Saturday, December 31, 2005

Smoking / Anaesthesia / Surgery

This an interesting article which sounds credible. It also seems like common sense to me. It might be helpful for you all to know when confronted by unhelpful or unsympathetic healthcare professionals. Essentially it's better for smokers not to give up prior to surgery if they are only doing so around the time of surgery. You need to give up months ahead to be in with a chance of deriving the supposedly possible benefits. Hit the link above for the full text or just read the quote below.

"Unfortunately, the picture is not so clear and simple. It seems to take at least 48 hours to begin to show an improvement in the increased sensitivity and increased bronchial reactivity that is seen in smokers. It probably takes as much as two weeks before these factors are improved as much as possible. So, just in terms of pulmonary effects, a short term cessation of smoking does not seem to make much of a difference.
In fact, a short term cessation may actually make things worse. It seems the effects of increased secretions, decreased ability to clear these secretions, small airway disease, etc. take as much as four to eight weeks to reverse. In fact, a couple of studies have shown that patients who quit smoking have an increased risk of pulmonary complications unless they have quit for four weeks or more. So while smokers may have more problems than nonsmokers, it seems that smokers that have recently quit actually do worse than those that keep smoking."

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Smoking On The Job


by Dr Phil Hammond

Should NHS staff be banned from smoking in public while wearing their uniform and ID badge, even if they're off duty and miles away from their place off work? This rather draconian proposal comes courtesy of Suffolk East Primary Care Trust, who recently announced a ban in hip and knee replacements for those with a BMI over 30. Apparently, 80% of the staff support the smoking ban but as with all rules, its success depends on its enforceability. Will the trust employ anti-smoking snoops to parole local car parks, bus shelters and pubs? Presumably they can now afford them with all the money they're saving on joint replacements. The unions are predictably outraged, with Unison calling it "an infringement of civil liberties that could force smokers underground, causing health and safety risks." Presumably all the nicotine addicts will be piling into the linen cupboards or holing out in the dungeons that most hospitals seem to have. They house the absurdly antiquated heating system but if you take a torch you can invariably find bodies of confused elderly patients who took a wrong turning on the way back from the League of Friends shop, armed with a packet of Nuttal's Mintoes. To be fair to the trust, it did announce its policy in advance, to give the staff a chance to enrol in its stop smoking clinics, but there are so many nicotine addicts working in the NHS, I'm keen to know what a sudden ban does to patient safety. Would you prefer a heart surgeon who keeps his hand steady with a drag of Capstan's Full Strength in the scrub room, or one who's dropping the scalpels and head-butting matron because he's in enforced cold turkey? As for the nurses, they're miserable enough without being denied five minutes of freezing addiction on the balcony. My guess is that smoking bans across the NHS lead to more deaths from accidents, more complaints for rudeness and more flaming linen cupboards.As for the patients, I'm not sure they're happy about it either. My local trust has banned smoking in all its premises, even on the oncology ward where it's far too late to make a difference. Watching a stream of patients with inoperable lung cancer pant their way to the smokers' room only to discover it's locked or converted into an MRSA isolation ward is just too cruel. In these days of supposed patient choice, the least we can do is let the nearly dead enjoy their fix. And that applies to the staff as much as the patients.

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

This Stinking Tide of Hypocrisy

The government's encouragement of hospital trusts to set policies which may enable them to refuse to treat smokers is a scandal! Aside from the fact that it encourages doctors to clearly contravene the spirit of The Hippocratic Oath, it also means that the only group of people who do pay for their own health care and that of others too via the exorbitant amounts of tax on tobacco, will be denied treatment on the basis that they are parasites, leaching more of their fair share of the country's health costs.

This would appear to be quite clearly outright nonsense as I have had it in black and white, twice, from the Department of Health that the estimated cost of treating smokers is £1.7 billion per annum.

Now it is also a fact that the Treasury has released the detail that the additional input from smokers to the national revenue is £8 billion although some sources cite this as more. That means smokers pay for their health care 4.7 times over, which means that they also cover the cost for many others too. In fact, it has also been stated that taxes from smokers cover the entire NHS drugs bill!

