My husband, Hunter, is a light smoker, and does so outside of our house. At our son’s two-month appointment, the doctor spent a sizable chunk of time trying to convince us that if my honey smoked at all, even outside, the smoke would magically migrate into the house and give our baby respiratory problems. When we expressed incredulity, she gave us this look of condescension and continued to try and extract some kind of guilty admission that he was trying to quit or at least he felt really bad.Obviously, the first thing to observe is that her doctor is as gullible as the universe is wide, and perhaps should have chosen a different career path more suited to her character ... such as working in an abbatoir, for example. The advice she gives is incompetent, woefully ill-informed, and arguably harmful to the family concerned.
[...] She tried to tell us that the smoke on his skin would give our son a debilitating disease, even though my husband washes his hands every time he comes back inside.
Yes, this is the shiny new thing in professional public health grant-chasing - thirdhand smoke. A con so big that even the great Henry Gondorff would marvel at its audacity.
It started out as a telephone poll, before eager tobacco control rent-seekers (aka liars) picked it up and ran a study which defies belief in its destruction of scientific integrity.
Nitrous acid concentrations in the average Californian home are 4.6 parts per billion. The Berkeley researchers used concentrations of 65 parts per billion. They described this dose as “high but reasonable”, a baffling description since it is 14 times higher than would be found in a normal domestic setting. Since they were already using 15 times more nicotine than would be found in a smoky truck cabin, any relevance the experiment had to real life had long-since vanished. The concentrations were fantastically high when compared to the average home.Since then, cash is being thrown at more tobacco control rent-seekers (aka more liars) if they promise to come up with further junk science, with some even giving their conclusions at the grant application stage!
In any case, if your house or car is full of nitrous acid then you have more to worry about than it reacting with absorbed nicotine. As the authors point out in the study:
“The main indoor sources of HONO [nitrous acid] are direct emissions from unvented combustion appliances, smoking, and surface conversion of NO2 and NO.”
NO2 and NO themselves are products of unregulated combustion. So you’ll only be exposed to high concentrations of nitrous acid if you’re exposed to the products of combustion – ie you’re a peasant in a smoke-filled hut, you live in a very polluted city like New Delhi, or you are in fact smoking a cigarette. The combustion products themselves are carcinogens, and are present in much higher concentrations than the TSNAs. Your problem would be the nitrous acid, not the chair you smoked a cigar in last Christmas.
The application summary states: "Overall, our proposed work will be a critical step in a timely assessment of whether the THS exposure is genetically harmful to exposed nonsmokers, and the ensuing data will serve as the experimental evidence for framing and enforcing policies prohibiting smoking in homes, hotels, and cars in California and elsewhere in order to protect vulnerable people."We really are beyond the looking glass with respect to the thirdhand smoke fantasy and the Mad Hatters who promote such an absurd concept, yet many commenters at the Free Range Kids blog - read by parents vehemently opposed to hysterical scaremongery and mythical dangers, remember - have fallen for it hook, line and sinker.
We have now sunk to a new scientific low in tobacco control. Not only are researchers reaching pre-determined conclusions before actually conducting the research but they are now openly admitting it. Moreover, they are acknowledging this in their grant applications, and still receiving funding!
By way of policy-led evidence-creation, spread by press release rather than rigorous debate, tobacco control have deliberately deceived normally sceptical people into believing in the existence of an entirely fictional danger.
While it would be easy to dismiss this as a few individuals being too willing to swallow untruths without question, there is a very sinister aspect to it. The tobacco control industry have intentionally taken this line of attack in order to prod the public into demonising not the act of smoking, but smokers themselves, thereby creating irrational bigotry by remote control. In the linked article, the victim of the hideous creatures who find this an acceptable tactic is a caring parent who has done nothing wrong whatsoever.
To encourage social exclusion and ostracisation on the back of lies and ideological prejudice - which is exactly what is transpiring here - is not just evil, it should also be classed as a criminal offence for the harm it inflicts on innocent people.
Incidentally, check out the Psychosis Catalogue entry I found while reading there. It's a corker!