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June 07, 2007

Someone's Not Reading the Literature

This looks superficially appealing to a certain mindset, that those who smoke should be banned from adopting children.

Smokers will be banned from adopting children under the age of five in an attempt to protect young people from health risks such as asthma and lung cancer.

Lord forbid of course that children might escape from council control, the largest risk factor known for having an entirely shitty life.

But even within the justification given, a hope to avoid lung cancer,  they're wrong. There was a huge metastudy done by the WHO in the late 90s, looking at the effect of passive smoking. In that, only one result was found that was statistically significant.

No, it wasn't that people subject to passive smoking keeled over young, whatever the "refinements" to such studies since then. It was that, entirely contrary to expectations, for children, exposure to second hand smoke was a prophylactic against lung cancer.

Yes, that does mean what you think it does. Children exposed to tobacco smoke go on to get less lung cancer than those who are not (persumably an extension of the idea of hormesis, low level exposure priming the system to resist).

So, if the concern really was over the health of the children and (admittedly, a huge leap of faith here) Portsmouth Council actually knew what they were talking about, smokers would be preferentially chosen to adopt.

June 7, 2007 in Health Nazis | Permalink

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Comments

Someone indeed isn't.

What are the effects of SHS on children’s health?

Small children whose parents smoke at home have an increased risk of suffering lower tract respiratory infections and otitis media (6,7). SHS has also been linked to an increase in the number and severity of asthma episodes in asthmatic children (8). There is also evidence that SHS increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (9).

http://www.wpro.who.int/media_centre/fact_sheets/fs_20050420.htm

Posted by: dsquared | Jun 7, 2007 9:17:34 AM

All of which are still less bad than council care.

Posted by: Marcin Tustin | Jun 7, 2007 10:16:36 AM

Well, except for SIDS obviously.

Posted by: Marcin Tustin | Jun 7, 2007 10:17:37 AM

Will those who drink alcohol be banned from adopting children, given the proven association of alcohol with crime and poor health?

I can foresee a time not too far in the future when someone will be seriously proposing national registers of smokers and drinkers.

Posted by: Bob B | Jun 7, 2007 11:13:50 AM

I can foresee a time not too far in the future when someone will be seriously proposing national registers of smokers and drinkers.

That will happen the moment that ID cards become compulsory in order to purchase cigarettes and booze.

Posted by: IanP | Jun 7, 2007 12:07:51 PM

"That will happen the moment that ID cards become compulsory in order to purchase cigarettes and booze."

I will bet good money that this is coming on the heels of the ID card scheme. All pubs and shops will be required to take fingerprints - with those who have been naughty (failed to pay child maintenance, called a policeman's horse gay, thrown a vicious slice of cucumber) will lose their drinking privileges. Those who have bought too much alcohol will be tracked, their children flagged in the Child Database as "at risk" of a potentially-disadvantaged upbringing (prompting regular contact with family outreach coordinators).

But I suppose we shouldn't worry: BobB thinks ID cards will be useful when picking up parcels from the Post Office.

Posted by: Kay Tie | Jun 7, 2007 12:55:25 PM

It is astonishing to observe the speed and spread of the witch hunt against smokers.

I am a non smoker but it terrifies me

Posted by: Peter Turner | Jun 7, 2007 1:18:59 PM

"I am a non smoker but it terrifies me"

Amen. It may be a filthy disgusting habit (as is voting New Labour) but this is an attack on freedom. The Eye Of Sauron is on the smokers but one by one, we're all going to be under the Eye and will all feel cold Orc steel at our throats.

Posted by: Kay Tie | Jun 7, 2007 1:49:37 PM

Smokers are of course much more dangerous as potential adoptive parents than homosexual couples...

Posted by: Terry | Jun 7, 2007 1:56:41 PM

First they came for the smokers, then the drinkers, fatties next, then who'll be left to protect you when they come for you! I'll have left the country long before then, good luck to the rest of you...

Would the last Englishman to leave the country please turn out the lights?!

Posted by: zorro | Jun 7, 2007 2:00:17 PM

It is astonishing to observe the speed and spread of the witch hunt against smokers.

It may be interesting to note that it was one of the very first 'social conditioning' laws that was passed by the National Socialist Party in 1933. From there it was all downhill.

Totalitarianism by legislation.

Posted by: IanP | Jun 7, 2007 2:13:50 PM

1. Tim, presumably you forgot to provide a link to this WHO study proving that passive smoking is good for children. No doubt you will redress the mistake as soon as possible so that we can all check your sources - I know you're really keen on that sort of thing.

2. I notice you posted this under the category 'Health Nazis'. Do you (a) think that's a really funny joke, or (b) think that what Portsmouth health authority is doing is equivalent to Nazism, or (c) what?

3. Terry:

"Smokers are of course much more dangerous as potential adoptive parents than homosexual couples..."

Finally, someone talking some sense. The increasing acceptance of gay adoption is one thing that really gladdens my heart. You go, girl.

Posted by: Jim | Jun 7, 2007 10:34:13 PM

"3. Terry:

"Smokers are of course much more dangerous as potential adoptive parents than homosexual couples..."

Finally, someone talking some sense. The increasing acceptance of gay adoption is one thing that really gladdens my heart. You go, girl."

Terry, it appears you forgot to add the 'sarcasm' HTML tags to your comment. You really should remember those in future, some people can't seem to understand without them.. ;)

Posted by: JuliaM | Jun 8, 2007 6:58:03 AM

"some people can't seem to understand without them"

How true that is.

Posted by: Jim | Jun 8, 2007 9:00:34 AM

JuliaM, I would add them in future if I knew what they were...

and "boy" rather than "girl" please -

Terence

Posted by: Terry | Jun 10, 2007 12:06:38 AM

Jim,

"2. I notice you posted this under the category 'Health Nazis'. Do you (a) think that's a really funny joke, or (b) think that what Portsmouth health authority is doing is equivalent to Nazism, or (c) what?"

why don't you check the History, and see the Nazis' and Hitler's attitude to smoking? This will explain why "health nazis" is an appropriate tag.

Posted by: Richard Carey | Jun 21, 2007 12:30:47 PM

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