Thursday, November 29, 2007

Michael McFadden made this comment on my last post:

Whenever something like covert air quality testing is done by someone who's not only an advocate but whose entire livelihood and career are dependent upon producing scary results a BIG red flag needs to be raised.

The scientific method emphasizes the need for "double-blind" experimentation because even when researchers have NO vital interest in the results of their work it's still quite possible for those results to be unconsciously biased.

We've seen news stories and analyses indicating that a significant percentage of pharmaceutical research is tainted by various degrees and types of fraud.

How much more likely is it that in the field of secondary smoke research, a field where researchers are not only tempted by money and prestige to fiddle with their findings but also driven by an almost religious fervor to have those findings support what they KNOW to be the "right" policy ... How much more likely is it that a significant amount of fabrication goes on?

I don't know, but I'd guess a LOT more likely. Certainly more than enough to account for most of the studies that come up with "significant" findings supporting the antismoking agenda.

I hope Michael will further comment on a September 15th letter I sent to Thomas Swoik, Executive Director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, concerning similiar stealth tests done on the air of the Casino Queen. I have eliminated the full contact information for Ray Narconis and Global Environmental Consultants, which is readily available at their website.

Mr. Swoik,

I read in yesterday’s Post-Dispatch about the testing of the air quality in the Casino Queen by the American Lung Association and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Please let me suggest that you countermand this sloppy and inadequate study by having the air of the Casino Queen tested by Dr. Ray Narconis of Global Environmental Consultants, a St. Louis based air quality testing firm. Dr. Narconis is an official spokesman for the American Lung Association on indoor and outdoor air quality issues. But, unlike Kathy Drea, he is extremely rigorous and fair. Our group recently used the extensive testing of the Lambert Airport smoking lounges done by Dr. Narconis and his firm to convince the St . Louis County Council that the lounges worked fine and a smoking ban at Lambert Field was not needed. Martin Pion, head of the local antismoking group Missouri GASP, had done a study similar to Kathy Drea’s of the Lambert lounges which purported to show that the lounges leaked. This study was even published in the prestigious British Medical Journal:

Yet the clearly superior testing methods of Dr. Narconis and his willingness to speak before the council in defense of the lounges, superseded the Pion test and carried the day. The St. Louis County Council voted not to ban smoking in these lounges at Lambert Field. The tests of the Lambert Field smoking lounges by Global Environment Consultants cost a little over $6000. Dr. Narconis was also severely critical of the sloppy methodology of the Pion tests. You could commision him to do an official analysis of Kathy Drea’s study. As an official scientific spokesman for the Lung Association, his analysis and testimony would carry a lot of weight.

Contact info for Dr. Narconis:
Narconis, Ray, CMRS, RPIH
Global Environmental Consultants, Inc.

Please find attached a copy of the Lambert Field smoking lounge tests. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help in this fight for personal freedom and property rights.

Bill Hannegan
Keep St. Louis Free!


  1. I don't know Dr. N. or anything about his abilities, but it certainly makes sense for any casinos that have been blasted by "results" obtained by antismoking activists to conduct proper studies of their own and see that the results are publicized in a similar manner.

    In addition to the raw figures though, there's always the question of "interpretation" of those figures. Antismoking activists shy away from accepted OSHA standards for workplace hazards. For example it's been noted elsewhere that if you were to compare nicotine concentrations in bar or casino air that they'd commonly be literally hundreds or even thousands of percent below what OSHA considers hazaradous. See for examples.

    But antismoking extremists will usually pick out substances for which there is NO standard of threat set by OSHA and then imply that a threat exists because of comparison with long-term outdoor EPA standards or simply because an element exists in quantities where picograms or even femtograms might be absorbed. That sort of interpretation is no longer science: it's simply propaganda and it should be treated as such.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
    Mid-Atlantic Director, Citizens Freedom Alliance, Inc.
    Director, Pennsylvania Smokers' Action Network (PASAN)
    web page:

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