Memphis and Kansas are not the only tournament finalists from yesterday's Final Four action. Today, we also learn the winners of Final Four action from the Most Ridiculous Secondhand Smoke Health Claim tournament.
Here are the two contests and the winners:
Game 1: East vs. South
St. Louis University Tobacco Prevention Center vs. American Cancer Society
According to the St. Louis University Tobacco Prevention Center: "Arsenic, benzene, carbon monoxide, Plutonium 210 and a host of other poisons are in secondhand smoke."
According to the American Cancer Society: "Immediate effects of secondhand smoke include cardiovascular problems such as damage to cell walls in the circulatory system, thickening of the blood and arteries, and arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) or heart disease, increasing the chance of heart attack or stroke."
The Winner: St. Louis University Tobacco Prevention Center
According to the Tobacco Prevention Center, not only is secondhand smoke poisonous, but it also can be used as a nuclear weapon. If you want to find weapons of mass destruction, I guess you need not go any further than your corner bar. But what makes the St. Louis University Tobacco Prevention Center claim the hands-down winner is that it came in the context of correcting an earlier statement that secondhand smoke contains asbestos. You would think that having been caught with an egregious error like that, you would be extremely careful in fixing it. But instead, you come up with a claim that it exceedingly more ridiculous than the original fallacious claim. That gets you a place in the finals, for sure.
Game 2: Midwest vs. West
Smokefree Air for Everyone vs. Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails
According to Smokefree Air for Everyone: "After 20 minutes, blood platelets look like a pack-a-day smoker's, making your blood "sticky" and contributing to stroke causing blood clots."
According to Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails: "Smoking Kills About 340 Young People a Day."
The Winner: Smokefree Air for Everyone
Although it was difficult to watch Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails go down to defeat, there really is something to be said for an organization that is willing to claim that a mere 20 minutes of secondhand smoke exposure can cause an otherwise healthy person to suffer a stroke. You also have to appreciate the gutsiness of this organization going beyond the 30 minute claims and cutting down the time required for a healthy person to suffer a fatal event to only 20 minutes.
So I'm happy to announce that we will have an all-Missouri final (we can call it the I-70 series, revisited:
St. Louis University Tobacco Prevention Center (St. Louis, MO)
"Arsenic, benzene, carbon monoxide, Plutonium 210 and a host of other poisons are in secondhand smoke."
Smokefree Air for Everyone (Columbia, MO)
"After 20 minutes, blood platelets look like a pack-a-day smoker's, making your blood "sticky" and contributing to stroke causing blood clots."
Vote for your pick. The national champion will be announced tomorrow morning.