That the government should then, support the twisted hypocrisy outlined in my opening paragraph beggars belief, but the fact too, that they pretend to have no part in such matters because it is left to hospital trusts to decide such policies, is further insult to injury in a sick drama where emulation of Pontius Pilate is clearly the model. Moreover, if the government wishes to encourage the denial of treatment to smokers, then the latter should only pay greatly reduced national insurance contributions.

Another piece of disgusting hypocrisy in this charade is that when it comes to blood donation, suddenly, smokers' blood is as good as that of non-smokers. So where then, lies this notion that tobacco smoke is a deadly carcinogenic substance? If smokers are so polluted then why is their blood still acceptable? Plainly, if smokers are to be denied treatment then they, in turn, should also refuse to give blood. And I wonder what impact that would have on our blood banks? In the same vein, I am pretty sure that when it comes to the donation of organs, then smokers' organs are probably as acceptable as anyone else's.

It's fine to have excellent motives concerning the health of others but those motives should manifest themselves justly and not via the poisonous and mendacious programme of anti-smoking propaganda pursued by this government and encouraged too, it seems quite clear, by many health professionals whom one trusts should know better.

Finally, an organisation which people should be able to trust to set a good example is The World Health Organisation (WHO). The WHO has a very close relationship with Glaxo from whom it receives a significant portion of its income. Glaxo manufactures and sells a product known to be dangerous, namely Zyban or Wellbutrin, which serves as both a smoking cessation product and an antidepressant. What then, is the difference in principle between The WHO and someone who consorts with a tobacco company?

Written by Blad

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Friday, December 09, 2005

NICE Health Care Discrimination

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) its suggested is looking into recommending who receives particular treatments from the NHS depending on "Social Value Judgements". I think that sounds a little bit scary. I've just been to their website and browsed a pdf document, which goes into significant length about how these judgements will be developed. It is discussed under various headings including age, socio-economic class and self inflicted disease. This has already reached the news with a Trust limiting hip replacement to those people who are below a certain body mass index, before NICE published any guidelines. Am I the only one who finds this a frightening prospect?

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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Do Smoking Bans cause a 27 to 40% drop in admissions for myocardial infarction in hospitals?

December 5, 2005Antismokers claim that studies have shown that bans bring about an immediate and drastic decrease in heart attacks among nonsmokers exposed to smoke at work.
This claim was never true to begin with - the cited studies never separated and analyzed nonsmokers as a separate group - and it has now been pointed out in the pages of the BMJ that even the claim of saving lives among the combined population of smokers and nonsmokers might be worthless.

While many making that claim may have believed their information to be accurate, it is now obvious that its basis has been thrown strongly into question. As Jacob Sullum noted in a December 1st reaction to the announcement, "An effect this dramatic (i.e. an immediate and pronounced drop of hospital admissions for heart attacks) should have been noticed all over the country..."

Just a week before the Chicago Aldermen were due to vote on a citywide smoking ban, two independent researchers working together, David W. Kuneman and Michael J. McFadden, unveiled a new study covering a population base roughly 1,000 times as large as the previous town-based studies. The new study indicates strongly that rather than a 30% decrease in heart attacks, statewide smoking bans seem to have literally NO EFFECT AT ALL on heart attack rates. Incredibly the data even indicates that California's statewide heart attack rate went UP by 6% in the first full year of their total smoking ban!

The data for the study and the basis of its design have been backed up and expanded by well-known antismoking researcher Michael Siegel who has come out in support of the researchers' approach as providing "compelling evidence that brings into question the conclusion that smoking bans have an immediate and drastic effect on heart attack incidence." His observation is echoed by researcher Kuneman who asks, "Ever wonder why you didn't hear about post ban heart attack declines in New York City? Or in Minneapolis or Los Angeles? Now you know!"

