Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tobacco Control Science Deteriorating to an All-Time Low

Just days after Stan Glantz told the public that his cross-sectional study, which was unable to determine whether youths who use e-cigarettes go on to start smoking or whether smokers are more likely to try e-cigarettes, proves that e-cigarettes are a gateway to a lifetime of smoking addiction, researchers from elsewhere at the University of California are telling the public, based solely on mouse studies, that thirdhand smoke is as harmful as active smoking.

According to an article at Liberty Voice, thirdhand smoke is as deadly as smoking. In other words, if you sit in a room where people have smoked, you might as well be a smoker yourself.

This conclusion comes, by the way, purely from mouse studies in which mice treated with thirdhand smoke in controlled experiments experienced impaired wound healing and other forms of cell damage. Not a single human, clinical study was performed by these researchers to support their conclusion that thirdhand smoke exposure is every bit as bad as active smoking.

According to the article: "Studies are now showing the dangers of smoking, not just that of first and second-hand smoke, but the dangers presented by third-hand smoke. It is that sticky substance that is left behind on the walls, furniture, toys and surfaces after someone smokes indoors. ... The latest research, funded by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, was published by the American Chemical Society on March 16. It states that young children are at high risk when they put toys in their mouth that have been exposed to third-hand smoke. It actually causes DNA damage and poses a risk for developing cancer." ...

"In another recent study, conducted by the University of California and published in PLOS ONE, researchers found that third-hand smoke is dangerous to the lungs and liver, possibly due to inflammation. They also found that it leads to type II diabetes, even when patients are not overweight or obese. Furthermore, they discovered that, while studying mice in a controlled environment, wounds on the skin did not heal as quickly. They determined that the collagen had been damaged. The study claims that third-hand smoke is as big a danger and just as deadly as smoking itself."

The Rest of the Story

The rest of the story is that this is complete garbage.

It is truly depressing to me to watch this - day in and day out.

When the tobacco industry decided - sometime back around 2000 or so - to stop monitoring tobacco control science and to just let us say anything we wanted to - I thought they had made a poor decision. But in retrospect, I think it may have been brilliant. They apparently knew that before long, without the restraints of having to answer to Big Tobacco's public questioning, our science would deteriorate and we would just start saying anything we wanted to. Unrestrained, the tobacco control movement's scientific rigor would fall to such a low level that we would end up discrediting ourselves and undermining our own credibility.

Well, we're there. We're officially there.

I'm sure I'll have more to say about this later. But for now, I'm just too damn depressed.

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