Thursday 3 February 2011

Bring On More Thirdhand Smoke Studies

I'd like you to meet Simon Chapman (left). He's a world class anti-smoker of the upside down variety, plying his vindictive trade as Professor of Public Nannying at the University of Sydney. Chapman has been writing anti-smoking fiction studies since the very beginning of the hysterical crusade against tobacco enjoyment, so is a fully paid up member of the tobacco control irritentsia.

However, despite Chapman's longstanding dedication to making up stuff evidentiary tobacco control, it seems that the laughable nature of the current drive to bedevil thirdhand smoke is just too ridiculous even for him. And that's really saying something.

Responding at the British Medical Journal to a study conducted by the arguably insane Georg E Matt, Chapman has this to say on the idea that moving into a home once owned by smokers is a health hazard.

[...] the soup of gases, fine and ultra-fine particles in tobacco smoke that include irritants, toxins and carcinogens has much in common with smoke emitted as pyrolisis products from the combustion of other organic matter: when you breath wood smoke, cooking smoke or petroleum smoke, you are exposed to many of the very same irritants and carcinogens that are also in tobacco smoke.

So why did Matt et al consider only nicotine? There is not a house anywhere that is not finely carpeted with many of the very same pyrolysis compounds "that go along with" nicotine but which originate from everyday activities like heating, cooking, candles, electrical appliances, and leaving windows and doors open to allow household exposure to motor transport fumes. Had they done so, equally "alarming" information about all our houses would have emerged to give their findings some important perspective.
Just to translate: that's academic-speak for "you're talking crap, mate". But then, all but the most gullible will have worked that one out already.

For someone so wedded to demonising smokers and smoking (Chapman once warned that Muslims would be inhaling pig's blood if they smoked) to speak out, though, would suggest that there is considerable unease in tobacco control circles at some of the execrable nonsense being spewed about thirdhand smoke. In fact, his denouement makes exactly this point.

It is important that research documents residuals from tobacco smoke. But it is equally important that consumers and policy makers are not led to believe that the chemical compounds thus located are somehow unique to tobacco smoke.
No. That would be lying and tobacco control organisations wouldn't dream of such a thing, now would they?

The omission of this information in such reports risks harming the credibility of tobacco control.
OK, funny though that is, calm down and stop giggling please, you're putting me off.

That Chapman is speaking out should be evidence enough that the thirdhand smoke scam is, well, a scam. But in doing so, he kinda puts some much-belated perspective on the hysteria surrounding passive smoke as well.

He points out that wood smoke is twice as dangerous as that emitted by cigars and cigarettes; that diesel emissions dwarf the dangers of smoke in a casino which allows it; that passive smoke exposure is on a par with emissions from clothes dryers, popcorn poppers, candles, irons and toasters; and that nicotine itself is a benign concern.

If thirdhand smoke studies - which are so far-fetched that rubbishing them is like shooting fish in a barrel - elicit such responses from anti-smokers worried about their reputations and funding ... perhaps we need a lot more of them.

Bring 'em on!

H/T Dave Atherton


Anonymous said...

Perhaps you would like to forward this onto that wondrous inventor of fairytales.....yes, i give you.....Jonathon a telephone box.....somewhere in.....Massachusetts General Hospital :)

Anonymous said...

I notice that he published his comments in 'Tobacco Control' journal. I wonder if he would say the same to the New of the World or The Mirror?

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with him that you would have to incinerate your vegetables.
Cooking, especially frying, should be quite sufficient.

"Unless in the extremely unlikely event that residents burn copious quantities of solanaceous vegetables (aubergine, tomato) which contain small amounts of nicotine, tobacco is going to be the only source of nicotine in homes.

But it will not by any means be the only source of many of the ingredients of "third hand smoke" that the unwitting or the fumophobic may believe are attributable only to smoking."


"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."

Angry Exile said...

Awkward though, isn't it? Here's a liberty hating anti agreeing that the whole third hand cancer meme is in fact utter bullshit, but it looks like the only reason is because he thinks it's a shark-jumper that's going to harm the anti-tobacco movement in the long term. I'd like to believe that the guy's just being intellectually honest but I can't help but feel he's just playing a long game.

