Sunday, July 13, 2008

American Cancer Society donations

I met a pulmonologist a few weeks back who had written an article decrying the money wasted on smoking bans that could have been used to investigate the real causes of lung cancer in nonsmokers, particularly given the unexplained increase in lung cancer cases among neversmoking women. I was happy to hear Rush read nearly the whole article aloud on his show this week. I hope the article causes some St. Louis people to reconsider donations to the American Cancer Society.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Alderman Jeffrey Boyd’s anti-cruising bill

Alderman Jeffrey Boyd’s anti-cruising bill, like Alderman Donna Baringer’s “graffiti tools” law, would not be so worrisome if it expired after a few years. Deal with an immediate problem, then let freedom return.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

American Cancer Society studies back up Enstrom/Kabat

The longest-running and highest-quality secondhand smoke study ever done, "Environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality in a prospective study of Californians, 1960-98", completed "too late" (2003) to be included in Surgeon General Carmona’s report, found no link between secondhand smoke and lung cancer or heart disease.

This study was heavily used in our fight against Kurt Odenwald's 2005 smoking ban attempt.

David Kuneman presented the study in his speech to the St. Louis County Council:

"A recent study, known as the UCLA study, conducted by Enstrom and Kabat, surveyed 118,094 adults enrolled in an American Cancer Society study begun in 1959, and focused on 35,561 never smokers who had a spouse with known smoking status. This was a study with a particularly large number of study subjects. Never-smoking females married to nonsmokers had the same incidence of lung cancer and heart disease as those married to smokers. Never-smoking males married to smokers had the same incidence of heart disease, but 25% less lung cancer. Again, as in the case of the WHO study, studies can produce negative results indicating measurement errors are in the realm of 25%. Most noteworthy, the study was initiated prior to the development of the social gradient between urban residency and economic status of smokers vs. nonsmokers. In addition, this study controlled for urban residency, underscoring the importance of controlling for other risk factors of heart and lung disease.

The authors made one other important discovery. Study funding is likely to be denied when results do not fit with preconceived notions of outcome. The authors stated in the report that the
University of California withdrew funding after it became known results would be non-significant."

The Missouri Restaurant Association included this UCLA study in its array of studies against the ban.

Keep St. Louis Free! sent "Environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality in a prospective study of Californians, 1960-98" to all members of both the County Council and the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, all 90 plus mayors of St. Louis County and all the relevent press of St. Louis. We presented the study to the Council twice in speeches to the County Council, once early on and once on the day the Council voted the smoking ban down in August 2005. We handed out copies of the study at Council smoking ban hearings.

As I have investigated the secondhand smoke issue further, it strengthens my faith in the UCLA Study to find that two other studies using American Cancer Society data have come to the same negative result as did Enstrom and Kabat.

American Cancer Society 16 Cigarette Claim drove Iowa smoking ban.

The same phony 16 Cigarette Claim that the American Cancer Society used to push the Illinois smoking ban also drove the Iowa smoking ban.

Senator Staci Appel's version of the claim is quoted in the Quad-City Times:

"In one eight-hour shift a casino worker inhales the equivalent of 16 cigarettes from second-hand smoke," she said. "That makes a pack-a-daysmoker out of everyone working in casinos even if they're not smokers themselves."

Senator Appel makes the claim again in the Des Moines Register:

"During an eight-hour shift", she said, "a worker in a smoky casino inhalesthe equivalent of 16 cigarettes."

Using bad info supplied to him by Public Health Director Tom Newton, Rep. Philip Wise upped the number to 19 cigarettes. According to The Daily Gate City:

"Wise cited a study that found people who work in taverns and bars have had the equivalent of 19 cigarettes by the end of their work day."

No such study exists.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Smoke-Free St. Louis City fears public comment!

Smoke-Free St. Louis City long ago promised St. Louis an interactive website concerning the secondhand smoke issue in our town. Though their website has been up since November 2007, Smoke-Free St. Louis City has yet to publish a single comment. Do they fear intelligent opposition to their smoke-free cause? It is time they engage their local opposition! Please e-mail Smoke-Free St. Louis City and ask them to let a real dialogue begin: