Sunday 16 January 2011

Smokers To Be Banned From Flying?

They're really determined to pass off this nonsense with a straight face, aren't they?

Study Shows Nicotine That Clings to Surfaces Can Be Inhaled Months After a Smoker Leaves an Area

Thirdhand smoke, the nicotine residue that is left behind on furniture, walls, and carpeting after a cigarette has been smoked in a room, can become airborne a second time, a new study shows.

The resulting particulates, a toxic mix of ozone and nicotine, are so small that they can easily penetrate into the deepest parts of the lung, and over time, scientists say, could contribute to breathing problems like asthma or even cancer.
Scared yet?

Only recently have scientists have begun to measure and understand the dangers of exposure to thirdhand smoke.
Well yes, because nutty public health funders have only recently begun to pay handsomely for the correct conclusions.

Previous research has shown that thirdhand smoke can rub off onto skin and even be ingested if food is eaten that’s been exposed to smoke. It was also shown that dust could carry thirdhand smoke to the lungs.
Some of said research was even conducted by companies which don't sell anti-bacterial floor mops.

But the final paragraphs of the utter tosh article are new and original.

The researchers also found that humid conditions appeared to be somewhat protective against exposure to the products of thirdhand smoke.

“This may not be very significant under normal indoor conditions where relative humidity is governed by comfort and kept around 60%,” says Dubowski. “However, in airplanes, where relative humidity is particularly low, less than 20%, and ozone concentrations can reach higher than 100 parts per billion, the potential for exposure to products of thirdhand smoke products may be greater.”
How is that relevant, one might ask? Smoking has been banned by just about every airline worldwide, it's surely one of the last places you'd find nicotine residue.

And then the penny drops ... they're talking about the nicotine carried on the clothes of smokers themselves. If they can just make this scare story stick (pun unintended), who's to bet against cotinine swabbing alongside body scanners as you pass through security.

"Sorry, Sir. You've been smoking so we can't let you fly today as you're a danger to public health".

I'll admit to not having seen that one coming.


Anonymous said...

Hang on DP isn't this business breaking the law on contact details as set out here -

Can't easily find the VAT number company number etc...

Anonymous said...

So they are saying that our prime minister and our deputy and most of the heads of states are flying all over the world and being a Danger ( well they are smokers)how can that be ?

Good job the Poor people cannot afford to fly


WitteringsfromWitney said...

Have linked DP on the basis that surely not everyone reads you?????

Anyway fancied amusing myself with a fisking.........

Anonymous said...

Dear Professor,
May one ask just how much you have been payed to come up with a plausible confirmation that 3rd hand smoke is now akin to sarin gas. I am truly amazed that there is any human life form left on this planet considering the dire straits that smoking ( and its side effects) supposedly cause!
May one ask if one has signed the Brussels Declaration of Scientific Integrity or is that a daft question in the light of this latest claptrap?
Given that man found the means to ignite; ie, light fires, so many years ago and given the fact that all burning matter gives of particulate, how is that there are more living people on this planet that ever before?
How is it that since the 1950's when smoking rates were at an all time high, smoking rates have steadily decreased yet cancer cases have dramatically increased? Surely the fact that cancer cases increased by 4% in the first year of our English ban (2007) rather destroys the SHS theory as people were virtually banned from smoking anywhere near other people-unless they smoked also!
It is a truly sad, sad world when science bends to the will of the paymasters-Big Pharma-and closes ranks around its own. No wonder Professor Phillipe Even, now retired, dare not say what his true thoughts regarding SHS were prior to his retirement; he would have been outcasted!
I look forward to your response with great interest.
yours sincerely

Neal Asher said...

If a ban on smokers flying gets imposed I get out of the country, taking my taxes with me, and never come back.

Manu said...

Hey DP,

I managed to dig out the primary manuscript for this study, and for once it's freely available:

Strip away the 'extras' in the secondary WebMD article and this article is quite interesting. It would appear that nicotine does hang around on clothes and other surfaces for many hours, it can be re-released back into the air, and it can in the presence of things such as ozone create quite nasty particulates. Some of the technical aspects of the article went over my head, but it all seems fair enough.

However, nowhere in the article do the authors make a direct statement along the lines that any of the above is associated with any level of real-world risk. These processes are undoubtably going on, but since we know for example that we are getting a hefty dose of carcinogenic cosmic radiation every time we fly, how does this third-hand smoke risk stack up? My guess at present would be: hardly at all...

Someone would, in my opinion, have to conduct a rigourous, prospective study before any sensible conclusions could be drawn either way. Until then, hyperbole from journalists helps no-one...

Of course, this study could be a positive thing, in that we could use it as supporting evidence for requests for the flight cabin air quality to be improved! ;-)

IanPJ said...

Neal, you'll have to leave by boat..

However, couple Dick's conclusions with VAT being proposed by EU to air travel increasing flying costs by 20% it is certainly beginning to look like they don't want people travelling..

Trooper Thompson said...

They don't want us flying, or even driving. Walking they may still tolerate, but only within the confines of our eco-communities and when in possession of our tagging device. They need to know where we are, in case the 'sustainable population plan' is activated at short notice.

Anonymous said...

“However, in airplanes, where relative humidity is particularly low, less than 20%, and ozone concentrations can reach higher than 100 parts per billion,"

No lunch either then


"Many plants of the Solanaceae family, which includes the genus Nicotiana, of which the tobacco
plant is a member, contain solanesol; particularly those that contain trace amounts of nicotine.
These include the tomato, eggplant, potato, and pepper.