On December 4th the British Medical Journal entered the fray with the online publication of a Rapid Response by Mr. McFadden outlining the new research and posing sharp criticisms of the earlier studies and of the refusal of the authors of those studies to respond to previous criticisms and questions. McFadden points out that the data in the Kuneman/McFadden study are fully open for public examination and far less selective than the data in the earlier studies and notes with pride that he and his co-researcher have been quick to respond to all queries posted about their methodology on Dr. Siegel's web blog.

He also poses the wider ranging question of whether studies commissioned by the "Antismoking Industry" should begin to receive the same cautious reception accorded those commissioned by "Big Tobacco." The current study, as well as an earlier one by the duo, were unfunded and neither researcher receives grants for their work from either interest group. Kuneman sharply asks the question, "Why the difference between the studies? For one thing we weren't dependent on antismoking-targeted grants!"

At this point there appears to be very little, if any, real scientific support for the claim that protecting nonsmokers from normal levels of exposure to secondary smoke prevents any heart attacks. And it is this claim that has always provided the impressive numbers upon which ban advocates have pressed legislators to pass smoking bans.

Without those numbers proponents of extreme bans are left with little other than the widely discredited EPA figures relating ETS to lung cancer and a few isolated instances of hospitality workers who have come to believe that their own cancers were caused by working in smoking establishments. Samantha Phillipe, editor of the longstanding smokersclubinc.com newsletter, notes that while it's always a cause for sadness when someone becomes ill that it's even more sad when they are misguidedly advised to blame family and friends for their illness.

Without a compelling body of scientific evidence backing them up, smoking bans are an unnecessary and overbearing intrusion of government into the spheres of free choice, private property and free enterprise. And the Kuneman/McFadden study points up just how uncompelling even some of the strongest and most publicised evidence actually is.

References:

1)Article:http://kuneman.smokersclub.com/hospitaladmissions.html

2)Mike Siegel's blog analysis and followup comments:http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2005/11/new-study-casts-doubt-on-claim-that.html

3) BMJ Response:
http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/eletters/328/7446/977#123038

4) Jacob Sullum's REASON column:
Hit and Run

Michael J. McFaddenAuthor of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of SmokersClubInc.comweb page: http://pasan.thetruthisalie.com/
Email:mailto:Cantiloper@aol.com

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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Smokers Rights Newsletter

Many apologies to Samantha Phillippe. Oversight meant that I had neglected to include a link to her ground breaking Smokers Rights Newletter. She has single handedly assimmilated and distributed any pertinant matters relating to smokers rights. I believe she has been the catalyst to most of our awareness of the subject and a tremendous resource. She has I am sure facilitated our organisation into a cohesive group internationally. Perhaps most importantly she has through her hard work introduced many friends over the electric air waves and produced a better world to live in. Three cheers for Samantha.

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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Chief Medical Officer Should Resign



This a little present from Blad.

You may hear from him later.

Thanks Blad!!

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Friday, December 02, 2005

Manners

Is it me or do all Anti-smokers seem to be selfish, narrow-minded and rude?
I believe in a simple "way of life" derived from christian morals although I am an atheist.
That is "do as you would be done by" or in all your dealings with fellow human beings share, be tolerant and above all be courteous.
Does anyone agree?

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bad diet costs NHS more than smoking



Todays Sun(15th Nov 2005) says bad diet costs the NHS 4 times as much as smoking related disease. That's another argument out the window. Hurrah!

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Basingstoke Gazette / North Hampshire Hospital

Hospital moves to stub out smoking on site

Dear Letters Editor

The article by Lucy Clark announcing the proposed ban on smoking at the North Hampshire Hospital induced in me a feeling of extreme rage. Strange really as I clearly expected the move, knowing full well of the Government's white paper and of the recent Health Improvement bill. Nevertheless as a long time employee of the trust I am absolutely flabbergasted. I am a senior doctor and have worked for 15 years at the Trust. I am very happy there and believe our hospital to be one of the best in the country. Our management staff are of the highest calibre and I have nothing but praise for their efforts.

