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Old 10th January 2006, 10:20 PM   #1
ReFLeX
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P & T and Secondhand Smoke

I have just seen the episode of Penn & Teller's B.S. where they rail against a guy in New York fighting for smoking bans. I'm not in total agreement with them, and they aired smokers using fallacies to argue against the bans, which seems foolish, but I know where they're coming from. For this thread however, I don't care about the bans or the reasoning behind them. What I want to know is,
What the crunk is the truth about secondhand smoke?

I've heard all my life that secondhand smoke is bad for your health. Now, I'm not so attached to that belief that I didn't doubt it immediately while watching the episode. So what I understand is that the EPA did a very questionable study that concluded secondhand smoke caused lung cancer. And that major anti-smoking or cancer-related organizations cite that study to support their claim that secondhand smoke is dangerous. But is that the bottom line?

I mean obviously, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but is there really no other credible study that concludes secondhand smoke is dangerous? If not, then why would tobacco companies allow the government of Ontario to print labels on their packages extolling the effects of secondhand smoke? If there's no strong evidence, then wouldn't they fight that all the way?

Now, looking at the anti-smoking essays, I do see some curious side-stepping, such as in this factsheet where the actual statement about secondhand smoke being dangerous is in a little block that's unsourced.
Quote:
...an estimated 3,500 men and 2,900 women died from the disease.

* Source: Canadian Cancer Statistics 2004

* A non-smoker exposed to second-hand smoke has a 25% increased chance of lung cancer. Increased chances of cancer of the sinuses, brain, breast, uterine, cervix, thyroid, as well as leukemia and lymphoma are also noted. Health Canada estimates that more than 300 non-smokers die from lung cancer each year because of exposure to second-hand smoke.
* Several studies and significant medical experience show that those who chew tobacco have an increased risk of cancer of the oral cavity. Snuff increases the risk of cancer of the oral cavity and larynx.
* Smoking is also a contributory factor for the development of cancer of the throat, mouth, bladder, kidney, cervix and pancreas.

The encouraging news

* Tobacco use is the single most important preventable cause of death in the world...
Emphasis mine. And I do remember Penn explaining how they came up with the 25% figure, and how they estimate how many die of lung cancer from exposure.

But what about the Paediatrician-in-Chief at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children
Quote:
We know that second-hand smoke contributes to disease and death in childhood and later life:

*
When a pregnant woman breathes second-hand smoke, the growing fetus is also exposed to nicotine and carbon monoxide. This decreases blood flow, deprives the baby of oxygen, and can lead to low birth weight. Nicotine also reaches the fetus and affects the heart, blood vessels, digestive system, and central nervous system.
*
Several recent studies have shown that children whose mothers were exposed to second-hand smoke during pregnancy have poorer attention, cognition, and behaviour.
*
Babies whose mothers smoke before or after birth may also be more likely to develop colic during the first six months of life.
*
Second-hand smoke is a risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Babies are more likely to die of SIDS if any person in the home smokes.
*
Children who are exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to develop asthma, ear infections, and lung infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Children with asthma make more emergency room visits if there is second-hand smoke in their home.
*
The effects of second-hand smoke continue into later life — new evidence suggests that adults who were exposed to it as children are at higher risk for heart disease and some forms of cancer.
Yes? No?

This Ontario Medical Association position paper does cite the EPA study, and also one from 1964(!), but also has a number of others such as
Quote:
1. Glantz SA, Parmley WW. Passive smoking and heart disease: Epidemiology, physiology, and biochemistry. Circulation , 1991:83;1-12.

5. National Research Council. Environmental tobacco smoke: Measuring Exposure and Assessing Health Effects. Washington, D.C., National Academy Press, 1986.
Is this all misdirection? The WHO apparently found "weak" evidence for connecting secondhand smoke and cancer. Penn says the risk is "not statistically significant". Are we talking the kind of odds such that it is possible to die in a plane crash, but statistically unlikely... to the point of statistical insignificance? Or more likely than that? Less?
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Old 11th January 2006, 06:08 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ReFLeX View Post
I've heard all my life that secondhand smoke is bad for your health. Now, I'm not so attached to that belief that I didn't doubt it immediately while watching the episode. So what I understand is that the EPA did a very questionable study that concluded secondhand smoke caused lung cancer. And that major anti-smoking or cancer-related organizations cite that study to support their claim that secondhand smoke is dangerous. But is that the bottom line?
THe problem is that the much-touted EPA study was fraudulant. They cherry picked the data for the meta-analysis, ignored 2/3rds of THAT data, doubled their margin of error, doubled the number of deaths, and then proceeded to inflate the number every subsequent time it was quoted.

