Most of the gobshitery contained within has been discussed many times before, but I was particularly interested in the 'evidence' they would use for this much reported promise [page 35].
The Welsh Government will develop a campaign on smoking in cars carrying children and consider pursuing legislative options to ban smoking in cars carrying children if children’s exposure to second-hand smoke does not start to fall within three years (Action 4.7).Now, apart from the obvious - that it's a threat designed to make you do as they say, and if you don't you'll be criminalised - what are they using as a driver seeing as sufficiently creditable justification for such a law is extremely thin on the ground?
Well, in a comprehensively referenced report, they seem very vague about their source.
Research published in March 2011 looked at the impact of smoking cigarettes in private vehicles. It recognised that exposure to second-hand-smoke can give rise to significant health impacts and that there is no ‘safe’ level of exposure. The main findings of the report included that smoking in cars is dangerous to children even after the cigarette is extinguished and that high levels of dangerous particulate matter from tobacco smoke is still present in cars up to two hours after lighting up, and that opening the car window does little to reduce the risk of harm to children.Now, there were two pieces of research produced in that month, the first of which was by the British Lung Foundation, referencing ASH's "Essential Information on: smoking in cars" which, in turn, quotes the Ontario Medical Association report which we all now know to be a lie.
Can't be that, then. Even the Welsh Assembly wouldn't be that stupid as to use something which so recently made the BMA into a laughing stock. So it must be the one by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.
Delegates at a public health conference organised by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) in Cardiff will be told about new research showing that smoking in cars is dangerous to children even after the cigarette is extinguished.Yep, that seems to fit.
The study also reveals that high levels of dangerous particulate matter (PM) from tobacco smoke is still present in cars up to two hours after lighting up, and that opening the car window does little to reduce the risk of harm to children.
Not quite enough to justify heavy-handed legislation though. A fact quite willingly admitted in the CIEH study itself.
Improvements to Future StudiesHold on. You mean such things weren't thought to be important at the time?
More details required regarding real-time measurements. Timed recordings should be taken of when a cigarette was lit, how long the smoking occurred for and time vehicle was parked.
Detailed recordings should also be taken of any external events that may influence a rise in levels monitored such as time static in stationary traffic, whether positioned adjacent to a potential pollution source ie smokey exhaust from neighbouring vehicles.Err, colour me staggered, but none of that was considered as pretty damn essential either?
In order to make a comparative study with relation to potential health effects measurements should be taken that can be compared to 24 hour or annual mean concentrations.Yes, and this is the point, you see. Because the 24 hour thing is - duh! - vital if you're going to be comparing levels with a 24 hour measurement.
Which they did.
Although there is no recognised threshold at which adverse health effects are known to occur the US Environmental Protection Agency air quality index rates 24 hour exposure to PM2.5 concentrations as follows: Rates of 40 µg/m³ or less are deemed as “unhealthy for sensitive groups” with levels of more than 250 µg/m³ being “hazardous” for all individuals.The study, however, didn't even come close, mostly measuring just a couple of hours, with levels rapidly dissipating when windows were open. Yeah, those of us living in the real world kinda knew that.
So, what we have here is a report using a gadget you can pick up off eBay; which wasn't accurately timed; which didn't control for external factors; and which compared apples with oranges in terms of EPA quality index rates. And this on top of trying to ascribe harm from minutes of kids sniffing the smell of smoke (not smoke itself, the subjects didn't smoke with kids in the car), when even the shoddy studies the whole passive smoking scare is based upon rely upon lifetime exposure to grasp at a manipulated relative risk roughly comparable to that of dying by kissing a kettle.
Apparently, that's the kind of compelling evidence that requires urgent legislation on private property in Wales.
The Senedd - being the font of restrained wisdom that it is - glibly overlooked the CIEH's "more details required" recommendation, and have just gone ahead with their pre-determined nonsense anyway. Who really cares if the evidence is shakier than a house on stilts in a hurricane?
These people have headlines to create; egos to massage; work to make up to justify their salaries. Any evidence will do. So what if it's crap? Money to fund the public health community doesn't grow on truth trees, you know!