Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Anti-Smoking Researchers in California Admit that They Have Reached Pre-Determined Conclusions Prior to Their Research Studies
Acknowledged Purpose of Study is Not to Find Out Effects of Thirdhand Smoke, But to Promote Smoking Bans in the Home
While I have for some time argued that many anti-smoking researchers have reached pre-determined conclusions and that their research consists of cherry-picking findings so that they support these pre-determined conclusions, it is now the case that these researchers are readily admitting that they have no interest in seeing where the results of the research actually take them.
Today, I am revealing that an anti-smoking research group in California has admitted, in its grant application summary itself, that the purpose of the research is to generate data that will support a pre-determined conclusion that thirdhand smoke is toxic to exposed nonsmokers in order to promote smoking bans in private homes.
The application summary states: "Overall, our proposed work will be a critical step in a timely assessment of whether the THS exposure is genetically harmful to exposed nonsmokers, and the ensuing data will serve as the experimental evidence for framing and enforcing policies prohibiting smoking in homes, hotels, and cars in California and elsewhere in order to protect vulnerable people."
This work, which is being funded by the state of California under its Tobacco Related Disease Research Program, will investigate the potential genotoxic effects of exposure to thirdhand smoke by studying DNA adducts that might be formed in the laboratory from the reaction of secondhand smoke with ozone.
The Rest of the Story
The grant summary makes it clear that the researchers have already reached their conclusion, before having even initiated the "investigation." They state that the results of their work "will" serve as "the" evidence for "enforcing policies prohibiting smoking in homes."
In other words, the research itself is not needed. The investigators have come to a pre-determined conclusion and the purpose of the funded work is simply to generate findings which support this pre-determined conclusion so that these findings can be used to promote smoking bans in private homes in California communities.
We have now sunk to a new scientific low in tobacco control. Not only are researchers reaching pre-determined conclusions before actually conducting the research but they are now openly admitting it. Moreover, they are acknowledging this in their grant applications, and still receiving funding!
Why would the state of California want to spend a half million dollars of taxpayers' money to fund "research" that is unnecessary because the investigators have already reached their conclusions?
After all, the researchers stated that their proposed work "will be a critical step in a timely assessment of whether the THS exposure is genetically harmful to exposed nonsmokers, and the ensuing data will serve as the experimental evidence for framing and enforcing policies prohibiting smoking in homes, hotels, and cars in California and elsewhere in order to protect vulnerable people," instead of stating that their work will assess whether THS exposure is harmful and the ensuing data will inform the debate over whether to ban smoking in the home, hotels, and cars in order to protect susceptible nonsmokers.
If the researchers already have the answers, then it is a waste of time and money to carry out the proposed research. They might as well save the half a million dollars for the taxpayers of California.
That the state of California would fund research with an acknowledged pre-determined conclusion is as bad as the fact that the investigators submitted such an application.
(Thanks to Michael J. McFadden for the tip).