Dave Hitt did a good job summarizing all the issues with this report. Take away the report, you take away the "evidence" for lethal "second hand smoke".
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Old 11th January 2006, 06:26 AM   #3
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At TAM3, someone questioned P&T on the second hand smoke show. Apparently, the questioner had send info P&T about the dangers of second hand smoke.

Penn said he had looked at the information agreed that second hand smoke did actually pose a real threat. Unfortuately, B*llsh!it doesn't have the budget to redo shows, or spend time correcting them in new shows. I haven't seen the details, Penn and the questioner didn't go into it, since it was a Q&A session.
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Old 11th January 2006, 07:29 AM   #4
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To be honest, I don't look to Penn to evaluate scientific findings such as these. I don't think he can do it any better than I can. Give me six months of concerted effort in the field, and maybe I can evaluate the scientific merit, but other than that, no. Certainly as sceptics we can point out flawed methodology when it occurs, but otherwise we are left to seeing what the conclusions are of the majority of the experts.

With that said, it seems logical that second hand smoke can be somewhat harmful. The dangers of inhaling organics and particulates are well known. My hobby is woodworking, and there are many dangers associated with prolonged exposure to particulates down to 1 micron, solvents, etc. So in the absense of evidence in regards to second hand smoke, I'd prefer caution rather than a libertarian free for all in this matter.
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Old 11th January 2006, 07:46 AM   #5
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Yeah, the whole problem that that particular episode was that they were debunking one story and acting like it solved the whole issue.

The issue isn't "does second hand smoke cause cancer," the issue is "do bartenders who can't be around second hand smoke deserve to be gaurenteed a working environment".
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Old 11th January 2006, 12:10 PM   #6
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Two other issues with that particular show:

1) They conflated scientific and legal proof (a la Victor Zammit), harping on the fact that a court didn't really like the study

2) They assumed (or spoke as if) the only concieveable reason to avoid secondhand smoke was the risk of lung cancer, ignoring heart disease, other lung diseases, smell and sensitivity.
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Old 11th January 2006, 12:15 PM   #7
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I thought there were ground rules for cancer studies. Like exposure must double the rates, elimination/treatment must halve the rates, otherwise statistics/clusters can overly influence a study. Look at the 2,000,000 deaths in this country every year, 2,500 hundred extra from hand-me-down smoke is a pretty small risk.
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Old 11th January 2006, 01:19 PM   #8
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That particular episode of BULL*** was ************. The boys made a number of factual errors, and their conclusions did not logically follow from their presentation. At best, the episode was sloppy.

I've written about this episode before, and I won't go into gory details. Basically, the boys messed up (1) by citing a lower federal court decision as a scientific finding; (2) by falsely suggesting that a person's right to put substances into his own body (assuming that such a right exists) can encompass putting the same substances in the body of another who would not put them in his own body voluntarily; and (3) by suggesting that if second-hand smoke doesn't cause cancer, those exposed to second-hand smoke don't have a beef (which is incorrect from both a factual and legal standpoint).

There was an incident at TAM3 that showed that even Penn Jillette didn't really buy into the message he was trying to sell. During a panel discussion, Penn was sitting next to Christopher Hitchens, and Hitchens, without so much as a "Do you mind," decided to light one up. Oh, the faces that Penn made when he was involuntarily exposed to someone else's smoke in quantity.
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Old 11th January 2006, 02:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Brown View Post
(3) by suggesting that if second-hand smoke doesn't cause cancer, those exposed to second-hand smoke don't have a beef (which is incorrect from both a factual and legal standpoint).
Yes. To me, this is like farting in someone's face and then saying they shouldn't be upset because it won't harm their health.

I really didn't like that episode.
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Old 11th January 2006, 02:41 PM   #10
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HOW MUCH second hand smoke do you need to be exposed to for it to be harmful?

