Heart risks from secondhand smoke completely bogus


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The uncertainty of science: New more carefully done research now proves that secondhand smoke from smoking does almost nothing to increase the risk of heart disease.

In the early 2000s, as jurisdictions across the country fought over expanding smoking bans to bars and restaurants, anti-smoking advocates seized on the Helena study and related research showing that secondhand smoke exposure can affect coronary functions to promote fear of secondhand smoke. Groups across the country stated that “even half an hour of secondhand smoke exposure causes heart damage similar to that of habitual smokers.” Not to be outdone, the Association for Nonsmokers in Minnesota wrote in a press release that just 30 seconds of exposure could “make coronary artery function of non-smokers indistinguishable from smokers.” The message to nonsmokers was clear: The briefest exposure to secondhand smoke can kill you.

A decade later, comprehensive smoking bans have proliferated globally. And now that the evidence has had time to accumulate, it’s also become clear that the extravagant promises made by anti-smoking groups—that implementing bans would bring about extraordinary improvements in cardiac health—never materialized. Newer, better studies with much larger sample sizes have found little to no correlation between smoking bans and short-term incidence of heart attacks, and certainly nothing remotely close to the 60 percent reduction that was claimed in Helena. The updated science debunks the alarmist fantasies that were used to sell smoking bans to the public, allowing for a more sober analysis suggesting that current restrictions on smoking are extreme from a risk-reduction standpoint.

As almost always happens, the people pushing for the ban really weren’t that interested in protecting people’s health. They might have thought so, but in reality what they were really interested in was exerting their power over others, banning smoking and telling everyone else how to live their lives.

Read the whole article. It is very damning, and illustrates again why it is very important to not pass laws quickly based on some preliminary scientific results. Care must be taken, and patience is required. The science is never clear right from the beginning, especially on complex issues like climate and the health effects involving large numbers of people.

28 comments

  • Garry

    One of my favorite examples of overreach was an article I read on the dangers of thirdhand smoke (breathing the odors from the clothing of someone who was exposed to secondhand smoke).

    I never could stand secondhand smoke, to the point where decades ago, when I was a smoker myself, limited my smoking to the outdoors and bars, but I never considered secondhand smoke to be the dire health risk that it’s portrayed to be.

  • wodun

    I just don’t like the smell, same with weed. Its almost impossible to escape the smell of either when driving or out in public.

  • LocalFluff

    Before wayne bombs us with his video links:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpqDQy5Nn2I

    And the best scene: “Why is American government the best government in the world?”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY3V0JJqnqo

    Well, now the world will learn that it is! And the endless appeal system will be a part of it. The fight-back never backs off. Any cabinet member thought to have found a cozy corner to hide in for four years, is wrong! All seats are always hot. Firing Flynn is just stating an example.
    “-My watch tells me it’s already oh four thirty ay em. What have you done for me today, bottom line only?”

    Trump hires the best talents, Conway and Miller for example, like the lobbyist in the movie scene above. He hires guys from Goldman Sachs not because of some financial conspiracy, but because they too hire only the best talents. And there’s always someone better than you.

  • Steve Earle

    I don’t have a problem with banning smoking.

    Since when does anyone have a “Right” to put something in the air that I am forced to breathe in??

    I subscribe to the Libertarian view that your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose.

    You want to take pills, eat a pot brownie, use a nicotine patch? Fine. No problem.

    You want to stand in a public area and expel gases into the same space I have to occupy? Then yes, I have a problem with that, and I don’t care if it causes cancer or not….

  • Jim Jakoubek

    So, after decades of being told that second hand smoke will cause the end of the human race and
    as such all the laws that have come down the way to safeguard said human race, it all turns out
    to be not so much after all.

    Hhhmmm, I find the timing of this rather suspicious with the current movement to legalize pot.

    The logic/argument would follow that if second hand smoke is so bad from tobacco it could as well
    be for pot and that would be bad news for the pothead crowd would it not?

