demand or legitimate science. Wherever the ban was voted on in Wisconsin, it was voted down with the exception of Appleton.

  133. #133 Marshall
    July 17, 2009

    Greg and Robin,

    Again you have to prove harm. If you go to someones house and they punch you in the nose and call the police, even though it is their house they are arrested. If you go to their house and they light up a cigarette and you call the police and you will be laughed at. Your claim of harm is purely subjective. If you insist on using such poor analogy’s, do you consider it an assault if you step into a boxing ring an assault? The reason is that you know punching is going to take place. Again it is called assumption of risk. Look it up. It is like the implied consent laws. If you knowingly enter an establishment that allows smoking you explicitly accepted the risk.

  134. #134 Marshall
    July 17, 2009

    Robin,
    We are talking about Smoking bans and Laws, That requires getting legalistic. What would you suggest spiritualistic?

  135. #135 Danimal
    July 17, 2009

    danimal. I go into a bar and order a drink. I sit down with it. Another customer then comes over to me and hits me in the face with his fist. When I remonstrate with him, he points out the sign on the door that says “The owner of this establishment authorises any patron to strike another in the face”. Do I apologise to him and leave, or do I go to the police? Does it make a difference whether I actually saw the sign as I arrived?

    WTF!! You are mixing apples and oranges. See my previous example about entering a gay bar. That is not the same as being assaulted unless you consider someone making a pass at you the same thing. Here is another example, do not go to a nude beach and expect to wear clothes. If smoking is allowed do not enter if you object to it (how large does the sign need to be?), just go where it is not allowed. How hard is that. Do not expect every venue to cadre to you. Then everyone is happy. Smokers have a place to go and so do you. My guess is that the smoking establishment will be the more happening place. But why should every establishment cadre to you?

  136. #136 Marshall
    July 17, 2009

    Robin,

    Secondly, argumentum ad populum hardly counts as a principled libertarian analysis. Quite aprt from the obvious fallacy, one reason for hesitancy on the issue is that current attitudes towards smoking are inevitably conditioned by the smokers’ former virtually complete colonisation of the public space; there is still a sense that allowing someone to pollute your air and property with tobacco smoke is the default setting.

    For starters I was not making the ad populum argument that was Greg. You keep bringing up libertarian, yes I am a libertarian and none of my arguments stray from my libertarian beliefs. Yes one of the libertarian principles ” 1.0 Personal Liberty

    Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government. Our support of an individual’s right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices..” So there is nothing in my arguments that go against those principles.
    1.0 Personal Liberty

    Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government. Our support of an individual’s right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices.

  137. #137 Robin Levett
    July 19, 2009

    @danimal & Marshall:

    To both of you; it is a necessary corollary of my argument that if smoking in my presence does not cause me harm, I have no right to be protected from it; that is, I acknowledge that smoking bans are unjustified. My argument relies upon the existence of harm from smoking in my presence. Short-term harm to my person and property is in my view easy to show; if it doesn’t exist, then the justification for a smoking ban must depend on the evidence for long-term harm the subject of Orac’s original post.

    Would you please confirm whether you are arguing that smoking in my presence cannot cause me harm, either short- or long-term? If so, would you please humour me by assuming, for the sake of argument, that there is short-term harm, and address my argument on that basis?

    Danimal – nude beaches and gay bars are irrelevant for that reason; apples and oranges indeed. (BTW – cadre isn’t the word you’re searching for).

    If you accept that there is short-term harm, please explain where the business owner gets his entitlement to license others to harm me when I enter his business premises at his invitation to do business from which he will profit? Marshall has said that he has a property right to use legal products on his own land, and to permit others to do so. I don’t accept that the latter is a “property right”, but in any event Marshall clearly accepts that that is not an absolute right, since he also accepts that a bar-owner cannot legally shoot (using a legally-owned weapon and ammunition) every third person who steps through the door of his bar.

    My point about legalism is a simple one. We are discussing what the law should be. Saying that some other law does, or doesn’t, exist is irrelevant to that question. The argument that shooting me, or hitting me in the face, is different from smoking in my presence, because there are laws against them but not against smoking in my presence says nothing about whether there should be laws against smoking in my presence.

    As for argumentum ad populum; did you, Marshall, or did you not, say:

    Most reasonable people do not feel the same as you. Most nonsmokers may find tobacco smoke an annoyance but would not put it in the same classification as an assault.

    On right of entry to a bar; I do not deny that the bar-owner has the right to refuse service, or entry, to anyone other than a protected class. Opening the doors for business, however is extending an invitation to enter to any and every member of the public of legal age who has not already been “barred”. That gives any and every such member of the public a right to enter. Unless and until the invitation is withdrawn, that member of the public has a right to remain. It is not a property right, but a personal right, a licence. It is a right that is revocable at will by the bar-owner; it is nevertheless a right.

    Putting a notice on the door “smoking is permitted in this establishment” doesn’t identify a class of persons who are not entitled to take up the invitation. It is a statement – a warning – that the bar-owner claims the right to license people to cause harm to his prospective customers. The entire issue here is whether he actually has that right. If he does, then a smoking ban is unjustified; if he doesn’t then a smoking ban simply recognises that fact.

    Marshall claims that I leave all my rights – including my right not to be harmed by the deliberate actions of others – at the door of the bar, on the authority of Lloyd v Tanner. To that there are two answers; firstly, the fact that the case is fact- and right-specific. It doesn’t even generally apply to all First Amendment rights, the specific right in issue in the case, since it stands with other cases where First Amendment rights have been held to have been retained on entry to shopping malls. It says nothing at all about what other rights I leave at the door. Secondly, it falls into the error of assuming that because a law exists, it is justified. Even if the case had the effect for which you contend, it is still open to debate whether on a libertarian analysis the law should be that way.

  138. #138 Danimal
    July 19, 2009

    @Robin

    Would you please confirm whether you are arguing that smoking in my presence cannot cause me harm, either short- or long-term?

    What I can tell you is that I am a smoker and yes it causes me harm. But as an active smoker the harm is years in the making (30+). The dose is the poison. Someone who is exposed for short term will likely not be harmed at all. See my first post which includes at link to all spousal data. The thinking today is that the relative risk of second hand smoke is about 1.30 for lung cancer. What does that number mean? If you are a life long smoker like me, you chances of dying of lung cancer are about 1/10000. For anyone chronically exposed to SHS your chances (think the spousal studies) are 1.3/10000. But you are talking about alot of exposure. Now if you allergic smoke then you will have an immediate reaction. In my sons 5th grade class there was one student that had a peanut butter allergy. At first they were going to ban peanut butter for everyone (my son loves peanut butter). What they ended up doing is make to kid sit with one other student who did not have any peanut products. This to me seems reasonable. No need to ban peanuts for everyone just because one has a problem. I smoke, I use to like to hang in billiard-bars (motorcycle bars) with blue collar workers where practically everyone smokes. I seriously doubt that you would enter such a joint. Smoking bans pretty much took away my options. I do save alot of money as the owners of those bars go out of business. Now we have nice boring yuppie bars. Yawn.

  139. #139 Danimal
    July 19, 2009

    @Robin: I will provide you with a link. The link is to Dr. Michael Seigel’s blog. He is a student of Dr. Stanten Glantz (mr anti smoking incarnate). He put out the claim that you can die for 30 seconds of exposure to second hand smoke (heart attack). Dr. Seigel got fed up with the bullshit science that was put out. He is anti-smoking but keeps the science real. Follow this link and read.
    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/

  140. #140 Robin Levett
    July 19, 2009

    @danimal:

    One: I did ask you to humour me and tell me whether, if smoking did cause harm you would still argue that bans are unjustified, and if so why.

    Secondly, you are still not understanding my point on short term harm. Im not talking about long term effects from short term exposure; I am talking about irritation of mucous membranes immediately on exposure to smoke so that, after a half-evening in a pub where the patrons smoked, I would have stinging eyes and a sore throat. I’m talking about my clothes stinking of stale tobacco smoke from only a couple of hours in a smoky environment. I’m not talking about allergy; I’m not talking about dying of cancer from a single mouthful of smoke.