Live with a smoker?

Work with smokers?
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Old 11th January 2006, 03:09 PM   #11
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If you are a cat second hand smoke might be bad also.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-nss072902.php
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Old 11th January 2006, 03:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
HOW MUCH second hand smoke do you need to be exposed to for it to be harmful?

Live with a smoker?

Work with smokers?
Depends on your health status prior to exposure. If you have asthma, for example, it's no fun...
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Old 11th January 2006, 03:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ohmer View Post
Yes. To me, this is like farting in someone's face and then saying they shouldn't be upset because it won't harm their health.

I really didn't like that episode.
If I remember correctly flatulence has been shown to spread bacteria. So it's entirely possible it could harm their health.
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Old 11th January 2006, 04:29 PM   #14
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It's anecdotal, but http://rinkworks.com/stupid/cs_abuse.shtml
Quote:
A friend of mine asked me to take a look at her computer. She said the computer was unusually "quiet" and would reboot itself on occasion. I surmised correctly that the fan on her power supply was faulty. She was a chain smoker and apparently smoked a lot while working on the computer; not only was the power supply fan gummed up with revolting tar and nicotine, but the CPU's cooling fan was clogged beyond use, and the cdrom drive drawer would not open. This is the only computer I have ever worked on that died from smoking.
And
Quote:
I've seen a computer die from smoking, too.

A customer came in with a dead computer, claimed it was under warranty, and asked if we could fix it. We had look at it, and before we even laid eyes on it, we could smell it. Imagine the stench of an overused ashtray times ten.

We looked at the yellow case (it was supposed to be beige) and the date of purchase (3-4 months previous) and goggled in disbelief that she actually had any lungs left.

"What are you doing with this computer?" I asked in total disbelief.

It was at a taxi service. She smoked, the cabbies smoked, and the room was apparently only about eight by twelve. Smoking took place 24/7 in this place, and her fingers and the computer bore witness. We opened the case, and there were visible deposits of brown tar everywhere. The whole thing was gummy and slimy inside.

We had to tell her she was on her own. Naturally, she countered with the "it's under warranty" argument, but the computer was well beyond that. She left quite mad. We insisted she take her computer with her when she left.
If that's what can happen to a computer...
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Old 11th January 2006, 04:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Brown View Post
There was an incident at TAM3 that showed that even Penn Jillette didn't really buy into the message he was trying to sell. During a panel discussion, Penn was sitting next to Christopher Hitchens, and Hitchens, without so much as a "Do you mind," decided to light one up. Oh, the faces that Penn made when he was involuntarily exposed to someone else's smoke in quantity.
I'm pretty sure he said in the episode he doesn't like second hand smoke any more than any other non smoker, I believe the skit with the loud annoying musicians was illistrating this. But that wasn't the point, I have to put up with a lot of things I don't like because the skeptical tools I use come up with an answer that opposes my preferences. That's part of being a skeptic. You can still hate second hand smoke but support peoples right to blow it in your face if it's not harmful. (You get my meaning, just exagerating the point.)

Apart from that, I really don't know if second hand smoke is harmful, I looked into for a bit but got so much contradictory info that I gave up. Don't know if it hurts, don't care enough to find out.
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Old 11th January 2006, 05:23 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Brown View Post
Basically, the boys messed up (1) by citing a lower federal court decision as a scientific finding;
That court found that the EPA testing methods were seriously flawed, thus the results were in question, and the report discounted. That court's decision had nothing to do with the science in particular.

Quote:
(2) by falsely suggesting that a person's right to put substances into his own body (assuming that such a right exists)
There is no law that indicates otherwise, therefore the right does exist. There are laws that regulate the sale, distribution, and possesion of certain substances, but not their use.

Quote:
can encompass putting the same substances in the body of another who would not put them in his own body voluntarily;
No such claim was made.

Quote:
and (3) by suggesting that if second-hand smoke doesn't cause cancer, those exposed to second-hand smoke don't have a beef (which is incorrect from both a factual and legal standpoint).
They did not say that second-hand smoke doesn't cause cancer. What they said was that the smoke haters and the EPA are using false information to drive the issue.