    But where tobacco will kill you, pot is harmless so the story goes. So, what to do?

    Why the answer is simple. Second hand smoke all of a sudden turns out to be no big deal after
    all! Put away your cigars, cigarettes and pipe tobacco and spark up a doobie! It’s all good!

  • Thunderbunny

    Regardless…second hand smoke isn’t anything I miss in restaurants, malls or anywhere else.

    It’s nasty, smelly and ruins your experience of a place. Health risk or not, I’m glad smoking is banned from most public places.

    Oh, and now that pot is becoming legal- it’s a good thing smoking bans are in place. That stuff is disgusting.

  • Cotour

    Steve Earl, once again you are revealed to be a reasonable and intelligent arbiter of reality.

    What ever some study reveals about the “truth” of second hand smoke is almost irrelevant, do not force me in a public setting to inhale your obsession. Will the next study will reveal the heath benefits of second hand smoke?

  • Cotour

    There are rumors going around that this will next be revealed by “science” to be “OK”.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/georgia-landscaper-caught-sex-homeowner-dog-article-1.2972007

    Sometimes you really do not need a study to know the truth. I also think that Jim’s point about the recent legalizing of pot in some states and the massive taxation potential that it represents is also very relevant here.

  • wayne

    Jim Jakoubek-
    good stuff.

    Personally, I want all “substance-regulation” rolled back to before the Pure Food Act in 1906.
    Fully support all “decriminalization” movements but at the same time I find the “medical-weed” argument to be the most disingenuous method, but it works toward that end.

    “Dronabinol” is the FDA approved THC preparation available on prescription. (Schedule 2)
    People, want to get high. I say ‘own that’ and go from that point.

  • Steve Earle

    Cotour, you flatter me, thank you. But I know there are a few people I’ve arrested or ticketed over the years that would disagree with you…. LOL!

    I do know that I am in good company here in Mr. Z’s little bubble of rare common sense.

    I think that you, Jim Jakoubek, and Thunderbunny (awesome name BTW…) all have good points on this.

    I have wondered for a few years now about the disconnect between the crackdown on smoking, but the simultaneous push for marijuana. Here in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts the voters just legalized recreational marijuana and the legislature is now jockeying over who gets the licenses to sell it.

    At the same time they just passed a law making it illegal to smoke tobacco products in a car with kids in it….

    There are competing interests at play here, and of course vast amounts of money. But as usual not many people step back and look at the larger hypocrisy and the lessons that are absorbed by children as a result of that hypocrisy.

    Our local Police Depts are now one by one starting to consider waiving drug testing for new officers since it is becoming very hard to hire a twenty year old that will pass…!

    How long before our Societies mixed messaging results in new hires of Airlines, trucking companies, train operators, Nuclear Plant operators, etc, etc all being waived through the process regardless of their drug-use, and wind up in jobs that could kill dozens or hundreds or even thousands of people?

    And I also wonder what is coming next. The Left never rests in it’s quest to de-construct western civilization.

    Luckily for my sanity, almost all of you here are very good at seeing the bigger picture, it keeps me from permanently hiding under the covers hoping it all was just a bad dream ;-)

  • Steve Earle

    Wayne: Good point. Why is there such a push to legalize smoking marijuana in public, but no mention of the pill form?

    I thought the “Evil Pharmaceutical Companies” controlled our society? Could it be that the politicians will get far more tax money from selling joints as opposed to pills? So what if innocent children and adults are forced to breathe that crap in…

    And as a career cop I see the arguments for both sides of the legalization debate. And there are some VERY good reasons to end the so-called “War on Drugs”.

    My problem is that I have seen up close and personal the effects on children when the adults that are supposed to be protecting and caring for them are drunk, high, or otherwise addicted.

    People Suck. And People under the Influence Suck even more.

    And as much as I hate to empower the Nanny State to regulate personal behaviour, there are times when people need to be protected from their worst impulses. And the rest of us, especially children, need to be protected from those people who can’t or won’t act responsibly.

