Thursday, 17 November 2011

Things You Won't Read In 'Professional' Journalism

All day yesterday we saw arrogant journalists - who routinely condemn bloggers for not checking their facts - blithely publishing shit.

Today, seeing as comments sections were awash with the information - courtesy of the blogosphere - that the BMA had been caught with their professional pants down, comes a retraction and redraft of the original briefing document.

Headline: CORRECTION TO BMA briefing paper: Smoking in vehicles – press release issued on Tuesday 15 November 2011 (publication date – 16 November 2011)

Please note, there is an error in the BMA briefing paper: Smoking in vehicles. On page 4, in the 3rd paragraph, the following sentence is incorrect:

“Further studies demonstrate that the concentration of toxins in a smoke-filled vehicle is 23 times greater than that of a smoky bar, even under realistic ventilation conditions”. a, 17, 18, 19

THIS SENTENCE HAS BEEN REPLACED WITH: "Further studies demonstrate that the concentration of toxins in a smoke-filled vehicle could be up to 11 times greater than that of a smoky bar”.

We apologise for this error.
So who's going to break the news to this useless 'professional' prick at the Evening Standard?


24 comments:

Mark Wadsworth said...

HAHA they can f- off, there aren't any smoky bars left so what do they use for comparison? Epic fale.

Pat Nurse MA said...

It's more sinister than that Mark. Five generations of people from the age of 13 when the ban came out have no idea what smoking in pubs was like and those who were 18 are now young paranoid parents or brainwashed young professionals including journalists.

That's why the BMA and ASH et al can make out like it was a smog before they rescued us all and be believed when in reality segregation, market forces on choice, and ventilation meant the law was uncalled for in the first place.

They know the longer the ban is culturally embedded on health grounds, the path lies open for them to say anything and move to the next stage of the plan.

We can only hope that bloggers shame main stream journos into trying that bit harder to break from the agenda.

Twisted Root said...

Note the change also from the unequivocal 'is' to the more fuzzy 'could be'. An admission of unscientific flim-flam. Not only that but the baseline comparison is 'a smokey bar'.

This is absurd, the BMA is pimping its (already questionable) reputation to PR merchants. This admission only makes it more obvious.

Bucko said...

So where the hell does '11 times' come from? Bollocks for bollocks

Joe Public said...

Bucko said...

"So where the hell does '11 times' come from? "

They just considered that integer more-plausible than the equally-true "....up to 100 times greater...."

Lies, damn lies & ...........

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Smokey Bar eh? Can the BMA or any idjit "journalist" tell me where I can drive to one to test this hypothesis?

The BMA really are a duplicitous, dissembling bunch - I wonder what they'd do if we stuffed their mouths with gold so to speak - and let them do whatever they wanted?

Angry Exile said...

Deliberate tactic? Lie first knowing the lie gets the headline, then retract later knowing the retraction will get buried on page 7 underneath a story about a missing dog that came home months after everyone thought it was dead?

Anonymous said...

I too think the change to "could be" is a definite weasel wording indicating they know they are flat out lying. Furthermore, if SHS studies nearly all showed conclusively there is no harm to be had, then how is 11x or even 1111111111x of -0- going to amount to anything more than -0-? It won't. So the whole idea is flawed on its face. Rotten nasty dictators need to go back to researching cures for diseases and cleaning up their filth infested hospital system instead of going after smokers in order to divert attention away from their own dishonesty and corrupt practices.

nisakiman said...

Out of curiosity, I googled asthma prevalence over a period of time, and came to this site.

Near the beginning, we have this statement (my bold):

"Trends suggest an increase in both the prevalence and morbidity of asthma, especially in children younger than 6 years. Factors that have been implicated include urbanization, air pollution, passive smoking, and change in exposure to environmental allergens."

How on earth do they make the connection with passive smoking when smoking prevalence is going down and childhood asthma is going up?

And again:

"The prevalence is 8-10 times higher in developed countries (eg, United States, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand) than in the developing countries."

And yet it is in the developing countries that smoking rates are highest.

And still they try to tell us that smoking gives the cheeeldren asthma...

It took me about a minute to find that information. As you say DP, piss poor journalism. They haven't even tried.

Neal Asher said...

What gets me is the utter meaninglessness of the statement. I can say that two glasses of milk have twice the amount of toxins as one glass of milk. I can say one apple is half as poisonous as two apples. I guess it all goes back to that 'no linear threshold hypothesis' bullshit.

Lyn said...

I would like to know where he has found a smoke filled vehicle! Everyone I know who smokes whilst driving or in a car has the window open - even a crack is enough to draw the smoke out - and that is all, as near as dammit - of the smoke.

