This blog will look at issues surrounding tobacco, alcohol, food, liberty, health scares and anything else that takes my fancy. How often it gets updated, I don't know. How many people will ever read it, I can't say. Still, while I get the site organised, I will be posting articles written over the last two years that have appeared at velvetgloveironfist.com beginning with a series of five articles that went under the title 1+1=11: Anti-smoking Science.
The theme is scientific incompetence and intellectual dishonesty in the anti-smoking movement. It looks at five of the most outlandish claims made by some of the movement's most influential figures in recent years to see how they originated. In each case, common sense dictated that the claim could not possibly be true and yet all of them have been widely circulated and have been almost universally accepted by the anti-smoking movement. How, in an age of reason, have so many people been fooled into disbelieving the evidence of their own eyes?
In none of the examples below is there any question of quibbling over the exact meaning of words, or technicalities, or over the relative importance of the findings. They are simply wrong and can easily be shown to be wrong. The only real question is whether these false claims were the result of a deliberate desire to mislead or were simply the result of incompetence. I leave that judgement to the reader.
The claims are:
1. 'Tornado-like rates of ventilation' are required to make a room safe from secondhand smoke
2. Secondhand smoke is more dangerous than firsthand smoke
3. It is plausible for a reduction in secondhand smoke exposure to reduce heart attack incidence by up to 60%
4. Passive smoking was killing 10,000 people a year in the UK before the smoking ban
5. Smokeless tobacco products are as hazardous as cigarettes