On January 14, 2008, I reported that an anti-smoking group in Missouri - the Campus-Community Alliances for Smoke-Free Environments (CASE), run out of the University of Missouri in Columbia - claimed that 30 minutes of secondhand smoke exposure can cause atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) in nonsmokers.
At that time, CASE claimed: "The same half hour of secondhand smoke can cause atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) which leads to heart attacks and strokes."
Presumably in response to my post, CASE has retracted its assertion that 30 minutes of tobacco smoke exposure can cause atherosclerosis and has corrected it to now claim that short-term exposure leads to changes in blood chemistry that are precursors of atherosclerosis. Thus, it is now clearer that a single 30 minute exposure cannot itself cause hardening of the arteries. One would have to be regularly exposed to secondhand smoke for many years.
The corrected claim by CASE is as follows: "The same half hour of exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to changes in blood chemistry that are precursors to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which leads to heart attacks and strokes."
The Rest of the Story
This story demonstrates that my argument that more than 100 anti-smoking groups are making misleading claims about the acute cardiovascular effects of secondhand smoke is correct. CASE has essentially acknowledged that I was right and that its statement needed to be corrected. They did so. For that, I commend them.
So there's one down. Now we just have 99 more to go!