The potential interference due to these sources is negligible, cooking being the only likely potential source of interference.

An interference of this type would bias results high, overestimating the contribution of ETS to RSP.

How unfortunate.

Random Squaddie said...

Funny that, I seem to remember reading something about how when smoking was allowed on planes, the air inside the cabin was actually cleaner as it wasn't recycled.

How does that fit with this latest pile of bollocks?

Anonymous said...

Where does it fit in?

Plausible deniability again, perhaps

Illness among cabin crew heightens toxic air fears

Fresh concerns have been raised over whether passengers could be inhaling contaminated air on planes

"A survey of pilots and crew has found alarmingly high levels of illnesses they have contracted since beginning work for airlines"

One in seven of the 789 British airline staff surveyed had to take more than a month's sick leave in the previous year. One in 23 was diagnosed with cancer, even though the average age of those surveyed was around 40. According to Cancer Research, one in 34 Britons will contract cancer at some point, but for those under 44, the figure falls to one in 200.

One in 20 of those surveyed reported being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The charity SupportME says the incidence of CFS in Britain is normally around one in 1,000. A further 20 per cent of those surveyed were diagnosed with depression - the national average is 8 to 12 per cent, according to the Mental Health Foundation.

The reports, seen by Telegraph Travel, also reveal high levels of miscarriages, thyroid conditions, high blood pressure, cholesterol, pneumonia, bronchitis and IBS.

Campaigners claim that the high levels of illness are the result of toxic engine fumes contaminating the air in cabins, and say this has implications for passenger safety and the health of frequent fliers."


Anonymous said...

The really toxic residues are the piles of (public) money doled out onto "research" like this.

The bottom line is that funding research has become way too politicised and prattling idjits like Brenda Goodman in the meeja are far too stupid to evaluate the results in a sane fashion.

Drip, drip, drip nicotine causes cancer.
You can exist without salt. Alcohol is the root of all evil. Sugar is bad.
Oils and fats in food kill you.

Anonymous said...

Have they really not twigged yet that people - smokers and non-smokers alike - are simply bored witless by all this now? Apart from people who look in on blogs like this, I don't know of a single person who's even heard of third-hand smoking, let alone knows what it purports to be. The ones who didn't like smoke have got their ban and lost interest, the ones who didn't care either way don't care any more about this than they did about second-hand smoking, and the ones that hate the ban no more believe this than they believed all the second-hand smoke stories.

Why don't ASH just give it up? they've had their day in the sun, frightened people enough to get the numbers smoking down to 25% from around 80%, and they've shoehorned their ban in. This government has made it very clear where their "health" priorities lie - to save face their best option would be to jump before they are pushed. Their constant efforts to flog this dead horse back to life are, quite frankly, beginning to look distinctly desperate and, indeed, are now becoming something of an embarrassment.

Leg-iron said...

There's more to it than just another proof that it's smokers they hate, not smoking.

Of all the chemicals and particulates they could have chosen from cigarette smoke, nicotine is the most harmless one in there. The body converts it into a B vitamin.

Why? Well, if they chose any other smoke chemical, they wouldn't have a reason to ban Electrofags, now would they? There's nothing else in them.

Some airlines are allowing Electrofags on flights and that must be stopped.

As for the science, I'm ripping that to bits at the moment. Bottom line - if any of these 'scientists' ever applied to me for a job, they wouldn't get interviewed. I'd be better off hiring a road sweeper.

Anonymous said...

"Why don't ASH just give it up? they've had their day in the sun, frightened people enough to get the numbers smoking down to 25% from around 80%, and they've shoehorned their ban in"

Ah, yes, but the problem is that the all Party Committee on Tobacco and Health, stuffed full of antis, dependant on ASH for it's data and living in a bubble, will latch on to every word of it. We can but hope that one iota of common sense exists somewhere in Parliament

Furor Teutonicus said...

I suspect they mixed up the test results with someone carrying plutonium.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Follw ups to..

Neal Asher said...

IanPJ, yes, I was aware of that.

Michael J. McFadden said...

When they banned smoking from the airplanes and re-tested the air they found that the number of floating "fungal colony units" had increased by roughly 50% because of the reduced fresh air put into the cabins.

So far as I know, there's never been a study done examining the actual risk increase of pandemic spreads of things like airborne flu viruses due to the airplane bans but it's almost certain that the risk has been vastly increased. Same deal for the airborne spread of diseases in pubs with the newly reduced ventilation.

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

Angry Exile said...

Ian PJ, I'm a flying refusenik anyway and trying to persuade others to join in. I don't want to pay a lot of money to be treated like a terrorist suspect with no evidence, and if there isn't an ocean in the way I simply won't. Screw it, maybe I'll start smoking again just to make sure they don't get my hard earned.

Pete said...

I think I will start smoking plutonium instead of tobacco - much safer !

Anonymous said...

The filth at ASH are really flogging this dead horse hard are they not ?
Of course no one could possibly be mentally challenged enough to believe this ludicrous claim could they.
Oh hang on .......
insert politician bEUrocrat of your choice.

Demetrius said...

The old mail coaches had seating for outside passengers. Could this be the answer?

Anonymous said...

IanP. You will not be able to go by boat, bus, shop or any other place where the public may go.

jredheadgirl said...

Do the folks at ASH have a conscience? ...or, er..friends? Do they run in fear from their smoking relatives? I imagine that their neurosis prevents them from acquiring the social skills necessary to live in the real world. ..Just a hunch.