Quote:
During a panel discussion, Penn was sitting next to Christopher Hitchens, and Hitchens, without so much as a "Do you mind," decided to light one up. Oh, the faces that Penn made when he was involuntarily exposed to someone else's smoke in quantity.
Penn being a non-smoker I would assume doesn't like the smell. Perhaps it's an eye irritant to him as it is to many others. And I have the impression that Penn is a polite person and was probably offended by the action of Hitchens.

I'm a casual cigar smoker, and I am always polite about it. I find out if an establishment or person's home is cigar friendly. I ask people around me if they mind if I smoke. I expect the same. I do not smoke in my home.

I've spent some time reading through reports on the issue of second-hand smoke. While most of these reports do not suggest that it is harmless, they do suggest that it is not particularly dangerous. Do you know what epidemiology and relative risk are? The majority of the tests find that air filled with tobbacco smoke isn't particularly more dangerous than ordinary air. Most score a relative risk of around 1. Is it healthy? no. Is it killing 3000 people per year? no.
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Old 11th January 2006, 05:29 PM   #17
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With regard to asthma and other respiratory issues...
tobbacco smoke is not the danger, smoke is. Leaves, lumber, tires, tobbacco, a casserole left in the oven, methane, etc. are all bad.
I just saw an ad for an air freshener (which uses feng shui also) and the claim is that it is good for asthmatics. It's not an air filter, it just adds parfume to cover up other odors. So it's actually worse for asthma by displacing even more oxygen.
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Old 11th January 2006, 05:32 PM   #18
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To the OP:

The truth about second hand smoke is that it contains vitamin C. Kevin trudeau told me so. It's not the smoke but the cigarette filter that causes cancer.
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Old 11th January 2006, 07:20 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Rockin' Rick View Post
There is no law that indicates otherwise, therefore the right does exist. There are laws that regulate the sale, distribution, and possesion of certain substances, but not their use.
Hmm. I know not, but I suspect that there are laws regarding use beyond underage laws (i.e., heroin use is illegal)

Quote:
I've spent some time reading through reports on the issue of second-hand smoke. While most of these reports do not suggest that it is harmless, they do suggest that it is not particularly dangerous.
If I spend the night among cigarette smoke, I wake up wheezy and congested the next day. There are issues beyond the epidemiological here. One is that tobacco is a drug and it can affect people in the vicinity (the tobacco in the smoke I mean, not some sort of magical tobacco radiation). There's also the smell and the irritant factor.
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Old 11th January 2006, 09:04 PM   #20
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http://www.cancersa.org.au/i-cms?page=1.6.36.368.188

Quote:

Conclusions of the 1997 NHMRC report The health effects of passive smoking
This extensive Australian review of the scientific evidence linking passive smoking to many diseases, including asthma in children, lower respiratory tract illness, lung cancer, and major coronary conditions and other illnesses. As very little Australian data exists describing exposure to environmental tobacco smoke outside the home, it estimates the risk of illness from exposure to ETS at home for people who have never smoked.

This report concludes that:


  • An estimated 13% of lower respiratory illness in children under 18 months (about 16,300 cases per year) is due to passive smoking
  • Children exposed to ETS are about 40% more likely to suffer from asthmatic symptoms than those not exposed
  • About 8% of new cases of childhood asthma is attributable to passive smoking (about 46,500 children per year)
  • It is estimated that the risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease is about 24% higher in people who never smoke but who live with a smoker, compared to unexposed people who never smoke
  • It is estimated that people who never smoke and live with a smoker have a 30% increase in the risk of developing lung cancer compared to people who never smoke and live with a non-smoker (leading to about 12 new cases of lung cancer and 11 deaths from lung cancer per year in people who never smoke)
  • Passive smoking contributes significantly to the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
There are plenty of studies on this issue.
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Old 11th January 2006, 09:14 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
http://www.cancersa.org.au/i-cms?page=1.6.36.368.188



There are plenty of studies on this issue.
Thanks AUP. But I want to know if semi regular breathing in of others smoke is bad news FOR ME, apart from being annoying.

Coz I'm not a kid, (with luck I won't have any) and I'm not living with a smoker (with luck I never will). What about regular party/pub goers? This is the crux of the issue I think behind banning smoking in public places. It's a useful study, but doesn't help the whole banning in pubs thing.