    If we make it easier and easier to get high, it’s the children who will suffer the most.

    Alcohol and drug abuse are already bad enough for kids and society in general. My personal view is never make a bad situation worse.

  • wayne

    Steve E.
    Good stuff, all around.

    –key point: “competing interests at play here, and of course vast amounts of money.”

    If people can’t stop their consumption for 3 weeks, in order to pass a drug-screen, they should ask themselves, if they have a problem developing.

    Concurrently, I’m a strong believer in Federalism, and we have a major league conflict on the horizon regarding various States and weed, and the Federal Drug laws.

    Anyone remember all those billions of dollars the Feds extracted by force, from the tobacco companies?
    “Poof,” its ALL gone. They blew it ALL, on stupid-stuff! And they aren’t done…
    (I do smoke cigarettes, pack costs me $7.25, over half of which is State & Federal tax.)

  • Cotour

    “Read the whole article. It is very damning, and illustrates again why it is very important to not pass laws quickly based on some preliminary scientific results. ”

    I do not need a high IQ nerd in a white coat to tell me whether its a good idea or not, or whether its healthy or not to sit next to someone in an enclosed area with other people who are smoking. The question remains “Is the passing of laws related to people sitting in enclosed areas in public / private settings being allowed to smoke necessary whether or not any study indicated that second hand smoke was or was not dangerous”?

    Q: Are those laws exclusively based on those now suspect studies?

    This is the “global warming” / “climate change” issue only on a smaller scale. I again do not need someone in a white coat to tell me that its probably not the best of ideas to just pump with abandon oil derived CO2 and the related particulates and associated other pollutants into the air and water. And if you were going to continue to pump it with abandon, higher and higher technology should be employed to attempt to mitigate that continued pumping, “Climate change” aside. Pollution, whether it be upper case “P” in the general environment or lower case “p” pollution in enclosed public spaces as a general rule is a bad idea.

    So what is the reasonable path to be taken that respects both the rights of those who just like to smoke where ever they are, and those who despise the practice because it at the minimum it is filthy and annoying practice / habit?

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    good stuff. I like your analogy.
    It is “micro climate-change” type thinking.
    It was never about “indoor quality of air,” it was all about control, with pseudo-science virtue-signaling attached to make everyone feel morally superior to people like me.

    Everyone has their favorite Chemical. And everyone has strong opinion’s about the other persons, favorite Chemical.
    I say we all try to accommodate each other, within a civil (and Civil) society, using non-coercive means to start. Then we can debate about who gets to do what & where, under our Constitution, at the smallest governmental unit possible.

  • Cotour

    Yes, but their is a distinction between an individual who takes what ever their “favorite chemical” is, that is their business, do as you please. When they release their favorite chemical into the air that I am force to breath because they give me no consideration or choice then things are inequitable.

  • eddie willers

    When I was young, we would ask, “Mind if I smoke?”. If the answer was ‘yes’, we would wait until elsewhere. I guess civility must now be legislated.

    (I do smoke cigarettes, pack costs me $7.25, over half of which is State & Federal tax.).

    I get empty cigarette tubes and fill them with “unflavored smooth pipe tobacco”. My packs are 80 cents.

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    Those people are the stereotypical, quintessential, dumb-butt’s, of the world.

    Personally, I never impose my cigarette usage upon 3rd parties. I’m “clinically addicted,” but I don’t “need” to smoke in your presence, and would not do so automatically, or if you spoke up. It’s the polite thing to do, for both of us.)

    –I do think a bit of the rules/regulations imposed in a top down manner are inherently anti-American, but they are low on my list of concerns in the grand scheme.
    (The FDA wants to regulate “tobacco” as a drug, nobody should want that to happen, for a whole lot of reasons that go far beyond one particular activity.

