Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Selfish Reasons, Empirical Reasoning 

A growing contingent of the liberal snarkosphere strays from conventional wisdom and supports the systematic killing of everyone around them through secondhand smoke! They are objectively pro-Phillip Morris! They are against workers' rights! They are responsible for high dry-cleaning bills!

They're fucking right!

Oh, but don't take it from me -- here's what the Canadian Medical Association Journal has to say:
A skeptical view of the risks of second-hand smoke also arose recently from a less polemical source: in May, BMJ published a study based on observations obtained over 39 years on 35 561 adults who had never smoked and whose spouses' smoking habits were known. The authors found "no significant associations" between tobacco-related mortality and exposure to second-hand smoke.2 The journal's editors offered a blunt provocation to political correctness by stating on the front cover: "Passive smoking may not kill."
The problem with the data on passive smoking (and many other potential environmental hazards) is that the estimated risks are so close to zero. The study published in BMJ showed that the risks of heart disease, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among never-smokers living with a smoker compared to never-smokers living with a nonsmoker were 0.94 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.85–1.05), 0.75 (95% CI 0.42–1.35) and 1.27 (95% CI 0.78–2.08) respectively — all statistically insignificant and none very large.
(emphasis, of course, added)

Yes, but those commies forgot the most important factor: it smells bad.

Might as well link to this yet again:
It's no good trying to explain to such people that their exposure to secondhand smoke is likely to do them as much harm as their handling of a lead pencil or their close association with a side order of mashed potatoes.

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