How preposterous to stop staff, patients and perhaps distressed relatives of patients smoking anywhere on site. This is an inhumane and cynical proposal brought about by pressure from a huge league of prominent anti-smoking groups. These organisations have pedalled propaganda on a par with the Nazi antismoking movement before the second world war. They have saturated the media with untruths and scare mongering at great expense to the tax payer and with the use charitable donations. The tax payers money coming directly out of the Health service purse.
The whole basis for the ban being the notion that environmental tobacco smoke causes harm to non-smokers. This is against the evidence available at present but nevertheless scandalously repeated by reputable bodies such as the NHS, the BMA and the Heart Foundation. These bodies extrapolate fictional numbers of bar workers who might be expected to die if there was a link of the size quoted, scaring the living daylight out of the public. There is no such proven link.

So smoking is bad for your health, what isn't? What is next, stopping doctor's drinking, banning cars. The hope is that the hospital is promoting a better image by stopping people smoking outside the main entrance. I disagree, the hospital is mindlessly jumping on a bandwagon and in so doing trampling over decent people's misfortune at times of enormous stress. Why can't the Trust be innovative and accept that smoking is legal, it does no harm to non-smokers and nearly a third of the country do it? Why marginalize and demonise a large minority of the human population? Why not show a little compassion.

I have no desire to avail myself of the kind assistance to stop be smoking, I enjoy it. That is the token offered to try and appease me with the promise of nicotine replacement therapy stocked in the hospital shop! Its time in my opinion for smokers to stand up and be counted and stop tolerating this attempt at alienation. Smokers don't harm anyone and add to the colour and individuality of our country. Smoking has tradition and history behind it and the United Kingdom should remain the bastion of tolerance and freedom it has always been. Lets leap off that bandwagon, now!

Dr Phil Button
Email gasdoc@eastrop.wanadoo.co.uk
NHS Anaesthetist
Blog www.pro-choicesmokingdoctor.blogspot.com

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Anti-Smoker's Brains

I have become quite freindly via email with Michael J. McFadden. He is the Author of "Dissecting Anti-Smoker's Brains". I bought it and read it and I have to say it is well worth owning. It a great read and its is a comprehensive resource of information. I understand Michael took 2-3 years researching and writing his book and after reading it you have to be very thankful he made the effort. It will be very useful for all smoker's in the UK over the next few years. Thanks Michael. I have placed a link on the left to two of his important websites.

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Florida


Hi! Back from hols in Florida. Very warm.
Florida one of the Anti-smoker's Capitals of the world.
Still..survived. Florida International Airport or McCoy Int Airport must be avoided by all smokers. You can smoke outside arrivals on the kerbside of the pavement. There are no seats so we just sit on the floor waiting for our plane to board. I suggest Sanford Airport!!

In Florida all polite smokers should be aware of the many methods of improvising ashtrays so that safe and tidy disposal can be assured. My photo shows the T-bag method. Another is to collect a spare takeaway cup and decant some coffee into it. We all know how the discarded soda can can be very helpful, don't forget to trash it so you know no-one will drink out of it again.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

Read this quite complicated article by John P. A. Ioannidis.
You could say its heavy going but at least we know someone's onto it.
Also I've found the PLOS - Public Library of Science - Top Site!

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Monday, August 29, 2005

Lung Cancer on the Increase

Despite reducing incidences of smoking and passive smoking lung cancer rates are increasing especially in non-smokers. This clearly doesn't rest easily with the anti-smokers views and suggests perhaps we understand little about the aetiology of this horrible disease. Lets forget the distraction of the anti-smokers and concentrate on elucidating the facts.

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Ten Biggest Lies about Smoke & Smoking

The Ten Biggest Lies about Smoke & Smoking
By Robert Hayes Halfpenny

Read this on SmokersClubInc Website

THE LIE: Cigarette smoke and Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) or Second Hand Smoke (SHS) Causes cancer.

