ASH have again experimented with sticking their pinched noses into private property, whilst the Evening News is also sold.
It's all on the back of new 'research' by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, except that there is no sign of the report on their website. I was interested to study the methodology which came up with the laughable conclusion that smoking a cigarette in a car leads to an atmosphere "comparable to breathing in air in a large industrial city during a major smog event", so I asked to have a look-see.
The reply was, well, shall we say not such a surprise as it once would have been.
Dear Richard,That's right. It's not published yet, and hasn't been peer-reviewed. Yet it's already been accepted as hard fact on the back of a press release.
Thank you for your interest in the full smoking in cars research. I am sorry to say that that was an error in the press release. We are planning to have the research published in a peer review journal, so until that is carried out we are not able to provide the full report.
We've seen this before, haven't we?
Can't SayThat particular whopping fib was one of the many regurgitated by Kevin Barron in October's ten minute Rule Bill, you may remember.
“Smoking ban cut heart attacks in Scotland by 17 per cent”, researchers and politicians trumpeted to the world in September through press releases, a conference and interviews, all faithfully reported. It was the ban what done it, they said... until six weeks later when official data halved the drop — to 8 per cent — against a trend immediately before the ban of a 5 or 6 per cent drop, and a fall a few years ago of 11. All of which makes it hard to be sure what, if any, effect the ban really had. The researchers went strangely silent.
This, unfortunately, is how tobacco 'science' works. It matters not if this turns out to be execrable nonsense (which, on previous experience, it most certainly will) as the lie is out there now, and dull-minded MSPs are no doubt already constructing soundbites around it.
Hardly surprising, then, that Horizon feels the need to explore why no-one trusts scientists anymore, is it?
I'd still like to look at the research, though. I wonder if there is any other way of getting hold of it?