Anonymous said...

Frank Davis produced some very interesting thoughts about communities this evening. I had some good thoughts about 'communities' and so I posted them of Frank's site. I also published them on Leg Iron's site. This is what I wrote on LI's site:

""But I hope that you do not mind me bringing in this interesting novel idea.

It stems from some cogitations by Frank Davis about how communities are being damaged by the smoking ban.

The thought occurred to me that if there can be a "gay community" and a "gypsy community" and a "muslim community", why should there not be a "smoking community". I further developed the idea to one which could be described as a "Tobacco Lovers Community" (TLC for short).

But I prefer "The smoking Community" because the 'bad vibes' of the word 'smoking' are reversed by the 'good vibes' of the golden word, community.

I would have put this idea to Simon Clark on Taking Liberties, but, at the moment, I seem to be unable to get through. Every time I try to do so, I receive the message 'No access', which is very weird. Perhaps I have become 'persona non grata', although I do not know why.

I am going to copy this to Puddlecote. I feel sure that he will find it of interest.

Introduce the thought. Let it develop slowly. The phrase "The Smoking Community" adequately counteracts the phrase "Smokefree England".""

Think this - "Smokers demand", and compare those words with "The Smoking Community demands". Vast difference!

Anonymous said...

Smoking Community is a good idea. My experience with some of the same people who turn a blind eye to anti-smokism and cooperate by keeping their nose turned up and giving out the fake coughs and so forth are some of the very same people who in another moment would be praising the virtues of "diversity". So if "diversity" is the game, then Smoking Community might be the name that takes it (literally) out of the back alley, the same way the words Planned Parenthood took abortions out of the back alley.

Mark Wadsworth said...

I'd miss the third hand smoke studies, and I also really enjoyed the thought that having a fag in a car can damage the health of people in surrounding cars. I was even waiting with bated breath for them to "go fourth".

Anonymous said...

Betcha the All Party Committee at Westminster will still swallow it, though.

Anonymous said...

"He points out that wood smoke is twice as dangerous as that emitted by cigars and cigarettes; that diesel emissions dwarf the dangers of smoke in a casino which allows it; that passive smoke exposure is on a par with emissions from clothes dryers, popcorn poppers, candles, irons and toasters; and that nicotine itself is a benign concern."

Dick, or anyone else. Why did fanatical anti smoker Chapman admit that passive smoking, by current objective comparisons, is harmless? To me, That makes no sense at all.

Anonymous said...

"Why did fanatical anti smoker Chapman admit that passive smoking, by current objective comparisons, is harmless? To me, That makes no sense at all."

Presumably because he fears for the credibility of the movement.


"This may unfairly brand tobacco control advocates as clandestine extremists with agendas which abandon all proportionality in the formulation of policy."

He also appears to feel that the "fire safe" cigarettes due in November were unnecessary.

European Union Pushes for Self-Extinguishing Cigarettes

"It is questionable whether technology and legislation are needed to solve the problem.

As smokers know, cigars, pipe tobacco and hand-rolled cigarettes tend to go out on their own.

That's because regular cigarettes contain burning agents to keep them lit.

"The elimination of burning agents in cigarette paper would be a simple and effective means of dramatically reducing the ignition propensity of cigarettes," wrote Simon Chapman, a professor of public health at the University Sydney, in a 2004 Australian medical journal.",,3540489,00.html

London Fire Brigade backs new cigarette rules

"A 'fire safer standard' agreed by the European Commission will see changes to all cigarettes sold in the European Union (EU).

By November next year all cigarettes must be manufactured to have bands down the length of the paper.

These will make the cigarette go out if it is not inhaled by the smoker."

Anonymous said...

Anon 13.10 again. Chapman could have just dismissed 3rd hand smoke as nonsense. He didn't. He effectively stated that something less dangerous than wood fires or cooking smoke had, at the behest of anti tobacco campaigners, including himself, been banned in all UK non-residential buildings.

drbobble said...