    Having said that, from Dr Siegel’s own webpages:

    While the scientific evidence demonstrates that smoking indoors or in outdoor areas where nonsmokers cannot move around freely poses a substantial public health risk, this type of widespread outdoor smoking ban leaves the realm of science-based public health advocacy and enters the realm of being a crusade against smokers. (http://www.tobaccocontrolintegrity.com/id5.html)

    …but that’s not the argument I’m looking at now – I want to know whether your position would change if you accepted that smoking in my presence (indoors) causes harm.

  141. #141 Danimal
    July 19, 2009

    …but that’s not the argument I’m looking at now – I want to know whether your position would change if you accepted that smoking in my presence (indoors) causes harm.

    The answer is yes. My position would change if you could provide convincing evidence that my smoking in your presence would cause you harm with only minute exposure. As provided in my previous posts, I would not expect you to enter a bar where smoking was allowed, if you thought it caused you harm. Currently in my state there is only one cigar bar where smoking is allowed. Should be pretty easy to avoid.

  142. #142 Robin Levett
    July 19, 2009

    @Danimal:

    The answer is yes. My position would change if you could provide convincing evidence that my smoking in your presence would cause you harm with only minute exposure.

    And how would it change?

  143. #143 Danimal
    July 20, 2009

    @Robin:
    I would not subject you unwillingly to my smoke.

  144. #144 Greg
    July 20, 2009

    The answer is yes. My position would change if you could provide convincing evidence that my smoking in your presence would cause you harm with only minute exposure. As provided in my previous posts, I would not expect you to enter a bar where smoking was allowed, if you thought it caused you harm.

    As I mentioned in an earlier post you don’t have to be a scientist to test this, you can observe the effects of SHS quite easily. The body reacts to an irritant in obvious ways depending on which parts are effected. The eyes water, the sinuses produce more mucus, same for the lungs, which then expels that mucus, coughing, runny nose.

    Irritant:
    1. an agent that causes an irritation or stimulation. 2. an agent that is toxic, bacterial, physical, or chemical and is capable of inducing functional derangements or organic lesions of the tissues.
    Irritation:
    Pathology. A condition of inflammation, soreness, or irritability of a bodily organ or part.

    Try this: get a smoking and a couple of non-smoking friends of yours. All of you should have fresh clothing and not have been exposed to any smoke prior to the experiment (maybe an hour). One smoker and non-smoker sit in a room (the control group). With the other non-smoker and yourself in another small room without significant ventilation (for the purpose of controlling where the smoke goes), light up a cigarette and place it so that the smoke goes into both of your faces (do not smoke the cigarette). You may have to wave the cigarette around or blow on it to make sure each of you is exposed. Alternatively you can have a cigarette in front of each of you. Let the cigarette(s) burn till it/they finish.

    Observe the effects during and immediately after the experiment and compare it with the control group. Use the control group to smell clothing and hair as well as those exposed.

    Switch the control group and do the experiment again after reseting (new clothing, clean hair, and no exposure for an hour or so)

    Again observe the effects during and immediately after the experiment and compare it with the control group. Then compare both results.

    I believe that the results will be that the group exposed to the smoke of a single cigarette will have experienced watery eyes, possibly with redness, will have coughed one or more times and their clothing and hair will smell of smoke. The group exposed will notice less sensitive sense of smell when observing the effects on their own clothing, and will notice it more when they are in the control group.
    This should be enough evidence to prove that there is at least short term irritation from SHS and effects on real property (clothing).

    Have fun.

    ~Greg

  145. #145 Robin Levett
    July 21, 2009

    @Danimal:

    I would not subject you unwillingly to my smoke.

    So no change then? Or are you saying that you would now subject me (being unwilling) to your smoke?

    More relevantly; we are talking about smoking bans. Would you realisation that your smoking in my presence causes me harm, change your position on smoking bans – or at least change or make you rethink your argument against them?

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