THE Truth: Simply stated there is no known cause for any type of cancer. With all the testing that has been done with every type of chemical, gas, inert matter, and substances that have been altered through exposure to heat or chemical reaction, nothing has been proven to cause cancer. NOTHING! In some instances specific substances, in massive quantities, have been administered to laboratory rats. In these cases many of the animals might have developed a cancer. These sorts of tests may be considered Junk Science in that they have no relationship to a real life scenario.
The World Health Organization ran one of the most exhaustive tests on SHS ever done. After years of meticulous record keeping of all the data, their ultimate findings showed no measurable relationship of SHS to any form of cancer or other illness. The only measurable fact they did discover was that of all adult children who came from homes where both parents smoked had had a 22% better chance of NOT contracting lung cancer than did adult children who came from homes where both parents did not smoke. The W.H. O attempted to hid these facts from the public until several astute reporters forced them to make their facts public.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Smoke Free South Yorkshire

A heavily quoted MORI opinion poll commissioned by the above group of hysterics.
They telephoned 1000 people standardised for various things except whether they had a telephone! They asked them some questions and published the results on the MORI website.
The quote you hear is that 84% supported a ban on smoking in enclosed public places. This question wasn't actually asked. These are some of the actual results amongst others...

84% agreed all employees should have the right to work in a smoke free environment.
Who wouldn't agree with that!

73% would support a law to make all enclosed workplaces, including public places, smoke free.
Smoke free doesn't mean no smoking, it could mean air conditioning.

67% would prefer Pubs and Bars not to be completely smoke free!!!
That's a contradiction isn't it..rather a big flaw in an opinion poll.
Perhaps the polled didn't realise the interpretation of smoke free was a ban.

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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Risk Analysis 2001

This is an abstract from an article by Robert Nilsson, published in the journal "Risk Analysis", that scoffs at the "evidence" for "Passive Smoking".

Volume 21: Issue 4
Environmental Tobacco Smoke Revisited: The Reliability of the Data Used for Risk Assessment
Robert Nilsson

Abstract
Several epidemiological studies have found a weak, but consistent association between lung cancer in nonsmokers and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). In addition, a purported link between such exposure and coronary heart disease (CHD) has been of major concern. Although it is biologically plausible that ETS has a contributory role in the induction of lung cancer in nonsmoking individuals, dose-response extrapolation—supported by the more solid database for active smokers—gives an additional risk for lung cancer risk that is more than one order of magnitude lower than that indicated by major positive epidemiological studies. The discrepancy between available epidemiological data and dosimetric estimates seems, to a major part, to reflect certain systematic biases in the former that are difficult to control by statistical analysis when dealing with risks of such low magnitudes. These include, most importantly, misclassification of smoking status, followed by inappropriate selection of controls, as well as certain confounding factors mainly related to lifestyle, and possibly also hereditary disposition. A significant part of an association between lung cancer and exposure to ETS would disappear, if, on the average, 1 patient out of 20 nonsmoking cases had failed to tell the interviewer that he had, in fact, recently stopped smoking. In the large International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) multicenter study even lower misclassification rates would abolish the weak, statistically nonsignificant associations that were found. In the former study an apparent significant protective effect from exposure to ETS in childhood with respect to lung cancer later in life was reported, a most surprising finding. The fact that the mutation spectrum of the p53 tumor suppressor gene in lung tumors of ETS-exposed nonsmokers generally differs from that found in tumors of active smokers lends additional support to the notion that the majority of tumors found in ETS-exposed nonsmokers have nothing to do with tobacco smoke. The one-sided preoccupation with ETS as a causative factor of lung cancer in nonsmokers may seriously hinder the elucidation of the multifactorial etiology of these tumors. Due to the high prevalence of cardiovascular disease in the population, even a modest causal association with ETS would, if valid, constitute a serious public health problem. By pooling data from 20 published studies on ETS and heart disease, some of which reported higher risks than is known to be caused by active smoking, a statistically significant association with spousal smoking is obtained. However, in most of these studies, many of the most common confounding risk factors were ignored and there appears to be insufficient evidence to support an association between exposure to ETS and CHD. Further, it seems highly improbable that exposure to a concentration of tobacco smoke at a level that is generally much less than 1% of that inhaled by a smoker could result in an excess risk for CHD that—as has been claimed—is some 30% to 50% of that found in active smokers. There are certainly valid reasons to limit exposure to ETS as well as to other air pollutants in places such as offices and homes in order to improve indoor air quality. This goal can be achieved, however, without the introduction of an extremist legislation based on a negligible risk of lung cancer as well as an unsupported and highly hypothetical risk for CHD.