  • Edward

    Cotour wrote:
    ‘Read the whole article. It is very damning, and illustrates again why it is very important to not pass laws quickly based on some preliminary scientific results.’ [from Robert’s post]
    “I do not need a high IQ nerd in a white coat to tell me whether its a good idea or not

    1) The high IQ nerd in the white coat should not be determining the morality of the conclusion. Science is not philosophy and does not judge goodness or badness of reality, it only determines reality.

    2) Should the laws in place have been based upon health concerns or upon annoyance of those around the smoker? If it is annoyance, then what other annoying actions should be banned? Loud demonstrations? Quiet demonstrations? Op-eds that I don’t agree with or that guy scheduled to speak on campus even though I don’t have to read or listen? Your choice of car color? The noisy blue jay in my back yard tree?

    “Safe spaces” may be all the rage, right now, but there are limits to those, too, as they tend to prevent the free exercise of other people’s rights.

    3) Robert’s comment means to me that laws should be well thought out and based upon sound reasoning. Indeed, this is why we have both a House of Representatives and a Senate. The Senate is designed to slow down the process of legislating in order to make sure that the laws are reasoned, not knee-jerk reactions to some half-baked idea. We have a president whose job is to make sure that reason prevails, and a Supreme Court that is supposed to check and balance the other two branches just in case they have legislated in haste.

    The only thing that we are missing is a third house in Congress that eliminates laws that turn out to be bad. Instead, we get shelf after shelf of statutes and more book cases full of court precedence. It is difficult to be law abiding when there are so many laws and (mis)interpretations of those laws. It gets worse now that the courts are ruling based upon their own feelings, desires, and prejudices. What was legal yesterday makes you in the wrong in front of this judge, so shop for your judge wisely.

    Once a poorly written bill has been signed into law and a court has ruled on it, it is very difficult for We the People to get it changed. Despite multiple promises, the Obamacare that is devastating this country is still in effect.

  • wayne

    Eddie willers–
    Good stuff!

    Been there, done that! But.. I’m a total brand-snob when it comes to smokes. (Some of that pipe tobacco is pretty good, I just never took to it, or rolling.)
    -For non-smokers; there’s a huge tax differential between loose pipe-tobacco and loose “cigarette tobacco” & factory-rolled cigarettes
    Wife & I used to drive to Indiana once a month, when the price-differential was (up to) $17 a carton, but that didn’t last but a few years and Indiana narrowed the gap considerably.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cigarette_taxes_in_the_United_States

  • eddie willers

    -For non-smokers; there’s a huge tax differential between loose pipe-tobacco and loose “cigarette tobacco” & factory-rolled cigarettes

    One of the very first actions Obama took in 2009 was to raise the tax on bulk cigarette tobacco by approximately 2225%. You read that right: 2225%. Sent the price of a pound from around $15 to $60+. (a pound makes close to 3 cartons)

    Obama made one error though.

    He only raised bulk pipe tobacco tax by $1 a pound. And pipe tobacco, as defined, had two valid cuts. The short, choppy type we were all used too, but also more of a shag type cut. So tobacco producers quickly began selling “unflavored, smooth pipe tobacco”. It is not quite as nice as the more fine and better filling “proper” cigarette tobacco…but the flavor is no different, the tobacco has less additives and the filtered tubes do not have the new “fire retardant” paper that was mandated a few years back

    And as I said…..80 cents a pack.

    I now buy a pound

  • wayne

    eddie–
    You described that whole situation with tobacco, beautifully.
    And yeah– that fire-retardant paper— crazy stuff.( I bet it wouldn’t pass an FDA approval, but that’s a different regulatory scheme. It’s not so much about “protecting” anyone, it’s all about controlling everyone. )

    On the supply-side; As part of the Tobacco Settlement, tobacco was further cartelized, more so than it ever had ever been in the past. There are numerous regulatory barriers to entry for a small producer, and at the farming-level, you must have a Federal Tobacco license in order to grow it or sell it in bulk, and they don’t issue new licenses. (it’s akin to taxi medallion’s or being part of agricultural Marketing-Orders. Just try to start your own Sugar (beets/cane) or Citrus farm— you can grow all you want, but you need the Federal Government’s permission to sell any of it into the market.

