Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Anti-Smoking Group Does Claim that Secondhand Smoke Contains Asbestos

A Missouri anti-smoking group has publicly claimed that secondhand smoke contains asbestos.

On Monday, I reported that the St. Louis University Tobacco Prevention Center had made such a claim, according to a KMOV news story. Some readers questioned whether I was perhaps jumping the gun and making something out of nothing, since it was possible that this was simply a reporter's mistake in communicating the quote from the Tobacco Prevention Center spokesperson.

However, the actual footage from the KMOV news segment has been pointed out to me, and confirms that this was not a mistake.

The anti-smoking group has indeed claimed that secondhand smoke contains asbestos. Here is the quote:

"Why would you want to inhale lethal substances? We're not made to do that kind of thing. And when asbestos was declared lethal, it was eliminated. There's asbestos in second hand smoke."

The Rest of the Story

Once again, this is a completely fallacious claim. Secondhand smoke does not contain asbestos.

It appears that the truth is not enough. We in tobacco control apparently need to deceive the public and make up things that aren't true in order to scare the public enough to support our agenda.

I guess you can add this group to the 80+ other anti-smoking groups which continue to make fallacious scientific claims to the public about secondhand smoke.

And I still have the $100 that I offered, to no avail, to the first group that corrected their fallacious claim and apologized. So that offer now extends to the St. Louis University Tobacco Prevention Center.

Should I put the money in a safe place, or is it safe for me to spend it? I'm thinking about a couple of box seats for the next Red Sox home game. Do I pull the trigger, or is there even a chance that an anti-smoking group will admit that they have deceived the public and apologize for it?

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