Of course all this just academic to me as smoking is already banned everywhere in Canberra, except if you have a certain type of ventilation.
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Old 11th January 2006, 11:54 PM   #22
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Quoted by AUP:
Quote:
Conclusions of the 1997 NHMRC report The health effects of passive smoking
[...]
As very little Australian data exists describing exposure to environmental tobacco smoke outside the home, [...]
"Very little data" on ETS exposure outside the home, okay...
Quote:
[...] it estimates the risk of illness from exposure to ETS at home for people who have never smoked.
And the conclusion to ETS exposure inside the home are estimates.
It follows, then, that the conclusions are based on inadequate data and estimates. Call me old-fashioned, but that hardly strikes me as a very strong basis for formulating public policy. It doesn't exactly help that the provided link results in a 404 error.

Look, obviously there were studies around prior to the 1992 EPA meta-study indicating that ETS exposure had detrimental effects; those would be the studies on which the EPA's conclusions were based. But, as previously noted, the main criticism of the EPA meta-study was that the data had been "cherry-picked," relying only on studies whose conclusions supported the EPA's pre-determined conclusion. Logically, then, it follows that there must also have been other studies around at the time which came up with contrary findings. Indeed, the Congressional Research Service noted that, of the 30 studies the EPA incorporated into its analysis, "six found a statistically significant (but small) effect, 24 found no statistically significant effect and six of the 24 found a passive smoking effect opposite to the expected relationship."

I'm sure you can dig up "plenty of studies" indicating ETS is harmful, but when there are four times as many studies contradicting those findings (in that they conclude the data does not prove a correlation, let alone a causal relationship), it's dishonest to claim that the science is solidly on your side.
Originally Posted by Loon View Post
Hmm. I know not, but I suspect that there are laws regarding use beyond underage laws (i.e., heroin use is illegal)
I think you'll find that it's possession, not use, of certain controlled substances which is illegal. Moreover, tobacco is definitely not one of those substances. Have you ever had occasion to closely examine a store-bought pack of cigarettes? You'll find that, in the USA and most other western countries, the pack bears an excise tax stamp from the state or national government; that government's imprimatur, indicating that the sale and possession of that pack of cigarettes is legal (and that the government has taken its cut of the filthy lucre).
Originally Posted by Loon View Post
If I spend the night among cigarette smoke, I wake up wheezy and congested the next day. There are issues beyond the epidemiological here. [...] There's also the smell and the irritant factor.
No doubt. But if it bothers you that much, perhaps you shouldn't be frequenting establishments which permit smoking on the premises.
Originally Posted by Ohmer View Post
To me, this is like farting in someone's face and then saying they shouldn't be upset because it won't harm their health.
Actually, from my perspective, it's like you shoving your face up my arse and then complaining because it smells of fart. Look, if I came into a club where you were listening to a band you happen to like, and I demanded that they turn down the volume or, better yet, stop playing all together because the noise might damage my hearing, how would you react? You'd probably tell me that if I didn't like it, I could [rule 8] off, and rightly so.
To take it a step further, imagine that I and a bunch of like-minded people, none of whom ever even visit the establishments you frequent, managed to get a law passed banning any noise over x decibels, on the basis that it might damage the hearing of the employees (and the science supporting that is probably a damn sight stronger than it is regarding ETS), even though the employees themselves aren't particularly concerned. Does that strike you as reasonable?
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Old 12th January 2006, 12:07 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Rockin' Rick View Post
With regard to asthma and other respiratory issues...
tobbacco smoke is not the danger, smoke is. Leaves, lumber, tires, tobbacco, a casserole left in the oven, methane, etc. are all bad.
Do you think that patrons should be allowed to burn leaves and tires in bars and restaurants? I'm not sure I understand your point.
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Old 12th January 2006, 01:57 AM   #24
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Incidentally, it might serve to make my previous post more clear if I explain where I'm coming from. As my sidebar says, I live in Washington state. Last November, a ballot initiative was passed banning smoking in bars, restaurants, bowling alleys and the like, and it went into effect on December 8th.
Prior to Initiative 901 being passed, 85% of the establishments affected were already non-smoking. In my area, this included a number of bars, and their number was clearly on the rise even before 901 was proposed. The hot new bar around the corner from my house was non-smoking from the start, and another one nearby closed for renovations and went non-smoking when it reopened. So it's not like you couldn't go for a night out without avoiding ETS.