    I don’t advocate smoking. I do advocate Liberty and the Freedom to Chose. And with that comes a responsibility to co-exist with my fellow citizens within a Civil Society.

    >interesting input by all, on a variety of topics.

  • Cotour

    “2) Should the laws in place have been based upon health concerns or upon annoyance of those around the smoker? If it is annoyance, then what other annoying actions should be banned? Loud demonstrations? Quiet demonstrations? Op-eds that I don’t agree with or that guy scheduled to speak on campus even though I don’t have to read or listen? Your choice of car color? The noisy blue jay in my back yard tree?”

    Someones loud music or obnoxious demonstration is one thing, being forced in an enclosed public / private open to the public space to ingest something into ones body, whether it be determined to be long term detrimental or not, is the issue. An objectionable editorial is not ingested, if you don’t agree with the writers position you close the paper and it is settled. No harm no foul.

    Reasonable lines at times must be reasonably drawn.

  • Edward

    Cotour wrote: “Someones loud music or obnoxious demonstration is one thing, being forced in an enclosed public / private open to the public space to ingest something into ones body, whether it be determined to be long term detrimental or not, is the issue.

    Actually, the issue was “it is very important to not pass laws quickly based on some preliminary scientific results.

    If the problem is not health related, then it must be something else, such as annoyance or merely the desire not to be subjected to someone else’s problems.

    Cotour wrote: “An objectionable editorial is not ingested, if you don’t agree with the writers position you close the paper and it is settled. No harm no foul.

    Our snowflake Berkeley students (and other universities, etc.) literally violently disagree with you. They consider harm and foul to have been done despite even the lack of expression of the foul position that did not take place on campus. Should we hastily pass laws so that the students won’t cause more damage?

    Should we hastily pass environmental laws based upon a movie put out by a politician who wants to sell carbon credits?

    Should we hastily pass potty laws that require women and girls to put up with dodgy men in the next restroom stall or just hang out at the sinks for extended periods of time? No actual harm, not actual foul. Just a lot of fear, but that’s OK with the lawmakers.

    Should we hastily pass a healthcare law that harms over 300 million people just so less than a half million don’t have to choose between selling their house or filing bankruptcy? Is tyranny acceptable in the US? Has the Overton Window moved that far to the left that we are now willing to accept tyranny? Meanwhile, I have to choose between eating/selling my house and complying with the draconian law. Some people may be complaining that they might lose their healthcare insurance if Obamacare is repealed, but I am one of the ones who has already lost my healthcare insurance due to high premiums alone, much less the complete lack of usability of it for myself, what with deductibles four times higher than my previous, low cost insurance that Obama called “junk.” Obamacare is the junk, and at great cost, not just financially but socially, ethically, spiritually, and politically.

    This is what we end up with when someone thinks that it is no harm to greatly harm hundreds of millions for the minor benefit of 1/1000th as many people. Why else do you suppose the US economy is not booming when we have Fed interest rates at 0%? Even during the great depression we had Fed interest rates greater than 1%, most of the time, and the economy grew at a higher rate than under Obama and his onerous healthcare fiasco that makes hiring people so much more costly and difficult.

  • Cotour

    Edward, the point that you bring out is that through strategy and driven by the Lefts agenda to divide, confuse and concur our country and its laws have been allowed to be pushed soooo far to the Left that many among us now call that point “normal”. People have become immersed in their new reality installed by these very practiced manipulators of the public zeitgeist and “Community Organizers”.

    This is a continuing and on going political psy – ops operation. But step back and you can see that much of the new reality “normal” is nothing of the sort, it is installed political Leftist agenda to destroy what is to build what “must” be. The new “normal” is nothing of the sort, it is designed to create fear and confusion in order that the people look to big brother for their security.

