Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Another Day, Another 340 Young People Die From Smoking

According to Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails, 340 young people will die today from smoking. Added together over a year, this amounts to 124,000 deaths of young people due to smoking. Since there are approximately 420,000 smoking-related deaths, this means that 30% of smoking-related deaths occur among young people.

I'm quite serious when I say that if smoking actually did kill 124,000 young people each year, it should simply be prohibited. The only reason why I think society tolerates 420,000 deaths from this product each year is that most of the deaths occur among people who are older. If 124,000 young people were dying each year from any product, I have no doubt that public health advocacy groups would be calling for an outright ban on that product.

So why isn't Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails calling for a ban on smoking? I think the answer is simple: they know that 124,000 young people do not die from smoking each year.

In other words, it is quite apparent that Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails knows that its website contains a statement that is blatantly false. It is almost impossible for me to imagine that they would not realize that their statement is false.

To me, this means that they are essentially lying on their web site. It may not have been a lie initially (in the sense that it is at least theoretically possible that this was some sort of very bad mistake). However, now they are aware of it and so it has changed from simply a mistake to a known lie.

The organization's excuse for not retracting what is now a lie is apparently that the web developer is no where to be found. I find that very hard to believe.

What I question is the organization's priorities. If I had a web site up and I knew that there was a blatantly false statement on the site, I would change it immediately. If only my web developer had control over the site, I would call him or her and demand that the web site be fixed right away. Not in 2 months. Right away.

I don't usually offer money on this blog, but today I am offering up a $1,000 prize for whoever is the first to find the web developer for Scene Smoking. Since Scene Smoking itself is having such a hard time finding the guy, I suggest that we here at this site do our part and initiate a national (no, an international) search for this guy. We've got readers from all over the world, so we should be able to track him down.

I'm not sure if I have any readers from Tortola. That could be a problem. Maybe I'll go down there over New Year's and try to track him down myself. If anyone has any leads, please let all of us know.

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