Tuesday 1 February 2011

Remote Control Bigotry

Some may remember my previously mentioning Lenore Skenazy, a mother and published author on the modern day massive over-reaction to childhood perils. Her blog, Free Range Kids, regularly reports on the most egregious of paedohysteria measures and risk-terrified safety paranoia, this article - recounting a reader's experience with her doctor - being a recent example.

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.

[...] 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.
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.

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.

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.
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!

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 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!
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.

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!


Richard Allan said...

Forgive me for total pedantry but I think the last indented paragraph in this post shouldn't be indented.

Dick Puddlecote said...

I see what you mean, Richard, but it's from the original article by a tobacco control advocate from Boston. I quoted that too so you can see that even those on the same side as these people think they are crazy and mendacious.

Anonymous said...

I think that even with SHS it's smokers and not smoking that are demonised on the grounds that, if you have to be coerced into refraining from an activity that is so dangerous, you are a weak, selfish and irresponsible person. And we see this all the time on comments threads. Third-hand smoke, though, does give everyone the right to ban the person from their company in case they're killed by those pesky, magical particulates.

What the hell do we do about it?


William said...

The quack, for that is what this 'doctor' is must be on bung from big pharma. I don't trust GP's in the slightest. Some must be good but as in most trades they will be in the minority.
One gave my late mother a steroid for inflamed arteries whose second most likely side effect was to imbalance blood sugar then the dumb bastard found 'increased' blood sugar after she had been on them for a month and then tried to tell her and me that she was diabetic!


Anonymous said...

I read the original article and then followed up by reading the comments.

I was amazed how many of the commenters have swallowed the 3rd hand smoke thing completely. But what is also alarming is that they have also accepted SHS to such an extent that there is no doubt whatsoever, and as for actually smoking...!

Frankly, I think we should leave the Americans to their own devices - they are too far gone. Let's try to keep some level of freedom in the UK and Europe if possible.

The witch from Essex said...

This family is already brainwashed without the intervention of the idiot 'doctor'
The husband goes outside to smoke....why ? Generations have smoked indoors without any harm whatsoever to their kids. Otherwise 80% of the kids born in the 40/50/60's would be dead or sick by now, instead of being the longest living generations ever.
Plus this wonderful husband ALWAYS washes his hands before he comes indoors after smoking outside.
What a prick !!

Lysistrata said...

Is the husband suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, washing his hands every time he comes in?
Look, I used to smoke cigarettes while actually breastfeeding my babies. It was ok, they're ok, I'm ok.
100 years ago we used to die in childbirth, or of scarlet fever, or smallpox. Nowadays in parts of the world, people still do die of these things, or of starvation.
I'd love to meet these young neurotic parents living in the richest and healthiest era and place ever known, who have been terrified by the lying public health controllers and tell them: it's ok, relax. It really is ok.

Richard Allan said...

I see what you mean about the paragraphing now, Dick, forget I mentioned it!

Anonymous said...

Witch from E and Lys.

One wonders to what extent the comments on these American websites are censored. You would think that SOMEONE would ask the very same questions about why the chap washes his hands.

I could certainly imagine that this whole website is a put up job.

As I said, we should ignore anything coming out of America.

BUT THERE IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM. Somehow, the eugenicists in America have gained control of the WHO (world health organisation).

Am I a conspiracy theorist?

Perhaps. But is there any other reasonable explanation for the constant pressure on Governments to comply with 'Tobacco Control' directives? Is the EU 'Tobacco Control' department disconnected from the WHO? Why are our politicians so compliant? Who is telling them what to do?

And so it goes on.

Politicians will not resist because, essentially, they are cowards. They cannot oppose the 'experts' since they themselves are ignorant of the facts.

The two programs on the BBC about Climate Change amply illustrate this fact. Experts are to be believed. There is no option.

Erm.....Do we not see the great big elephant? Individual people, like you and I, refuse to accept the opinions of 'experts'. There are millions and millions of us. WE DO NOT AGREE!

Magnetic said...

First, he [Chuck Crawford] was saying that the effects of second hand smoke are present even if no one is smoking . He said his allergy is so bad that a person who had a cigarette six hours previous still exhales smoke that effects him . The smell from the smokers' clothing also is an impediment .

In addition, some employees are allergic to smoke. "We can smell a smoker, typically, at a distance of a couple of feet," Mr. Crawford says. "In point of fact, they stink."

Dr. Chuck Crawford (Kimball Physics Vice President):
We would not allow a tobacco user to come into our house. My wife would have my head if I did.


Dr. Chuck Crawford, president of Kimble physics, spoke in opposition to SB 171 noting that people are allergic to both second hand and time-delayed smoke and that allergic reactions can occur in time-delayed smoke situations and therefore a businesses decision to discriminate on the basis of smoking is justified.