Washington state also has the most restrictive liquor laws in the Union. Alcohol servers are legally obliged to stop serving alcohol to any customer who is likely approaching the BAC (blood alcohol content) limit, even if that person is demonstrably not going to be operating a motor vehicle in the immediate future (e.g. there is designated driver, the customer lives one block away, whatever), and both an alcohol server and the establishment where he works can be held liable for damages caused by a customer who is DUI after drinking in that establishment. Because of this and other factors, relatively few people are willing to work as alcohol servers, and anyone who is can find employment almost anywhere he pleases. (I don't work as a bartender, but I took the course to get a state alcohol server's permit so I could tend bar at an event at the place where I do volunteer work.) So if an alcohol server doesn't want to work in a smoking environment, he has that option.
Originally Posted by strathmeyer View Post
The issue isn't "does second hand smoke cause cancer," the issue is "do bartenders who can't be around second hand smoke deserve to be gaurenteed a working environment".
Let's not prevaricate about the bush; the latter concern is merely a fig leaf. The "workers' protection" argument was seized upon by the anti-smoking lobby because there was no way anyone could make a case that the power of the state should be applied to prevent people from smoking in bars just because non-smokers didn't like it. If you don't want to drink (an entirely voluntary behavior) around smokers, stay home, or find a non-smoking establishment, or get enough fellow non-smokers together and petition the management to convert the place to a smoke-free environment; if you're so desperate not to wreck your lungs while you're wrecking your liver, there are certain options open to you.

If this were really about protecting the wellbeing of alcohol servers, all these studies purportedly showing a causal link between ETS and cardio-pulmonry disorders would be secondary to an actual survey of bar staff asking "do you want to be guaranteed a smoke-free work environment?" If there's ever been such a study, I've never heard of it. Besides, if anyone were really concerned about bar staff's wellbeing, where are the people lobbying for volume restrictions on music and customer conversation, mandatory 50% gratuities, and what have you?
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Old 12th January 2006, 07:08 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Brown View Post
That particular episode of BULL*** was ************. The boys made a number of factual errors, and their conclusions did not logically follow from their presentation. At best, the episode was sloppy.
I kind of suspected as much, but I like to give fellow skeptics the benefit of the doubt. This kind of thing is what happens when you have a political agenda, I suppose.

...I'm definitely staying away from pool halls in Québec, then.
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Old 12th January 2006, 07:27 AM   #26
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If we lived in a world where second hand smoke was the only pollution, it would probably be a significant danger. The fact is you will get exposed to more danger from walking down or even living on a busy road then you will get from someone lighting up next to you.

Smoking is just the new thing to hate. There are bigger issues to worry about.
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Old 12th January 2006, 08:32 PM   #27
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I don't think second-hand smokers get much of an exposure. For example, do you know anybody who got hooked on second-hand smoke?
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Old 12th January 2006, 08:34 PM   #28
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I just want them to pay me back for all the free nicotine they get from me.
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Old 12th January 2006, 11:49 PM   #29
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Well, and nicotine helps suppress some forms of colitis. And health insurance so far isn't helping to pay for it, from what I read. So do people with colitis go to smoky bars and inhale deeply?
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Old 13th January 2006, 12:03 AM   #30
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Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

As an Asthmatic, and a rather severe one, I can attest that secondhand smoke definitely causes symptoms. My eyes swell, my chest tightens and my nose runs. None of this is pleasant, and I shouldn't have to suffer for what YOU are doing to YOUR body. Look at it this way, if someone was releasing arsenic and lead fumes next to you, wouldn't you want a different table?

Do I even need to go over the futility of putting the smoking section on the TOP floor of an establishment?

Then again, to quote comedian Auggie Smith:
"Mr Bartender man, I am over there trying to GET DRUNK with a woman I barely know so we DRIVE home and have unprotected sex, and this guy is blowing SMOKE in my face..."