Hey, perhaps I should be a professor and scientist, this little observed fact has not cost me a penny to research and it beats the sh1t out of anything the BMA, et al, come up with, even if I do say so myself!

One other little fact I discovered when eventually getting around to cleaning the inside of my car windscreen and the other windows - there is next to no nicotine on them and I smoke at least one cigarette every time I drive; on longer journeys of around 5 miles I smoke 2!

The windows in the house are a different story, though!

Annonymous - very well said!

English Pensioner said...

It's far worse than that. Apparently the 23 times figure came from one discredited report which was never peer reviewed and appeared in some minor journal, I think, in Australia. But once you start a lie rolling, it recurs again and again until it is picked up by an allegedly responsible organisation who fail to check their facts. Then, of course by the media, who take it at face value.
I've sat in both smoky bars and in smoky cars and buses, and the bars were by far the worse, and I would have thought that would be obvious to any journalist above a certain age. Presumably this was some young lad just out of school!

Mark S. said...

Well just imagine,
I cannot seem to find this on any
news network. There is PMB debate soon hope they have found the the correct hymn sheet by then.

DerekP said...

Couple of points:

It would be ironic if cigarette smoke drove dust mites away - I wonder if any studies have been done on this? I believe they have been linked to causing asthma by their leavings, hence the drive towards non-carpeted floors, artificial fibres, special hoovers etc around those who suffer from asthma.

Certainly I can remember from my youth adults smoking kept the midges and other insects away. As smoking scares were popularised the adults tried not to smoke around children, and took their cigarettes outside. Perhaps coincidentally, although I never had asthma despite being frequently exposed to cigarette smoke, my younger siblings and their children, who were all protected from cigarette smoke, all had incidences of asthma.

Second, from the article the toxins measured may be completely unrelated to smoking. Cars' ventilation systems can pull in all sorts of rubbish from outside and keep it in the air inside, you only have to clean the inside windscreen to see this; also the plastics used in cars can give off odd vapours when the car is sat in strong sunlight for a time - probably best in those circumstances to let the car air for a bit rather than getting straight in and breathing in that stuff.

Dick Puddlecote said...

DerekP: Your point about the other toxins being dragged into the car is well made. The BBC showed a video of a guy from the BLF measuring 'toxic particles'. The car was being driven during the 'experiment', and the results weren't shown. We're just meant to believe him as he takes a quick glance and declares it's very poisonous.

Now, where do they get a machine which measures purely smoke particles and can discount other toxins?

Anonymous said...

"It would be ironic if cigarette smoke drove dust mites away - I wonder if any studies have been done on this?"


Derek P

That has crossed my mind too.

I'm no chemist but -


EPA Pesticide Chemical Code 056701

3-Pyridinecarboxylic acid; Nicotinic acid;
Niacin pyridine-3-carboxylic acid Vitamin B3


Use of tobacco smoke against parasitic mite syndrome - 2006

The pathological condition that has appeared in Iraqi apiaries recently has caused large losses in honeybee colonies, dwindling populations and decreasing honey production. It is perhaps similar to the condition described by Dr Shimanuki as The Parasitic Mite Syndrome'. A trial has been carried out on two apiaries, one with 50 colonies and the other with 30 colonies using tobacco leaves burned in the smokers.

EXPERIMENTAL TRIAL

In Spring 1995 colonies showed some delay in their build up. A lot of crawling bees had been seen in front of the hives and on the ground. Hives in two apiaries were treated with tobacco leaves. 15-20 g of leaves were burned in the smoker with the material used for making smoke. It was used during routine examinations every week or as needed, in March, April and May. These colonies were shown to have greater populations and to yield more honey compared with two control hives kept near the apiary of 50 colonies. In the apiary with 30 colonies there were another 45 colonies which were not treated with tobacco smoke.

ASSESSMENT

In early August there was a check up and comparison between the colonies that had been treated with tobacco smoke and those which had not. There was a great difference in honeybee populations; those which had been treated being more populous. The bees were more active in foraging and collecting nectar.

CONCLUSION

Whatever the disease, I believe that tobacco smoke had beneficial effect on the colonies. We know that nicotine in tobacco smoke has some anaesthetic effect on insects in general, and it might have some lethal effect on mites and therefore some beneficial effect against the condition.

We believe now that the immune system of the bees is in some way diminished. By using tobacco smoke we are either hitting the primary target, or we might be curing a secondary pathogen. In either case we are helping our bees to get better!"

I'll see if Dick's blog will let me post a link on a separate post.

Rose

Anonymous said...

Use of tobacco smoke against parasitic mite syndrome

http://web.archive.org/web/20070202062622/http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/info/info/disease/use-of-tobacco-smoke-agai.shtml

Rose

Angry Exile said...