  • Steve Earle

    Cotour said:
    “…The new “normal” is nothing of the sort, it is designed to create fear and confusion in order that the people look to big brother for their security….”

    Couldn’t agree more. And with every passing year in unquestioned control of the schools, the press, and Movies/TV, another generation of kids is taught that the “New Normal” is just how it is and how it should always be….

    Edward said:
    “…The only thing that we are missing is a third house in Congress that eliminates laws that turn out to be bad…”

    Now that is a great idea. I like it. Create another group of elected Representatives whose only job is to get rid of Laws and Regulations instead of creating them. Term Limit them so they are somewhat insulated from bribes or rent-seeking companies, set a minimum number of Laws removed per session and if they fail to meet it they don’t get paid….

    It would be a great addition to the list of items at the upcoming Constitutional Convention.

    Wayne, how is that coming so far? And can we still add great ideas like this?

  • wayne

    Steve/Edward–
    I’m going to have to pass on the “3rd house,” idea, although it is intriguing. (I think we’re better off if we just modify the blueprints we have rather than design something new.)
    -I’d put forth; If we returned to electing the Senate by State Legislatures, they would be vastly more accountable. We don’t need the Senate if the are popularly elected, that’s what the House is for.

    I believe 8-9 States are totally on-board and have fully passed enabling State legislation, another 9-12 have passed enabling legislation in at least one of their House’s, and another 7-8 are actively proposing Legislation this year. (Texas will probably sign-up in their current session, Gov Abbott supports a COS.)

    As for suggesting Amendment’s—you will do that through your State Legislatures.

    Mark Levin wrote a whole book explaining his suggested Amendment’s, (and with more precise, exacting language.)
    His “general list” are these:

    1.Impose Congressional term limits. (Suggested–12 years total, combined; Senate and/or House)
    2.Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment, returning the election of Senators to state legislatures.
    3.Impose term limits for Supreme Court Justices and restrict judicial review. (Suggested- 12 year maximum Term.)
    4.Require a balanced budget and limit federal spending and taxation.
    5.Define a deadline to file taxes. (suggested Date: one day before the next federal election)
    6.Subject federal departments and bureaucratic regulations to periodic reauthorization and review. (Suggested– everything sun-sets every 2 years and must be re-authorized. If not specifically Voted upon and authorized, Program expires.)
    7.Create a more specific definition of the Commerce Clause.
    8.Limit eminent domain powers.
    9.Allow states to more easily amend the Constitution by bypassing Congress.
    10.Create a process where two-thirds of the states can nullify federal laws. (suggested; 2/3rds vote of the States within 2 years to nullify any Federal Law or Statute.)
    11.Require photo ID to vote and limit early voting.

    This is not an exhaustive list, but illustrative of the problems we are facing.
    Check here for local State contacts and news:
    http://www.conventionofstates.com/

  • wayne

    “Texas Governor Declares Convention of States an Emergency Item!”
    -In his State of the State address to the Texas legislature, Governor Greg Abbott made Convention of States his final emergency priority!
    https://youtu.be/Cu_BeUY_cNY
    (4:30)

  • Steve Earle

    What? Creating a whole new legislative body isn’t just a “modification”? LOL

    I agree we shouldn’t muck around too much, but boy are we in need of some way to “drain the swamp”

    Trumps directive of requiring deleting 2 old regulations for every 1 new one is a good start, but it’s not enough and it will only last until the next President takes office. Plus, it doesn’t take into account the ability of the bureaucratic hacks to get around the rule in some way. (they always do…)

    Maybe an appointed committee whose only job is to wade thru the books and create a list each month of Laws and Regulations they recommend for deletion.

    Something similar was done with the “Base Closure Committee” a few years ago, where they were required to close X number of Military Bases per year.

    I like that list from Mark Levin. If we only get Term Limits and a Balanced Budget it would be a success.

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