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Friday, August 19, 2005

Maude & Mabel


Two old ladies are outside their nursing home, having a drink and a smoke, when it starts to rain. One of the old ladies pulls out a condom, cuts off the end, puts it over her cigarette, and continues smoking.

Maude: What in the hell is that?
Mable: A condom. This way my cigarette doesn't get wet.
Maude: Where did you get it?
Mable: You can get them at any drugstore.

The next day, Maude hobbles herself into the local drugstore and announces to the pharmacist that she wants a box of condoms. The pharmacist, obviously embarrassed, looks at her kind of strangely (she is after all, over 80 years of age), but very delicately asks what brand of condom she prefers.

Maude: "Doesn't matter Sonny, as long as it fits on a Camel."

The pharmacist fainted.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Dr Ken Denson

I had the pleasure of swapping emails with this charming scientific genius. He has published widely on the "confounders" found in ETS epidemiology. Here are just a few of the wise words he sent to me. He invented the INR and discovered Factor X! I am privileged to have heard from him. RESPECT!!

"Smokers across the board have a higher intake of total and saturated fat, lower HDL cholesterols, a lower intake of poly and mono unsaturated fat, fruit, vegetables, folate and fibre, and take less exercise (p<0.00001)..."

"In the British doctors study, women doctors who smoked less than 14 cigarettes per day had no increased risk for heart disease or lung cancer, and in the cornerstone Framingham study people who smoked less than 10 cigarettes per day had no increased risk for heart disease..."

"Then there are the geographical studies where some 300 million people in Japan and Southern Mediterranean countries have a lower incidence of heart disease, lung cancer and COPD and yet the highest incidence of smoking in the developed world..."

(after a long intellectual anecdote)"I relate this anecdote because it required some thought, unlike the efforts of the academic pygmies who jump on the anti-smoking bandwagon..."

"Smokers have the most atrocious lifestyles, but otherwise healthy smokers in my opinion live longer than non-smokers. What a terrible mistake the medical establishment has made."

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Balanced View On Passive Smoking

How about this for a proper scientific view on Passive Smoking. It really is refreshing. You don't have to agree with everything Robert Davies says but that applies to what the anti-smokers sprout also. This is also an opportunity to browse the United Pro-Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter in case you havn't heard about them! Happy browsing.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Disaster Emergencies Committee

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Sunday, July 31, 2005

On a lighter note!

How about these sticky labels from FakeFags. They let people know what you think of the propaganda. Mainly they stop you having to look at "Smoking Kills" and inject a bit of humour into our much shorter lives!! FakeFags do lots of other smoking related goodies too. Give 'em a visit.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Consultation on the Smokefree Elements of the Health Improvement and Protection Bill

I believe you still have time to make a response, so please consider it by using the link in the following prose. I have responded as follows...

Dear Sir

In response to the "Consultation on the Smokefree Elements of the Health Improvement and Protection Bill".

I suspect that the contents of my response are outwith the areas of consultation outlined in the document. Nevertheless I feel it appropriate to make my views known. I hold out no hope that my voice will be heard.

The area of so-called "Environmental Tobacco Smoke" has become a specialist area of knowledge for the most ill-informed. This has occurred through an incidious process of apparently coordinated misinformation. I have no knowledge as to the organisers of this band of propagandists. The band includes the anti-smoking groups, the British Heart Foundation, the Department of Health and the BMA have had a strong voice claiming to represent Doctors.

The BMA will I am sure be proved in the long term to have acted rashly as they do not represent the opinion of Doctors and have acted in an unscientific manner. The BHF on national television are responsible for representing atheroma as porridge completely occluding arteries and exuding from cigarette ends. This is scare-mongering and on a par with Lord Haw-Haw during World War II. The Department of Health, on national television, is responsible for showing visible smoke being exhaled by children. This is a special effect similar to Steven Spielberg films and intentionally horrific and totally misleading. In short these acts are in my opinion immoral. I strongly object to my BMA subscription, my taxes and charitable donations being spent thus.