Kimball Physics, Inc., a manufacturer of scientific apparatuses based in Wilton, N.H., actually signs a contract with each of its approximately 45 non-smoking employees, guaranteeing that it will not hire tobacco users. Chuck Crawford, physicist and president of the firm, says the policy is designed primarily to protect workers' health, and has attracted job applicants who are allergic to tobacco smoke.

Anonymous said...

The idea of “smoke residues” was introduced nearly two decades ago by Chuck Crawford of Kimball Physics in New Hampshire, USA. You can read the policy at:

It needs to be remembered that this policy was introduced in 1993 without even the pretense of any [manufactured] basis. There is no evidence for any of it. It sounds like classical somatization (psychogenically produced physical symptoms), e.g., a nocebo effect. All of the symptoms listed are typical anxiety reactions. And the setup at Kimball only reinforces the dysfunction.

Imagine you walk into the reception area of a building .
The receptionist stands up and begins to sniff you up and down . Where are you? A lunatic asylum? A vetrinary clinic? Dreaming? Some combination of the above?
Actually you might be at Kimball Physics, an electronics manufacturer in Wilton, New Hampshire, where smokers are so un-welcome they are sniffed out at the gate .
Receptionist Jennifer Walsh of Kimball is charged with applying the sniff test on all employees and visitors to the company . If she catches even a whiff of tobacco smoke on your breath, hair or clothing, she will deny you entrance to the company's offices .
Company president Chuck Crawford defended the policy to the Associated Press, insisting that "people can be made ill by amounts of tobacco residues that are below the level of sensitivity the nose can detect ."


Per Chuck: “The Kimball Physics policies are focused on lesser maladies, which occur in real time, where the cause-and-effect relationship is brutally clear, and where tobacco residuals are obviously the cause.”

There is no scientific basis to this claim. There is no research that supports such a claim – none exists. Yet there is a body of evidence that would suggest somatization and/or feigning of symptoms. There are tests that would confirm/disconfirm this hypothesis.

The mind can harbor all manner of contorted, painful thought/emotion – e.g., fear, guilt. If someone is not willing to directly address the contortion, a ‘solution’, albeit dysfunctional, of mind is to project the inner contortion/conflict outward. Antismokers appear to be troubled minds. They have projected their mental contortion onto smoke/smokers. The more acute the inner contortion, the more fearful/hated the object of projection. The mind is convinced that the external object is the ‘source’ of its degree of discomfort and the only remediation is to remove the external object.

Chuck makes many absurd/unsubstantiated claims:
Company president Chuck Crawford defended the policy to the Associated Press, insisting that "people can be made ill by amounts of tobacco residues that are below the level of sensitivity the nose can detect ."


Anonymous said...

There is still more information on Chuck Crawford and Kimball Physics, but the comments organizer won’t allow me to post multiple, long comments.

Take a look at the Kimball website, remembering that this policy was instituted in 1993.


The Lizard King said...

Is it easy to grow my own tobacco ?

Yes, but the tobacco plants require only a little more care and attention than some other plants. Follow the very clear instructions provided with every pack of tobacco seeds, enhanced by feed back from existing customers, and your success is guaranteed. After your first crop of tobacco, the second will benefit from your experiences and the seeds will have acclimatised to your local soil.


Dr Evil said...

In medical education at university there is usually zero chemistry taught. There is bochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, microbiology and other biomedical science modules (modules are short and not terribly detailed), plus anatomy then clinical work, histology a very broad range of topics which means even in 5 years study you can only scrathch the surface unless you do an intercalated degree to acquire speciality knowledge in a specific field. Third hand smoke looks at residues. The residues are mostly tars. Nitric ocide and nitrous acid are very reactive and will react with the first organic materials they contact. Third hand smoke is also a nonsense as the vapour pressure of thse tars at room temperature will be very low. Also they don't seem to realise we have evolved some protection against carcinogens otherwise cooked food would kill us very quickly.

nisakiman said...

This is all depressingly familiar stuff. However, we can write our blogs, post comments on those blogs and know that our liberties are being trampled underfoot by the zealots, but all to no avail.

They laugh at our impotence. They have the upper hand now, and they know it. It matters not to them that they have reached that point through chicanery and lies.

Is there any way, realistically, that we can roll back this tidal wave of intolerance? Is there no positive action that can be taken to even halt the current impetus? Because if we confine ourselves to what is essentially preaching to the converted, we will get nowhere. The march of the zealots will continue unchecked.

Is there really nothing we can do to counter this campaign of misinformation emanating from these single-issue groups via government and MSM? Certainly to date no-one seems to have been able to dent their armour...