I believe in non-smoking sections that actually have WALLS, and smoke eaters in the smoking section to ensure the airflow is going in a sane direction. I don't think it is too much to ask. Bars are very hard, because if I am going to be drinking...well....taking antihistamines is out of the question. I'm afraid they get very little of my cash. There is a bar in the area that has an open-air section in the summer. Very nice.
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Old 13th January 2006, 12:09 AM   #31
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Quote:
None of this is pleasant, and I shouldn't have to suffer for what YOU are doing to YOUR body.
Right, but who is forcing you to be in there, instead of in a non-smoking establishment?
I don't like smoke either, but I think laws are going a little far.
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Old 13th January 2006, 12:16 AM   #32
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Gotta eat somewhere, ys.

Why should I be confined for what others are doing. I am doing nothing. I am being imposed upon by what others are doing. Your rights extend ONLY to the point that you do not infringe upon the rights of others.

Infringe upon me not.

IF it is your house, I may, indeed, get up and leave. But in public, I ought to be able to go where I want and do what I want, so long as I do not intrude upon others. We do have noise ordinances in most cities. It is the same issue. Imagine if everyone in the restaurant had a portible radio, but no headphone. Now imagine all of them were full blast. (I have yet to see a volume control on a cigarette.) How long before you get a headache? Should they be able to do this? Or does it infringe upon you? Are you against noise ordinances, as well?
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Old 13th January 2006, 01:00 AM   #33
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Legally, it's a tough call for me. I love being able to walk into a restaurant and know there will be no smoke there to stink up the place. It suits me just fine. On the other hand, I don't think restaurants should be forced to be entirely nonsmoking (though well ventilated non-smoking probably should be a requirement)
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Old 13th January 2006, 04:23 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by clarsct View Post
Gotta eat somewhere, ys.

Why should I be confined for what others are doing. I am doing nothing. I am being imposed upon by what others are doing. Your rights extend ONLY to the point that you do not infringe upon the rights of others.

Infringe upon me not.

IF it is your house, I may, indeed, get up and leave. But in public, I ought to be able to go where I want and do what I want, so long as I do not intrude upon others. We do have noise ordinances in most cities. It is the same issue. Imagine if everyone in the restaurant had a portible radio, but no headphone. Now imagine all of them were full blast. (I have yet to see a volume control on a cigarette.) How long before you get a headache? Should they be able to do this? Or does it infringe upon you? Are you against noise ordinances, as well?

Uh, last time I checked, you don't have a undeniable right to patronize someone else's establishment. They have a right to allow or disallow service to you, and weather or not you can be on the premises. As an extension to that, they can also define the terms by which you are granted permision into their establishment, for example, if you are going to eat there, you have to put up with smokers. Your noise ordinance example is a great one. Certainly, everyone in a restaurant could bring in portable radios and turn them on full blast, with the owner's permision, so long as you couldn't hear the noise across the street. If you didn't like it, you would have to leave. Actually, I don't understand how you could come up with an example that so perfectly illustrates the opposite conclusion, go to any bar and I'm certain that the noise level inside the bar is beyond noise ordinance standards, and it's probably bad for your health and the health of the workers. Try to call the cops on them and see what happens.

Basically, if someone breaks into your house and starts smoking, you can involve law enforcement. But you have no place to violate the rights of a business owner and tell him that he has to give you a smoke free environment to eat food, any more then I could demand a smoke free environment to eat food in your house. A business is no more public then your front yard.
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Old 13th January 2006, 04:48 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by clarsct View Post
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

As an Asthmatic, and a rather severe one, I can attest that secondhand smoke definitely causes symptoms. My eyes swell, my chest tightens and my nose runs. None of this is pleasant, and I shouldn't have to suffer for what YOU are doing to YOUR body. Look at it this way, if someone was releasing arsenic and lead fumes next to you, wouldn't you want a different table?

Do I even need to go over the futility of putting the smoking section on the TOP floor of an establishment?

Then again, to quote comedian Auggie Smith:
"Mr Bartender man, I am over there trying to GET DRUNK with a woman I barely know so we DRIVE home and have unprotected sex, and this guy is blowing SMOKE in my face..."


I believe in non-smoking sections that actually have WALLS, and smoke eaters in the smoking section to ensure the airflow is going in a sane direction. I don't think it is too much to ask. Bars are very hard, because if I am going to be drinking...well....taking antihistamines is out of the question. I'm afraid they get very little of my cash. There is a bar in the area that has an open-air section in the summer. Very nice.
One little comment from a parent of an asthmatic, it's not that it's CIGARETTE smoke, it's that it's smoke. IT wouldn't matter if it were cigarette, cigar, campfire, or a housefire smoke. It's the particular matter (IIRC) that does the damage, not just that it's cigarette.