Anyone else find it slightly suss that Rose's link there had to be to a copy of the page on the Wayback Machine because the original isn't there anymore? I know pages get moved around and ditched all the time, but is it just a coincidence that an article showing tobacco in even a vaguely positive light seems to be no longer available on the original site where the casual browser can stumble over it?

Anonymous said...

A lot of things have gone missing since 2006,Angry Exile.

I was studying the plant and the industry R&D pages were very useful.


Now I can't get some of the links to work.


Nicotinic Acid Utilization of Tobacco Waste - 22nd July 1960

"Nicotinic acid was first made by the oxidation of nicotine and Whiffens operate a commercial process in this country starting with tobacco.
Later they were supplied with nicotine by the British Nicotine Company and continued the oxidation.
Finally - before the Second World War - they found they were unable to compete with manufacturers starting from quinoline and picoline although it could be made directly from tobacco waste, from pyridine, some other coal tar bases, nicotine, anabasine, nor-nicotine or mixed tobacco alkaloids.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture sponsored work aimed to make nicotine compete, as early as 1942, but although a new catalytic oxidation process was developed quinoline was still the cheapest source of nicotinic acid.

Comparative costs were published in 1951 by Coal Tar Products of Philadelphia"

Other Materials From Tobacco Waste

"If other products of high value could be extracted along with the nicotine, the extraction of the latter from tobacco waste might become more profitable or the cost of nicotine could fall.
Such a material would have to be in the high price range associated with drugs.
At present there is no such material on the horizon although it is just possible that ubiquinone ( Co-enzyme Q ) or some related compound may become important in medicine.

Ubiquinone has been found in tobacco as also has solanesol, a long chain alcohol which could provide part of the ubiquinone molecule.


Ubiquinone is known to be a normal constituent of many animal tissues and in some senses is a vitamin since the benzene ring is not known to be synthesisised in man.

It is known that Hofman-La Roche are carrying out extensive work on this in Switzerland, and it would be interesting to know if they have considered tobacco as a raw material.

In addition, the isolation of a-tocopheral and solanachromene from flue cured tobacco suggests that the tobacco plant may contain a range of biologically important compounds such as Vitamin E and Vitamin K as well as compounds related from solanesol.

However, none of this is very exciting, first because Reynolds have published fairly widely in this field and must be assumed to be well aware of the possibilities, and second because the type of compound considered does not have a molecule intrinsically very difficult to synthesise from cheap materials.

As a guess for example, if ubiquinone became important, the market price would quickly drop to a few shillings per gram.

Nevertheless, this aspect is worth watching and the political impact of the tobacco industry making a contribution to medicine might be considered important."
http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/guildford/pdf/006/00000711.pdf


Does it work for you?


Rose

Anonymous said...

Dick's blog ate my post.

Angry Exile, I was trying to tell you that a lot of useful things that were around in 2006 have disappeared.

Including this -

Nicotinic Acid Utilization of Tobacco Waste - 22nd July 1960

"Nicotinic acid was first made by the oxidation of nicotine and Whiffens operate a commercial process in this country starting with tobacco.
Later they were supplied with nicotine by the British Nicotine Company and continued the oxidation.
Finally - before the Second World War - they found they were unable to compete with manufacturers starting from quinoline and picoline although it could be made directly from tobacco waste, from pyridine, some other coal tar bases, nicotine, anabasine, nor-nicotine or mixed tobacco alkaloids.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture sponsored work aimed to make nicotine compete, as early as 1942, but although a new catalytic oxidation process was developed quinoline was still the cheapest source of nicotinic acid.

Comparative costs were published in 1951 by Coal Tar Products of Philadelphia"

But the links no longer seem to work.

I was studying the plant so industry R&D was very useful.

Rose

Dick Puddlecote said...

Sorry Rose, you got sucked into Blogger's non-spam spam filter.

Anonymous said...

Dick

Thank you for rescuing me.

Rose

Anonymous said...

I tried to post this in Sexton's ''charming'' article but couldn't register and lost patience trying. If anyone wants to post it on my behalf please feel free:

''For technology and the internet operate on a ratchet system; quite rightly, they only go forward, never backward. We used to think it normal to rely only on professional journalists to get the real story. Already that seems utterly bizarre. In years to come, the idea that people used to get their news from the mainstream media will seem similarly incredible.''

Iro Cyr

churchmousec said...

David Sexton has been running extreme anti-smoking articles in ES for at least 10 years. In one of his articles years ago, he intimated that he would like tobacco to be banned completely.

Dick, you got a mention in the comments from George Speller, though! :)

Churchmouse