My position as a BMA member, a hospital doctor, a member of the scientific community and a member of the public is one of disbelief. It is with astonishment that I read reports that misrepresent the interpretation of one epidemiology study after another. Claims are made "estimating" the effects of "passive smoking" in an outrageous way and sadly an unscientific way by respectable Medical Bodies. Information from these studies is claimed to demonstrate a link between Environmental Tabacco Smoke and ill-health in non-smokers. At best the evidence is seriously flawed and at worst evidence that fails to demonstrate any link is deliberately not presented. A balanced view is that there is still no scientifically demonstrable link between ill-health and "passive smoking".

A particularly relevant and comparable moment of epidemiological media reporting recently has us in fear of eating red meat. I assume that the need to investigate the new scientifically proven phenomenom of "Environmental Bovine Flatulence" and its link to BSE and heart disease has already been recognised. "Passive Methane Inhalation" is soon to be the most significant health scare of the decade. Hardly a day passes without some new amateur spin on whats right and whats wrong for me to do. Usually some bizarre and extreme extrapolation of specialist research. These interpretations are selective. They are made by and passed onto people unqualified to subject such studies to any kind of srutiny. Beware the researcher misguiding you into believing his or her views.

I read with interest the summary of financial benefits and costs and firstly note that one cost has not been predicted. The cost to the health service of looking after the many surviving ex-smokers who will develope the diseases of old age including cancer. That is of course assuming that smokers have an increased risk of disease in the first place. Several authors have cast doubt on this most treasured belief by examining worldwide causes of death and the prevalence of smoking. This cost must be great as many saved human years are expected. Further examination of the attempt to quantify costs/benefits exposes several guesses and omissions that make the process fallible. A similar quality of numerical work as the "Passive Smoking" risks commonly quoted.

I note the figures quoted from the polls of 2003 are presented both as a list and as an interpretation. Interestingly these figures show 80% of people were not against smoking in pubs yet the interpretation is somehow different. Even in your document the figures are blatently misinterpreted assuming a level of intelligence in the reader of near zero. This is a very sad state of affairs and if the nanny state is to exist then a better standard of brain-washing will be required. Obviously this is totally flabbergasting to me.

Making cigarette smoking illegal. Why stop there? The proposals are a gross infringement of civil liberty and something you could expect from a dictatorship not from a democratic Labour Government. When will I be forced to grow a beard?

My position is in support of voluntary restrictions on smoking and I am opposed to the bill proposed in the consultation document.


Dr Phil Button
Email gasdoc@eastrop.wanadoo.co.uk
NHS Anaesthetist

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Cancer Pro dies - The Sun

"The British scientist who first linked smoking to lung cancer died yesterday, aged 92. Professor Sir Richard Doll suggested the connection in a 1951 study and confirmed it three years later. Dr John Hood of Oxford University said his work saved millions of lives. In 2001 Prof Doll caused controversy by saying the effect of passive smoking "is so small it doesn't worry me"."


The words of a respected expert in epidemiology with no axe to grind. Thanks Prof Doll and may you rest in peace.

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Saturday, July 23, 2005

Epidemiology Stinks!

A study published in last weeks BMJ entitled:

Lung Cancer Mortality Rates at ages 35-54 in the European Union: ecological study of evolving tobacco epidemics. BMJ 2005;331:189-92

Sometimes you read stuff like this and you wander, what am I missing?

"Epidemiological analyses indicate that disease attributed to smoking is a leading contributor to the large gap in premature mortality between the 15 countries that formerly made up the European Union and the new member states from central and eastern Europe."

You're missing the bold words of vagueness which go with the science of vagueness. So you should read on...

"However, the prevalence of smoking in most countries has not been measured in a sufficiently consistent way, or over a long enough period, to be used to predict trends in diseases caused by smoking."

You're missing the obvious...the not. Case proven so lets not read the rest!
The Anti's rely on this stuff...its difficult not to laugh...LOL!

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