Up in Smoke
Colby Cosh gets to the heart of the coverage of the discovery that spouses of smokers do not have elevated levels of smoking related disease.
Both men, as I understand it, do believe there is a microscopic risk of harm from ETS; it's just way, way too small to be measured--or, for public policy purposes, to be considered at all. The result from their analysis of CPS I is simply not as controversial as the CBC and others would have you believe. If you were absolutely determined to look for measurable ETS risk, you would do it in exactly the way they have done it. Assuming you couldn't initiate a massive prospective cohort study, you would--as they did--go back and see what a previously existing study of that sort can tell us. Or do critics of the Enstrom and Kabat study have a better idea?
link colby cosh
The anti-smoking lobby is so heavily invested in the belief that there are health effects of second hand smoke that they have to undermine any hint that this may not be the case. Colby, and a bunch of other commentators, note that the science and the statistics are not being attacked because Entrom and Kabat are simply too professional to make mistakes on either score.
Instead, pious sentiment and attack ad fundem (yes, I know that is not Latin but what the hell) are the order of the day. Smokers are the new lepers and there is no way that they could possibly engage in their vile habit without harming others.
The study is threatening to the entire health establishment as it knocks the legs out from the health argument for banning smoking in public places. There are other arguments; but the total ban approach needs some element of actual risk before it makes much sense.
It is awfully tempting to wander off to my favorite pub and light up and see if I can be arrested by the smoke police and then argue in Court that the arrest violates my Charter Rights. Could be fun as the prohibition on smoking deprivesme of a liberty without, it appears, having a serious health justification.