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July 01, 2007

Passive Smoking

This is the one:

In 1998 and 2003 came the results of by far the biggest studies of passive smoking ever carried out. One was conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organisation. The other, run by Prof James Enstrom and Geoffrey Kabat for the American Cancer Society, was a mammoth 40-year-long study of 35,000 non-smokers living with smokers. In each case, when the sponsors saw the results they were horrified. The evidence inescapably showed that passive smoking posed no significant risk. This confirmed Sir Richard Doll's own comment in 2001: "The effects of other people's smoking in my presence is so small it doesn't worry me".

The IARC report was the one which, famously, came up with only one statistically significant result about the effects of passive smoking. That smoking by parents actually reduced the rate of lung cancer in their children.

July 1, 2007 in Health Care | Permalink


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» Statistically significant? from Jock's Place
Interesting thing over at Tim Worstalls place on the statistical evidence for the smoking ban. i wonder if it is also statistically significant that Sir Richard Peto, probably the foremost epidemiological statistician and long time collaborator wit [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 1, 2007 10:03:35 AM


Who needs science when we have governments to tell us what is bad for us?

Posted by: Kit | Jul 1, 2007 9:04:53 AM

"Anti-smoking activists can celebrate today one of the most remarkable lobbying campaigns in modern politics. "

It's not exactly been difficult considering how woeful the opposition to it has been. The Conservatives support it, the pubcos rolled over, and the smoking groups were invisible.

It is a example of the worst side of democracy. People who rarely go into pubs make laws for people who do.

Posted by: Tim Almond | Jul 1, 2007 11:22:22 AM

The pubcos collaborated in it never mind rolling over. None wanted to take the risk of alienating their existing custom despite apparently 80% of people surveryed consistently saying they would go out or prefer going out to pubs and restaurants if they were non-smoking. So they basically wanted a ban so that they could all do it on the same day and not suffer any potential risk in doing so.

It's a piece of protectionist gumph dressed up as freeing us all from the threat of second hand smoke.

Posted by: Jock | Jul 1, 2007 2:00:45 PM

I expect to see a huge hideous no smoking sign affixed to the door of No.10.

Posted by: Alex | Jul 1, 2007 2:14:25 PM

I was talking to a guy who's job involves a lot of health statistics and he was very blunt about it. He said the risk from passive smoking is statistically insignificant, but the ban was there simply to increase the stigma so as to get more smokers (for whom the risks are not insignificant) to quit.

Posted by: chris strange | Jul 1, 2007 2:14:38 PM