I agree that the division of smoking and non- should be better, but I also don't think that the government has the right to impose unfunded mandates upon business; they do, but I don't agree with it.
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Old 13th January 2006, 05:13 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by kalen View Post
I don't think second-hand smokers get much of an exposure. For example, do you know anybody who got hooked on second-hand smoke?
It's not a matter of what you think, it's a matter of what the research is finding.
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Old 13th January 2006, 06:22 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
It's not a matter of what you think, it's a matter of what the research is finding.
And the research is finding that workers in a smoke filled environment are getting the equivalent of 6 cigarettes a year. So, again, it's not that they're cigarettes that makes them harmful, it's that it's smoke.
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Old 13th January 2006, 07:55 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by IllegalArgument View Post
At TAM3, someone questioned P&T on the second hand smoke show. Apparently, the questioner had send info P&T about the dangers of second hand smoke.

Penn said he had looked at the information agreed that second hand smoke did actually pose a real threat. Unfortuately, B*llsh!it doesn't have the budget to redo shows, or spend time correcting them in new shows. I haven't seen the details, Penn and the questioner didn't go into it, since it was a Q&A session.
That sucks. I realize they don't have the budget to redo shows, but there has to be a way for them to give corrections-if only on their website. Otherwise it looks like they're giving false information, which can only hurt their credibility.

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Old 13th January 2006, 08:52 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Loon View Post
2) They assumed (or spoke as if) the only concieveable reason to avoid secondhand smoke was the risk of lung cancer, ignoring heart disease, other lung diseases, smell and sensitivity.
It is, of course, the last two that are the real political drivers behind this. Indeed, people who are hypersensitive to it (even allowing for the placebo effect) are just tools used by those with a political agenda because they hate cigarette smoke.

In science, one doesn't question the researcher, only the research. In politics, it's the other way around if you want to get anywhere in understanding.
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Old 13th January 2006, 04:17 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by CaptainManacles View Post
Uh, last time I checked, you don't have a undeniable right to patronize someone else's establishment. They have a right to allow or disallow service to you, and weather or not you can be on the premises. As an extension to that, they can also define the terms by which you are granted permision into their establishment, for example, if you are going to eat there, you have to put up with smokers. Your noise ordinance example is a great one. Certainly, everyone in a restaurant could bring in portable radios and turn them on full blast, with the owner's permision, so long as you couldn't hear the noise across the street. If you didn't like it, you would have to leave. Actually, I don't understand how you could come up with an example that so perfectly illustrates the opposite conclusion, go to any bar and I'm certain that the noise level inside the bar is beyond noise ordinance standards, and it's probably bad for your health and the health of the workers. Try to call the cops on them and see what happens.

Basically, if someone breaks into your house and starts smoking, you can involve law enforcement. But you have no place to violate the rights of a business owner and tell him that he has to give you a smoke free environment to eat food, any more then I could demand a smoke free environment to eat food in your house. A business is no more public then your front yard.
On the other hand, I do not have the right to dump oil in my front yard, nor do I have the right to burn trash in my front yard, either. If I turn my boombox up to an unacceptable level, the cops might indeed be called and will tell me to turn it down. I could be cited for disturbing the peace.

So, apparently, even on private property, the owner can be called upon to give up certain amounts of rights, because it is considered harmful, or even undesirable, to those around him/her.

kmortis: Yes, smoke is bad for you. It is worse for asthmatics. I don't care where the smoke comes from. If the guy next to me in the restaurant is setting his napkins on fire, it would probably affect me similarly, and I would ask to be seated elsewhere. I fail to see the relevance.

Notice I did not say all smoking ought to be banned, but rather that I would prefer to have a smoke free environment available. I do not think it is too much to ask. If you want to smoke, smoke. I care not. But I do not wish to smell of it, nor have my health put at risk. (For me, remember, it IS a risk, after all.) By your argument, Cpt Manacles, a businessman would have to make no concessions for a handicapped individual, either. They have no right to be there.
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